Izabela Dłużyk, a Polish sound documentarian, has been recognized by the BBC as one of the 100 most inspiring and influential women in the world. Her achievement is particularly noteworthy as she is a young woman succeeding in a male-dominated industry.
From an early age, Dłużyk, who has been blind since birth, developed a sensitivity to the sounds of nature, especially bird songs. She considers it a privilege to share the “all good, beautiful, and soothing” aspects of nature’s sounds with others, regardless of human differences.
Dłużyk’s interest in bird songs began around the age of 10 after hearing low-quality recordings. Over time, she learned to identify more bird species, which became her passion. She mentioned that the Białowieża Forest was the first place she wanted to visit with professional recording equipment, despite the need for assistance from sighted people.
In Poland, there are about 400-450 bird species, of which around 200 are regularly heard. Dłużyk discussed her journey from using a cheap dictaphone and computer microphone to professional recording equipment in a 2019 interview with “Wysokie Obcasy.”
The BBC list for 2023 also includes personalities like former U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama, human rights activist Amal Clooney, Ballon d’Or winner Aitanë Bonmatí, artificial intelligence expert Timnit Gebru, journalist and feminist Gloria Steinem, actress America Ferrera, and beauty entrepreneur Huda Kattan. The BBC highlights that in a year marked by extreme weather conditions, the list also features women actively fighting climate change and adapting to its consequences.