Mocanita is the name of the steam train in one of the wildest part of Europe – Romanian Maramures Mountains. Built in the beginning of 20th century, for years it has been the main way of transport for woodcutters, smugglers and inhabitants of the local villages. After the collapse of communism, conditions of Mocanita are still poorer and poorer. The local government tries to create the train as one of the main tourist attractions in Maramures. Nowadays, the train is used mainly by tourists who want to hike in Maramures Mountains. Yet, for few people from the train crew, Mocanita is still the sense of their life.
Kalwaria Zebrzydowska is one of the most famous holy places for Polish Catholics. Each year more than 100.000 pilgrims come to celebrate The Jesus Christ Martyrdom Mystery. The procession takes few hours, quite often in rain or snow, and is very exhausting – even for the young participants. Similarly as Mecca for Muslims, many older people dream of taking part in this ceremony at least once in their life. The Pope Johannes Paul II used to say, that Kalwaria was one of the most significant experience in his life. The greatest honor for local people is to take part in this ceremony as one of the member of the acting team.
The first day of November is celebrated in Poland as All Saints Day. The Ritual, which has pagan roots, was established as a Christian ceremony in IX century. On this day the cemeteries are full of people visiting the graves of their relatives. Families are recalling their dead members. It`s time of musing, reflection and thinking about the matters of life and death. Since few years the ritual is being replaced by Halloween tradition coming from America and West Europe. The custom of celebrating the dead is probably one of the oldest in the human history.
“Many people remember their first photograph. I don`t. Probably it was the picture of the drunkard lying on the street. But I remember, that the first photos which were significant and important for me, was a picture I took during the Orthodox Easter in Bukowina (Romania).”
“I choose photography rather as a way of life, than just a “proper” job. The kind of photography which is fascinates me, is the photojournalism. I prefer photography which describes the world (as photojournalism), rather then photography, which creates some reality (as art photography). Probably the most important for me is the style of this work – no schemes, no routine. You can be where something is going on, you can be a witness, you can give a testimony.”
“What is special in my photographs? People. People as the actors of the social life. Their emotions, their secrets, their anger, their hopes. I believe in Robert Capa`s sentence: “If your photographs aren’t good enough, you aren’t close enough”. As a photographer, and as a sociologist, I believe, that if you want to understand something, you have to be as close as possible.”
Born in 1976 in Kraków, Poland. Graduated in psychology (MA), thesis: “Personality in the psychology of politics”. Student of sociology in Jagiellonian University. Photographer –interested mainly in social themes. Traveled many times with his camera through postsovietic countries. Going to work as a press photographer. Main area of academic interest: photography as one of the sociological research method. Currently working on a subject about polish Catholicism.