Martyna Bec

2013 - Ongoing

“Portside” means in ships language the left side of the ship, the “not right” side in opposite to Starboard side which is for “the Stars”. “Portside” is the side where the sailors go out to meet the prostitutes in Ports. I am interested in life of those who are at the very end of the chain. I have been always close to the "plebs". It is there on deck 1, where is the real life. This photo Project is a look at the society of workers and their environment on Cruise ship, our everyday life here on board, which I am part of. I started to photograph here in 2013 and I continue till now. What interest me, is a condition of the human being here, the emotional state of people closed in 200 meter long and 36 meter bright space with 14 decks where people are locked up every day for many months and around is only ocean. What happens to human in this conditions? Water affects our bodies, our minds, you feel it, and you feel how your life is changing. Everything is illusion. We live in different reality. Often I cannot sleep, like others. I wake up in the darkness, dress up in uniform, and go for breakfast to crew mess with sleepy face. I see all those strangers and don’t feel like sitting with them. I would like to drink proper coffee. I can’t swallow this food anymore. I try not to be a slave or victim. All possible instincts come out.

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  • view from the window in the crew mess on the cruise ship

  • labirynth of corridors on the ship

  • Water affects our bodies, our minds, you feel it, and you feel how your life is changing. Everything becomes like liquid, without clear boundaries, detached. Everything is changing, passing by like a water itself. Everything is illusion. We live in different reality. In the very moment we enter the ship our life belong to the sea and sea dictates different rules.

  • In the crew mess.

  • The sailor.Everything is liquid. Everything changes. everything is illusion and everything stays on the ship, between us.

  • in the crew mess

  • JJ, Lady boy from Philipines preparing for the danceduring bingo for the crew.

  • The sailor during short break in the cabin. Mostly working the nightshift.

  • The sailor short befor goint to the Bridge. Christmas time.

  • Bingo game for the crew in crewmess.

  • Cabin party. My thoughts, my acts, and my relationships with people are also liquid. We have to be close together here on board, doesn’t matter if we want it or not. All our life here is about work and hierarchy. Whole focus is on duties, safety and surviving. We are part of huge machine, in constant movement with endless repetition. Sometimes totally anonym. Our personalities are reduced to tribes which fulfill the tasks. As a compensation we use couple of hours in the evening to have fun, get drunk and go crazy.

  • self portrait in the cabin.

  • deck 1

  • deck2 crew area

  • Having rest in single share cabin, befor nightshift. My private space is a 4 m2 cabin

  • dead fish. Reminds me the feeling of suffocasion which I often have here on board.

  • The tooth of my friend from Nicaragua who works in Houskeeping department. The visit at the dentist with fixing the tooth wasnt covered only pulling out of the tooth was possible. after he had to go straight to work.

  • Sailor sleeping uring the day to start his night shift after.

  • I feel sometimes like I was flying, like I was not here, but also not there on land. Like nothing is real

  • . Then again water, shaking, falling asleep with this sound and movement of the waves. This I miss often when back on land and this view of perfect horizon line, the sea which changes its colors and moods.