Born in 1988, Mateusz Baj graduated from the Faculty of Journalism and Political Science at the University of Warsaw, specializing in Press Photography. He works freelance and comes from Włodawa in Eastern Poland. He does not have a permanent place of stay. Currently, he is working mainly in Ukraine. His field of interest is documentary photography focusing on social issues.
2016 - BZ WBK Press Foto, 2016 - Grand Press Photo, 2015 - INTERNATIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY AWARDS, 2015 - BZ WBK Press Foto, 2015 - MAGNUM PHOTOS “30under30”, 2014 - Sony World Photography Awards, 2014 - Grand Press Photo, 2014 - Debuts
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November 2013. Shack, Ukraine. Colonel Michail Girycz is standing in front of his house. He is the living veteran of World War II. He fought in Japan. Before the war he was attending a polish school. Even today, he can remember well the lyrics of the national anthem of Poland (“Dabrowski’s Mazurka”).
December 2013. Slawatycze, Poland. Arnold Solodyszkiewicz, eighteen year-old, is participating in a traditional march of “Bearded Men” in the village of Slawetycze. The name of these masquerade-party heroes derives from the extremely long artificial beards made of flax fiber which the men are putting on to bid farewell to the old year. The beards symbolize long life and plentiful and wealthy experiences. As it has been going on for centuries, also now, every last three days of a year, the young citizens of Slawetycze wander around the village dressed up as bearded men, chasing and spooking the girls.
Svatove. Luhansk Province. Jelena, before the outbreak of war she had lived in Luhansk. Educated as designer artist. She has been suffering from nervous breakdown since last year’s brutal assault by the soldiers at her house which she shares with her mother. She has attempted to commit suicide by throwing herself under exploding bombs.