I AM NOT SCARED OF THE NIGHT

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I AM NOT SCARED OF THE NIGHT presents shamanistic rituals from Nepal. Syafrubesi is a village situated just 13 kilometers from the Chinese border, on a start of the popular trekking routes to Gosaikunda and Lantang. It is an area packed with culture, which may not be immediately visible to passers-by.

Fortunate to be able to experience a close relationship with the Bompos or Jhankris (shamans) who congregate in Syafrubesi, which is considered a spiritual focal point for the Bompo, I was privileged to witness various shamanic rituals special healing procedures, pujas to remove obstacles and exorcisms. This documentary work highlights the importance of the Bompo rituals in their everyday life.



I AM NOT SCARED OF THE NIGHT is a part of 
STORIES FROM HIMALAYAS project.
Visit the project website to learn more!


SE BOMPO, SE, SE


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'Se bompo, se, se' means in Tamang 'my shaman, mine, mine'. The quote comes from the song sung during an annual pilgrimage at Janai Purima holiday and is a way of showing respect to Bompos as leaders of the community. During my residency in Syabrubesi I was interested in process of transformation of a normal person into a mediator with the sacred world – a shaman. I asked shamans to pose for photos in their living rooms, with some kind of shamanistic attribute.




SE BOMPO, SE, SE is a part of 
STORIES FROM HIMALAYAS project.
Visit the project website to learn more!


STORY OF GOSAIKUNDA


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STORY OF GOSAIKUNDA was created as a part of a project in Syafrubesi, Nepal. Gosaikunda Lake is a mountain basin situated 4 days walk away from Syafrubesi. For local people, who believe in a mix of Shamanism and Buddhism, the lake is a holy site and a source of power. 

The main aim of the project was to tell the story of the Gosaikunda lake in collaboration with the local community of Syafrubesi. It was also to enable a group of young people from the village to accomplish something spectacular. 27 children from Syafrubesi were not to become photographers, but they were to get encouraged and empowered, so they could find a way to achieve whatever they want to achieve, regardless of their economic situation.




As part of Chogar and Chona story about Gosaikunda a set of photographs illustrating local story shared by one of the local shamans were created. Different people in Poland and in the UK donated second hand digital cameras, which were taken to Nepal, so they young people there learn how to use them. During carefully planned sessions in Syafrubesi the story was divided and a professional storyboard was created. The group of children worked towards the plan, carefully designing every single picture. They shot knowingly and they were using variety of photographic means, playing with narrative sequencing and visual language of photography itself, carefully choosing the natural light or mixing it with artificial light, using long and short exposures, fake perspectives and so on. That resulted in a set of pictures to illustrate the Story of Gosaikunda.



STORY OF GOSAIKUNDA is a part of
STORIES FROM HIMALAYAS project.
Visit the project website to learn more!


ROMANI CLICK

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Who has the right to photographically represent problems of minority groups?

I designed and facilitated workshops during which young Romas have been arranging pinhole photo illustrations of Romani stories and tales written by a Roma poet Jan Mirga. Children prepare the tales' scenery and take photos with hand-made pinhole cameras. Every project scene ends with a happening touching upon issues of lack of the dialogue between neighbouring communities. The temporary exhibition showing the works of Roma children was prepared and is still rented to everyone who wants to show it. Until now it was exhibited in over 30 venues in both Poland and the UK.




In 2008, in London, the children picture book Romano Bumburumbum was printed and the photo album of the Romani Click's results from Polish settlements is due to be published soon. The project was exhibited internationally including in Austrian Parliament in Vienna and in 2nd Roma Pavilion in Venice International Arts Biennale. ROMANI CLICK project blossomed also with huge amounts of invitations from next "wojts" (leaders) to the next Romani settlements and with interest in follow-up actions of those settlements, who already took part in the project.





ROMANI CLICK is a result of collaboration with Malgorzata Mirga-Tas. The editions of this participative project were so far implemented in Szaflary (2007), Nowy Sacz (2008), Czarny Dunajec, Czarna Gora and Krosnica (2009),Ostrowsko(2012) and Maszkowice (2012) Nowy Sącz (2013) and Krakow (2013/2014) Roma settlements as well as in London, with Roma refugees from Poland and Slovakia.






FAIRYTALE


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Yet in communism Marek Kotanski was the person who had the courage to tell that in the paradise of Peoples Republic of Poland there are actually existing: drug addicts, homeless and HIV positive people. He registered Monar association in the symbolic 1981 just few months before Martial Law were imposed. Marek Kotanski gained a lot of social trust. He believed that the people living on scares of society are there because society is constructed in a wrong way. He demanded people to construct new, better and fairer society.


The Centre for Homeless Mother and Children Monar – Markot ‘Bajka” (Fairytale in Polish), was one of the centers run by his organization. It consisted of 11 barracks. Each of them was divided into separate studio flats. Residents shared bathrooms and toilets. Among 750 residents, 500 were children up to age of 16. Some of them had been living in the Centre for over nine years and nearly half of the children were born in the Centre. The siblings often had the same mother but different fathers. Most of children were at risk of early school leaving and they were often not even able to read and write properly. Nearly 95 percent of adult residents were out of work; they were living out of benefits and help gifts donated by private sponsors. 

The Centre was closed in 2009.