Marisa Drysz, 72, in bed at home in Swindon, reading the London Review of Books magazine.
Marisa Drysz, 72, in bed at home in Swindon, reading the London Review of Books magazine.

Marisa Drysz, aged 72 was born in Swindon, Wiltshire UK to Polish parents who after WWII settled in the UK.

Marisa spent her former years in Swindon, until she was eighteen when she left the family home and made her way to Notting Hill, London.  She took on all kinds of work before qualifying in 1976 as a teacher, and later became a single parent to her son, Oliver, eventually settling down with partner David, age 69. Following a near death car crash Marisa retrained as an TEFL teacher eventually working with the British Council as a MasterTrainer, living and working in Borneo, China and Libya where she was evacuated. It was during her travels that Marisa developed her skills as an artist, sound recordist, photographer and screen printer. She has a keen interest and involvement in the contemporary arts scene in the UK.  

Marisa produces her own show on local Community Radio. Her most memorable interview, so far, is with internationally acclaimed artists Gilbert and George. As a child she read many adventure books which fired her imagination. At twenty-seven she trekked across the Sahara, and once paid £100 to jump on a truck in London to be dropped off in Kano, Northern Nigeria. At 72 there's no stopping her!  She is energetic, vivacious, positive and unpredictable.

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How does it feel to be 72?

72 is liberation! Of course I’m lucky, I have reasonable health and am fairly comfortable financially so I can enjoy the freedom to work creatively with my photography and broadcasting for local radio through which I have met so many inspiring people. Friendships are free of rivalry, ambitions are at least in part either fulfilled or discarded.

I am free of the machine. All that competitive stuff around jobs and work. I am lucky to have wonderful friends. I can do my own thing.

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What do you look forward to?

I am looking forward to a few more spins on life’s roulette wheel, even though I don’t expect them all to be good but there are a lot of unexpected joys to be found.

Especially when you are finally able to do the things you never had the time or money to do before, like a solo trip to Mexico, taking pictures and audio recordings - that’s for next year!

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What is your biggest concern?

Generally, the rise of the collective madness of panicked, frightened people and the return to feudalism. Personally I know realistically my time is short. I’m not afraid of death I have been through it with family members. It’s the last rite of passage. Of course I have many fears and concerns.

Will I lose the freedoms I have gained living so long through the ill health of tragedy? Will masked men burst into my bedroom and put a bag over my head? The list is endless. However, I’ve survived so far. I’ve been very lucky.

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Life expectancy 2023

United Kingdom

About the photographer

Jennifer Berry


I am a freelance photographer based in Wiltshire, UK and I am drawn towards a documentary and photojournalist approach. In 2021, I founded and curated an International Exhibition of Photography, “Photo Swindon”.

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