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Ruth Montel Arias Ruth Montel Arias graduated in Applied Arts from the Pablo Picasso Higher School of Arts in A Coruña, she completed the Master of Corporate Identity at the Pompeu Fabra UPF University in Barcelona during 2005-06, and the Master of Photography EFTI in 2010. Her projects investigate the human relationship with natural territory, and its derived con icts of domination and animal, social and environmental oppression. Her photographs have been shown and published in di erent media and communication such as El Diario.es, La Marea, ABC, El País, Vice, Grupo EFE, RTVE and TVG. Her work has been exhibited in cultural institutions such as the Cultural Center of Spain in Lima, Landkreis Galerie in Germany, Museum of Memory in Argentina, La Casa Encendida, National Calcografía, Círculo de Bellas Artes, Conde Duque Cultural Center, and Matadero in Madrid, Cristina Enea Foundation in Donostia or Cidade da cultura in Santiago de Compostela. She has also exhibited in galleries in Madrid: Galería Zero, Galería Liebre, La New Gallery and Noestudio. International galleries such as Galería Moproo in Shanghai and Galería Ruby in Buenos Aires. Her work has been selected in di erent competitions, as well as national scholarships and artistic residences. Standing out the Resident Culture 2020, Best Photo Essay Lifestyle of the Ottawa International Vegan Film Festival 2019, 2017 VEGAP Creation Grant, Scholarships Abroad at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MAC) of A Coruña 2015 and nalist in Fotopres La Caixa 2015.
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Futures Photography Tell us more about yourself as a person and as a artist. For me, there is no di erence between my personal life and my artistic life, it is impossible for me to separate one from the other and even more so when my need to create a world in which animals and natural space cease to be exploited by humans coexist in both.
What is your vision as a photographer? I use photography as one more tool to dialogue with viewers, it is a very necessary language in these moments where society communicates mostly with a still or moving image. Of course, I escape from the purisms and imposed codes by adapting the images to the concept and the symbolic element of what I want to share.
Whoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s your role model in photography? I imagine that I have many and none at the same time; I have never thought of wanting to follow in the footsteps of a speci c photographer since I admire many, but I have to say that my greatest source of visual knowledge comes from cinema rather than photography.
Do you recall the rst time you held a photo camera in your hands? I don't have that main memory of "I remember when I was little and they gave me my rst camera" or "I remember when I was little and my father gave me his camera." I have never had such a deep relationship with the camera, but I can tell you that it took me a whole summer working in a restaurant and raising the money I needed to buy a camera that I needed in my rst year of photography in art school, so I remember more the di culty of getting the money than the feeling of having the camera in my hands for the rst time.
When you decided you wanted to be a photographer? I've never decided. What's more, at times I don't even consider myself a photographer; I'm simply a person who sometimes speaks through photographs.
Your project â&#x20AC;&#x153;BESTIALEâ&#x20AC;? contains very brutal images. Why you choosed to portray the brutalization of animals in such a hard way to watch?
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Futures Photography The intention with Bestiae was to show the brutality of humans towards animals and the connection of this with primitive instincts and domination that connects with disease, war and even with the submission of women. All the accompanying work during the hunting periods has been very important and to be able to talk with all the hunters I have lived with during those days. In this way, I was able to experience the brutality of this practice, since the atrociousness is not only present in the nal shot that kills the animal, but in all hours of pursuit and cornering. Also, the dogs they use in chases endure great su ering; many of them are attacked by the animal being hunted, but they also su er anxiety, exhaustion and many hours of training, not to mention the very bad situations in which the vast majority of them live. In legal matters, many hunters do not hesitate to kill protected animals, "as long as they are put within range", as they relate, and some with whom I have been do not respect the safety rules towards outsiders who may be walking through the forests at the very moment they are hunting. Hunting also involves leaving the forests, through which batidas or monterĂas are carried out (as some forms of big-game or group hunting with dogs are called in Spain), as a desolate and destroyed place. On the ground you nd cartridges, beer bottles, plastics they use to mark waiting posts, destroyed vegetation, and for some types of animals, their dead or dismembered bodies, the most common being the fox and the roe deer. In Spain hunting is defended as an asset to control species, but it is far from that; hunting is an act of brutality that entails su ering for many and fun for few. In addition, it is no longer legitimate for the purpose that they justify, since we have methods to control species without having to kill them, but of course that's not "fun".
Your work had been seen by a large audience among the years, in di erent galleries and exhibitions. Because they are such brutal images, did they had an impact on the public? It provoked any reaction that comes in your mind right now? Yes, my main objective with my work is always that the viewer does not remain indi erent and that the images generate the emotion or emotions that I try to project; it is the most di cult thing, but I work hard to make it happen. This has led me to make my work serve platforms or individual people so that the issues I engage with are visible and can generate micro changes in viewers, adding in some cases to the cause that is manifested in the work.
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Futures Photography You combined art with the jourlanistic style. Are you approaching all your projects in the same way? No, the approach always depends on the subject I am committed to and on what type of audience I want to address, in addition to the experience that arises during the work process. In some of my projects I have not even used photography.
What were your expectations before joining the group of hunters? The only expectations I had was to be able to get as much information as possible about the act of hunting and to be able to have total freedom to accompany them at all times. Luckily, I have managed to achieve the objectives that I had set for myself at the beginning, although it is true that I have had to discard others for reasons of physical integrity.
What is your opinion now, after the experience? Spending two years accompanying hunters and investigating their behaviors opens up a range of grays and leaves some questions unanswered that continue to haunt my head. However, there are realities that have not changed in my way of thinking and, in fact, some have been rea rmed, such as the need to eradicate hunting and the brutality of it.
Did you approached any other social issues before? Yes. From 2015 to 2017 with the project "Without gold there is no man" I analyzed and showed the consequences of gold mining and how they a ect people and the environment in Peru and South Africa, two of the main extraction points of this mineral worldwide. In 2014, with â&#x20AC;&#x153;Masks for the Illustriousâ&#x20AC;?, I addressed the biggest environmental catastrophe in the history of navigation, the Prestige freighter that spilled 22,000 tons of fuel on the coasts of Galicia, causing great devastation and loss of animals and vegetation, as well as a would to Galician society, which continues to exist to this day. I have also worked on the burning of forests, pig farming, the use of pesticides in food production and odor pollution.
What is the current photography project you are working on or developing at the moment? At this moment I am in the process of the project "EL2%", a work that aims to analyze the di erent relational patterns of man with primates in the last century, in order to propose new coexistences based on eco-ethics, and that add models of habitability that are more respectful, not only with this species, but with the physical space in which we live.
How was your experience as a Futures artist so far? Futures is giving immense visibility to the work of "Bestiae", as well as connecting me with other spaces and professionals in the world of photography from whom I am learning a lot.
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David Arribas David Arribas is a freelance photographer based in Madrid. Interested in documentary report on anthropological and social issues, he seeks to document the life forms of the environment that interest and inspire him. He began studying photography in a self-taught way, attending several photography courses and workshops. Over time he acquired his own language, nourished by his own experience and the realization of several master classes with di erent photographers such as Antonio Heredia, Manu Brabo, Antoine d'Agata and Crisitna GarcĂa Rodero. Currently, he is dedicated to the realization of long-term photographic works related to social and human taboos.
Tell us a little bit about yourself as a person and as an artist. My name is David Arribas, I am 41 years old and I have been working as a documentary photographer since 2014 in the city of Madrid, where I live. I am dedicated to doing long-term projects on complex social issues that I face as photographic challenges to study and develop.
