/ Dominika Gesicka / Photo story

This Is Not Real Life

There is a place where no one is born and no one dies. Of course you can die anywhere but you cannot be buried here as it has been discovered that bodies fail to decompose here. You cannot be born here because pregnant women are to return to the mainland to give birth. There are no cats, no trees, no traffic lights. There is no amusement park, but there is a circus troupe. In the winter time it is completely dark, but in the summer sun never sets. The place is called Longyearbyen and it is the largest settlement and an administrative center of Svalbard. It is also the world’s northernmost city. Although it is difiicult to regard it the best place to live, many people fall in love with it at first sight. Some people came here just for two weeks and stayed for five years or more, but not many decide to settle down here permanently. Sometimes you have an impresssion that people here are trying to escape from something; that this is just a retreat. This is not a real life.

Dominika Gesicka (1981) is a Polish photographer who was born in Włocławek. She has graduated from International Affairs at Warsaw School of Economics (Poland), student of Institute of Creative Photography in Opava (Czech Republic). In 2015 she received Ideas Tap & Magnum Photos grant to complete her project “This is not real life”. She is the winner of the Grand Prix Award at Fotofestival in Łodź (2017). She exhibited at many festivals (Photomonth in Cracow, Fotograf Festival in Prague, Encontros da Imagem in Braga, Fotofestival in Łodź, Photomonth in Bratyslava).