Usama, Muhammad, Ammar, Yasser, Kamil, Jarob, Ismail, Aminullah, Ahmed, Muhammad, Mortaza, Abdullah, Mustafa, Abdullah, Mazzin, Hezha, Maria, Mohand, Mahmude, Luay, Abdulkrem, Fazlullah, Sdiga, Ahmed, Youssef, Rafat, Hamid, Zabit, Elham, Omid, Nabas, Ktebalasaf, Zain…
IT specialist, office worker, pupil, mother, businessman, nurse, civil engineer, student, lawyer, journalist, architect…
Syria, Iraq, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Syria, Syria, Afghanistan, Afghanistan, Afghanistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Syria, Syria, Iraq, Syria, Syria, Syria, Syria, Iraq, Syria, Syria, Syria, Afghanistan, Afghanistan, Kurdistan, Iran, Syria, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Iraq…
I met them in Serbia in January 2016. They had been fleeing the world they knew well to the one that seemed to be better to them. They had been on their way for a few, dozen, dozens of days. They had paid a lot for it.
I didn’t go there just to photograph, however, I constantly had my camera with me and whenever I could, I took pictures. Not to forget their faces. But first, those people had to be helped, and if there was some free time left, then to talk to them. Only then was the time to think about taking a picture. They mostly agreed, but the women – they almost never wanted to be photographed, unless with their children. I tried to write down their names, cities, pieces of their stories, but there was no place, no time, no way to do that. Over these five days, 5 to 10 thousand people had crossed that place. Although I only encountered a small fraction of this number, all the facts have mixed up, making it impossible to combine the name with the face.
There was no time for staging, perfecting a composition, waiting for better light. It would rather be unfair in those circumstances. What only mattered, it was to record those people.
The people like us.
Magdalena Wdowicz-Wierzbowska (b. 1979) | based in Warsaw (Poland) | architect and freelance photographer | member of the Association of Polish Artists Photographers ZPAF | fellow of the Minister of Culture and National Heritage (2013) | has participated in numerous exhibitions | works on her own photographic projects | deals with portrait, street photography and clay modelling | author of the book I Just Miss My Husband. Meetings with Widows (self-published, 2013) | yoga and factual literature lover | has published in many magazines, including doc! photo magazine (doc! #24).
The Magdalena Wdowicz-Wierzbowska exhibition is organised under doc! photo magazine patronage.
under doc! photo magazine patronage:
Four Years, Three Months, Six Days – this is a title of the next exhibition in Wroclaw’s ‘Roman House’ whose protagonist is the father of Magdelena Wdowicz-Wierzbowska (doc! #24). The title refers to the time which will have passed since his death by the exhibition opening day.
The exhibition will consist of pictures from three series: Dad, I Just Miss my Husband. Meeting with Widows and Dad (2015). The first one is a personal record of transitory moments, which the photographer spent with terminally ill father in the last months of his life. The second series is a set of portraits of women who try to find themselves after the loss of their husbands. It starts with a photo of the artist’s mother. Presented for the first time Dad (2015) series is a set of pictures that were also taken during the father’s illness but their tone is much more cheerful. As the author says: “I created something, which to me is a combination of family album and diary without words. About the man to whom I owe so much. Life.”
Although extremely personal, the exhibition is narrated in such a way that it becomes universal. It perfectly captures emotions of someone who is faced with a terminal illness of a loved one, then with death, and finally has to learn to live with a feeling of emptiness and absence. The final stage includes acceptance of the loss and searching for the good and happy moments in the memory. It is the stage where Magdalena Wdowicz-Wierzbowska is.
Magdalena Wdowicz-Wierzbowska – Four Years, Three Months, Six Days
Lover-Silesian Centre of Photography ‘Roman House’ (8 Bp. Nankier Square, Wroclaw, Poland). Grand opening: February 26 at 5:00 PM. The exhibition will be open to the public until March 28, 2015.
Buy Magdalena’s book I Just Miss my Husband in our doc! store.