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Futures Photography What is your vision in photography? I like the classic black and white photography because it expresses in a most suitable way the intensity of what I want to re ect. I do not attend to the prevailing trends in the current photographic world, I just move myself by my instinct, both when choosing new topics and in the way I edit my reports. Do you remember the rst time you ever held a photo camera in your hand, and what made you want to press the shutter button? My mother gave me a small compact camera that I started using on vacation trips. I wanted to capture those moments and places that I saw and that were so di erent from where I lived: I wanted to take them with me. I didn't even know how to use the camera, the images were out of focus, burned, dark, etc., so I decided to learn how to use it. I didn't really know where I was getting into and, surprisingly, I discovered a new and di erent world beyond travel postcards. Then I stopped taking so many photos and started thinking about creating images. Were you always attracted to art? Traveling aroused my interest in art in its broadest form. A world was opened to me that before I only saw in books and that now I could see in the rst person. As I was saying before, when I started traveling was when I started taking pictures: getting to know Florence, Prague, Berlin or Paris aroused my concern. When and why did you decided to become a freelance photographer? I did a volunteer in 2013 in the Casamance area in southern Senegal, that's where I told myself that I wanted to do documentary photography and tell everyday people's stories. When I returned to my country, I realized that I did not need to go so far to nd social issues that deserved attention and, furthermore, that I could work from home by dedicating enough time to delve into them even better. Sometimes we become obsessed with going to distant places to nd interesting stories that we only get to know super cially when we also have them close. How did you manage to learn photography on your own? Especially looking at many books and photography exhibitions, I think that to make good images you must see good and many images. We must "train the eye" enough to be able to be inspired by them and to know how to take good photos ourselves instinctively, without thinking.
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Futures Photography Where do you take your inspiration from? I am inspired by situations that happen in my day to day and that a ect my personal life. One of the things we learn when we study photography is that we portray what is close to us. I do just that, I look for what is close to me and I project it into an idea and that idea in an essay. For example, Scars, my report on the abuse of greyhounds to hunt in Spain, I decided to do it when one day, on my way home, I saw how a greyhound jumped from the car in front of me and ran towards the highway. Something very intense must had made that dog jump out of the window of a moving car and run on a road full of cars speeding by. In that moment I thought I wanted to understand what was the reason that had pushed that greyhound to risk his life in that extreme way. Your project “Jaula” contains many portraits. What sides of photography are you attracted to? I love direct and very sincere photography that tells things as they are. I have always admired con ict photographers and I think that their way of looking through the camera has had a deep in uence in me. Also, your project is shot in black and white. If it were for you to choose between shooting in black and white and in color, which one would you choose and why? I do my projects in black and white because it is the way I express my own language as an author. If we look at the work I have done so far, they all have a very similar line of sight. Above all, I look for light and strong contrast in the images that enhance the message, avoiding the distraction that colour could cause in my images, with black and white I bring out those direct sensations, which is what I mainly want to show. What can you tell us about your project “Jaula”? How did it all started? I started this project since a family member has had this disease for 30 years, so I considered this experience that a ected me directly as a topic on which to deepen. I started contacting all the Eating Disorder Associations in my city until I found a family that let me into their day to day. What was your biggest challenge in photography so far? I assume as a trial all the projects that I face: the greater the challenge, the greater the involvement.
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Futures Photography Do you have a role model in photography, someone you look up to? I always say that the fault of all this is Josef Koudelka because he was the rst photographer I discovered. Seeing his work Invasion prompted my idea of wanting to do documentary photography. Lately I really like to see the work of photographers from my country who documented life during the dictatorship and the transition, such as Ricard TerrĂŠ, Catala Roca or Gabriel CualladĂł. What project are you working on or developing at the moment? What can you tell us about it? I am currently developing a work on suicide and its in uence on the rest of society. I wonder why it is a taboo subject, about which we are uncomfortable talking, and above all, re ecting. The silence that prevails on suicide in the media and the need to create a national plan to prevent it. What other future project do you have in mind? I intend to do a book and an exhibition with my rst photographic work on the punk movement, Yearning, now that I have enough material collected after several years. How was your experience as a Futures artist, and how has it enhanced your work so far? Without a doubt it is a great opportunity to have been selected for the festival but unfortunately the adverse conditions that have enveloped this 2020 make me miss being able to personally go to Holland and meet the whole team. These events always make us do our best to show the best version of ourselves, but also this opportunity has given me the chance to get to know the production of many photographers that I was still unaware of, their working methods, and the quality of the topics to be discussed.
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Istvan Bielik István Bielik (b. 1985) is a freelance photographer based in Budapest. He works with various Hungarian newspapers and online magazines. As a photographer, he sees it as his mission to use the instruments of visual storytelling to present the situation of the downtrodden and those who live as minorities on the margins of society, who cannot make themselves heard by the majority. In so doing, he shines a light on injustices in the world. His work has been recognized through a variety of prestigious professional awards and achievements: In 2014 he was awarded the Grand Prize of the 32nd Hungarian Press Photo Competition for a photo series about the civil war in Syria. In 2015 he covered the con ict in eastern Ukraine and the impact of the refugee crisis across Europe. In the same year he was selected to participate in the Joop Swart Masterclass organized by the World Press Photo Organization. In 2017 he took part in the workshop of Magnum Photos as a recipient of the Robert Capa Centre’s scholarship. In 2018 he was the recipient of the Károly Hemző prize, one of the leading Hungarian photography awards, in recognition of his photo series which drew on a sophisticated form language to capture social phenomena in a way that re ects the photographer’s deep social sensitivity. In the same year, he was also selected to join the Nikon-NOOR Academy Masterclass. He was awarded the Pécsi József Photography Grant in 2015, 2018 and 2019 for his project entitled The Last Storytellers. In his work thus far, he has tended to focus on the presentation of contemporary societal problems and con icts, as well as their rami cations. But presenting the victims of longgone repressive regimes, his The Last Storytellers diverges from this focus. Pursuing a similar theme, his The Darkest Hour series shows that in the same way that the wounds carried by the survivors of labor camps continue to mark the victims to this very day, the underlying experiences have also left an enduring imprint on the physical landscape and the collective memory of humanity.
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Futures Photography Tell us a bit about yourself as a person and as an artist. I am a 35 years old documentary photographer, visual storyteller from Hungary. In my work thus far, I have tended to focus on the presentation of contemporary societal problems and con icts, as well as their consequences; nowadays, I work on stories where I would like to represent the su erers of a former, repressive regime. What is your vision as a photographer? As a photojournalist, I’ve used photography as an objective medium for a long time, but it’s becoming more and more transforming for me, today I see it as a good opportunity to spend time on topics that interest me or personally connected to me. As a photojournalist, I always re ected on the current social problems and con icts of the age, I worked on topics that the majority were dealing with. Lately, I have been drawing themes more from my personal environment: we were talking to my wife’s family about her grandfather when it turned out he was a labor camp survivor. When I asked them about the details, they could not really tell me about it because Grandpa had taken what had happened to him to the grave. Thus, came the idea of the series The Last Storytellers, in which I present the survivors of a three-quartercentury trauma.
Do you remember the rst moment you ever held a photo camera in your hands? As a teenager, I read an interview in a magazine with photojournalist Balázs Gárdi, who returned from Afghanistan at the time. I was very captivated by this adventurous way of life, but at that time I was preparing for an IT career, so I got rid of this idea. Later, when I was already in a multimedia development school, the dad of a friend of mine, who was a graphic decorator and worked as a lab technician, talked to me about photography and photographic technology. That’s when my destiny was sealed: I started stacking photography-themed books and learning to photograph in a selftaught way. I took my rst SLR camera with the help of my parents and my night watchman’s salary, which I did in parallel with school. That's when this love that continues to this day began. When did you decide to become a freelance photographer? I have been working as a photojournalist in the last 13 years. I spent the rst seven year in the oldest Hungarian newspaper's photo department, where I learned a lot about journalism. At the end of this period I travelled to Syria as a freelancer and worked for little agencies. Since then with minor interruptions I work as a freelancer. However, my portfolio has totally changed, I mostly work for magazines making portraits, covers, fashion photos and reportages.
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Futures Photography What makes you want to cover up so many stories about social injustices? As a photojournalist, I see it as my mission to use the instruments of visual storytelling to present the situation of the downtrodden and those who live as minorities on the margins of society, who's voice cannot reach the majority. In doing so, I shine a light on injustices in the world. Were you always focused on this kind of stories? My approach to nding a story is changing. Recently I always searched for deep social issues. Nowadays I let the projects to nd me from my closer environment. I just started to work on new material, its work title is The land of cat shes and water lilies. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a very consuming job, mentally and physically speaking, being gone for so long, and seeing so many devastated places and people. How do you keep up with all of this? That is why I started to work on this new story. It feels good to work on a project which story's aspect is not painful. I recently spent a week working on this and I feel very uploaded with positive energy.
