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Ula Wiznerowicz November 25, 2013

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Poland.

From a project about Alcoholism in Poland 2012

Ula Wiznerowicz (b. 1986, Poland) received a BA Hons Degree in Photography at Middlesex University (2010). Her photographs have been exhibited in solo shows in Italy, England and Poland. Her careful handling of subjects and their emotive stories has won her acclaim with most recently a FotoVisura Grant, along with Ideas Tap Portfolio Award in 2012 and Channel 4/Saatchi Gallery Prize and D&AD Best New Blood Prizes in 2010.

About the Photograph:

“This image is part of the series called Behind the Curtain, focusing on the effects of alcoholism in a small rural community in Poland, where I grew up. The cycle of images depicts a personal journey through individual stories of men and women dealing with alcoholism. Although not every person in my pictures suffers from alcohol dependency, each one has, in his or her own way, encountered this problem through their relatives or circle of friends. Over the course of one year, I gathered relevant information, researching medical data, and interviewing alcoholics, their families and doctors who specialize in treating the addiction. I believe that this was essential, as it enabled me to fully understand the problem that plays a major role in my country.”

“The woman in this picture is my neighbor’s mother-in-law, who lives in Palmowo, a village of 120 inhabitants, where I grew up. She made me a coffee and started telling a story about her daughter, whose husband went to prison for domestic violence. While serving his sentence, he had gone through alcohol treatment and now hasn’t been drinking for more than seven years. Irena tells me: ‘When he came back from prison he never even said he was sorry for what he’s done. He doesn’t talk to me anymore and he stopped coming over since he finished that bloody house. In court they asked if I forgave him. I said alright, but who will pay for all our grief?’ The story she told me was was very moving and in that moment it didn’t feel right to take pictures, but she said that it’s all right…She fixed her eyes full of tears at the window and that was when I took the shot.”