Masha was unable to make a living with the little money she was earning in Belarus, so she left her small town, Bobrujsk, and came to Warsaw, Poland. Without a work permit or a valid visa, she set up business at the open-air bazaar. She learned from others how to prepare liquor at home by diluting it with water and filling brand-name bottles with the mixture. Masha supports herself in Warsaw, as well as her ex-husband Andrei and their daughter Sasha in Belarus. She dreams of buying a house in Belarus one day.
Feature / At the border / What does Masha do in Poland? by Jan Brykczyński
At the Border
At the border (2006-2007) is a photo-essay describing the illegal labour market in new European Union member states (Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia). Faced with poor economic conditions, lack of jobs and of means of support, many citizens of the former Soviet republics and other countries beyond - from South East Asia to Africa - are forced to leave their homes to seek better opportunities in the “New Europe”. The money they earn and send back home is in many cases the only source of income for their families. These migrants live and work illegally in the new EU member states, surviving in a foreign culture, on the verge of legality. They often do not see their partners and children for years. They make no plans because in their world there is no future. They live from day to day. Book design: Ania Nalecka / TBD and Rafal Milach