Do you remember a certain moment or person that left its mark on you? Every story what I saw and every person whom I photographed left a mark on me and built into me. I learned a lot about life from their stories and it changed my personality. I always need to be open up for my subject can understand it. You took part in the workshop of Magnum Photos. Did that in uence you in any way? EachÂ workshop, and masterclass like Joop Swart, Noor as well as Magnum teach me to be curious, nd my own visual language and be more metaphorical and experimenter.
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Futures Photography What was your biggest challenge in photography? The biggest challenge was the compulsion to create, but I’m over it. Fortunately, photography has been renewed many times over its nearly two hundred years of existence, creating many varieties and possibilities in both technique and narrative. This search for a path continues and develops today, creating endless opportunities for creation. Do you have a role model, someone you look up to? It is always changing time to time. My current favorite is Alec Soth. Both in the way of visuality and his approach of narrative. His book the Sleeping by the Mississippi impressed me. Tell us more about your project “The Last Storytellers”. What made you want to do it? As I said before my wife’s grandfather was a labor camp survivor. Her family could not really tell me about his experiences because he had taken what had happened to him to the grave. This time I realized I need to collect the stories of these people who su ered this to save it for the next generation. Considering their age, only a small number of the survivors of the forced labor camps are still alive. I think it is a great responsibility to prevent their stories from disappearing into the maze of history and thus honoring them. Same goes for “The Darkest Hour”. As the events left their scars on the survivors, who have been carrying these marks ever since, so did the forced-labor camps and mines leave the landscape and the collective consciousness of humanity scarred forever. The stories they shared had a profound impact on me; I became close with the story-tellers, and already knowing their stories, I started to feel an urge to record the associated places, objects, memories, and feelings with my camera. I capture remaining fragments of their memories and history, both in Hungary and in the post-Soviet region. What is the current photography project you are working on or developing? If so, can you give us some details about it? In The land of cat shes and water lilies I examine the rural Hungary trough by a 50 km long canal in south Hungary, close to the Sebian-Croatian-Hugarian tri border area where my wife was born. This area is a shelter for me from the rst time I saw it. This is a project about how I see life in the countryside as an urban born. I research the people’s relationship with nature, religion, and national minorities.
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Futures Photography Also, do you have some future projects in mind? If the pandemic will nish, I would like to extend The land of cat shes and water lilies to Serbia and Croatia through the canal. How was your experience as a Futures artist so far? It is a particularly good opportunity to show my work in the international scene also this experience is a great opportunity to get feedback from the most prominent photography experts. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m curious about how others build up their working methods to catch up new skills, with these new inspirations I can improve my creativity.
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Marta Bogdanska Marta Bogdańska is a Polish photographer, visual artist, cultural manager. She holds a MA degree in Philosophy from Warsaw University. She graduated from the Academy of Photography, School of Seeing & Open Institute in Warsaw. Marta lived and worked in Lebanon for 8 years, where she realised artistic & cultural projects. Member of APP (Archive of Public Protests). With additional background in gender studies & activism Marta’s artistic work focuses on geopolitical and social issues, gossip & ction, as well as personal experiences. She experiments with various media including participatory workshops and sound installations.. Marta’s work was shown e.g. at OBSCURA Festival of Photography in Malaysia, at TIFF Festival in Wroclaw, at ODESA PHOTO DAYS 2020, BLICA - First Biennale of Arts in Lebanon. Photobook presenting SHIFTERS project is shortlisted for Mack First Book Award 2020. She was selected for several residencies, most recently Landskrona Foto Residency (2020), as well as Nida Art Colony, Gasworks, and Botkyrka Konsthal. She took part in ‘Re-Tooling Residencies Project’ organised by CCA Warsaw. She created & curated ‘Fenix Cities: workshops and exhibitions in Warsaw and Beirut’.
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Futures Photography Tell us a bit about yourself as a person and as a photographer. Hey :) My name is Marta and I do a lot of things. As a very young kid I lived with my family in Libya, in the middle of Sahara. When I was a student I traveled to New York and had a full- edged ‘beingalone-for-the- rst-time-and-surving’ experience. I used to think at that time - I was 22 years old - that I will very quickly come back to the Big Apple and live there. But life happened di erently. Instead few years later I went to Lebanon and fell in love with it. I lived more than 8 years there. These travels, or better to say ‘lives’, in various cultures and places, really in uenced me on many levels and also taught me to be persistent, creative and strong. It also taught me modesty, showed me the limits and false pretence to universality of the Eurocentric perspective. The second thread constantly present in my life is the interest in social issues. I was an activist in Warsaw and a lot of project that I have done touch upon topics such as feminism, migration, LGBTQ+ rights, animal rights. I love exploring! Be it in my nearest surroundings or far away places. I often do it in a kind of photoaneur way. Having background in philosophy, gender studies, activism & informal education, recurring critical approach is signi cant for me. I focus on geopolitical realm versus personal experiences, critically approached social issues, and the representation of minority groups (migrants, refugees, LGBTQ community, or animals). Themes related to gossip & ction, espionage and political geography, as well as the mundane, temporariness and the everyday, in uence my projects. The subject matter of each body of work determines the materials and the forms of the work. Each project often consists of multiple works and in a range of di erent media, grouped around speci c themes and meanings. During research and production new areas of interest arise and lead to the next body of work. What is your vision in photography? I would call myself both a photographer and a visual artist. My approach to photography speci cally is hybrid: I cna use it very literally, in documentary style, or as an artistic medium with all its advantages and aws. I work with photography, archives, and video. I also experiment with other media and participatory tools like workshops or group work, as well as with sound. They are increasingly present in my practice. Di erent projects are linked by recurring formal concerns. A lot of my work starts with research but I combine two approaches to work: a research-based, conceptual one with a more spontaneous, experiment-oriented one. Do you remember the rst >me you ever held a photo camera in your hands and what made you wanna press the shutter button? I don’t remember the rst time I held a camera but I have a memory of another important event that in uenced me. My mum, who actually bought her rst camera, enlarger & the whole photo gear with her rst salary as a grown up, taught me to develop black & white photographs in a bathroom our family home. We had an old enlarger and I remember setting everything up, and then having to clean immediately afterwards!
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Futures Photography Were you always attracted to art? It depends how you de ne art ;) I was a creative kid. We drew a lot with my sister (who is a painter and an illustrator). We had vivid imagination. Then, later on, I started taking pictures. But I think, Lebanon and its amazing energy was a milestone in my thinking of art - I worked on projects directly artistic, and learn to believe more in myself. I was a shy person ;) Why did you decide to become a photographer? I don’t know if I made a conscious decision to become this or that. As I said I did a lot of things in my life (worked in a restaurant, in NGOs, in media agencies, made a documentary lm, taught workshops about migration, curated exhibitions and so on), and photography was somehow always present in my life. At times I would earn money from it, at times I would not. Its role would also change. It all uctuates I guess.
You have additonal background in cultural projects, in gender studies and ac>vism. Does your work revolve around those kind of themes too? Yes, sometimes. Some projects are more directly related to speci c social issues like for example “Exilium” project, which gathered portraits and stories from Syrian refugees in Lebanon, or “Mixed Feelings”, a project about racism and othering in Lebanon. Studies in both philosophy and in gender studies had an enormous impact on my way of thinking and working. I do use theory in some of my projects, and that orientation in contemporary philosophy or social sciences is very useful. I am not so much an activist as I used to be when I was younger (I used to take part in almost every demo and was much more into organizing), but I do try to go to important protests, and I was invited to be a member of Archive of Public Protests platform, initiated by Rafał Milach, which gathers a growing number of photographers. We try to document the many protests that have been happening in Poland in the last years. I also curated few smaller and one quite big exhibition - project called “Fenix Cities”. It was my rst cultural project with Lebanon in 2009-2010, and it consisted of exhibitions and workshops in Warsaw and in Beirut for both Polish and Lebanese artist and cultural practitioners.
