Of all the glossy albums about Małopolska to have popped onto the market in recent years, there has been none quite like this. A caveman, a beauty queen, a Polish Red Indian, various crocodiles – these are just some of the unlikely characters to feature in this wonderful book.

Mał was realised under the auspices of the regional government, but as you’ll already have gathered, it’s a million miles from your standard mix of pretty panoramas. Twelve gifted photographers have contributed to the book, and the results are simply a joy to behold. The album captures the heady whirl of transformation that has swept through the region since the fall of communism, but it does so with wit, compassion and a contagious fascination with the world around us. There are forays into unexpected corners of the countryside, an arresting array of portraits, as well as flashes of day-to-day life, peppered throughout with a mischievous dose of the surreal. Next month, the Post launches its second Photo of the Year competition, and if you feel like throwing your hat into the ring, this book is a gold mine of inspiration. A delight from start to finish.

Mał was co-produced by Imago Mundi (see interview with co-founders Andrzej Kramarz and Weronika Łodzińska) and it can be purchased at bookshops across Krakow, as well as at the Camelot Gallery, ul. Św. Tomasza 17.

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