Marta Iwanek travels between Toronto and the Ukraine

When Mary Duncan was diagnosed with dementia in 2008, her husband Lex began caring for her in their home in Trenton, Ontario. This story looked at the toll this puts on the caregivers. This individual, intimate conflict often takes place behind closed doors, yet impacts countless people. “You think you’ll live forever and never have any problems,” said Lex, “But life ain’t quite like that.” In the fall of 2015, Mary Duncan died and Lex continues to live in their home on his own. About half a million Canadians are currently living with dementia according to the Alzheimer Society of Canada and that number will likely double in the next 15 years.

Marta Iwanek is a photographer based between Ukraine and Toronto, Canada. Her work looks at identity and memory among communities with a focus on family and how we care for one another. Born to parents who were immigrants to Canada, community has played a strong role in her life.
She is a graduate of the journalism program at Ryerson University and the photojournalism program at Loyalist College. Her work has won three Canadian National Magazine Awards, including best new magazine photographer and best photo essay/ photojournalism. Her work has also been recognized by NPPA, Magenta Flash Forward, the Canadian Journalism Foundation Tom Hanson Photojournalism Award, AI-AP, Shaun Best Memorial Scholarship and she was a participant in the Eddie Adams Workshop XIII.

Photojournalism program testimonial

Attending the photojournalism program at Loyalist College really instilled in me the beauty in being able to find stories anywhere. This is a lesson and mindset I carry with me to this day in my professional career. The photo I chose to represent me was made while I was a student at Loyalist and is one I still hold very dear to my heart. It was through this project that I fell in love with documentary work and saw the beauty of sharing people’s intimate stories. Loyalist felt like a cocoon for me, where I had time to experiment with different types of storytelling, all the while being supported and pushed by incredibly dedicated teachers and peers.


 Instagram/ Twitter: @martaiwanek




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