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[ENG] The documentary POLYLAND asks the question: How does it feel to be black, Muslim or LGBTQ in a place where an estimated 97% of the population are white Polish and 92% declare themselves Roman Catholic?

Our film takes place in Wroclaw, the largest city in Western Poland. The official slogan of Wroclaw is “the city of meetings” and it prides itself on its history of multiculturalism and tolerance. In 2016 Wroclaw became the European Capital of Culture.

POLYLAND follows three strong female characters from different minorities who feel themselves at odds with the identity prescribed by Polish society. The three women were all born in Poland and are currently citizens of Wroclaw. We follow their self-empowered, courageous and persistent struggle to stop being discriminated against on the basis of religion, skin colour or sexual orientation. They do not ask for tolerance but for equality. Ania, Miriam and Elmelda seek to be seen, not as “the other”, but as a part of Polish society.

Their efforts appeared to be going into the right direction, and a liberal society seemed within reach until the recent, dramatic shift in Polish politics. In 2015, the Law and Justice Party (PIS) won both the presidential and parliamentary elections, emphasising Catholicism, patriotism and traditional Polish values. The word refugee became an insult used widely against all people of non-polish appearance. Despite the Law and Justice party being in power for only a few months, it has already had a great impact on the everyday lives of people like Elmelda, Miriam and Ania.