These Photographs of Skinny Kids With Punk Haircuts Make the Bleak Polish Countryside Look Glamorous

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“It was the early '90s, and if you really wanted to be cool, there was only one way — to declare war on your hairdresser, wear anything stripy and dive into the very depth of the grunge revolution,” writes Tomasz Liboska about his collaborative photo project with Michal Solarski, Cut It Short, which depicts young and skinny boys and girls in the bleak Polish countryside.

It’s familiar territory for the two of them. Both grew up in a small town of about 4,000 in southern Poland, and for the project, they staged exacting and nostalgic photographic versions of their teenage years — and teenage haircuts. They see the act of getting punky buzz-cuts as some modern version of a centuries-old Slavic tradition called postrzyżyny — a lost rite that involved a ritual hair-cutting to celebrate a child becoming a boy, or a boy becoming a man.

And so they decided to revisit their pre-haircut boyhoods, even if they occurred in a part of the world where the rain “can be as persistent as acne,” as Liboska recalls. But for us at SEEN, these photos are vivid, fun, and inviting.

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