Ewa Wołkanowska-Kołodziej was born in Vilnius (Lithuania). She graduated in Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology from Warsaw University, and from the Polish School of Reportage in Warsaw. She works as a freelance journalist specializing in social themes, based in Gdańsk. She mostly writes long narrative forms for „Gazeta Wyborcza”, Poland’s leading opinion newspaper, and its weekly non-fiction magazine „Duży Format”.
She was nominated to the most important Polish Press Awards, Grand Press, 4 times (in the categories “Press reportage”, “Specialised journalism” and “Interview”) and to the Newsweek Teresa Torańska Award 3 times (in the category of “The Best Journalistic Piece of the Year”).
In 2018 Ewa was awarded the main prize in the documentary category of the Festival of Sensitive Creativity for her reportage “The prisoners of the 4th floor” („Więźniowie czwartego piętra”) published in „Pismo. Magazyn Opinii”. She has also received the Professor Elzbieta Tarkowska Award for the best feature on poverty and exclusion, granted by the Ministry of Family, Labour and Social Policy, for the same reportage. The piece was also featured in the finale of the Woyciechowski prize competition, awarded to journalists by Radio Zet, for courage in search of truth and unveiling hidden subjects. Furthermore, it reached the finale of the Amnesty International Poland Award, given to those who, through their work in the media, draw public attention to violations of human rights.
Ewa has also authored a book about Vilnius cooking traditions: “Vilnius. A family story of taste” („Wilno. Rodzinna historia smaków”, Agora 2016), which has been translated into Lithuanian (Terra Publica 2017). She has edited a volume “There was no time for the end of the world. Conversations with mothers of children with disabilities” (“Nie było czasu na koniec świata. Rozmowy z matkami niepełnosprawnych dzieci”), which has just come out (Bardziej Kochani 2019). She is also the author of numerous book chapters in non-fiction edited volumes.
Ewa is also a human rights activist. Since 2021, she belongs to the “Sienos Grupė”. It is a group of people providing humanitarian aid to the Lithuanian-Belarusian border, and working for migrants residing in Lithuania.