To see man in man. An unusual photography project

A photographer from Skierniewice plans to take photos of 365 women battling cancer in 12 Polish cities by the end of June. See More is a photo project aimed at showing women with cancer in the city. Let the audience see not only the disease, but also the sick person.

The obligatory white shirt should help to get the girls out of the crowd and draw attention to it. Photos are taken in cities, with energy, strength and movement. And with the most important element of this city – the girl who is a part of it.

We operate in the centers, tram stops, people are always with us – says Magda Rdest-Novak, the photographer who invented and implemented the See More project. Yes a white shirt should draw attention to the girl, bring her to attention. But also to emphasize her individuality, femininity and subtlety – lists.

The project is about seeing people in person. And not to look at cancer girls through the prism of the disease. But there is more.

I wish we understood that everyone we pass on the street may be burdened with some illness or simply anxiety – says the author of the pictures. Maybe he’s having a bad day, maybe he’s depressed. Therefore, we should not be indifferent to someone who does not allow us on the bus – adds.

One of the participants told his story. As he boarded the tram, the old woman said aloud that she was rude because she had not been given a seat. At that time, the young woman had undergone chemotherapy, felt terrible and had no strength at all.

The idea of ​​the project appeared before the pandemic. A girl with severe cancer appeared in front of Magda’s lens. She was well dressed and wearing makeup.

I saw how cool she felt, how she needed that sense of acceptance to feel important and beautiful. How important this moment is for him – Magda remembers Rdest-Novak. AND I came from Skierniewice with a project that I wanted to implement with twenty women oncologists. When I found out that I would not find so many people, I posted information on the social network. And so it all started he says.

The answer was as fast as lightning. To date, half a thousand women from all over Poland have applied. They wrote that they could go anywhere because they wanted to participate in such a project.

I started grouping applications, so a plan of twelve cities was created, and each of these girls had a coordinator to help me organize an event in a particular city, because it would not be possible to organize it. position of central Poland says the photographer. And when things started to work, the pandemic blocked us … he says.

Sessions, especially group sessions, were not held because participants were ill. because the project had to wait. We finally started working – three days before the start of the war in Ukraine.

This is not a good time for such attempts, but I thought that the disease does not choose a place or time, so we are operating in the shadow of war. says the photographer.

Women who take part in photo sessions are at very different stages of the disease. Some are already ill, some are undergoing chemotherapy, and some have recovered after years of silence. At first they are very worried. The calves are too thick, have varicose veins, the shirt is too open.

Some said they just didn’t want to pose in a shirt … But when I stood in front of them and explained what I meant and what we were going to do, and we moved, I turned around and … I saw thirty women. only in shirts – Magda remembers the sessions in Krakow and Katowice. Because they didn’t think about wearing pants anymore they were so strong and proud, they felt so needed, they felt they had done something important and no more problems. The shirt is too short or the button is too open …

The ladies know that these are not beauty sessions and are not to show off their beauty. Although everything is beautiful.

They must stand as they do in front of the lens says the photographer. If you are overweight – very good! Because the overweight girl will see it and find herself in these photos. I want people who see these photos to find themselves – adds.

I don’t think about what I look like, how fat, thin, handsome, ugly I am, whether I have varicose veins, whether I have difficulty squatting after chemotherapy, whether someone likes me … This is not a dream concert. , and I’m not a tomato soup so everyone likes me. i am I enjoy every day, every moment, everything I have here and now. None of us were born with the disease, and none of us know how to deal with it. But we manage – each in its own way. I once said to Raczyskama: listen! I live with you, but not for you. And I remain loyal to him. This project is to show our strength, energy, honesty and will to live. It’s about who we really are and how much we want to be

says Agnieszka Groeger, one of the project participants

How important – you can see on the social media page of the project. Girls are looking for people who will support and understand them. They want to know how to behave and to whom to turn. And feel that they are not alone. They write their own stories and share their experiences. It’s hard to read, because he realizes that at some point in our lives, we can’t be sure that something will happen that will ruin our lives.

They are young and very young women, we have small children who have faced a terrible war says the photographer. And their stories help those who are just learning that they have cancer … Girls see that cancer is not the end, they can live, be beautiful and happy.

Cancer takes as much as we give ourselves. I am always there where I can show that the disease is not the end of the world

– emphasizes the project participant Katarzyna Krayevska

The last of the twelve sessions is scheduled for late June in Gdansk. A few months of work will result in exhibitions in different cities, and as long as there are sponsors – a calendar made of bricks from group photos will be created. The proceeds from its sale are used to support women oncologists from twelve cities.

I want the role of prevention, organized medical examinations and consultations to be emphasized during these exhibitions, because this is a very important aspect that girls especially emphasize. – Says Magda Rdest-Novak. We plan the finale in October, which is a month of breast cancer awareness and a perfect opportunity to think about your health first. because we do not know if the time will come when we will wear a white shirt.

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