The Different Faces of Photography
As a result of the cruel russian invasion, tragic events and atrocities are happening every day in Ukraine. Therefore, people who decided to stay in Ukraine and those who are going to other countries are requiring help and support in various ways. Numerous wonderful people are helping Ukrainians, on the borders, or in various countries. Furthermore, there are also numerous species of domesticated and wild which are suffering because of this terrifying war. It is possible to support organisations helping people and animals in Ukraine in different ways.
Below, there are links to fundraisers organised by several trusted organisations which are providing humanitarian aid, equipment for brave defenders or helping various animals.
Poster: Adela Madej | Stand with Ukraine (downloaded from Pogotowie Graficzne).
Below are two Instagram reels by Julia Palko, which are showing parts of the beautiful Ukrainian cities before and after the cruel russian attacks.
On 27 July 2022, I took a plane to Poland to visit and spend some time with my family. During this nice flight, I had the opportunity to photograph the beautiful landscapes of Norway and Poland. I also was able to make short videos with my phone showing these countries from above.
These are the words which, in my opinion, in the best way to describe what happened on the evening of 24 July 2022 in Bjerke Travbane in Oslo. On this day, I had the opportunity to participate in the concert of my favourite band Rammstein (see also gallery ‘Rammstein’). This was THE EVENT which, despite bad weather, was truly worth waiting and participating in.
I arrived at the place in the late afternoon intending to take a good place in ‘Feuerzone’. I was lucky enough to get to the second row in front of the left part of the stage. The stage from my perspective looked monumental and impressive. During the five hours of standing in the wind and rain, I had the opportunity to observe and admire every detail of it. Beyond this, I tried to keep warm and dry my clothes in the breaks of rain. This concert, however, was worth all this effort and struggle.
19:30, support Duo Abélard started to play. In the harsh weather, two kind and nice ladies played on piano covers of various Rammstein songs. Their interpretations of songs are very nice, calming, and pleasant to hear. I really enjoyed their short performance.
A little after 20:00, it was a short break to prepare the stage for the performance of the German rock stars. After some time, the main concert started. It started with a powerful intro played from tape, a screen raised with the Rammstein logo and Norwegian flag as well as a lot of smoke. One by one members of the band appeared on the stage welcomed with warm and cheerful applause by numerous fans gathered in Bjerke Travbane. They opened this event with a powerful song ‘Armee der Tristen’ which was strengthened by explosions on the wings of the stage. I was more than happy to see again my favourite band on the stage. However, none of the words can describe the feelings which I felt when Rammstein started to play.
Following songs ‘Zick Zack’, ‘Links 2-3-4’ and ‘Sehnsucht’, accompanied by light and visual effects, kept the fast, powerful tempo of the concert. People in the audience danced, jumped and sang songs encouraged by Till Lindemann.
Later, it was played ‘Zeig dich’ – which warm up all the place even more. During this song discussing problems related to the region, there were presented different visualisations related to the lyrics of the song on the screen, powerful light effects and pyrotechnics stressing strong riffs, percussion as well as words screamed by the vocalist.
Next, it was a song this means to me a lot. It is my totally favourite of all songs created by Rammstein. I waited many years to be able to hear ‘Mein Herz brennt’ live. I was thrilled when the intro to this song began. Lights and visualisations on the stage were turned red, Till started to recite poetic verses of this wonderful song. The following parts of this song were accompanied by changing light on the stage from red to white. By the end, of this song Till stand in front of the public with a burning heart. It was wonderful to see, hear and sing this amazing song with the band!
‘Puppe’ was the first song played by Rammstein which include a more developed performance. It begins with a soft melodic intro during which Till came to the stage with a giant pram. He also wore a camera on his head and interacted in specific ways with other band members. When the song developed into a harder part inside of the vehicle exploded with flames. Furthermore, on the screen on the stage tower were shown visualisations of a creaming child or doll. Song’s performance was closed with lots of smoke and black confetti. Seeing this song performed was a truly strong experience.