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Futures Photography Are there other sides of photography you’re interested in? I never worked much with ‘performance and performed’ photography and I think it really interests me more nad more, especially in a no text of a speci c project that I am thinking of, that will need more staged photos, and some kind of performative aspect to it. Tell us a bit about your project „Shifters”. Project ‘SHIFTERS’ re ects on animal spies, animals in military, history from animal point of view, and animal agency. It started as an archival research and a collection of articles about animal spies. Suspicious squirrels, spying dolphins, misidenti ed stork, nuclear lizards, and photographer pigeons – all these animals were accused of spying and information about it appeared in mainstream media. I am investigating the use of animals as soldiers, spies, police, and kamikaze. I am interested in analysing the meaning of the term ‘agent’ itself: a spy but as well a subject doing action. I want to relate the multifaceted history of animals in war to the one of the liberation of animals and animal rights. The accumulation of material, obsessive collecting and arranging it into a new entity, reassembling the meanings, the number of photographs collected - the sheer size of this volume indicate the importance of the problem for me. It points as well to the amount of su ering, use of, and work that animals have done (and still do) for people. Animal work: free of charge, underestimated, familiarised, and transparent. After the work of slaves and women, this is another huge area of exploitation. Animals are used in di erent ways. I have focused on their history in wars, and the military and police machine. The enormity of this is overwhelming. And it is only recently (given the scope of our common history with animals) that humans began to describe it all. Eric Baratay, a French historian and one of the most important gures in the broadly de ned Animal Studies, proposes that we take up the challenge of creating a history from an animal perspective that is not simply about describing their lives in a human context. The heart of this project is a 14-chapter artist book of 750 pages, an attempt to visualise the history of animals in military, police and in spy programs. The book uses archival & found footage as well as texts. SHIFTERS consist also of a 12-minute video essay, and a series of soundtracks created in participatory way during workshops.
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Futures Photography How and why you ended up choosing this topic for a photo project? My projects are di erent from each other, and I do like this variety. I would love to keep this vast array of topics, because I think this is what makes you grow as a person and as an artist. My last projects evolve around topics of espionage and codes, but simultaneously I work with migrant community in a sound project, as well as I love collaboration and participatory approaches like workshops. When it comes to ‘SHIFTERS’ speci cally, it was a process. I came across contemporary media articles about animal spies already few years ago. I immediately fell super intrigued by them and started gathering them. The title came to me one day: shifters, shape-shifters. The term comes from movie universe and it means a creature being able to shift its shape and turn into something else for example a human changing into an animal and then back to human. It took though some time for the project to nally take shape including the archival research and creation of other works like the video essay or soundtracks . You researched a lot on the topic, and collected articles about animal spies. How long did it took to nish it? As I said the rst ideas came to me few years ago, but the actual work started in end of 2018. So it took me more than a year. And I do not think that the project is actually nished ;) I keep discovering new stories. I just had an exhibition recently at TIFF Festival in Wroclaw (2-26.09.2020) and together with my curator Agata Polec we created a new version of the project, with completely new installation etc. Next year I will have a solo show at Krakow Photomonth 2021 and I am already thinking of creating new work, so let’s see :) What was your audiences reaction after learning about animal spies? Guessing it is not a well-known fact. Reaction of people, who somehow meet with the project in one way or another, has been amazing! They are all shocked and surprised about the broadness of this subject, and the stories of animals. Even if some of them heard one or two stories like that (the Wojtek soldier bear story resonates with people in Poland) they did not grasp the enormity of this! I myself was overwhelmed by the amount of it. I was also very lucky because in the middle of my work on the book CIA decided to disclose a lot of their documents from Animal Partners programs from the 50s and 60s! What a gift it was for my project. I knew about some of the animal related programs at CIA from here and there, but that gave access to some documents. Not many photographs though. These are still waiting hidden somewhere ;) Coming back to people’s reaction to the project: they nd ‘SHIFTERS’ on Internet somehow and ask if they can buy the book, or tell me stories that they have heard about animals in army or spy related events. In the exhibition people just wanted to know more and more about each photo, and I had to talk too much ;) I am happy to say that the reaction is very positive, the book also got nominated for Mack FIrst Book Award, and now for Kassel Dummy Award.
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Futures Photography Do you have a role model in photography, someone you look up to? Many! I I am interested in work of other photographers, artists, curators, but also activists, art therapists, cultural practitioners. I don’t have one style or one way of working with photography or art for that matter, so I look up to and follow work of many people. I can tell you from the top of my head now that on the Polish eld I appreciate Rafał Milach, Bownik, Aneta Grzeszykowska, Jan Lewczynski, Karol Radziszewski, Lilina Piskorska, and many more! From international scene I love the work of Max Pinckers, Adam Broomberg & Oliver Chanarin, Laia Abril, Vanessa Winship, Walid Raad, Akram Zaatari, Joanna Hadjithomas, Francis Alys and so many more. What was your biggest challenge in photography? My biggest challenge? I guess photographing people was and still is: I don’t feel at ease to ask people in the street to pose. I guess that old saying from Arab region about the photograph taking a piece of person’s soul resonates with me somehow ;) Of course it is di erent if I work with speci c persons and they are involved in the project. I guess there should be a challenge always in wat you are doing because by trying something new you progress. What is the current project you’re working on or developing at the moment? Can you tell us a bit about it? Currently I am a resident at a very cool and unique place in Warsaw called Jazdów Settlement. Together with a friend, Joanna Mueller, and a musician Magda Sowul, we are working on a sound project. We invited a group of Warsaw citizens and migrants to work in multicultural teams, and to create soundscapes connected to their personal experiences and the space of Jazdów. We nished production and are in the post production process. We want to show the outcome in December. I am also a Landskrona Foto Resident Artist right now. Just arrived a few days ago :) I am working here on a project following the footsteps of Selma Lagerlof, the rst woman to receive a Nobel Prize in literature. The project investigates, which traces of her life, intimate thoughts and feelings can be found in Landskrona today. By weaving several elements together, it will actualise Selma’s legacy through an exchange with the local LGBTQ+ community. What other future projects do you have in mind? I have lots of ideas but they boil slowly. I learnt to give them time and see. I can be slow with working on projects at times. Sometimes an idea from a long time ago comes back in a new framing, and I only then start working on it. I will for sure work on ‘SHIFTERS’ project more, I have a few new works in mind.
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Futures Photography What was your experience as a Futures artist and how has it enhanced your work so far? The experience as a FUTURES artists has been very good so far! I especially like the conversations and tutoring, because they get beyond a typical portfolio review and allow for a more in depth conversation. I had a very rewarding talk with Segio Escobedo recently, and it was super precise and eye opening. I am collaborating with ร ngel Luis Gonzรกlez Fernรกndezfrom PhotoIreland as my tutor, and I can discuss speci c project with him, which is amazing. Making an online exhibition gave me a new perspective on my work, and I re ected on ways of showing it a lot. I do miss the possibility for us to network and meet in reality (I am old school and all this online life is still strange to me). I also miss the opportunity for us to have a real exhibition.
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Marina Caneve Marina Caneve (b. 1988) is a photographer exploring how our knowledge is shaped trough a research based and multidisciplinary approach. With her work Caneve tries to face aspects of our existence that seem so big and prominent that the individual can only adapt; she is interested in complexity and contamination. Her work was exhibited internationally in personal and collective shows and since 2019 she teaches at the Master IUAV in Photography. In 2018 she was awarded with the Giovane Fotogra a Italiana Award at Fotogra a Europea (Reggio Emilia) and Lesley A. Martin awarded her dummy ‘Are They Rocks or Clouds?’ with the Cortona On The Move Dummy Award. Thanks to these awards and the collaboration with Hans Gremmen and Taco Hidde Bakker in 2019 the photobook was published by Fw:Books. The photobook was awarded with the 2020 Bastianelli Award for the best italian photobook. In 2019 she was commissioned by MUFOCO and the Italian Ministry of Culture of a project about italian architectural heritage and later, by the National Mountain Museum, of a new project based on their archives. Caneve’s work is now part of private and public collections. She is co-founder of CALAMITA/À, a multidisciplinary platform exploring the attractive nature of catastrophes in society and in the environment.
