In the introduction to the project, Lazar explains that the Polish coastline is 500 km long, with sandy beaches, fishing villages, cliffs, and beach resorts. For most Poles the Baltic Sea is almost synonymous with summer holidays. For the locals inhabiting the area, however, it’s a place of hard physical work and slim monetary rewards, which have been few and far between since the country joined the European Union, as the author states.
Coastline is an interesting type of documentary, where almost every single image is visually strong enough to exist on its own. And yet, when put all together, the photographs create a coherent piece of work. I particularly like multiple perspectives on the topic and I don’t simply mean different viewpoints, from which images were taken. Lazar reveals the image of the Baltic coastline from fisherman’s eyes as well as those of a child playing on the beach. In Coastline, we have hard work juxtaposed with leisure. What’s interesting is that images of pleasure and fun are mostly bright and composed in a rather classical way. The fishing shots, on the other hand, tend to be darker and full of strong contrasts, with human figures often cropped aggressively. Whether intentional or not, it’s great how Tomasz Lazar recreated sense of relaxation and roughness by means of visual language.
To see all the images from the series, please visit Tomasz Lazar’s website.