Later, the band played ‘Heirate mich’ which began with Till’s duel with a lamp on the right part of the stage. During this song, there were blue lights, smoke and cold which made a grievous atmosphere on the stage. This suited perfectly to the subject of its lyrics.
The first part of this amazing show was closed by the wonderful ballad ‘Zeit’ which calmed the atmosphere after so many powerful performances.
In the break, it was a little Richard Z. Kruspe show. In the white robe, he came to the elevator in the stage tower where, as a DJ, played his remix of the song ‘Deutschland’. In the beginning, Richard played samples and encouraged the public to scream to the rhythm. Later, when the remix began, Oliver Riedel, Christian ‘Flake’ Lorenz, Christoph Schneider and Paul Landers wearing shining costumes happily danced and moved to the rhythm of the remixed song.
After this happy performance, it was time for another strong song – ‘Deutschland’. The stage was enlightened in red and white, while the band played powerful melodies. The public joined Rammstein in singing verses of ‘Deutschland’. This song was followed by ‘Radio’ – during which people in front of the stage jumped vivaciously to the rhythm, tried to repeated gestures of Till and screamed lyrics of the chorus.
What happened next can be called a classic Rammstein performance. It was another song which I really would like to see life played live. ‘Mein Teil’ began with croaks and sounds of sharpening knives. Till came to the stage wearing the costume of a chef while Flake played intro sitting in the giant metal pot. Sounds and lyrics floated with power. By the end of this song, Till tried to symbolically cook the keyboarder firstly with a small flame-thrower, later with a little bigger, and finally with flame cannon. The whole pot was nearly wholly bathed in flames! It was a truly spectacular interpretation perfectly visualising the theme and atmosphere of the lyrics.
This powerful song was followed by one of the band’s classics: Du hast. It started with Till setting in pyrotechnics on the two towers in front of the stage using the metal crossbow. It was an amazing spectacle of light and fire! During the chorus of this song, it was a lot of fire emerging from above and beneath the stage. It was a truly extraordinary experience to feel the warmth on my face and hands.
With the next song, Rammstein made the whole concert area so hot that it is glowing red. It came ‘Sonne’ which bathed the stage in flames. People in the first rows counted with the band, screamed lyrics and jumped in the warmth.
After so hot songs it came time for a little cooled down and the first part of encores. Nearly all members of the band (excluding Till), moved to stage B located between two parts of the auditorium. There together with Duo Abélard, they performed a piano version of ‘Engel’. After this calming performance, they went to pontoons and ‘swam’ in direction of the main stage. There they were welcomed by Till. I stand in the place where all the pontoons went above my head. It was an interesting experience to help to lift them. When Paul appeared on the stage he welcomed musicians arriving in other pontoons with the sign ‘Willkommen in der Dunkelheit’.
The next song played by the band was ‘Ausländer’ during which the public vivaciously reacted to its rhythm. This sing was closed with kissing Richard and Paul. Later, opened by Till spinning with the sparkling bow, started ‘Du riechst so gut’ with a rapid tempo. This strong song was followed by funny ‘Pussy’. By the end of it, Till got on the giant metal dildo and splashed the public with foam. It was a nice feeling to be again covered with the foam but better than in 2009 when this device had a weaker stream. Later, the public was covered with white confetti which was possibly imitated down.
The second part of the encores was opened by the classic song ‘Rammstein’. During it, Till worn backpack produced flames in the shape of a peacock tail. Furthermore, the stage was again bathed in fire. It was followed by another fiery classic song – ‘Ich will’. During which, Paul and Richard played on guitars with added flamethrowers. There were hot tunes! Public again with energy joined the band in singing the lyrics of this nice song.
This powerful, fiery show was closed by the song ‘Adieu’ with words of which the band saw ‘Goodbye’ to all attendants of the event. When the sounds and lyrics of it come to the end, the band stood in front of the public, bowed, bent knees and warmly thanked all of the gathered in Bjerke Travbane. The public thanked them with strong applause and screams. Then, they went to the elevator on the tower, from which they waved to the public.
