Category Archives: poland

Leonard Cohen in Poland May 2014

I'm your Man the Life of Leonard Cohen
I’m your Man the Life of Leonard Cohen

I’ve just returned from a trip to Poland where I was working on a documentary film about a young couple getting married. He is a Fijian Indian Hindu and she a Polish Catholic.

It was a relief for me to be working in Poland about a theme unrelated to the decimated Polish Jewish community and its culture that had been my focus on previous trips.

In Sydney over the summer, I had bumped into my friend Rita who worked in Martin Smith’s bookshop in Bondi years ago. Rita is also from a Polish, Jewish background and had recently visited her hometown. She was working in Oscar and Friends bookshop in Double Bay when I went in to pick up the book I had ordered.

I had ordered Murray Bails’ book “The Voyage”. Bail’s is a book about an Australian who goes to Vienna to sell his revolutionary new concert grand piano. The story is loosely based on the Stuart Concert Grand Piano from Australia. It was a good read and I empathised a lot with the central character who like me didn’t speak German and had problems being taken seriously in the old establishment of Vienna, a major centre of music, art and culture.

During our long conversation, interrupted many times by people buying books I kept going back to the shelves and picked out a biography of Leonard Cohen, by Sylvie Simmons.  I wasn’t sure about the choice but Rita said she’d heard it was a good one and I took her word.

Last year in the late summer I had been in Poland and had wanted to see Leonard Cohen perform in Lodz but it never materialized.

Lodz is the town of my paternal grandmother’s family and once had a very large Jewish community.

I had seen his Sydney concert a few years ago and I knew his music and a bit of trivia about him but I took this biography with me on the long train journey from Vienna to Katowice and then to Lubliniec and was making very good progress and enjoying finding out more about the life and career of this great artist and poet.

The sister in law of the bride turned out to be a big Leonard Cohen fan and had been to the concert I hadn’t been to but it surprised me that Leonard Cohen could be so popular in Poland.

It turns out that there is a Polish comedian, writer and radio personality called Maciej Zembaty who had translated and performed over 60 Leonard Cohen songs since the 1970’s.  Zembaty had been imprisoned by the regime in 1981 for organising a festival of songs on the regime’s banned list.

Zembaty’s Polish version of Cohen’s Partisan Song had become the unofficial anthem of the Solidarity movement.

I’ve included some links to Leonard Cohen documentaries online.



Paul Green +43 676 942 2558


A Week, Tuesday to Tuesday in Lubliniec Poland.

It’s springtime. I’m in a rural area of Silesia about 60km from Katowice. This is one place where English doesn’t work but people do try to speak to me in German once they realise I can’t speak Polish. You can see more of my work at


I’m here making a documentary about a young couple who met and now live together in Sydney. Karina and Sachin are getting married on Saturday in Karina’s nearby home town called Kalety. The doco is about the joining of a Fijian, Indian, Hindu family and a Polish Catholic family.

The project was dreamed up and is being produced and directed by my friend Chris Cole who has an architecture practice in Fiji and who knows Sachin’s family.

Chris worked as a cameraman back in the pre digital days of film. It has been a great experience working with him and learning a different approach from someone who has ducked the digital revolution and hasn’t worked in the industry for many years.

This week has been very important for Polish people. Their beloved Pope, Karol Józef Wojtyła, or Pope John Paul II was canonized by the Vatican as a saint by Pope Francis.


Pope John Paul II is recognised as helping to end Communism in his native Poland and eventually all of Europe. John Paul II significantly improved the Catholic Church’s relations with Judaism, Islam, the Anglican community and the  Eastern Orthodox Church.

Another Polish saint who is celebrated in Lubliniec and who was canonized by Pope John Paul II is Edyta Stein. Also known as St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, Edyta Stein was a German Jewish philosopher who converted to the Roman Catholic Church and became a Discalced Carmelite nun. She is a martyr and saint of the Catholic Church and one of the six patron saints of Europe.

In 1938 she and her sister Rosa, were sent to a Carmelite monastery in the Netherlands for their safety. They were arrested by the Nazis on 2 August 1942 and sent to Auschwitz where they were gassed on 9 August 1942.

