“You have to admit, it seems easier to find out what Brits think about Poles rather than the other way round. Until now, that is.” - Polski Blog
London-based Polish filmmaker, Agnieszka Chmura, addresses this unfair stereotype of Poles in the UK with her documentary “The Ordinary Stories of Polish Londoners”. Her aim is to show a different perspective, that of the ordinary Polish person living in London, how they integrate in the city, what they are doing and why they are here.
London, as Chmura eloquently put it, is “a mosaic of ethnicities”, her initial intention was to quite simply open up the Polish community to other Londoners and the beauty of the people. Her long-term idea was to tell the story of contemporary Londoners, of all origins and nationalities.
The Polish community in London is a melting pot of different stories in itself: you have the older community made up of Polish refugees fleeing their country after it was ravaged by Nazi Germany, the post World War II community of exiles after the Polish Resettlement Act of 1947 as well as the asylum seekers trying to escape the communist rule up until 1989. Then there’s the younger generation, who came to the UK as a result of Poland joining the EU in 2004, many of whom bring with them their business minds and ideas.
As well as introducing the London Poles to the rest of the community, this zero-budget project was also a way of introducing the London Poles to each other, helping them to understand each other’s motives for immigration.