The Visual Weight of Tychy
Graham Clarke notes that the C19th marks the rise of the city as the most important subject matter for the camera. The foundations of urban photography were laid especially by the C18th interest in the panorama, which was later adopted by photographers: The elevation of the camera above the city established one of the primary axes according to which the photographer navigated his search for a suitable form to represent the urban landscape…
Tychy from A to Z
Even in the early 1950s, the area where the city is now located was still cropland and meadows with hamlets and villages scattered among them. The largest of these, Tychy, with a population of over ten thousand, provided a starting point for the future city. Naturally, for logistical reasons, the great construction of the new city began in the vicinity of the railway line running towards Katowice…
Snippets from the Construction of the Universe
What can one see in the photos by both photo-reporters and photography enthusiasts who documented the construction and development of the young city? Firstly, a valuable account of a certain moment in the life of a city and the world. The Tychy archive, which, in addition to original shots by famed professionals, contains sketchbooks and documentations by architects and builders, seems to confirm the importance of ‘pragmatic’ and vernacular photography, including domestic and job-related photo archives…
Photographing a New City
At the beginning of the previous century, when the construction of the world’s largest steelworks began in the United States of America, the entire process of creating the plant on the shores of Lake Michigan and its neighbouring city was documented by hired photographers. The investment by United the United States Steel Corporation lead to the establishment not only of a modern industrial plant (which became a model for the Soviet Magnitogorsk and, indirectly, Nowa Huta), but also of systematically planned workers’ housing estates, providing a higher standard of living than before
My View of the City
I was born in Kosztowce in 1934 into a family with a strong mining tradition that goes back generations. But I made a breakaway, though, and went to a secondary teacher training school. After graduation in 1953, I was ordered to take up a teaching position the Vocational School of Metallurgy in Świętochłowice. Then I was drafted to do two years’ mandatory military service. When I left the army in 1956, I took up studies at the Teacher Training College in Katowice.
Flashbacks from the Construction of a Big City
October 1950 saw an official decision to expand Tychy, and, a month later, it was given a city charter. Prior to the commencement of the great construction, the population of Tychy was less than 13 thousand. Under the six-year plan, implemented in the years 1950-1955, its population was to reach 30,000. In the following years, this number was to rise further and reach 100,000. The young city, later named New Tychy, was intended to take over some 'central functions for the Central Coal Basin in order to relieve the administrative burden on Katowice'.