The day shipyard workers wrote #newstories

“People at the heart of events”. For us, this is not just a slogan in our manifesto but a commitment. Building a new community can’t take place without respect for people who, in the past, created a community here and wrote #newstories on August 31st, 1980, together leading to the signing of the Gdańsk Agreement with the government of the People’s Republic of Poland, which enabled the creation of the Independent Self-Governing Trade Union “Solidarity” and began the process of striving for independence, freedom, and social justice.

On August 14th, 2023, in front of the Dyrekcja building, we introduced the photo exhibition “August 31st, 1980. The day shipyard workers wrote #newstories” with pictures taken by one of the most recognizable shipyard photographers – Stanisław Składanowski. The Exhibition is the first initiative that accompanies the celebration of the 43rd anniversary of the August agreements in Gdańsk.

The exhibition includes 21 of the most interesting and iconic photos from the “August 80” exhibition, which was created on the initiative of the author of the photos on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the August Agreements in 2020 and had its premiere at the Imperial Shipyard, at the WL4 gallery. Among the selected pictures there are also the most recognizable, iconic images depicting the famous board with 21 demands of the strikers or Lech Wałęsa victoriously carried on the shoulders of shipyard workers with the Dyrekcja building in the background. The new exhibition is a tribute to all those who took part in these historic events and our next action aimed at popularizing the memory of the history of this area.

Stanisław Skladanowski, a former shipyard worker and passionate photographer, took over 1,100 photos during the strikes alone. Many of them are the most faithful documentation of the events that led to the creation of the Independent Self-Governing Trade Unions Solidarity in the summer of 1980 and the collapse of the authoritarian system in Poland and Europe nine years later.

Starting from 1964, Stanisław was first a student, then an employee of the Gdańsk Shipyard and the Gdańsk Repair Shipyard, with an army break. From 1975 he was already an advanced amateur photographer. Stanisław tried to show mainly people – their reactions and various emotional states – from uncertainty, fear, waiting for the next course of events, collective prayer, funny situations, as well as many everyday events that took place during the strikes.


On August 31st, 2023 we celebrate #newstories written by shipyard workers.
We have planned many attractions for you. More details will be available soon on our social media.


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