Although Edyta was born in Breslau (now Wroclaw) in 1891 she spent much of her childhood in Lubliniec as it was the hometown of her grandparents.

I visited the Lubliniec Jewish cemetery yesterday. Originally the cemetery was divided into three plots: for men, women, and children. In all, 1,117 people were buried there.


The Nazis devastated the cemetery during World War II and used the gravestones to pave the road from Lubliniec to Żuków. In 1958 the Polish national authorities took over the cemetery and  opened a driver training centre on the site. Fragments of gravestones were piled up in a few heaps.

Among those buried in the cemetery are the grandparents of Edyta Stein: Adelajda Courant and Salomon Courant  as well as Edyta’s elder brothers: Emst and Richard.


Approaching 25 years as a freelance photographer

Photography of Sydney by Paul Green, Anzac Day Parade George St Sydney,Black and White, Brass band and poster in background, (Paul Evan Green)

I’m not very good at maths so it took me a while to subtract 1989 from 2014. How things have changed in that time. My main camera through the 1990’s and turn of the century was the Sinar P. My kit consisted of 75mm Schneider Super Angulon, 90mm Schneider Angulon, 150mm Rodenstock, 240mm Rodenstock, and 480mm Apo Rodagon lenses, 6×9, 5×4 & 10×8 Backs. Price entry level for photography was a whole different ball game. There were long days and nights in the darkroom processing film and completing Black & White print orders as well as astronomical monthly lab bills. I always say that I bought Mr Kodak 3 houses but also 1 each for Messes Fuji, Agfa, Ilford and Polaroid. Back then my bread and butter was doing big jobs for Artists, Museums and private galleries. I still do this kind of work but the jobs and budgets have shrunk. Throughout the years I have never stopped doing my own photography. Some of my personal work can be seen on my website at

Travel, Vienna 2012_3 photos by ©paulegreen, architecture,, shop window, street collage series, street photography, ©paulegreenstreet collage, vienna (Paul Evan Green)

Recently exhibited images 12/13 ©paulegreen contact Bondi Beach Sydney, Zdunska Wola Poland, Vienna Austria,Late Autumn,Early Winter Vienna (Paul Evan Green)

I’ve been traveling and working in Europe for the last 15 months and recently returned to Sydney. During that time away I was concentrating on a number of commissioned jobs and exploring some personal themes. Initially I went to work with Australian Artist Mike Parr to document his large scale retrospective and new performance piece at the Kunsthalle in Vienna, Austria. I also completed a book of Art, Food, Culture, Agriculture and Archeology of the Roman region of Lunigiana  in North West Italy. This will be my 3rd book about this part of Italy. The first 2 were “Soffritto” & “Lucio’s Ligurian Kitchen” of which both  were very successful.

Italy, Food, Travel, Architecture, Art, seafood salad (Paul Evan Green)

Ciccio Cookbook Lunigiana Italy, Ristorante capannina ciccio, Liguria and Ristorante Ciccio Marina Tuscany, Owner Mario Guelfi. Fish and seafood restaurant, (Paul Evan Green)

Ciccio Cookbook Lunigiana Italy, Ristorante capannina ciccio, Liguria and Ristorante Ciccio Marina Tuscany, Owner Mario Guelfi. Fish and seafood restaurant, (Paul Evan Green)

Most interesting for me was the work I completed in my European Ancestral home of Poland. This is where my Hassidic Polish great grand parents lived and I was fortunate to visit their home towns. I photographed extensively and produced some very interesting and contemplative photographs on my first visit during the Winter of 2012.

Krakow Poland Main Square (Paul Evan Green)

Chevra Kadisha,Lodz Jewish Cemetery,Lodz Jewish Cemetery,Lodz,Poland Autumn-winter 2012,photography by Paul Green, ,Lodz Jewish Cemetery,radegast station,Lodz Ghetto,litzmannstadt Ghetto,Łódź,Holocaust,transport lists,nazi,communism (Paul Evan Green)

Lodz Ghetto Wall,Lodz,Poland Autumn-winter 2012,photography by Paul Green, ,Lodz Jewish Cemetery,radegast station,Lodz Ghetto,litzmannstadt Ghetto,Łódź,Holocaust,transport lists,nazi,communism (Paul Evan Green)

Lodz Jewish Cemetery,Poland Autumn-winter 2012,photography by Paul Green, ,Lodz Jewish Cemetery,radegast station,Lodz Ghetto,litzmannstadt Ghetto,Łódź,Holocaust,transport lists,nazi,communism (Paul Evan Green)

In the Summer of 2013 I returned to Poland to collaborate With Judy Menczel & Fay Sussman on a documentary film about contemporary Polish/Jewish relations, Klezmer Music, & Yiddish language. The film has full tax deductability status and we are looking for financial support for this very interesting and important doco.