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Futures Photography Tell us about yourself as a person and as a artist. I mainly work with photography within an interdisciplinary approach and I’m deeply interested in research. I’m fascinated by catastrophes, vulnerability and understructures. As an attitude I tend to approach everything I’m interested on from lateral points of view, exploring di erent perspectives including science and magic. I like very much books and souvenirs. I currently teach photography at Master IUAV in Photography from University in Venice as well as at Spazio Labò in Bologna. As an artist my work was exhibited internationally in personal and collective shows. In 2018 I was awarded with the Giovane Fotogra a Italiana Award at Fotogra a Europea (Reggio Emilia) and Lesley A. Martin awarded my dummy ‘Are They Rocks or Clouds?’ with the Cortona On The Move Dummy Award. Thanks to these awards and the collaboration with Hans Gremmen and Taco Hidde Bakker in 2019 the photobook was published by Fw:Books. The photobook was awarded with the 2020 Bastianelli Award for the best italian photobook and it is currently nominated for the Artist Book Award at Les Rencontres d’Arles (2020). In the last years I was commissioned of major assignment and my work entered in private and public collections. I am co-founder of CALAMITA/À, a multidisciplinary platform exploring the attractive nature of catastrophes in society and in the environment. What is your vision as a photographer? My attitude towards photography is inspired by a principle that I found out studying a catalogue of a major photography exhibition that took place in 2003 at Tate in London. The exhibition was titled ‘Cruel and Tender’ and questioned the space of documentary photography in contemporary art. In one of the essays the author talks about Walker Evans' tender cruelty attitude, where photography is empathic but not disenchanted and where reigns a balance between engagement and estrangement. In that sense I am interested in a ‘realistic’ photography which explores the ambiguity that straddles concrete facts and potential moments of indeterminacy. One more extremely important thing is that I always tend to work within an interdisciplinary approach both in the preliminary research and in the output. Do you remember when was the rst time you ever held a photo camera in your hands? I guess, almost as everyone, when I was a child. Most likely I took a picture of my cat, or at least is how I like to remember it.
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Futures Photography Have you always been attracted to art? Yes. I’ve always been pretty much curious about it. When did you decided you wanted to be a photographer? While studying architecture at the IUAV University in Venice. I realized that I wanted to work with images rst of all having an internship at Tapiro, an extremely active visual design agency in Venice, and even more later when I met at the University the great Italian photographer Guido Guidi - that afterwards become one of the tutors of my thesis. What’s your biggest challenge in photography so far? To make work which can have a signi cance in di erent contexts, inside and outside the art world.
Do you have a role model in photography, someone you look up to? As mentioned before, one of my biggest inspirations are the authors, or even better the photography, displayed in ‘Cruel and Tender’ (TATE, 2003). Recently I published a book with Fw:Books and I must say that I very often nd inspirations in the books they publish too. What do you prefer, color or black and white photography? I really don’t mind. It depends on the relationship with the subject and the reason why to use one or the other. You have multiple projects you’ve worked on so far. Do you have a favorite one? The project I’m mostly attached is ‘Are They Rocks or Clouds?’ a multifaceted photographic project that is based on the hypothese of the occurrence of a huge hydrogeological catastrophe in the Dolomite Mountains in Italy. Facing this idea I was not moved by a necessity to document any catastrophe in its occurrence, either to celebrate the beauty of the mountains’ environment.
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Futures Photography Hydrogeological risk for the mountains, such as climate crisis elsewhere, has become a prominent issue, which one can hardly imagine if not after something catastrophic happens. Therefore I built a scenario for an environmental catastrophe to happen, through blending her research and archival footages, texts, and her own photographs. I also question the structure of our knowledge on mountainous areas which could bene ts greatly if we allow di erent perspectives: from historical material, technical knowledge, an anthropological vision and of the inhabitants of the area themselves. The project lacks a straight narrative, its layout (in the book or in exhibitions) constantly introduces deviations – used as a metaphor of the layering of rocks which constitutes the inner structure of mountains, thus showcasing their vulnerability. Where do you take your inspiration from? I’m deeply interested in complexity and exploring how our knowledge is shaped, the way we perceive and our attempts to grasp things. And, again, to grasp things that apparently are on one side too big to be depicted, on the other so prominent that people can hardly adapt. I nd inspirations in things that I don’t understand and in this sense I see photography as way of giving shape. I’m extremely triggered by the clash between magic and in the scienti c, where poetry and concrete facts embrace themselves. Taking into account both these variables, I see each work as a piece of a mosaic, which perhaps will never be completed, and with which I am constantly confronted with di erent points of view and directions. It is no coincidence to realize that are the digressions more than the linear discourse to fascinate and inspire my work. What is the current photography project you’re working on at the moment? Can you give us some information about it? I like very much to share my time between more projects although at a certain point always happens that one starts to standing above the others. After nishing ‘Are They Rocks or Clouds?’which is published by Fw:Books - in 2019, I started to explore again a project which I started in 2015 on freedom of movement. In order to approach this theme, I sought an entry that could help me to express my re ections but above all my perplexities. I found this entrance by discovering, and partly going through, an infrastructure of freedom: a network of bridges for animals designed to preserve biodiversity in Europe. I mention this project because from the rst attempts to approach the idea it was extremely interdisciplinary in trying to make a cultural re ection on an organic way of imagining scenarios for the future. It touches very complex issues that for me are more and more important.
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Futures Photography What other future projects are you developing? Almost a year ago I got a grant from the Mountain Museum in Turin for developing new work starting from their archives. It’s been a great challenge and I focused on contradictions. The work I made, Entre Chien et Loup, is currently exhibited in Turin and explores di erent discourses on the environment, cultural memories of the places and scenarios for the future making use of stereotypes that I found in the museum’s archive. I would therefore de ne Entre Chien et Loup a strati cation of di erent experiences, where develops a path of entrances, windows, metaphorical peepholes, which gradually lead the viewer from one idea to another, calling into question issues of multiple declinations, from play to death, from everyday life to the climate crisis. The work forces us to move in an exploratory way of thinking through misunderstandings, con rmations and epiphanies, weaving a web of relationships between disciplines and ways of looking, inverting and confusing the roles between archive and landscape, construction and nd, scienti c and imaginary How was your experience as a Futures artist and how has it enhanced your work so far? Futures came in a quite speci c moment of my career. In 2019 my rst artist book, ‘Are They Rocks or Clouds?’ was published and later I ended up in being fully immersed on one side in activities related to the book and in assigned works on the other. With Futures I decided to take some fresh air and use this opportunity to talk about projects that are still in a very explorative stage. I see Futures both as a vitrine for work but also I feel like this nished work is just a “tool” for taking the opportunity to introduce and discuss work which is ongoing and where I need support for. At this point I aim for this experience to enrich my network and to bring me trough new physical experiences outside the paths I’m used to walk.
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Shia Conlon Shia Conlon is an artist working with photo, lm, text and sculpture. Much of their work has been centered around marginalized voices and about growing up in the landscape of working class Catholic Ireland. The work has been exhibited in London, New York, Dublin, Helsinki, and Montreal amongst others. Their work has also been written about in The New York Times, i-D, Dazed and Confused and Hu ngton Post UK and US. They work between Tipperary and Helsinki. They are assistant to Elina Brotherus. In their past work, Conlon used pop-culture references, utilising the online platform with Bunny - a collective founded by Conlon - as well as producing zines, using these seemingly non-cultural or mass-culture tools to communicate with a wider, contemporary arts audience.
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Futures Photography What is your vision as a photographer? I want to create a visual language that re ects the things I intake and nd beautiful, like poetry, cinema, mythology, family history. I want to create small worlds within projects where one could have some type control over the power structures in our lives, like gender, religion, the patriarchy, even if that control is rooted in a moment of fantasy.
You shoot both in back and white, and in color. Do you prefer one more than the other? I love both, I was trained rst in black and white darkroom photography, so there is always something about this medium that I nd a lot of freedom in, although the moment for black and white doesn’t always come often. I experiment a lot even if I shoot analogue, I sometimes play with the colours of a negative after scanning. Each photo has its own reason for whatever colour comes in the end.
Do you remember the rst time you ever held a photo camera in your hands? I remember many moments from my childhood when I used my parents video camera. I would create small movies with my cousin and my baby sister. It was just a tool to stave o the boredom of growing up in rural Ireland in the 1990s. There was not much else to do, so we created worlds and stories. I like to believe this interest in storytelling comes from the rich culture of myth and folklore in Ireland, it makes it feel a bit more magic.
