Anna Krężel, Town of Bandits

I wanted to tell a story about people and places that are close to me – or else they were, and over time they became foreign and distant. The process was long, arduous and sometimes frustrating. At first, I worked on editing the photos for a long time and I searched for the key to what my project was actually about – it gave me a headache. It took a whole year and during that time the idea for the story began to change, and with it so did the photos. I stopped being fascinated by the place where I was brought up. The people and the atmosphere that surrounded them became more important.
What I work on escapes an unambiguous description, it’s difficult to define precisely. I have the impression that my project is not over, it is developing all the time – maybe I’m only halfway through. Perhaps the point of it is the process of these constant changes.
During the mentoring programme, the visual language of my photos began to change. At the very beginning I wanted to talk about the place where I grew up. The photos were taken with a medium-format camera, they were colourful and static. At some point the shots became bolder – determined and alive. I gave up on landscapes and colour and turned to people and their gestures. The tight framing was meant to emphasise the stifling atmosphere, as well as the closeness with the people I was photographing.

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