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Neon style in Cold War Poland


Harry
15 Mar 2013 #1
A very interesting set of slides accompanied by an interview with a photographer.

Colourful and creative neon lights were an antidote to Polish Cold War gloom. From the 1950s onwards, bright lights beamed out across the country. But today, as Poland modernises and as buildings come down, many of those lights are going out.

Photographer Ilona Karwinska has captured the period of Poland's "neonisation" in pictures. But what started as a photographic project for a book, has resulted in the creation of a museum dedicated to these works of art. She told Lila Allen why she is on a mission to save Poland's Cold War neons.

bbc.
Paulina 17 | 4,469
15 Mar 2013 #2
Thanks, Harry, quite interesting.
jasondmzk
15 Mar 2013 #3
Great stuff. The "burglars" of Wrocław are still here, though sadly not in working order. I've been interested in neon since my stint in Vegas, where even there it's a dying art. The specificity of the signage in Warsaw is pretty spectacular.

Here's some of Wro's neon history: Ul. Kam

Moda Polska is still around:M.P

Dead letters from the train station: Progress

I was wrong about the "four burglars" of Wrocław. I saw them two days ago.

Faded, but there

And the train station has since been restored, as well.

Back again.

And here.

So, I was wrong. But happily so.
pawian 223 | 24,583
1 May 2021 #4
The most breath-taking neon ad I saw in communist times was in fact silly propaganda. It read: Use the services of Soviet Railways! It was a giant ad which presented a few carriages riding on tracks, and the wheels were actually turning! The colours were green and white. I was speechless whenever I saw it.

I loved all those neon lights coz they successfully enlivened grey communist reality. Warsaw had most of them. But I hated such views as a long straight dark street and one small neon light in the middle. It looked awful.





pawian 223 | 24,583
6 Jan 2024 #5
silly propaganda. It read: Use the services of Soviet Railways! It was a giant ad which presented a few carriages riding on tracks,

After years of waiting, I have finally looked it up. But the photo doesn`t render the true colours and motion of the neon.
The second photo is another ad of Soviet railways but in Warsaw.





Alien 21 | 5,220
7 Jan 2024 #6
But the photo doesn`t render the true colours and motion of the neon

It would be more appropriate: Korzystaj z usług Kolei Zdradzieckich....😀
pawian 223 | 24,583
7 Jan 2024 #7
Kolei Zdradzieckich.

This one is an invented language pun.
But there were and still are neon signs which display an amusingly altered slogan due to malfunction.

Eg Cautious person always insured turned into Cautious person always roasted.

or Good evening in Wrocław turned into Good evening to Wrocław





Poloniusz 4 | 739
8 Jan 2024 #8
But there were and still are neon signs which display an amusingly altered slogan due to malfunction.

Altered yes but not always due to a malfunction.

"In post-war Poland, the state distribution system impeded private initiative, and advertisements were superfluous and even seen as antagonistic to the communist system...neons could only be put up if they carried information or were decorative...All that was left of the pre-war neon installation "Hotel Polonia" was the bare word "Hotel"."

culture.pl/en/article/a-history-of-warsaws-neons

This explains your rabid leftist hatred of Polonia.

Polonia represents the true Polish spirit of freedom, family, faith and fidelity to Poland.

Such values are anathema to communists such as yourself.
Novichok 4 | 8,264
9 Jan 2024 #9
I was unpleasantly surprised to see this in Radom in 2017...



pawian 223 | 24,583
9 Jan 2024 #10
I was unpleasantly surprised

Because they weren`t true neon lights.
pawian 223 | 24,583
10 Jan 2024 #11
Polonia represents the true Polish spirit

Am Polonia are the most misogynist, racist, antiliberal, antisemitic, antidemocratic, anti minority, anti-everything-what-is-decent azholes in the US or even in the whole universe.
You are moral and mental dregs of the Am society.
Your contribution here proves my words hundreds of times every week.
DFY!!!

Do not offend decent Poles and Polesses by saying sth about true Polish spirit. Your spirit has been resting in the moral cesspool for ages, darling.
Alien 21 | 5,220
10 Jan 2024 #12
Am Polonia are the most misogynist, racist, antiliberal, antisemitic, antidemocratic, anti minority, anti-everything-what-is-decent azholes in the US or even in the whole universe.

Well, not bad... and they also chose PiS in the elections.
pawian 223 | 24,583
10 Jan 2024 #13
and they also chose PiS in the elections

Which means they are homo sovieticuses on top of everything

But let`s keep to the topic.

Who are these guys in a famous neon light?



Alien 21 | 5,220
10 Jan 2024 #14
Who are these guys

They're some burglars.
pawian 223 | 24,583
10 Jan 2024 #15
And what do they represent????
Poloniusz 4 | 739
10 Jan 2024 #16
blah, blah, blah, DFY!!!, blah, blah, blah


Alien 21 | 5,220
11 Jan 2024 #17
what do they represent

I don't know, maybe it's an advertisement for an insurance company?
pawian 223 | 24,583
11 Jan 2024 #18
Yes, Alien.

blah, blah, blah,

No worries- I am too old to change. :):):) And my fascination with neon lights will remain with me until my last day.

This is an old communist neon restored in capitalism.



pawian 223 | 24,583
13 Jan 2024 #19
And my fascination with neon lights will remain with me until my last day.

There was just one problem with neon lights - they looked awesome at night but during the day those glass pipes were bleak and grey and the metal constructions they were fixed to seemed very primitive, like produced by a 19th century steel mills. That is why I hated the day and loved the nights.

See what I mean



jon357 74 | 22,469
13 Jan 2024 #20
during the day those glass pipes were bleak and grey

So are a lot of twentieth century buildings in PL and elsewhere.

The restored neon signs in Warsaw aren't really noticeable much in daylight. They're fairly high up and blend into the background when they're switched off.
pawian 223 | 24,583
13 Jan 2024 #21
So are a lot of twentieth century buildings in PL and elsewhere

Yes, like in the photo above.

Let`s admire more neons in broad nightlife, then:

Shoe and dairy shops below:





jon357 74 | 22,469
13 Jan 2024 #22
Shoe and dairy shops below:

I like the basketball one in plac Konstytucji.

The ones above remind me of Blackpool Illuminations.


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