”I like this country because you can still disappear here. Everybody’s out in the open, everyone wants or needs to be seen. In this country you can still disappear. People won’t bother you. People won’t ask your name. They won’t look you in the eyes. They let you fade away in peace. It’s not something I wanted for myself, I wanted to be seen just like you. But somewhere along the line, I wanted to left alone. I wanted to be left alone for such a long time that it seems to be the only thing I know how to do. Sometimes I deviate from my solitude, I try to make friends and it never goes right. I don’t know what to say or how to act. When I think about my grand social life as a young man, I don’t understand how that could be me. It seems like I’m looking at a stranger….
I hate this country for letting me disappear. I want to leave this place, but I don’t know how. I used to, but it’s been too long. You only get so much time to develop yourself. Once that time is past, you’ll have to live with this man for the rest of your life.”
Picture taken in Katowice, Poland
”I know you prefer playing videogames. It makes you traverse a different world, it morphs you into a superhero. You don’t have to be afraid of demons. Even if they kill you, you will be reanimated anyway. They keep killing you and you keep coming back alive until you finally kill them. I understand why you like it. It’s better than what is happening at home. It’s better than seeing the distance between two people you love. In that world, we are all connected, people don’t lose touch, people don’t separate, people stick together. I wanted to leave you in this world but I brought you here anyway, just so you could see that this world can be beautiful too. I hope you can see at the end of the day because if you can’t see it now, how will you be able to see it when you’re an adult, when the world expects you to provide for yourself? We need to have meaning beside our own little world. We all have to get out eventually, we can’t just stay in our room. We have to know that there’s something beautiful out there, something worth going out the door for. This is the way for a true adventure. This is the way to reality, to appreciate it at least. I know you can’t see it now, but if you follow me, I can show it to you…”
Picture taken in Wisla, Poland.
”They talked about the old world, how the young don’t appreciate what they have now. They see the kids coming in and out of these fancy clothing stores, spending so much money. This kind of consumerism didn’t exist in their days- not for their kind anyway. The special ones could do everything, the normal ones had to get by. Back in those days, there were no choices, only survival. There was duty. If you didn’t do what you needed to do, you weren’t going to make it. ‘We have come to a point now where we coddle our children, all their feelings matter,’ said one of them. ‘It didn’t used to be this way. The world didn’t care whether you were depressed or came from a broken home. You had to go out there anyway and make something of yourself. Now a work-ethic is secondary.’ ‘Just wait and see’, said the other one, ‘read the newspapers, the old world is coming back. The signs are all there.’
For a moment they wondered what they would do if they were the young generation. A rumination so painful, they quickly abandoned it. They lived in a world where such dreams are dangerous. If you dream too much and wake up, the dread would be unbearable. It’s better to stay grounded and prepare for the worst.”
Photograph taken in Krakow, Poland.
”The tragedy of human existence is not death, but alienation. It’s not the end of the story, it’s the inevitable depreciation of its arc, its history, its value. We learn so much but then we forget. The people remind us but are sick of listening. Even if we want to listen, we can’t. It’s not in our nature. We are not made for everlasting nirvana. There’s only fragments and then we move on. It’s not in our genes. We must forget to make way for the following conflict. We grow to understand ourselves and then regress into bad habits and ancient cliché’s. We should have seen it coming, we wonder how we couldn’t. But this is in our nature. We aren’t allowed to remember.
The tragedy is alienation, from ourselves but especially from others. Our involvement in this grand scheme, our accomplishments, the way we touch the lives of others, we don’t appreciate none of it. We must think ourselves as losers.
And then there are those we forget about. The ones you haven’t thought about for years. The ones you stop to think about for a second, you wonder how they are or whether they are still alive. The sadness of it all; close friends and now such strangers. The greatest tragedy of human existence is when friends become strangers.
They are the ones you haven’t seen in years and then suddenly, he’s walking on the same street as yours. You don’t recognize him at first, you would have missed them if you hadn’t been looking. He used to be a good friend, you didn’t treat him well. You tried to make amends but wouldn’t hear it. You begin to recognize him when you look into his eyes, you are shocked. There were stories, but you didn’t think it would go this far. You see the shock in his eyes when he recognizes you too. None of you know what to say. It almost seems like he wants to say something to you. But he quickly turns away and you never see him again.”
Photography made in Krakow, Poland.
”I was waiting for the bus.”