THIS IS NOT A REAL LIFE by Dominika Gesicka

By in Polish Perspective, Series on 25. December 2016

"This is not real life" © Dominika Gesicka

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.

Born in 1981 in Włocławek, Poland.

Graduated from International Affairs at Warsaw School of Economics (Poland), student of Institute of Creative Photography in Opava (Czech Republic) Member of People You May Know collective.



Solo shows

“This is not real life”, Wrocław, Poland (2016)

“This is not real life”, Enctros da Imagem, Braga, Portugal (2016)

“El pilón”, Photmonth in Cracow, Poland (2014)

Group Shows

Single Shot – Gallery IFF, Warsaw, Poland (2016

Margines – Fotograf Festiwal, Żory, Poland (2016)

Without the author’s knowledge” – Media Lab 6, TRAFO, Szczecin, Poland (2015)

Increased Difficulty of Concentration – Fotograf Festival, Prague, Czach Republic (2015)

Intimate spaces – Interphoto Festival, Białystok, Poland (2015)

Hunter – Format Festival, Derby, UK (2015)


El pilón/ The Foundation for Visual Arts (2014)

NO2/ Sputnik Photos (2014)

ID/ The Academy of Photography in Warsaw (2013)


Finalist of the Burn Magazine Emerging Photographer Fund  (2016)

Finalist of the Lens Culture Exposure Award (2016)

Laureate of Show off programme, Photomonth in Cracow (2014)

Laureate of Fotoprezentacje, Association of Creative Initiatives “Ę” (2013)


Ideas Tap & Magnum Photos grant (2015)


Docking Station in Amsterdam (2016)

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