Kaja Rata: kajnikaj
Polish photographer Kaja Rata whose work was recently celebrated as a Top 50 portfolio in Critical Mass, has a metaphorical project that considers home. Who we are is not always defined by where we live or grow-up , it is truly formed by the limits of our imaginations. Living in a community that feels in decline and stagnant, Kaja looks to the skies for comfort and inspiration.
Kaja Rata (15.10.1987, Mysłowice, Poland) is Polish photographer based in Silesia district. Graduated Photography BA at University of Arts in Poznań, Poland. Before this time she was studying Polish literature at Silesian University. In 2016 she finished Sputnik Mentorship Programme in Warsaw, where she started her project “Kajnikaj”. Now, she just has finished Institute of Creative Photography in the Czech Republic. In her works she is trying to balance between reality and documental fiction.
kajnikaj (Here and There)
Sometimes it seems to me that everything is going to collapse. The houses, grey from soot, and the broken pavements will fall on the mine corridors below. I live in a small town in Silesia, and at some point there might have been something interesting going on here, but it was so long ago, that it is long since buried in memory. It is neither pretty nor ugly. There is no heritage of previous generations, not even any hint of flair in the current ones. If not for the dead mine shafts protruding from below, my town might be located anywhere. Or perhaps here and there.
“Here and there” is “gdzieniegdzie” in Polish. But it also has its equivalent in the Silesian dialect – “kajnikaj”. If we use the latter, my place will become less “here and there”. This is an obvious form of taming the reality, allowing us to build upon it and create a mythology of sorts.
When I look at the sky over the decaying town, and when I build rickety contraptions I am trying to find means to escape from the place I was born and raised, even though I know that it is a futile attempt.
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