Jan Jurczak, Life Goes On

Curator: Monika Szewczyk-Wittek


‘Death, as with love, is where I draw the line on documentation. It is too deep within the realm of human privacy for me to photograph it’.


The photographs in Life Goes On were taken in Donetsk Oblast, Eastern Ukraine, in towns mere kilometres from the front lines. Jan Jurczak grew particularly attached to one resilient community of locals in Avdiivka, a suburb of the city of Donetsk, to which he paid frequent visits. It was Elena who rented an entire floor of flats, making rooms available to those who were homeless. Residents fixed up a space for dance lessons and other activities. Irina, a makeup artist, whose son was killed by shelling, lives on the floor. Next to her reside Tanya and Tanya’s young daughter, Kristina. Irina, Tanya, and Kristina have no homes of their own. To the right of Irina’s room is a larger room, which Elena converted into a makeshift Protestant church, containing a handful of chairs, an old TV, and a standing cross. Here, two realities overlap. Life and war, love and death.

The media has little airtime left for the conflict in Ukraine. And it has even less for stories about life during wartime.

The war in Ukraine has been raging since 2014.


Jan Jurczak (b. 1996 in Krakow) is a graduate of the physical therapy programme at the University of Physical Education in Krakow (2015–2017), the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology of the Pedagogical University of Krakow (2017–2018), and the Sputnik Photos mentorship programme (2018). Jurczak has been involved with a number of long-term documentary projects in Poland and abroad (in Ukraine, Armenia, and Spain, to name a few). In 2017 and 2018 he worked with Ukrainian locals living near the frontlines in the eastern portions of the country. He recently launched a project exploring the interactions between man and nature. In 2018 he received the Pix House Talent of the Year Award, was nominated for the Fujifilm Young Talent Award, and became a finalist in the Krzysztof Miler and the 2018 Grand Press Photo competitions. Has loved climbing with his friends since childhood.


Tytano, ul. Dolnych Młynów 10


25.05.2019, 8 pm

Exhibition open:

Tuesday–Friday 15.00–19.00
Saturday–Sunday 11.00–19.00


free admission