Dagmara Bojenko

Taming the hunger-Dagmara1
Dagmara Bojenko

Taming the hunger

by Dagmara Bojenko (France)

Melike loves the rush of competing and sports. Competing in different weightlifting categories required her to fluctuate her body weight regularly. This became an obsession for her and led to days of starvation to lose weight followed by binge eating to gain it back for another competition. Unable to sustain this over time, she travelled to Turkey, her home country, for a gastric sleeve surgery. This surgery is normally reserved for heavily overweight patients with serious health issues, as removing part of the stomach has longterm health and diet consequences. Nine months after her surgery, Melike tore her gastric stitching during a weightlifting competition, making it impossible for her to continue. Intense stomach pain and reflux forced her to put her health first. She is now unable to digest many foods, including vegetables, fruit, legumes, and sugar. In order to maintain a healthy diet, she eats up to six small meals a day, her relationship to food is now mechanical. Melike does not regret her decision to have gastric surgery. She has since turned her energy towards a career in physiotherapy, helping others get fit and heal from injuries. She still struggles with her hunger for intensive training.

Portfolio from the Visual Storytelling for Impact and Meaning workshop with Ed Kashi, September 2022.

Personal meeting with DIMITRI BECK,
Photography Director, POLKA magazine

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