Throughout the time in Europe my home was in Wien or Vienna. Vienna is a quiet and small city with a long and multi faceted history. I find it  a wonderful canvas for street photography and I love certain aspects of the cultural life and food there. Mostly I am able to get work on large projects done there. I find it very easy to focus on a task  and not be distracted. I am returning with some very interesting ideas for photography and a new body of work.

jewish themes,,, restitution, street collage series, street photography, travel photography, ©paulegreen (Paul Evan Green)

Die Angewandte, angels, grafitti, jewish themes,,, plakatiren verboten, shop window, signage, street collage series, street photography, travel photography, tree, ©paulegreen (Paul Evan Green)

Since returning to Australia I have been working on editing the Poland film,  documentation of a Kaldor Public Art Project with Slovenian artist Roman Ondak, and my continued involvement with Artists Mike Parr and Ken Unsworth.

Australian Artist,Ken Unsworth AM,Photo,Paul Green,Performance Art,Painting, Sculpture,Venice Biennale,Sydney,Melbourne,Australia, Art Gallery of NSW, National Gallery of Australia,"A Ringing Glass (Rilke) An Event to Honour Elisabeth Unsworth,Toy pianos, music, Art,Toyland fever (Paul Evan Green)

The first thing I did on my return was to go to my storeroom and get out my Hasselblad camera. I’ve been using this camera almost exclusively for all my personal photography in Sydney over the past 3 years or so. I’ve been getting through roll after roll of 120 Black & White  film. I’m looking forward to a big scanning session at Silverpixel studios. This camera and its Carl Zeiss lenses is the benchmark in German optics and will replace my canon 5dMk111 on my return to Europe.

I’ve been really fortunate to have done so much magazine work in Italy during 2013. I’ve teamed up with a wonderful journalista,Paola Ciana who has had many years of experience as fashion editor for big Italian women’s mags. She made the switch to writing and photographing beautiful houses. So far we’ve been published in magazines such as Velvet, Io Donna, La Repubblica, Marie Claire Maison and Elle Decor. This has been a wonderful learning experience and has given me access to some magnificent Italian homes and interesting people. Also it has had a slightly demystifying effect for me on the Women’s Magazine market.

Italy, Food, Travel, Architecture, Art (Paul Evan Green)

Italy, Food, Travel, Architecture, Art (Paul Evan Green)

Italy, Food, Travel, Architecture, Art (Paul Evan Green)

Italy, Food, Travel, Architecture, Art (Paul Evan Green)

Italy, Food, Travel, Architecture, Art (Paul Evan Green)

Italy, Food, Travel, Architecture, Art (Paul Evan Green)

Art Studio Switzerland, Food, Travel, Architecture, Art (Paul Evan Green)

Switzerland, Food, Travel, Architecture, Art,Art Studio Furniture (Paul Evan Green)

Chestnuts Switzerland, Food, Travel, Architecture, Art,Magazine story,Chestnuts Switzerland, Food, Travel, Architecture, Art, Contact Paola Ciana (Paul Evan Green)

So to my new business plan: I’ve set up my website as a resource library where interesting  images can be uploaded and sold either in print form or as a digital download.  I’m hoping to improve the SEO capabilities so I can make a significant number of sales through the site but hope that people will take a look if there’s a need for a gift or need to find images for magazine stories and books. I’m still available for freelance  photography, film and writing work and will be living between Europe and Australia in the foreseeable future. Every blog or business advice I’ve read about the pursuit of a fulfilling and successful career in photography recommends that you follow your own interests and speak with your own voice. This I have always done and continue to do. Photography is a tough gig and there is no job like it when it comes to great rewards of time spent.

Please take a few moments to look at some of the photos from my website…………