JOURNEYS TO GLORY by Marjorie B. Young


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In remote villages of Poland, traditional religious festivals continue to be celebrated on a grand scale--lasting from a few hours up to a week and involving as many as 200,000 people. Virtually unknown elsewhere, these folk rituals have been Polish photographer Adam Bujak's subject and passion for thirteen years. Of the eight celebrations depicted, five are Catholic, two Orthodox, and one that of a feminist Catholic offshoot. They commemorate great Christian events like the baptism of Jesus, his entry into Jerusalem and death on the cross, and the Assumption of Mary, but they axe also suffused with themes and images from ancient agricultural religion. Most remarkable is that they have survived so vibrantly over centuries purely by oral tradition and that they succeed so naturally in linking everyday experiences of joy, sorrow, fellowship, the land and seasons, with religious faith. Marjorie Young's running commentary gives a narrative description of the events Bujak's photos capture. The pictures--of nuns lunching by a haystack, pilgrims prostrate in prayer, a file of horses against the skyline--are strong, and many seem like stills from early Bergman films. But the text is far from profound, and Bujak's work derives its power more from the subject matter than from exceptional artistic vision. On the level of a good TV documentary.

Pub Date: Nov. 3rd, 1976
Publisher: Harper & Row