My journey, which lasted several years in total, was close to shamanism all the time. As a documentary filmmaker, I was looking for ceremonies and rituals. I have often participated in them. During many of them, it was impossible to photograph.
From childhood, I dreamed of discovering ancient civilizations. In my mind's eye, I traveled through Peru and the Andes. I wanted to touch on what the Incas and their ancestors had created.
Step by step I was preparing for this meeting. I studied Spanish, discovered a passion for photography and studied South American archeology. Full of positive energy, I spent several months in Peru, carrying out, among others, material for National Geographic Polska about Polish archaeological discoveries. My interests have gone further. I spent the following years in Mexico and Guatemala.
In Mexico, I photographed the Maya, Mexicas (Aztecs), Huicholi, Mazatecs, Mixtecs and Zapotecs. And every time I changed, my cameras changed. To be on the way is to look for yourself. Therefore, in Milp's book, published in the form of a diary, there are photos from the phone, DSLR, medium and large format.
My journey, which lasted several years in total, was close to shamanism all the time. As a documentary filmmaker, I was looking for ceremonies and rituals. I have often participated in them. During many of them, it was impossible to photograph. In such cases, instead of documenting the situation, I created portraits with respect for the circumstances.
I've been patient. Most of the photos were created thanks to the intuition and many non-accidental meetings.
A tiny room in a hotel in a village near Teotihuacan, Mexico. Waiting for a meeting for several days. Hours of conversations with the protagonist. The following days and finally, after a hailstorm, rare at this time of the year, a portrait is created in a field, near the pyramids. It was worth carrying a large-format Sinar for two months.
NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC POLSKA
Best Edition award for photo essay among all National Geographic international editorials in October 2017.
A friend puts me in touch with Omar, a Mazatec mushroom shaman. I'm going to Huautla de Jiménez in Oaxaca. I get used to the space. For three days I create a portrait of my hero in my head. I'm attending the ceremony. The picture disappears. Another appears. Omar reflects the image of a Tibetan monk.
In the meantime, I am starting to work on the project Roots, concerning Slavic ceremonies and rituals. I meet people, I take part in closed holidays. And after some time I discover that in Peru, Mexico and Poland, maybe all over the world, there are the same roots. The differences are superficial: costumes, languages, external appearance. There are powers within us that we are not even aware of. We forgot that life is vibrant with the seasons and times of the day. We are more connected with the Earth than with the world that forgets about it and constantly creates new needs and pleasures.
The project is accompanied by the book MILPA. Photos from individual trips are built up in it. Memories come alive at unexpected moments. The experiences of one journey affect the course of the next. Cameras and ways of seeing change. Sometimes the author tries to catch something within the definition, sometimes he only notes a loose impression.
"Milpa" is an invitation to get to know - a foreign culture, yourself.
MILPA's book price: PLN 100. (free shipping in Poland)
The patron of the project was Nikon Polska.