People of Majak
“And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.” – Friedrich Nietzsche.
A picture, however aesthetically marvelous it looks, is merely a shell without the core when no context is known. So, don’t judge without knowing everything. That’s what Friedrich Nietzsche meant.
Those who are perceived to be different from the norm by the public have their own story, no matter how insignificant society has made it seem. In Maják, everyone is a unique individual with defining stories that mold them into the people they are today. Here stand the stories of four Maják residents and their worlds.
34-year-old Peter is one of Maják’s most reserved resident. While not one to show much emotion Peter still has a deep attachment with Maják, the place he calls home.
A man of few words, Peter always plans his schedule in advance, marked by pictures. He loves his art therapy sessions, and can’t help enjoying outdoor activities such as visits in nature, cafes, and galleries, horse-riding. In his free time, he can also be found watching comedy TV, doing simple math and playing games.
Despite, or perhaps because of, his visual and auditory impairment, he is bestowed with a good memory that can memorize his experience through imaginative perception of outer world. Such a gift is expressed in several creations of his.
When 33-year-old Kika moved to Majak, it quickly became her second home. An expressive resident, she communicates with others not only through a wide range of signs, symbols, but also facial expressions not be missed. She loves social and leisure activities, after which she often relishes a small cake and coffee. Watching TV with flashing colors and images also fascinate her.
A keen painter, Kika can easily get lost in her emotions through drawing activities. The texture, flavor, and contact with canvas provide her with serenity as well as aesthetic stimulation. The delight from her creation is also visible on her hair, on which new highlights are always made, and on her clothes, which all appear as a single piece of art.
Colors are her signature traits, which appears throughout her creation and her creative process. A radical painter, she paints the whole body and she needs to have colors throughout the body to feel the stimulation flowing around her. She considers this a cleansing ritual which peels off her mask to show her true self, which is why the change of clothes or work caps won’t work, only the shower will. Radical as it is, such an immersive method helps her during times of distress. She loves to work in large area as she can freely express her creativity. No one takes art as seriously as she does.
Born in Snina in 1980, Juraj describes himself as a loner who was abandoned by his parents. His poor eyesight prevented him from learning to paint. But when coming to Maják did he find a place to think, relax, and be with himself. A self-aware resident, he can’t help but describe in detail how his deteriorating tunnel vision and auditory impairment hindered him from interacting with the world, forcing him to always seek help from outside. He prefers using sign language to communicate, despite his frequent struggle to understand oy.
Despite his emotionally explosive and stubborn nature, he is in fact, a caring, protective and charitable person. He can often be found helping others walk, play or eat and donate art works which he made. His favorite hobbies include watching action movies and sports, especially football. Despite his auditory impairment, he has his music in him, and can often times be dancing around to his own tune.
Before coming to the canvas, he had a time tattooing his pictures on his arm with his sewing needle and ink. His caring, music-loving, and scholarly-curious personalities are expressed through his spiritual canvas works depicting in his work with themes of nature and protective figures.
Martin arrived at Maják with auditory and visual impairment, because of which he can only hear white noise and suffers from extremely blurring vision. Such difficulties render nonverbal communication a struggle for him. To make things worse, he is also unable to properly move his hands and knees.
Regardless, Martin is known for his dry sense of humor, often using it to make jokes rendering his peers and caretakers confused. He can also be seen cooking and spending time feeding and playing cats, which he considers his friends. An intellectual person, he loves to write through which he possesses a wide range of vocabulary. However, nothing interests him more than the ultimate intellectual game: chess. He also gleefully participates in travelling, talking to a lot of people and doing home chores. Disheartened by the abandonment and abuse Martin has experienced over the course of his life, Martin often ponders over his existence: asking important questions others may not be so ready to.