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Event exploring themes around Polish migration in Wales, launches photo exhibition

14 December 2022

In honour of the launch of the photography exhibition, ‘Grove Park Camp (1946-57): Polish stories of resettlement in Slough’, a launch event showcasing stories of Polish resettlement in Wales since the Second World War, reflecting on the rich legacy of Polish-Welsh cultural exchange today, was held at the School of Modern Languages.

The event, as well as the wider exhibition, was curated by post-graduate Research student Rio Creech-Nowagiel who is based between Cardiff University and the Imperial War Museums.

Rio Creech-Nowagiel and Dr Ruselle Meade

Rio invited two speakers to the event at the school. Dr Karolina Rosiak (Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań) discussed her research on recent Polish migration to Wales. George Stacewicz, unfortunately, could not attend but his talk reminiscing about his regular family trips to the Polish Home in Penrhos, was read to the audience.

The exhibition tells the story of Grove Park camp which was one of hundreds of resettlement camps set up throughout the UK after the Second World War to accommodate displaced Polish soldiers and their families. It uses photographs held by former residents and their descendants to offer a unique window into what daily life was like for the Grove Park community, who were among the first of many generations of Polish people to settle in Slough in recent decades.

Rio used their grandparents’ family albums as a starting point for their research, in addition to working with members of Slough’s multigenerational Polish community. The exhibition, which was ultimately held at Slough’s Curve Library, was launched in Cardiff as opportunity to highlight Polish connections to Wales in the post-war and contemporary periods.

Rio said: “It was a joy to be able to bring together friends and colleagues to share this exhibition in person after two years of online events. The launch event provided an ideal setting for exploring themes around Polish migration in Wales.

“I hope members of the wider School of Modern Languages community connected with the story of Grove Park resettlement camp and that they might be inspired to engage with their own family histories and cultural heritage.”

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