„Winter mind”

A display of Karolina Gembara’s work.

Janowiec. The makeshift logs resemble a temporary shelter, a substitute for a home we can’t find or can’t build. The structure is covered by a semi-transparent fabric. Consequently, we can only read the general outline of the objects’ structure – details and particulars fade into the darkness of oblivion.

Karolina Gembara’s project “Winter Mind” confronts the issue of migration and repatriation, whose echoes still shape our contemporary identity. Gembara juxtaposes photographs, objects and archival images (from private and public archives) to talk about the search for one’s own place and diagnose the complicated situation of post-German areas. The photographer tries to show that the traumas experienced by the previous generation are recorded in the memory of our bodies and influence our current decisions. Above all, however, the memory of the difficult past of “being not-yourself” turns out to be a condition for a certain social solidarity. This message turns out to be extremely timely in times when so many communities are condemned to a nomadic life – devoid of a sense of stability and security.

“Winter Mind” is a photographic project, but also a research project. It touches on the problem of developing a visual language that would be able to cope with the requirements of a story about issues as difficult and abstract as the trauma of migration.

Karolina Gembara – photographer. A graduate of International Relations and journalism postgraduate studies at the University of Wroclaw, she studied art history at the University of Warsaw and completed photography at the International Forum of Photography Kwadrat. She is currently a doctoral student at the SWPS Humanities and Social Sciences University in Warsaw.
She has exhibited her work in India, Nepal, Cambodia, Ireland, Hungary and Poland, among others. She is the author of the books “Covenants” (2013, Towarzystwo Inicjatyw Twórczych ‘ę’) and “When we lie down, grasses grow from us” (2019, GOST Books, London). She has published in the British Journal of Photography, Ojo de Pez, GUP Magazine, Calvert Journal, C4, Ain’t Bad, Fotoroom, PDN, Indian Quarterly, among others. Scholarship holder of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage.
She conducts participatory photography workshops, works with people with experience of migration, excluded groups. She is a member and mentor of the Sputnik Photos collective.

Curator of the exhibition – Weronika Kobylinska, PhD.