To conclude, it was an extraordinary, unforgettable and fantastic concert! It was not only visually astonishing but also full of numerous perfect interactions with the public, and thousands of possibilities to jump, dance and sing lyrics of my favourite songs. It was more than wonderful, to hear my favourite song ‘Mein Herz brennt’ performed in life, to see breath-taking performances during ‘Puppe’, ‘Mein Teil’, to feel the warmth of the fire during ‘Du hast’, ‘Sonne’, ‘Du riechst so gut’, to be bathed in foam during ‘Pussy’, to appeared in the screen on the tower for several seconds, to be under pontoons and to scream every song. I was happy that I stand close to the stage. This allowed me to see members of the band clearly, to observe their emotions, how they interact with each other and the public, to see details of their performances as well as to have eye contact with them for seconds. All of these moments will forever remain in my memory. Every Rammstein concert is a special experience for me. Each of them is something extraordinary, thrilling, and something to remember. I am grateful to all members of Rammstein for this wonderful performance which I remember forever.
Songs, played by Rammstein during the 2022 tour are featured on this playlist created by the band.
As a comparison below is included playlist which I created based on the setlist of songs performed by the band in 2009.
In the late afternoon, I discovered something very, very nice. It turned out that I am in one of the official photos from this concert, which were taken by Jens Koch.
From the beginning of the cruel war in Ukraine, I began step by step discovering numerous talented artists mainly on Instagram. They are creating wonderful graphics, illustrations, paintings, handcraft and tattoos. Furthermore, they also created poignant graphics related to tragic events and atrocities of war. Below, are Instagram galleries of several of my favourite artist.
Visit their galleries, like & share their works, and support them in different other ways!
Since the being of the war in Ukraine, I have begun to listen to Ukrainian music of various genres. In the last months, I discovered numerous wonderful songs and bands. I created playlists on Spotify on which I am daily saving their fantastic works (see ‘Слава Україні’ and ‘Музика війни’ [Ukrainian music mainly associated with war]). However, some of them I liked in particular so I listened to these bands over and over again. My favourites are Antytila / Антитiла, Kalush, Okean Elzy / Океан Ельзи, Колос, Go_A, Fiolet / Фіолет, BoomBox / Бумбокс and many more (see playlist ‘Український Поклик’ dedicated to music I really like).
Members of bands Antytila / Антитiла, Andriy Khlyvnyuk (BoomBox) as well as a musician of One Planet Orchestra and activist Pavlo Vyshebaba (YouTube, TikTok) joined Territorial Defence Forces (Війська територіальної оборони) and changed their instruments to rifles, stages to trenches. Currently, they are defending their country, fighting for freedom and independence.
Support Ukrainian musicians: listen and buy their amazing music!
One of my dreams after I arrived in Oslo it was to see the full celebration of the 17th of May. Unfortunately, in 2020 and 2021 all events on this day were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic (see galleries ‘17. mai 2020‘ and ‘17. mai 2021 i regn‘). However, as we say in Poland: ‘do trzech razy sztuka’ (English: third time lucky). I could make my dreams real in 2022. On this day weather was perfect: it was warm and sunny. In the morning, I went to the centre of Oslo to see the celebrations of this important day in full scale. I spent over three hours watching barnetog – festive presentations of the representations of schools and orchestras from different parts of Oslo in front of the Norwegian Royal Family. It was very nice to see them marching full of joy! I was also happy that I was able to see these presentations and the Norwegian Royal Family.
In the late afternoon, I walked to the main train station in Oslo to document signs of Oslo’s support of Ukraine.
