23rd November 2020


Just like Us
exhibition: Karolina Jonderko

From 23 to 29 November at Warsaw Central Station a number of boards were installed. Boards with full-size, photographed figures. Women and men of different ages, shapes and sizes. Just like us. Who were these people? Each picture had a short description saying just that. To read it you had to  come closer; you had to be face-to-face with each and every photographed person. However, when you stood in front of them, when you were ready to look into their eyes, you stared at yourself. Their faces were not there. They had been cut out and replaced with mirrors. Everyone who visited the exhibition saw themselves instead of a stranger who they knew nothing about. The fundamental idea behind my vision was for every passerby to see themselves in the mirror while reading the story told by each individual. Was it just the reflection of the face that they knew so well and recognized immediately? Or, perhaps, there was more? Perhaps, the story sounded familiar, perhaps, it was their story too. My thinking behind this form of exhibition was to enable viewers to identify themselves with those who undergo psychological crises and a variety of mental disorders; to let them see their own reflections in these stories.

The wide range of stories and experiences I used was the key to this project. Psychological crises affect most of us, but, as the stories tell, crisis is not always the end. On the contrary, it is usually the beginning. Each photographed person described their battle with a mental illness in their own words. They decided to share their experiences to help those who, for whatever reason, have not sought help yet.

I would like to send a huge thank you to all who took part in this project. Thank you for your bravery, thank you for sharing your stories with not only me, but with everyone. I hope that this exhibition will be held in different places around Poland. The statistics say that one in four of us is affected by mental problems in one way or another. Meaning it can happen to any of us at any time. Developing greater awareness of how common it is is crucial. The earlier one seeks help, the sooner one recognises early symptoms, the greater the chances of a full recovery.