VII | VII Observations

Faith, Swiebodzin, Poland, 2011

Photo by Maciek Nabrdalik / VII. Faith, Swiebodzin, Poland, 2011.

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From the photographer: “I grew up in Poland when it was an almost uniformly Catholic country and my hometown, Czestochowa, is a national shrine to Virgin Mary. This is why the question of faith is particularly important to me. Witnessing secular tendencies not only in Western Europe but also in the major Polish cities, I set out to document the absolute faith that is now disappearing - the faith free from politics, open to the experience of the sacred, honest and spontaneous. I was less interested in documenting the sites of cult and religious practices than in capturing the transcendent aspect of faith with all its sensualism and the deep, unwaning need for a spiritual encounter.

I was looking for the subtle manifestations of it. That magic, that can last only a fraction of a second. I see this as an interference of the sacred in human’s life, a moment in which there is some exchange of energy. I knew where to look for devotion. For many years I've been watching thousands of pilgrims in my hometown.

In the search of that phenomenon, I went to Swiebodzin, a small Polish town, to see the statue of Christ the King, exactly one year after its coronation. Announced once as the world's largest statue of Jesus Christ (taller than Rio de Janeiro's Christ the Redeemer). A year before my visit roughly 15,000 pilgrims flocked to the town on Sunday for the statue's unveiling. The first anniversary was extremely quiet. I went back to my hotel room feeling very disappointed, as it was a long trip for me.

That is the view I woke up to in the middle of the night.

Representing transcendent aspects through a visual art as photography is an interesting challenge."

Posted in: Photography, VII Observations

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