Justina&Co.Uk is neither a diary nor a documentary or itinerary, however the protagonist, Justina, is a non-fictional character.
In the book her story meets the heritage of novela picaresca, a style of narration originated in sixteenth-century Spain that flourished in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries around Europe, especially in England. The story is told in a series of loosely connected anegdotes but ends either with a conversion and a road of virtue or with tragic consequences. The title “Justina&co.uk” can be decoded as ‘Justina and company’ meaning a non-fiction protagonist of novela picaresca and her adventurous accomplices: Moll Flanders, Lulu and Fanny Hill. With London city as a scenery, all of them share a passion for risk and masquerade.
However, unlike her literary accomplices, Justina tirelessly carries on with the story as she naturally shifts from image to image, unseizable for the reader (voyeur), with her face put always in the binding of the pages, at the edge of the paper. A book with Justina’s archive photos includes some narrative paths whatsoever. A reader can follow a map of her and her literary precursors’ journeys and follow the strands of adventure, amore (as she calls love), sex, biznes (as she calls business) and danger. Also, the fragments of Defoe’s “Fortunes and misfortunes of Moll Flanders” and Wedekind’s “Lulu. A monster tragedy” are part of the story.
Text photographed on an e- book reader screen became an integral part of an album and has transformed into an image.
And Justina herself has become an anegdote, as the title says, “for your entertainment and inspiration”.
When you take a book about her life into your hands, they can get dirty with glitter difficult to remove.
Magda Buczek studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow and the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp. She is winner of the Young Talent Prize and the Audience’s Choice Prize at Fotofestival Łódź 2009. She was also shortlisted for the MACK First Book Award in London in 2014, and winner of the Polish Photobook of the Year (self publishing category) in 2014.
She lives and works in Warsaw.