You work with photo, lm, text and sculpture. What do they have in common? Also, which one do you prefer the most? I don’t have any preference and I don’t think about my medium before my idea. Usually each new concept that comes comes with it’s own call for a form. I mean that I don’t explicitly set out to make a lm or a sculpture, but that something comes rst, usually writing about what I am trying to express and then I start to work in whatever medium feels right. Sometimes things start as poems and end up as sculptures. Sometimes it’s good to distill it all down to abstraction, sometimes it’s good to say everything.
Why and how you decided you also wanted to become a photographer? I didn’t get into my English Literature degree but still wanted to leave my hometown immediately after high school. I searched around for some things available in a city I wanted to go to, I interviewed, got in. I was 17 and I started to learn about the history of photography, seeing artists like Nan Goldin, Diane Arbus, Francesca Woodman, was very inspiring. And then there was the alchemy of the darkroom process, I started that course and then I never stopped taking photos, it doesn’t seem like a choice, but more just something that happened and never stopped.
Tell us more about your photo project ”Against domestication”. How it all started?
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Futures Photography Against Domestication came after I wrote my MFA thesis. The project is about the rewriting of traumatic memories through restagings. I tried to think of the act of photographing as a process that is similar to how memories take root in our minds. If that’s true then through this recreating you could potentially make a scenario where a victim reclaims their own narrative. The ideas for the images came to me walking around or being on public transport, and a lot of them took place in Ireland so I recorded the ideas and waited to travel back there to make them.
What inspires you? Frank O’Hara, my friends, power lines, elds, cowboy movies, detective stories.
What was your biggest challenge in photography so far? Learning how to work with others in a way that respects their autonomy but also stays true to a vision you might have.
Do you have a role model in photography? Someone you look up to? I am more inspired by cinema than photography. David Lynch’s visual language is something I nd very inspiring, his use of light and not showing everything, but just suggesting possibilities.
What is the current photo project you are working on or developing at the moment? Can you tell us a bit about it? I’m working on a project about masculinity and all the myriad of ways we might present that in the world. What does masculinity look like outside the cis-male body? How can we reclaim masculinity as something hopeful, playful?
What other future projects do you have in mind? I’m working on a few di erent things, some things like; making a short lm about domestic violence in Catholic Ireland in the 1990s, a documentary about the rewriting of a family archive using my own family story, a performance reimagining Tom of Finland from a trans-masculine perspective and some other poetry-related things.
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David Denil With a background in engineering David Denil’s photographical interest started in 2014 by seeing Jacob Riis’s ‘How the Other Half Lives’. Fascinated by the excessive presence of light, the striking compositions and shadows encapsulating daily life in combination with the strategically use of the medium challenged David to explore contemporary subject matter. Within his rst project Let Us Not Fall Asleep While Walking, David Denil started to translate the psychological dimensions of Ukraine as a collision between past, present and future. Mentored by the Magnum photographer Carl De Keyzer, he chose not to show the war in the east, but to focus on the aspects of life presented to him in the capital Kiev. By his active presence his work functions as an extension on the early 20th century documentary approach and tends to reveal universal questions rather then to depict actual proof of fact. While working on two new projects, David is nishing the dummy book of Let Us Not Fall Asleep with the input of British Ukrainian researcher and cultural manager Myroslava Hartmond. Within the book the images will be interconnected with referential sources, testimonies and re ections on the impact that both media and politics have on the hybrid war that is putting strains on the Ukrainian dream and experience of freedom. This book will be published at the end of 2018, exactly 5 years after the start of the hybrid war.
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Through great story-telling you presented a chapter from Ukraine’s history, more exactly the civilian uprising in Kiev’s Maidan Square, that took place on 21st of november, 2013. Why this event? The work is not about the protest of 2014 but more about Ukraine as a whole and the struggles the people face since its independence.
Why did you choose to represent these events in a highly idiosyncratic and uncompromising way? It draws similarities to the Soviet paintings. And in painting light is used to guide you to the focus of attention.
The way you edited these photos got my attention. Hight contrast and highlights. Why did you make this choice? I did not edit much but focus on the result during the event of photographing itself. For this project you choose a poetry verse as a title, “Let us not fall asleep while walking”. Why this speci c one? This line is taken from the last poem of the Ukrainian Taras Shevchenko but altered the word ‘me’ to ‘us’ to extend its meaning. How do you choose your subjects for your photography projects? This becomes clear by reading on a certain topic. While reading I make notes which I reduce afterwards to a working title. While taking an image I check if it resonates with the title. If not, alternations are made. When you decided you wanted to become a photographer, how and why? I am not a photographer. If I could not draw, I would paint. What was your biggest challenge in photography? The biggest challenge to me is to minimise it to strictly what is needed. Now I only take images with my phone.
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Futures Photography Do you have a role model in photography? I enjoy painting and sculpting the most. Photography wise I have a few books on its history and many academic books and printed papers that I read and took notes on. These inspire me the most because they are free of depiction. Land art, street art and performative art are important as well. What is your current photography project you are working on right now, or what was your last one? I did two but but did not feel the need to make them public. What future projects are you developing at the moment? With another artist I work on a research-based project on colonial events. Besides that, I am working on a series of monochrome paintings that incorporate manipulated stills from archived Japanese found footage reels on the occupied territories of Palestine during the 60s. Other projects I prepared are temporarily on hold.
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George Stamenov Bulgarian artist and director George Stamenov examines the immersive possibilities of story telling by challenging the dogmas of contemporary lm making. His short lms carry a unique aesthetic that is derived from Eastern Europe. Raised in So a, Bulgaria and trained as a painter from an early age, his work arises from an early fascination with the Renaissance and Medieval eras. Stamenov utilizes computer graphic imagery as his primary medium, often to render the uncanny side of a simple event or a movement in a composition, exaggerating its insigni cance in an extraordinary manner. George Stamenov was born in 1988 and lives and works in London, United Kingdom. He completed undergraduate studies at Willem De Kooning Academie and postgraduate studies at the Royal College of Art. His work was featured in The Bloomberg New Contemporaries for two consecutive years (2018, 2019); NOT A LIVE SHOW Bonington Gallery, Nottingham (2018); Working Projects - Inhabiting the Dome at Whiteleys Shopping Center (2018); Water Tower Festival Bulgaria (2012).
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Futures Photography Tell us about you as a person and as an artist? Always what seems to be the simplest question is hardest to answer. I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t think I can accurately paint myself. Imagine a mid-thirties human specimen, recent post-graduated that still chisels his way through a potential career as an artist. He rarely listens when other people regarding whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s possible or notpossible, he believes he is the one who can decide that, of course his stubborn nature sometimes leads him to epic fails. On the side, he does commercial works just to make sure he has enough to continue his journey as an artist. Some years are luckier than others but the most important for him is to keep chiseling to what he sees in his mind as an established human specimen. He loves to look at old techniques and incorporate in one way or another into his contemporary works, often involving modern technological advancements. You were raised in So a, Bulgaria, and then moved to London, United Kingdom. How did you accomodate there? I moved rstly to The Netherlands in the beginning of my 20s. Lived there for almost a decade and then moved to London for a master degree at the Royal College of Art. I suppose I was already fairly integrated into the western world from my experience in The Netherlands. It is indeed di erent socially and not only, architecture, nature, even the di erent sunlight in the west. I suppose all these small details do a ect our perceptions as artists. How did the di erences between bulgarian and english life style a ected your work as an artist? My work still remains closely related to Bulgaria or the eastern side of Europe. Most of my lms tell stories about my childhood or are situated within the Eastern European environments. Perhaps, in the future, in maybe a decade or so I will start re ecting on my life on the west side. As for now I still feel primarily interested in the aesthetics and the eatern European topics. The balkan culture clearly in uences in your work. Can you tell us what else inspires you? There is plenty more to add into my inventory of inspirations. I nd medieval art fascinating, especially iconography and early catholic art. I often feel a wimpy inspiration when gazing at brutalist architecture, I suppose because it does remind me socialist architecture. Of course thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s just a small fraction of my interests. My mind and eyes are open and ready to capture a new source of inspiration at all times.
