Behind the Curtain



Ula Wiznerowicz returns to photograph the village of her birth, Palmowo, and the surrounding areas of Poland, for her project Behind the Curtain. Coming to recognise the pervasiveness of alcoholism in the area, the way it infested and came to influence so many people and aspects of life, Wiznerowicz decided to photograph and interview the local people as a method of understanding.  "I know all of the people in my pictures, their wives, children, the interiors of their homes and the views from their windows," Wiznerowicz explains. "For 15 years I was part of that community and, like the majority of these people, I ignored or accepted without protest the situation around me and the inevitable misery of life in this world." She points out that, of the people portrayed, it shouldn't be assumed that they themselves are the alcoholics, but might be among those who feel the effects from an alcoholic neighbour or loved one.

Turning her camera not directly at the presence of drinks and drinking, but slightly askance, in the form of scenes and portraits which illuminate the consequences, Wiznerowicz creates an intimate and thoughtful account of a community ridden with alcoholism.

To see more from the series, check out Ula's video with images and a voiceover narrative.