January, February and March, I spent preparing and correcting chapters of my PhD thesis. I also went for numerous walks, did workouts and took photos with my smartphone. I published photos and videos, which I took in these months in the highlights ‘i Oslo’ on my Instagram. On 13th March, I got COVID-19. Fortunately, it was very mild. Therefore, I spent one week at home working on my thesis as well as attending nice ATTR Digital Spring Seminar 2022 Reception: Practices and Strategies for Interpreting Texts (14th – 17th March). During this event, I presented my text as well as read and discussed the interesting works of participants of the seminar.
On the 1st of April 2022, I took a plane to Poland to meet my family. It was wonderful to hug them and talk to them after nearly three years of parting. During my stay in Poland, I walked on the parts of my PhD thesis. I also went on numerous walks with my dog and managed other matters. I also prepared Ukrainian borscht with my mother. We used the recipe by Ievgen Klopotenko published on YouTube. Borscht tasted wonderful! I hope that in the nearest future I will be able to try this meal somewhere in Ukraine.
Furthermore, I supported with goods point at the main train station where in March arrived numerous people from Ukraine. Furthermore, on the 6th and 14th of April 2022, I went for the first time to a rifle range. I inter alia shot gun Glocks, Scorpion Evo 3 S1 as well as AKM. It was nice to try these weapons and to learn some basics.
On 24th April 2022, after a very nice and pleasant stay in Poland, I took a plane to Oslo.
Last day of 2021, I spent in Oslo. Before, noon I went for a walk. The rest of the day, I sent preparing a meal, and cocktails as well as read books. Around midnight, I prepared myself to take some photos of fireworks. However, it was foggy and humid, so it was impossible to see further parts of Oslo. I only had the opportunity to take some photos of fireworks shot close to my flat.
The first day of 2022, I spent resting. I hoped that this year will be calmer and surer than 2020 or 2021. However, as it was tuned in late February, I was so wrong…
2021 was another peculiar year for me. This year, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, I was not able to travel and visit places that I planned to see. Therefore, I spent all twelve months in Oslo. However, despite all the difficulties I was able to visit interesting and beautiful parts of Oslo and its neighborhood. I also met nice people and had numerous fascinating conversations. In summer and autumn, I also took numerous photos which because of the lack of time still waiting to be edited.
On my second blog ‘Viking Age Birds’ I prepared a summary in which I describe my research and photo activities from January to the end of September 2021. All details could be found in the post ‘Second Year of PhD Project’.
In October, I continued my work on the following parts of the thesis chapter concerning the meanings of Galliformes in the Viking Age funerary practices. On the 14th and 16th of October, I could observe and photograph another nice sunrise over Oslo (see gallery ‘Between Nights and Days‘). On the 26th of October, I had the pleasure to present the current results of my PhD project for the research group being part of the project ‘Animals Mediating the Real and the Imaginary’. In the talk ‘Feathers and Bones: Human-Avian Relations in Viking Age Funerary Rituals and Beliefs’, I discussed various aspects of the human-avian interactions in the scope of Viking Age funerary rituals. It was really nice to present my research to these knowledgeable researchers and discuss with them numerous matters. It was also a very nice experience for me to give an in-person talk after a long break. Beyond preparing my PhD thesis and taking photos, I also devoted some time to preparations of some vegan or vegetarian dishes, to which I found recipes on some wonderful Polish culinary blogs (e.g. Jadłonomia, MNIUMNIU, Veganbanda). Furthermore, I began to be more interested in bartending. I tried to prepare some cocktails basing on the very useful advice and recipes included in the wonderful book ‘The Bar Book: Elements of Cocktail Technique’ by Jeffrey Morgenthaler. I posted some mobile photos of cocktails, which I prepared in highlight on my Instagram.
In November, I took other photos and attended an interesting conference on Viking Age in Oslo. On 18th November, I documented another nice sunrise over Oslo (see gallery ‘Between Nights and Days‘).
