Kaja Rata


[ EPF 2017 – SHORT LIST ]

Sometimes it seems to me that everything is going to collapse. The houses, grey from soot, and the broken pavements will fall on the mine corridors below. I live in a small town in Silesia, and at some point there might have been something interesting going on here, but it was so long ago, that it is long since buried in memory. It is neither pretty nor ugly. There is no heritage of previous generations, not even any hint of flair in the current ones. If not for the dead mine shafts protruding from below, my town might be located anywhere. Or perhaps here and there.


“Here and there” is “gdzieniegdzie” in Polish. But it also has its equivalent in the Silesian dialect – “kajnikaj.” If we use the latter, my place will become less “here and there.” This is an obvious form of taming the reality, allowing us to build upon it and create a mythology of sorts.

When I look at the sky over the decaying town, and when I build rickety contraptions I am trying to find means to escape from the place I was born and raised, even though I know that it is a futile attempt.



Short Bio

Kaja Rata was born in 1987 in Myslowice, Poland. She is a Polish photographer based in Silesia district. She graduated with a BA in Photography from University of Arts in Poznan, Poland. Before this time, she was studying Polish literature at Silesian University. In 2016, she finished Sputnik Mentorship Programme in Warsaw, where she started her actual project “Kajnikaj.” In her work, she is trying to balance between reality and documental fiction.


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