Magda Zelewska on the trail of the remarkable stories of ordinary people

fotograf podroznik

She has visited almost all 7 continents. She has seen places an meet tribes that aren’t well known for all of us. She has photographed hundreds of people. And recently, Magda Zelewska invited us to her Parisian apartment to talk about the latest trip to Nepal.

With the aromatic citrus scent, the exotic taste of sweet potato cake and hot ginger tea we listened to Magda talking about the conflict between indigenous Nepalese and refugees from Tibet. We discover a bittersweet story of a family in exile. It turns out that it is easier for a woman to provide for her family by arousing sympathy among tourists and selling some jewelry and cutlery.

But suddenly our chit-chat focused on Indonesia, visited by Magda 2 years ago. As it turned out, she’s been quite enchanted by one of the Mentawai islands.  As we were listening to the story of this polish photographer and traveler we could only guess that she would not mind living in a community where more than half men are shamans. Last December, she wrote an article to one of the polish travel magazines in which she described the life of the people living on the west coast of Sumatra. She talks also with the little sentiment about the Dani, a tribe that lives in Papua. According to her, this is “the most energetic and cheerful tribe” she has ever met. As she underlines, the aim of each of her travel is to meet people, some tribes and discover their history. And we are completely sure of it just by taking a glance at her photographs. They do not only represent silhouettes or portraits of the encountered community. They contain some extraordinary stories. And I won’t lie by stating that  Magda has an incredible ability to photograph human souls. The proofs are many awards, among them the prestigious Survival International award.

But Magda has some more talents. When I met her for the very first time I didn’t know yet that she had this capacity to epitomize a human soul. Back then, at the beginning of our friendship (and it was more than 10 years ago!), she surprised me by reciting “Pinocchio”. And believe me, Pinocchio himself wouldn’t do it better. She has this amazing ability to describe things and people with photographs as well as with words.  

So what about a little travel to places you may even not know about? Thanks to Magda’s website you will move from your own sofa to the exotic corners of the untamed world in a flash.

fotograf podroznik

fotograf podroznik

fotograf podroznik

 

fotograf podroznik

@photo credit: Magda Zalewska

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