Between the 24th and 26th of November, I had the opportunity to participate in the Centre for Viking Age Studies conference ‘The Viking Age as a Foreign Place’ which took place in Oslo. During this event, I had the opportunity to listen to numerous fascinating papers on various aspects of the Viking Age. On 25th, I had the pleasure to co-present the poster ‘Völva rediscovered? Expressions of magic, power and identity in a Viking Age grave’, which I prepared together with Julie Westlye and Leszek Gardeła. In our short presentation, we discussed a fascinating grave that was discovered in Norway. The results of our collaboration will be published soon in the collection of papers. Stay tuned!
In the last month of this year, I had the opportunity to document nice sunrises over Oslo on the 1st and 18th of December (see gallery ‘Between Nights and Days‘). I also continued my work on the chapter concerning the meanings of Galliformes. The 18th of December was a unique day for me. Then I turned 30. I had numerous planes concerning this day. However, because of the lasting COVID-19 pandemics, I was not able to realise them. Finally, I decided to spend my birthday walking and visiting some nice places and shops in Oslo. I visited a nice and fascinating exhibition ‘Fabulous Animals – from the Iron Age to the Vikings’ in the Museum of Cultural History. It presents the functions and meanings of depictions of real and fantastic animals in the iconography of the late Iron Age. In my opinion, it is very atmospheric and very well prepared. I included my mobile photos from this exhibition in the highlight on my Instagram. In the evening, I prepared a nice dinner and enjoyed the rest of the day listening to my favourite music and watching TV series.
On the 21st of December, I went for a nice walk to Sognsvann lake, which I visited several times in summer and autumn. However, I was not able to see it during the winter. It was really nice to walk around this lake on a cold, winter day. Later, I went to the centre of Oslo to document some Jul decorations (see gallery ‘Desember tur‘).
On the 29th of December, I decided to go for a long walk to Holmenkollen (see gallery ‘Vintertur‘). I walked from the westernmost part of Oslo to the north. Before noon, I reached a very nice point from which was visible central and western parts of Oslo. It was beautiful sunny weather so I took numerous photos of this nice view. Later, I walked to the ski jump and went further to Frognerseteren (which I visited in 2020 just before the pandemic). After a short lunch break, I walked down and followed the sledge track and went to the more urban parts of the city. The weather got worst: it became cloudy and cold. Therefore, I followed ways back home. According to my app, I walked 26.83 km which is my longest walk ever.
This year, similarly to the previous years, I spent Christmas time in Oslo. I decided to stay in Norway because of the problems related to COVID-19 pandemic. I spent Jul walking, taking photos with my smartphone and preparing different dishes. I included my mobile photos in the highlights on my Instagram. On the last day of 2021, I decided to go for a walk. Later, I prepared dinner and some beverages. I spent the evening dancing to my favourite music, reading books as well as photographing fireworks over Oslo (see gallery ‘Først dag i 2022‘).
This year, I again spent Jul alone in Oslo (cf. galleries ‘Jul i Oslo‘ and ‘Jul i krisetid‘). I decided not to visit my family due to still some problems related to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, I had several nice online conversations with them. I also prepared different meals and went on several walks.
On the morning of 29th December 2021, I went out of my flat in Oslo and followed the road up to Holmenkollen. It was a cold but sunny day, so it was pleasant to walk. Just before noon, I found myself in a place very close to Holmenkollbakken. It was a very nice view from there to the western part of Oslo. Therefore, I decided to take several photos.
Later, I passed by the ski jump and walked in the direction of Frognerseteren. When I reached this destination, I made a lunch break there. After lunch, I walked downhill following the sledge track to the nearest underground station. When I passed the station, I followed roads to the centre of Oslo and later paths along the fiord. In total, I walked 27 km which is up o date my longest walk.
21st of December 2021, was a very, cold cloudy day. Early morning, I went for a walk to Sognsvann. I followed roads and paths which I walked (or rode) several times. Early afternoon, I reach the destination. I saw there several people who beyond the biting cold played in snow or skated on the lake. I made a break and took several photos.
Later, I went to the centre of Oslo, to document Christmas decorations.
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