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Futures Photography You’ve been trained as a painter from an early age, but when was the rst time you held a photo camera in your hand, and what made you wanna be a photographer? I have been obsessed with lms and animations as long as I could remember. In my teenage years I wanted to be a painter, later in my twenties I got interested in moving image and animation. After a few years I grew con dent I could do animated lms and then I just followed the ow, which led me to Royal College of Art. What was your biggest challenge in photography? I suppose the biggest challenge in lmmaking for me is to come up with a new visual language, a new way to express what’s inside your mind while using all the tools of lmmaking. What makes a lm worth watching in my opinion is the narrative combined with the seamless camera execution. It is important to drive the viewer onto a continuous journey throughout the storyline without him noticing the time passing while watching the lm. Do you have a role model in photography? They are plenty of lm directors I admire the work of, I will name just a few. I am a big fan of Russian cinema but not only. Here are a few directors I admire: Sergei Eisenstein, Andrey Tarkovsky, Mikhail Kalatazov, Michelangelo Antonioni, Hirokazu Koreeda, Nabuhiko Obayashi and Abbas Kiarostami. You used computer-generated imagery. Why did you choose to use this technique instead of using a photo camera? The capabilities you have in the 3D realm are, in my opinion, unmatched by the real world we are living in. I wouldn’t go in detail about everything you can achieve using 3D software just because it’s impossible to outline within the frame of the interview. One thing that is extremely useful and more advanced than real life is that you can have your camera, lights and object positioned everything within the 3D grid. You can have extreme close-ups, y above, macro and even inside the object/subject shot itself. You can position lights everywhere you want and have di erent environments lights within a single click worth your mouse. Possibilities are in nite. You wanted the viewer to feel disgusted while going through your project. Why is that? I nd it interesting and challenging to express the feeling of disgust without using any elements that suggest it, such as bodily liquids or epidermal surfaces. I guess I wanted to challenge my skills at storytelling by trying to arouse a feeling that is rarely depicted by using very mundane objects.
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Futures Photography What is your current photography project you are working on right now, or what was your last one? I am working on a sculpture project at the moment. I thought I needed a change for a while. Surely, I will go back to lmmaking as soon as I am done with the sculpture project. I have a few scripts waiting to be materialized into a lm. What future projects are you developing at the moment? I am following residency at the moment in rural France. After devoting my time on solely digital projects for over two years, I have decided to move to a more tangible work.
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Renée Lorie “ [ These images] (…) have lots of black in them. We understand black as the abscence of light: it denotes an unfathomable emptiness, something ‘missing’ (black nothingness). However, in photography, this blackening is precisely the consequence of a (too) large amount of light, of (too) much presence. (..) The abdundance of light that is required to turn the negative into a positive image. The black in the photograpic positive is created in the darkroom, where the light of the enlarger exposes the light sensitive paper to the barrage of light. This ‘blackening’ is so crucial in the photograpic process, that the German photographer Raoul Hausmann preferred to talk about melangography instead of photography. Photography then no longer means writing with light, but becomes the art of darkening.” - Steven Humblet on Noctuary Renée Lorie lives and works in Brussel. She graduated in art history, lmstudies and photography. Renée captures the light, she show her experience of the world around her. It’s a world full of contrasts. Her images show disharmony, memories in nowadays. Vulnerability, white against deep black backgrounds, day and night, emptiness and fullness. Coolness and heat, burning ice. The present and the absent. She’s looking for attachment, but displacement too. Themes are the mystery, the uncanny, abjection and the enigmatic. Creaking discomfort in down, a sensory touch in a at image. She shows a glimpse, an error, disturbance, the lyrical. She’s showing distance, yet close framing. She uses the dark room, groping for light. Light traversing trees and water, that lives on the tide during spring tide. Everything is strange, yet daily and known. Trees, water, horse and dew, rustle, a man in a suit, sand mountains and a statue. She’s look around, capturing an image and imagining immediately another image, a walking écriture automatique, a photo novel, a same story. She likes to see the past in the present.
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Futures Photography Tell us a bit about yourself as a person and as a photographer.
" [ These images] (...) have lots of black in them. We understand black as the abscence of light: it denotes an unfathomable emptiness, something 'missing' (black nothingness). However, in photography, this blackening is precisely the consequence of a (too) large amount of light, of (too) much presence. (..) The abdundance of light that is required to turn the negative into a positive image. The black in the photograpic positive is created in the darkroom, where the light of the enlarger exposes the light sensitive paper to the barrage of light. This 'blackening' is so crucial in the photograpic process, that the German photographer Raoul Hausmann preferred to talk about melangography instead of photography. Photography then no longer means writing with light, but becomes the art of darkening." - Steven Humblet on Noctuary I live and work in Brussels. I graduated in art history, lmstudies and photography. I capture the light, show my experience of the world around me. It's a world full of contrasts. My images show disharmony, memories in nowadays. Vulnerability, white against deep black backgrounds, day and night, emptiness and fullness. Coolness and heat, burning ice. The present and the absent. I'm looking for attachment, but displacement too. Themes are the mystery, the uncanny, abjection and the enigmatic. Creaking discomfort in down, a sensory touch in a at image. I show a glimpse, an error, disturbance, the lyrical. I'm showing distance, yet close framing. I'm using the dark room, groping for light. Light traversing trees and water, that lives on the tide during spring tide. Everything is strange, yet daily and known. Trees, water, horse and dew, rustle, a man in a suit, sand mountains and a statue. I'm looking around, capturing an image and imagining immediately another image, a walking écriture automatique, a photo novel, a same story. I like to see the past in the present. In your photographies you highlighted the details, and shot only black and white. What other type of photography you’re attracted to? I also really love pictures in color. Pictures that show a subjective view, a personal and intuïtive approach. Such as Eggleston, JH Engström, ... But mostly I'm inspired by black and white photography, and cinema: lm noir, avant-garde and the lms of Luis Buñuel. Do you ever shot in color? Yes, I do, a have lots of color pictures. Why do you choose to only post/shot photos in black and white? I'm looking for a very speci c 'atmosphere, and I have to feeling I can express that better in black and white. Although I will try to make something with my color pictures, one day.
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Futures Photography How did you rst start in the eld of photography? I was always taking pictures, since I was 18, a lot. At the beginning it was more without a speci c focus, but while doing it you know what you really want to capture. What was your biggest challenge in photography? Making pictures in color! I always do it, but I still cannot cover it in a project in a project., that it makes sense...
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Futures Photography How do you choose your subjects for your photo projects? It's a combination of what I have in mind and what I see around me when I'm on the road. I like to make soms associations to make a sequence. Both in form, atmosphere and content. Tell us who’s your role model in photography, if you have one. I really like the artist work of Alexandra Leykauf. Because she uses images in a spatial context, it becomes to life. I like to approach of Japanse photographers, such as Yamamoto Masao. What inspired you to do the “Nocturay” project back in 2018? Nocturary is a photogra c journey into unde ned landscapes and interiors. The black and white photographs are full of magical moments, uncertain feelings and surreal light. The photographs were made during a period of four years. They arose whilst travelling and moving. Based on these existing images, I created di erent visual associations and sought to capture them. I love when images call upon an atmospheric universe and trigger other associations through their viewers. These images reveal a day-to-day familiarity that I experienced as alienating and disruptive. Recognizable reference points are intentionally absent and regularly fall outside the frame. Noctuary is a nocturnal diary. It consists of visual impressions registering the end of a period of loss. Close loved ones that passed away. A photograph freezes moments in a life that is in perpetual motion. Photography o ers the opportunity to look back at what's inevitably passed away. It serves as a memory, a space to recall a lived past. When you go through this intense process of letting go, looking back, trying to hold on, forever is a strong compulsion. You want to latch onto these past certainties, in order to avoid the confrontation of constant change and dissociation, processes unique to life. Photography serves as a consolation to (impossibly) embrace what was. Do you have a current photography project you are working on right now? At this moment I'm working on a next project, 'Shelter'. 'Shelter' is about becoming home, a home far from home, boarding and lodging, to settle and to dissolve, to come, to go and to become settled again, reframing, to appear, anew. What future projects are you developing? 'Shelter' What was your experience as a Futures artist? Good! Good to be part of this initiative, it gives opportunities.
