Documentary Work by Julia Cybularz

Documentary Work by Julia Cybularz

Julia Cybularz recently gave a Tedx Talk (embedded below), is featured in the Huffington Post, and will be a presenter at The Postmodern Documentary Symposium at Purdue University on September 25th, 2014. Her work can be viewed on her FolioLink website: http://juliacybularz.com and additional commentary about her photographic work can be found on LENSCRATCH , and Verve Photography.

Today we are focusing on two of her projects:”The Mathematician” and “Breaking the Girl”. The following is a statement written by Julia:


“The Mathematician” and “Breaking the Girl” visually investigate the emotional and physical connections people have to their bodies and minds during the times their bodies fail them. The images explore the physical manifestations of anxiety, hope and the pervasive sentiment that the subjects are inhabiting a space not quite their own. I seek to examine the alienation and disconnect that occurs when the subject is affected by physical and psychological constrictions. The photographs from the two bodies of work consider the nuances of everyday encounters, which often get overlooked.

Although the two subjects are superficially distinct; our gaze is directed at a schizophrenic forty-year-old man with development delays whose body reveals the battle wounds of the illness through its form; fully expanded from the effects of decades of psychiatric medications.
Breaking the GirlIn contrast, his cousin, Hannah, of Breaking the Girl, is a prepubescent twelve- year-old who also has a severe curvature of her spine. She has been repeatedly, and painfully fitted with, and worn numerous braces since she was nine. We see a young girl about to embark on the physical changes that coincide with puberty while facing the confines of a corseted brace worn twenty-three hours a day which restricts the natural urge of the body to expand. Hannah has just undergone spinal surgery that fused her spine to two titanium rods, which will assist her in standing upright.The photographs seek to explore the concepts of containment, being bound, which act in stark contrast to the fear of wide-open spaces. The landscapes, in this series, explore the quiet spaces of refuge that harbor unseen trauma but they also represent a freedom from the incessant noise from within. Instead of being singularly explanative, the photographs provide glimpses and fragments; which add up to a collective narrative.

The photographs evolved from our collaborative efforts. – Julia Cybularz

To delve deeper into these projects we invite you to view her recent Tedx Talk.

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