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Watching the coverage, I can’t help but feel saddened as I remember the many summers I had spent in the city, documenting stories and taking portraits of Black and Jewish minorities living there.

As a young History student, fascinated by former states of the Soviet bloc, I had decided to spend my university year abroad in Poland In Western narratives, Eastern Europe has often been characterised as a primitive and backward backwater.

In the corridors of Warsaw’s only Africa centre in the Downtown central spot, James Omolo, director of the Afryka Connect foundation tells me horrifying stories of frequent racist attacks and even sexual assaults against Africans in public.

However, there is also a surprising history of black diaspora communities choosing to settle in Eastern European countries.

In the 1920s and 30s, the Soviet Union was considered a safe haven for African-Americans escaping segregation in the USA.

He shows me around empty classrooms, used to hold free language workshops for new immigrants and help improve intercultural dialogue. The same can be said for mixed race Poles of African descent, many of whom have struggled with negotiating dual identities in a homogenous society.

Looking up at the billboards plastered around Warsaw Central of fellow countrywoman Adwoa Aboah in the latest Gap campaign feels particularly strange here.

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