When a family endures a traumatic event, it affects everyone. It ripples through like a mighty force incarcerating you. If it's an action, it can turn into a pattern. The ripple effect has a funny way of repeating its own history.
The way we cope with these ripples varies. Whether we choose to give in to the infection or resist adamantly, it's always a game of falling and getting back up again.
"It ain’t about how hard you hit, it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward.That’s how winning is done."
- Rocky Balboa
Miko walks to a musical instrument repair shop Friday, Dec. 1, 2017 in Kraków, Poland to check on the status of his saxophone. Miko was interested in music at a young age but recently a DJ, with a stage name of Trousseaux, for the last four years. He records sounds from his saxophone, guitar, drums and more to add to his mixes.
After a ten-year hiatus, Miko Szatko, 28, recently returned to Poland, his home country he happily left.
Though he has a MFA in Sound from the prestigious Art Institute of Chicago, Miko became infatuated with footwork, electronic and techno music and hasn't looked back.
Footwork, championed by the musical group Teklife, applies equally to the music as it does to the wildly complex dancing that accompanies it, owing to a creative relationship poised equally between role of the DJ and the dancer. Along with the accomplishments of completing his degree and starting his own DJ empire, Miko shared the stage with Teklife. At a different event, he opened for George Clinton's band Parliament-Funkadelic.
Miko picks out discs to bring with him Saturday night's WODA fundraiser Friday, Dec. 1, 2017, a water-themed DJ event series in Kraków that Miko coordinates talent, venues, and other logistics as well as creates marketing materials for. On WODA nights, when the lights go down and the people pour in, Miko is Trousseaux and performs as part of the lineup at every event.
Next to Miko's apartment phone is a photograph of himself with his mom and dad at his godfather's house in Poland on a summer visit. Miko, pictured at 8-years-old, holds a BB gun that his godfather gifted to him. He said he liked to shoot empty soda cans and other useless inanimate objects.
When Miko was a young boy, his parents divorced and his dad disappeared without a trace. At 10 years old, in 2000, Miko received a telephone call from his dad telling him he was in America.
At age 14, in 2004, Miko was in an unstable relationship. In 2006, Miko had enough and decided it was time to visit his dad in Chicago for the first time.
He eventually moved to Chicago and spent quite some time in New York City. While in living in Chicago, he would spend every Sunday taking the metro to Waukegan where his dad would pick him up in his car, dirty from working in construction, and they would spend the day with each other.
At Miko's apartment, Miko and his brother, Kuba, 30, discuss set-up for WODA on the evening of Saturday, Dec. 2.
Kuba was always interested in DJing. However, after visiting his younger brother in New York City, Kuba's interest became practice. Miko began teaching Kuba the basics, encouraged him to get his own gear and start a small record collection, and recognized potential in his own kin.
Now, Kuba, though still learning, created the stage name Kuba Château and occasionally DJ's as a guest at Miko's WODA events.
Miko begins the event by warming up the dance floor for the first DJ at WODA, Saturday, Dec. 2, 2017 at Pauza, a trendy night club, bar and hang-out in Kraków's main square.
Trousseaux at Pauza for WODA Saturday, Dec. 2, 2017.
As the dance floor starts warming up, Kuba Château takes the stage. Though the room is condensed, many Poles come in to feel the beat of the bass bounce through the floor and into their body.
Electronic music is gaining popularity in Poland amongst younger generations but, according to Miko, not as popular as it is in other parts of Europe.
Even though competition is high anywhere in the world, Miko said it's more difficult to become a successful DJ in Poland than it is in the U.S., UK or Berlin because attention is given to a select few. Miko's opinion is that residencies are highly competitive, finicky and somewhat appointive.
With WODA events, he feels lucky to break even. When he manages to raise more, he saves that money for the next event- which can then be used to pay talent, venues, etc. To pay the bills, Miko works as a bartender at BAL, a café and restaurant near the Schindler's Factory Museum on Kraków's south-end.
Kuba, as Kuba Château, stands stagnant at Pauza before his set at WODA Saturday, Dec. 2, 2017.
Miko keeps polaroids of his current girlfriend, Magda, on a stereo at his apartment. Magda is an aspiring model and designer in Kraków. In the photographs, she poses with prints from modeling sessions.
Kuba introduced Miko to Magda in early October 2017. They both worked at Pauza, the same venue Miko and Kuba perform at.
Kuba helps Miko's bring his personal equipment from his apartment Saturday, Dec. 2, 2017, to the WODA venue because the venue's equipment was unusable.
Miko plans on moving forward as a Trousseaux and spending more time with his brother.
Though living in Poland, Miko prefers to keep the tradition of father/son time on Sundays. Sunday nights are the best for the two because of the time difference, with 7PM as Noon in Chicago. The reserved time is rarely cancelled, as Miko values the bond of family.