We're proud to announce that Dominika Gesicka (Warsaw, Poland) will be the first photographer to dock with us this May.
The work of this photographer was selected from hundreds of entries for the LensCulture Visual Storytelling Awards 2015. Her ongoing series “This is not real life” about the world’s northernmost city (which is Longyearbyen on Svalbard, Norway) instantly grabbed our attention. Only a few weeks ago Dominika was one of the winners of the IdeasTap Photographic Award, in association with Magnum Photos. She received a grant and will soon return to Longyearbyen to complete her series. Magnum also gave her the opportunity to showcase this work at Magnum Print Rooms in London in July 2016.
We’re excited to connect with Dominika, help her finalize this intriguing story and of course share it with our community! News about where our dockers will reside exactly will soon follow. All we can say right now is that we’re collaborating with Volkshotel to arrange a very special place…
Do you recognize the feeling you would like to put your life on hold? What if you could travel to the end of the world, where the sun never sets or never shows. Just for a week, month, year. The world is full of conflict, on a global and personal level. In Dominika’s story, we saw a theme to connect with but also to wonder about. Is it really possible to escape from life?
There is a place where no one is born and no one dies. Of course you can die anywhere but you cannot be buried here as it has been discovered that bodies fail to decompose here. You cannot be born here because pregnant women are to return to the mainland to give birth. There are no cats, no trees, no traffic lights. There is no amusement park, but there is a circus troupe. In the winter time it is completely dark, but in the summer sun never sets. The place is called Longyearbyen and it is the largest settlement and an administrative center of Svalbard. It is also the world’s northernmost city. Although it is difficult to regard it the best place to live, many people fall in love with it at first sight. Some people came here just for two weeks and stayed for five years or more, but not many decide to settle down here permanently. Sometimes you have an impression that people here are trying to escape from something; that this is just a retreat. This is not a real life.