Brave Books

A spread from Michal Iwanowski’s photobook Clear of People

Clear of People
by Michal Iwanowski

Michal Iwanowski’s photobook Clear of People documents a 2,200km solitary journey that echoes his grandfather’s daring escape from soviet captivity in 1945.

This visual journey comes from the photographer’s personal archive as the project re-enacts the map drawn by and inherited from his uncle. It begins in Russia, where Michal’s grandfather was kept as a prisoner-of-war together with his brother. Their daring escape from the camp was followed by a three-month trek with constant hunger and exhaustion. The two men stayed clear of people, trying to avoid any possibly risky contact. What kept them alive was their longing to return to their family back in Poland.

Clear of People stands out as a both a beautiful example of the art of landscape photography, and a fitting salute to the endurance of the human spirit. / Robin Titchener, Photobookstore Magazine

The snow and the dark atmosphere in these images bears some resemblance to Luc Delahaye’s book Winterreise – if music could accompany Iwanowski’s photographs, it would be written in a despairing D minor. / Marco Bohr, Photomonitor