Photo project

Once Upon a Time: Fairytales in Marta Berens’ Project

Trying to find a fine line between reality and fiction, Marta Berens created a "Fairytale" project that turned out to be documentary photography

Marta Berens, 33 years old

Lives in Warsaw (Poland). Graduated from the National Film School in Lodz, participated in the mentorship program of Sputnik Photos collective. Her “Fairytale” project was marked by the Lens Culture Emerging Talent Award jury.

The project is not really about a fairy tales – they were just a formal game, a certain use of symbols. At the beginning of the mentoring program, my tutor Adam Pańczuk and I thought about stories we would work on during the year long workshop. From the onset I instinctively felt that the story I was to tell needed to be personal, therapeutic, one that reflected the state I was in at that moment in time. I ended up choosing to tell a story that I could create together with my daughter.

At the beginning we chose to improvise a lot using masks and peculiar costumes, Tosia was to narrate it while I would subsequently interpret it with photographs, adding a symbolic layer to the story. After a while this way of narrating appeared too theatrical, so the fairy tale was directed towards a less apparent track: defining the thin line between reality and fiction. Hence the division into two chapters – the “Fairytale” and the “Dream Chapter” which depicts the beginning of that journey.

Fairytales usually touch upon universal concepts such as good vs. bad, making choices according to one’s conscience, moral norms or the ideals of just behavior. These elements are common to all cultures and grab the minds of everybody, regardless of their roots and cultural heritage.

Paradoxically, I feel that “Fairytale” is documental in character. Indeed, the visual language is unorthodox for the genre and the form may surprise. However in my mind it is a pure depiction of my reality and of the powerful emotions that were present at that time in my life, or the road that I went through.

The boundaries in documentary photography are blurred. There is a multitude of definitions but as long as what is recorded is strongly personal, I consider it a photographic documentary.

{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/beners_1.jpg”, “alt”: “Dream chapter 01”}

{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/beners_2.jpg”, “alt”: “Dream chapter 02”}

{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/beners_3.jpg”, “alt”: “Dream chapter 03”}

{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/beners_4.jpg”, “alt”: “Dream chapter 04”}

{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/beners_5.jpg”, “alt”: “Dream chapter 05”}

{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/beners_6.jpg”, “alt”: “Dream chapter 06”}

{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/beners_7.jpg”, “alt”: “Dream chapter 07”}

{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/beners_8.jpg”, “alt”: “Dream chapter 08”}

{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/beners_9.jpg”, “alt”: “Dream chapter 09”}

{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/beners_10.jpg”, “alt”: “Dream chapter 10”}

{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/beners_11.jpg”, “alt”: “Dream chapter 11”}

{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/beners_12.jpg”, “alt”: “Fairytale 01”}

{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/beners_13.jpg”, “alt”: “Fairytale 02”}

{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/beners_14.jpg”, “alt”: “Fairytale 03”}

{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/beners_15.jpg”, “alt”: “Fairytale 04”}

{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/beners_16.jpg”, “alt”: “Fairytale 05”}

{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/beners_17.jpg”, “alt”: “Fairytale 06”}

{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/beners_18.jpg”, “alt”: “Fairytale 07”}

{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/beners_19.jpg”, “alt”: “Fairytale 08”}

{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/beners_20.jpg”, “alt”: “Fairytale 09”}

{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/beners_21.jpg”, “alt”: “Fairytale 10”}

{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/beners_22.jpg”, “alt”: “Fairytale 11”}

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