Irena Hauck, is a photojournalist who began by documenting rural life in the north east region of Poland. After graduating in Photography and Film studies, Irena worked at cultural centers, managing photography workshops and photographic excursions for young artists and well known Polish photographers. Irena’s strong desire was to uncover deep emotions in fleeting moments, expressions of joy and sorrow in a seemingly ordinary day. Her shocking work featuring life in a nursing facility for the chronically ill, highlighting the patients' exclusion from the local community was noted by her colleagues and critics, describing her style as similar to that of Diane Arbus and Dorothea Lange. Hauck’s vision was more instinctive than technical. Irena found her subjects in remote country villages, in dark corridors of a nursing facility or at a train station during a hunger protest. She always took the time to develop relationships with people in their environment in order to capture the emotional essence of their situation. In 1977, an invitation to join the Polish Young Photojournalists Association based in Warsaw resulted in many opportunities including being awarded a mentorship at several national youth publications. Shortly after, Irena accepted a position as a full time photojournalist for a weekly magazine under the direction of Sławek Biegański, a cult figure for Polish photojournalists of the era. These years were a precursor to the Solidarity movement and as part of one of the best photographic teams in the country she found that documenting the real state of affairs often ran counter to the political current of the times. As a result, much of her critical documentary work was censored. However, her images have subsequently been displayed in exhibitions in Poland, Sweden, The Netherlands and Canada. Most notably, a number of her photographs were included in the “She - Documentalists” exhibition, which was a major undertaking featuring Polish female photojournalists of the last century. The exhibit was hosted by “Zachęta”, the National Gallery of Art in Warsaw, Poland in 2008.
Interview with Irena Hauck - Polish Studio - TORONTO CA
Interview with Irena Hauck - "Z ukosa" OMNI TV - TORONTO CA
SHE-DOCUMENTALISTS POLISH WOMEN PHOTOGRAPHERS OF THE 20th CENTURY - ZACHETA PL
"She-documentalists" polish women photographers - culture PL