They left clothes strewn around, unmade beds, open books, the TV turned on, as if they were about to come back soon. They left their rooms unprepared for emptiness.
Every year, the Polish police file 15,000 missing person reports. Every day, the faces of missing people gaze out from posters designed to attract our attention; yet, every passing day, they are noticed less. We become as immune to these posters, as we do to their faces. Only those who have lost someone in these circumstances can begin to imagine the pain these families are going through. Their feelings teeter between loss and hope.
I traveled 7,200 km throughout the country to visit their homes. During each visit, I photographed the rooms of the missing that are left untouched, for several months, years, and even decades.
In addition, I also photographed the portraits that remained of the missing people in a very subjective way. Each intimate portrait is a metaphor to a time that stands still, and an attempt to hold on to the memory of each unique life.
This project has several goals: 1) An Intervention to reinvigorate the efforts to find the missing; 2) Prevention to build awareness of the huge pain caused when someone goes missing; 3) Awareness in order to bring this issue to people’s attention, not only in Poland, but all over the world; 4) and, my personal exploration of the links between depression and disappearance
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