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Moscow International Foto Awards 2020 - Natalia Krezel

More news from the Moscow International Foto Awards 2020. Congratulations to Natalia Krezel, BA Professional Photography student at Edinburgh College for winning Gold and many Honourable Mentions. Natalia was awarded Gold in the People/lifestyle category

for her series of images entitled "Almost Nun Left". A further six Honourable Mentions for the series 'Motherhood', "In Your Faith Remains Strong", "Disconnected", "The Queen", "Forgotten Stories" and lastly "Young Dionysus".

"The title for the project is “Almost nun left” and it is a documentary project that focuses on women that decided to pursue a life-calling to be a nun. They stepped back from mainstream life and dedicated their life to the Lord. All photographs were taken in Bothwell, Scotland and will focus on Poor Clare Monastery. The idea of committing to religious life seemed to be outdated (no nuns joined the poor Clare Monastery in Bothwell for 20 years), but at the same time the topic is extremely interesting and there is no sufficient information about living in a monastery.I am a photography student based in Edinburgh with a keen interest in portraiture, documentary and staged photography. Born in Poland and currently living in Scotland. My aim is to create images that are reliant on emotion and narrative. Literature, arts, and film continue to be key influences on my work".

Natalia Krezel

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An image called motherhood, focuses on narrative-cinematic approach, with a sinister and enigmatic atmosphere, staging the model, using strong, dramatic lighting and vintage props. The aim of all of this is to evoke the feeling of isolation, anxiety misunderstanding, feeling overwhelmed. The emotions mothers face nowadays are still the same ones they faced years ago. The photograph was taken on location in Poland, April 2019, styled for the ‘60s.

Emotional detachment, indifference, and loneliness are the main themes in my work. The image above of an elderly woman sitting on the bed in the post-communist Polish house is associated with being lonely at an older age. The old woman lives alone, she has either been widowed or divorced. Forgotten by family, she is left only with her faith. Staged portrait, using flashlights, taken in Poland, 2019.

Emotional detachment-inability to connect on an emotional level, indifference, and avoidance of engaging emotional connections is an omnipresent theme in my work. Using often vintage cloth and props I try to present psychological issues of modern man (difficulty connecting with others, low self-esteem, depression, and anxiety), often connected with the continuous evolution of technology. Image inspired by the article "Being connected while becoming disconnected" by Radu Ciobanu. Staged portrait, shoot in a studio, 2019.

The portrait is a part of a series called "The Queen" focusing on environmental issues. It is ironically called" The Queen" that symbolizes modern man: proud, vein and almighty. The image focuses on environmental issues people have to face today and human attitude towards them, indifference and ignorance. A portrait of a woman holding a fish, that she will consume for her supper is full of plastic (ocean pollution and the impact that plastic has on the marine life). Aware of the problem, The Queen will ignore it and will eat her fish.

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The project “Forgotten Stories” focuses on a woman that survived the II Worl War. During the Russian occupation, the deportation of approximately 1.7 million Poles from their homes in Poland to sites of exile began. People herded into cattle wagons (50-70 people into each wagon) would start their long journey into Siberia. Weronika Poalsik and her family were one of them. She was 10 years old when her family was deported to the East during the first wave from the night of 9/10 of February 1940. Now 91 years old, Weronika shows us her life almost 80 years after that event.

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The project called "young Dionysus"( ancient Greek god of wine) focuses on alcohol addiction in Poland. Poland has always faced the stereotype of the drunkard country and the problem has to be highlighted. The above-average level of alcohol consumption is especially seen in small towns and villages, with less awareness of the problem and reduced access to education. Series was taken in my hometown -a small village with s a population of 1,400 in Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodeship, in north-central Poland, called Dabrowa Chelminska and present people destroyed by alcohol addiction.

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