Maria Dabrowski’s (Zwolle 1988) work can trace its origins to documentary photography. The long-term projects are represented in photo and video-installations and sometimes in book form. Displacement and (cultural) identity are important themes in her work.
In Memed, “Every day is a different day” (2009) she attempts to step in the shoes of Memed, a refugee from Iran. For fifteen years, he led an illegal life in Utrecht. After their first meeting, she became intrigued and curious about what lied behind his stoic, closed expression. As a result, more meetings followed during which the photographer became more and more a part of his life.
In Konik, Verwilderingsprogramma (2010) she questioned the desire to repair nature to its wildness, an attempt whereby horses with Polish origin had to correspond to strict visual and behavioral characteristics.
For Odsłonić in De Markten, she further explores her series Back Home (2013 -) in which she started to investigate her personal family history in the Netherlands, Poland and Ukraine.
This school year she decided to make a trip to Ukraine, together with her mother. When the father of her mother/her grandfather was little, he was deported from former eastern Poland [nowadays Ukraine] to Siberia for forced labour on the Kolkhozy. Ultimately he ended up in western Poland, from where later Maria's mother would emigrate to the Netherlands. In Ukraine it was the first time her mother came into contact with her father's family and his past. Odsłonić shows an intimate portrait of this encounter but also of the photographer's direct family in the Netherlands whom she regularly kept photographing. In the end, she also travelled to her grandfather in Poland with whom she had a personal conversation about his (tough) youth and about why he never talked about this past.
With Odsłonić (Révéler), the book, she tries to portray and express her own family relations, the sometimes suppressed feelings and stories they seem to carry with them.