In 2009 I came up with an idea to find and portray women with the same name and surname as me.
The idea, seemingly easy, was extremely difficult to execute, requiring a long search, good logistics, thousands of phone calls, emails, conversations, nerves and tears, a lot of persistence, the power of persuasion, numerous journeys, considerable financial outlays, and of course time. Renata took photos of one hundred women named Renata Dąbrowska. She travelled over 22 thousand kilometres in 3 years to do that. The shortest distance between her and Renata living in Gdansk is 10 kilometres, and the longest – 706 kilometres – between her and Renata permanently living in Gotheborg in Sweden. The oldest Renata is 68 years old, the youngest is 12. 7 women named Renata permanently live abroad. The most popular jobs among them are an economist, a saleswoman, an accountant and a nurse. There are also Polish, English, Russian, maths, history, geography, physics, preschool education and nursery school teachers. Three of the photographed women named Renata are village administrators. Two out of one hundred women named Renata Dąbrowska didn’t have to change their surname after they got married because their husbands had the same surname.
Renata Dabrowska (b. 1983) lives in Gdansk and has been cooperating with the Tricity branch of Gazeta Wyborcza for 7 years. She is a student at the Polish National Film, Television and Theatre School in Łódź. She is a multiple laureate of prestigious Polish press photography contests: Grand Press BZ WBK Press Foto and Gdansk Press Photo.