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Biography

“One night, in the tavern, Wang-Fô shared Ling’s table. The old man had been drinking in order to better paint a drunkard, and he cocked his head to one side as if trying to measure the distance between his hand and his bowl. The rice wine undid the tongue of the taciturn craftsman, and that night Wang spoke as if silence were a wall and words the colors with which to cover it. Thanks to him, Ling got to know the beauty of the drunkards’ faces blurred by the vapors of hot drink, the brown splendor of the roasts unevenly brushed by tongues of fire, and the exquisite blush of wine stains strewn on the tablecloths like withered petals. A gust of wind broke the window: the downpour entered the room. Wang-Fô leaned out to make Ling admire the livid zebra stripes of lightning, and Ling, spellbound, stopped being afraid of storms.”

Marguerite Yourcenar, Come Wang-Fô fu salvato, Novelle orientali, trad. dal francese di Maria Luisa Spaziani, BUR, Milano 1998, p. 10

MONIKA BULAJ
Professional Profile: photographer, reporter, documentarian
Main issues of her researches: the borders of faiths (mystic, archetypes, divination, possession, pilgrims, body, cult of the dead), minorities, nomads, migrants, outcasts, dispossessed, in Asia, Europe, and Africa
Date and place of birth: Warsaw, Poland, 1966
Education: Polish philology at the University of Warsaw
Languages: Polish mother tongue, Italian, French, English, German, Russian and other Slavic languages, some Spanish; at present she is studying Arab and Persian.
Solo exhibitions: about 60, between New York and Cairo
Collaboration to newspapers and magazines: Corriere della Sera, GEO, Il Venerdi di Repubblica, National Geographic, Freundin, TEATR (Poland), EAST – European and Asian Strategies, Courrier International, La Repubblica, D – La Repubblica delle Donne, Io Donna – Corriere della Sera, Gazeta Wyborcza, Internazionale, Avvenire, Famiglia Cristiana, Il Piccolo
Books: “Libya Felix”, Mondadori 2002;”Donne, storie e progetti”, Alinari 2004; “Gerusalemme perduta”, Frassinelli 2005, “Figli di Noé”; Frassinelli 2006; “Rebecca e la pioggia”, Frassinelli 2007, “On the move”, SKIRA 2007; “Genti di Dio. Viaggio nell’Altra Europa”, prefaced by Moni Ovadia, Frassinelli 2008; “Boży Ludzie”, BOSZ editions 2011, “NUR. La luce nascosta dell’Afghanistan”, Electa Mondadori 2013.
Awards: Grant in Visual Arts 2005, by the European Association for Jewish Culture; Francesco Gelmi di Caporiacco Award 2008; Bruce Chatwin Award “Occhio assoluto” 2009; The Aftermath Project Grant 2010; Luchetta-Hrovatin 2011 Award; TEDGlobal Fellowship 2011; Lucchetta Grant 2011; Tomizza Award 2012; City of Trieste for the Reportage Award  2012; FIAF Award for Best Author of FVG 2012.