time doesn't stop
Series Foerever mine
Anna Bedynska
©Anna Bedynska


Anna Bedyńska

Forever mine

The country's Shinken (parental rights system) means that after a divorce one parent not only loses custody but also all parental rights. The non-custodial parent has no say whatsoever in their child’s life. They cannot access their child’s medical or school records. They cannot take part in any decisions relating to the child’s school or health. They become strangers to their children. In case of a custodial parent death, it is a new partner or grandparents who take parental custody of the child. The biological parent ceases to exist to a child.

In the project, “Forever mine”, left-behind parents share their stories of being involuntarily deprived of their children by their partners. Despite the legal fights, they have no access to their children, they do not know where they live and if they are safe or alive…

A photojournalist with over 13 years’ experience writing for Agora SA, Poland's largest publisher, Anna Bedynska has participated in documentary projects in France, Germany, Kosovo, and Sudan. In recent years she has worked in Moscow and Tokyo, and she is currently based in Bucharest. In 2013, her portrait “Zuzia” won the World Press Photo Award and she received the Cultural Achievement Award from the Polish Ministry of Culture. At Grand Press Photo 2017, her series “Innocent but Sentenced,” set in Russia, won the Grand Prize. From 2013 to 2018 she participated in the Canon Ambassador Program. Bedynska’s work examines social change in contemporary society. She boldly takes on taboos and sensitive subjects, as seen in campaigns such as “Dad in Action,” “Clothes for Death,” and “Go Home, Kids,” which focus on people dealing with death and childbirth. She has continued to focus especially on the roles of women in today's world. Bedynska aims her camera at people who have never before appeared in the mainstream of society.