Polska Kronika Filmowa as a source for research on contemporary Polish architecture

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Piotr Marciniak


The materials used by architectural historians to research the post-war period are very limited, and the available archive resources are incomplete and dispersed. In this context, of special significance are other forms of visual materials that documented the spatial reality of the communist period. Documentary films, and in particular the Polska Kronika Filmowa [Polish Film Chronicle] newsreel, can make an an important contribution to and a resource for historical research on contemporary Polish architecture. This text contains methodological reflections on the role of film studying the history of contemporary architecture. It describes the new research options, including the ability to recreate original spatial phenomena, and also the contemporary techniques and technology as well as the educational dimension of the Polish Film Chronicle. In this context, it is especially interesting to compare the documentary material from the Chronicle with other archival material, e.g. drawings, plans and photographs. This method provides an additional opportunity for a fuller and more objective recreation of space in 3D. This “reverse modelling” can be used to restore or preserve the original condition of structures, or even to rebuild ones no longer existing.


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Marciniak, P. (2019). Polska Kronika Filmowa as a source for research on contemporary Polish architecture. Images. The International Journal of European Film, Performing Arts and Audiovisual Communication, 22(31), 21-28. https://doi.org/10.14746/i.2017.31.03
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Piotr Marciniak, Faculty of Architecture Poznan University of Technology

PhD D.Sc. Eng. Arch. Professor at the Faculty of Architecture of the Poznan University of Technology. Architect, engineer and architecture historian. Research interests include the modern architecture of Central-Eastern Europe (including Poland) as well as the cultural heritage and technology, architecture of national and ethnic minorities and theory of architecture. He has authored over 130 publications and has created nearly 200 architectural town planning and conservation projects. Major publications: New towns and cities in reborn Poland between the World Wars, in: H. Meller, H. Porfyriou (eds.), Planting New Towns in Europe in the Interwar Years. Experiments and Dreams for Future Societies (2016), Spousal collaboration as a professional strategy for women architects in the Polish People’s Republic, in: M. Pepchinski, M. Simon (eds.), Ideological Equals: Women Architects in Socialist Europe 1945–1989 (2016), Doświadczenia modernizmu. Architektura i urbanistyka Poznania w czasach PRL (2010), Architektura i urbanistyka Poznania w latach 1945–1989 na tle doświadczeń europejskich (2009), Uncomfortable Monument or Bad Architecture? About the Criteria for the Evaluation of Misunderstood Heritage, in: V. Kölling, H. Krueger, K. Palubicka, K. Westphal (Hrsg.), Unbequeme Baudenkmale des Sozialismus Wandel der gesellschaftlichen Akzeptanz im mittelund osteuropäischen Vergleich (2013).


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