Urbanautica: KATARZYNA MAJAK: ‘WOMEN OF POWER’
The words and images proposed this week by Urbanautica for Manfrotto School of Xcellence are taken from the series by Polish photographer Katarzyna Majak 'Women of Power'.
Majak studied photography with Edward Weston’s grandson, Kim, at Carmel, California, USA, and John Sexton, Aspen, Colorado, USA. She graduated from Poznan University (English literature and Russian literature) and holds a PhD from the Faculty of Multimedia Communication at University of Fine Arts in Poznan.
‘Women of Power’ is a series 29 portraits of Polish witches, healers, enchanters, visionaries and spiritual leaders. According to what Ewelina Jarosz wrote about the project: “The title points to Katarzyna Majak’s intention to develop and socially rehabilitate women identifying themselves with the widely understood spirituality of their ancestors, Mother Goddess, pagan beliefs, and old sources of wisdom, which may still empower and inspire contemporary secularized consciousness by its valuable content and alternative energy”.
Poland is said to be more than 90% Cath
olic. Christianity was introduced centuries ago to have erased almost all the traces of paganism, witchcraft or shamanic traditions. Basically no line of heritage survived. Children at school learn Greek, Roman, German or Nordic mythology.
Only a few traditional healers (so called ‘whisperers’ who mix religion and primeval superstitions to heal and remove spells using prayers) survived on the Belarusian border and cannot be found anywhere else in the world. Others will try to revive a dead tradition – they may have had grandmothers who could ‘see’ or were herb healers. Some others say the knowledge survived in the subconscious but there is a need to learn from outer traditions… Thus many, left with no other choice, travel abroad – to North America, Peru, or New Zealand – to learn, come back and mix the knowledge with some local traditions – old Slavs ceremonials or demonology. Most believe pagan spirit and witchcraft somehow managed to survive in the subconscious.