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Garry Loughlin Garry Loughlin is a lens based artist whose work is research driven, incorporating photography, writing and archival material. His interests lie in the use of power, and the control of narratives and territories by those with that power. He is driven by unearthing micro-histories and the discovery of elements that can link series' of events that might initially seem isolated. Working primarily with photography allows him to employ the language of documentary to challenge the perceived authority of the indexical image and its role in the distribution of history. Loughlin's work can meet its audience in various formats and he is increasingly interested in formats which relate to or challenge notions of objective truth, such as publications and performance lectures. Loughlin holds a MA in Documentary Photography from University of South Wales. In 2019 he exhibited his latest body of work The Clearing House in Test Space at Spike Island, Bristol. He is the author of two self-published monographs; Between Spaces (2014) and A farewell to Arms (2016). His work has been exhibited in a number of exhibitions throughout Ireland, Europe and the UK.
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Futures Photography Tell us a bit about yourself as a person and as a artist. I was born and raised in Ireland, but I am currently based in Bristol, UK. I am a research based artist working mostly with photography and archive materials. What is your vision as a photographer? My interests lie in the use of power, and the control of narratives and territories by those with that power. I am driven by unearthing micro-histories and the discovery of elements that can link series of events that might initially seem isolated. When did you rst start in the eld of photography? I feel like a late comer to photography, starting in my mid 20's. I took a portfolio course back in Dublin, got hooked and decided to pursue it more seriously.
Were you always attracted to art? I have always been interested in art in some form or other. From a young age I was attracted to drawing and illustration. What inspired you? I am driven by unearthing micro-histories and the discovery of elements that can link series of events that might initially seem isolated.
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Futures Photography For your photo project â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Clearing Houseâ&#x20AC;? you traced the activities of Victor Lipossov, a Russian diplomat that was expelled from Ireland. Was that hard to do? How long it lasted? When working with a topic like this, nding information can be di cult. I encountered a number of hurdles while making the work, but I learnt to use these hurdles to in uence the work rather than obstruct it. Most of the photos are focused on details. Why is that? This is a strategy I used to illustrate elements of the narrative that would have been impossible to do otherwise due to the time that has past and the lack of access or the transformation of locations. Tell us a bit about yourself as a person and as a artist. I was born and raised in Ireland, but I am currently based in Bristol, UK. I am a research based artist working mostly with photography and archive materials. What is your vision as a photographer? My interests lie in the use of power, and the control of narratives and territories by those with that power. I am driven by unearthing micro-histories and the discovery of elements that can link series of events that might initially seem isolated. When did you rst start in the eld of photography? I feel like a late comer to photography, starting in my mid 20's. I took a portfolio course back in Dublin, got hooked and decided to pursue it more seriously. Were you always attracted to art? I have always been interested in art in some form or other. From a young age I was attracted to drawing and illustration. What inspired you? I am driven by unearthing micro-histories and the discovery of elements that can link series of events that might initially seem isolated.
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Futures Photography For your photo project â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Clearing Houseâ&#x20AC;? you traced the activities of Victor Lipossov, a Russian diplomat that was expelled from Ireland. Was that hard to do? How long it lasted? When working with a topic like this, nding information can be di cult. I encountered a number of hurdles while making the work, but I learnt to use these hurdles to in uence the work rather than obstruct it.
Most of the photos are focused on details. Why is that? This is a strategy I used to illustrate elements of the narrative that would have been impossible to do otherwise due to the time that has past and the lack of access or the transformation of locations. What made you wanna cover up this particular story?
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Futures Photography I was looking for ways to expand on my approach to projects as well as explore new visual strategies. The nature of this story o ered me the freedom to experiment visually. What were your expectation before going on the eld, when you rst laid the groundwork for the project? I tried not to go into the project with too many expectations because of the level of experimentation I wanted to explore with the work. I wanted my approach to be uid and bend with the twist and turns that came with the research. I felt that having a strong expectation would have hindered this from happening. Also, what was your opinion after nishing it? This nishing work on The Clearing House I feel like I have entered a new phase in my practice, allowing myself to produce work to better re ect my research rather than shoehorn it into a rigid approach. What was your biggest challenge in photography so far? Sometimes I nd the initial beginnings of a project di cult. It's a mix of excitement and bewilderment about where the subject will take me. Do you have a photo project you are working on at the moment? Can you tell us something about it? I'm currently working on a collaboration with Alejandro Acin on an installation that will be exhibited in October. What other future projects youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re planning on to do? I am continuing a line of research into methods of control implemented by governing bodies and institutes. How was your experience as a Futures artist so far? My experience being a Futures artist has been great. Already I have had some positive interaction thanks to the platform. I'm really looking forward to the festival, I believe it's going to be an exciting experience for everyone involved What made you wanna cover up this particular story?
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Futures Photography I was looking for ways to expand on my approach to projects as well as explore new visual strategies. The nature of this story o ered me the freedom to experiment visually. What were your expectation before going on the eld, when you rst laid the groundwork for the project? I tried not to go into the project with too many expectations because of the level of experimentation I wanted to explore with the work. I wanted my approach to be uid and bend with the twist and turns that came with the research. I felt that having a strong expectation would have hindered this from happening. Also, what was your opinion after nishing it? This nishing work on The Clearing House I feel like I have entered a new phase in my practice, allowing myself to produce work to better re ect my research rather than shoehorn it into a rigid approach. What was your biggest challenge in photography so far? Sometimes I nd the initial beginnings of a project di cult. It's a mix of excitement and bewilderment about where the subject will take me. Do you have a photo project you are working on at the moment? Can you tell us something about it? I'm currently working on a collaboration with Alejandro Acin on an installation that will be exhibited in October. What other future projects youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re planning on to do? I am continuing a line of research into methods of control implemented by governing bodies and institutes. How was your experience as a Futures artist so far? My experience being a Futures artist has been great. Already I have had some positive interaction thanks to the platform. I'm really looking forward to the festival, I believe it's going to be an exciting experience for everyone involved
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Maximilian Mann Maximilian Mann (b. 1992) is a German photographer. He holds a BA in photography from the University of Applied Sciences and Arts, Dortmund. Max is a documentary and portrait photographer who focuses on stories about society, social and ecological chances. He is a founding member of DOCKS collective.
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Futures Photography Tell us about yourself as a person and as a photographer. My name is Max and I currently live in Dortmund, Germany. I am studying photography for my master's degree and do assignments and free projects. What is your vision in photography? I think there are many aspects. One important aspect is that you can use photos to draw attention to topics that are not so much in the media focus. Especially with environmental disasters it is important to have photos that make something visible. However, photos are of course not enough, we have to act then. But I think photos can be a rst step. Because we are all visual people. Another aspect is also very personal. I like to be on the move and to get to know many di erent people. I learn so much about my environment and the daily life of other people. The camera is then, so to speak, an excuse for me to meet people I wouldn't meet without a camera. Do you remember the rst time you ever held a photo camera in your hands, and what made you wanna press the shutter button? I can't remember exactly. But I was still young and wanted to have a camera. With my dad I went to a camera store and bought a simple camera with my pocket money. Of course at that time still analog. Often I took pictures of my family on vacation. How and why did you decided you wanted to become a photographer? I have always enjoyed being on the move. At the age of 17 I started an Interrail-Tour through Europe during the summer vacations and after school I did a voluntary service at a school with orphans in Tanzania. After school I also wanted to sit less at my desk and see more of the world. Photography is an opportunity for me to learn a lot of new things. Without sitting at a desk. Were you always attracted to arts? Yes, I was already involved with art as a child. Certainly also through my parents' house and also through school. I played music, performed theater plays and drew a lot. Your photographic work revolves around themes regarding socially marginalized groups and environmental issues. Are your projects always based on these topics? Yes, above all it always has something to do with the environment and people. I think this is a central question of our generation: how will we deal with our environment in the future?
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Futures Photography Are you attracted to other sides of photography? Of course I am interested in many di erent kinds of photography. I am a visual person and always nd it exciting to see how other photographers deal with subjects. You’re a member of DOCKS Collective. Can you tell us more about your activity as a group, and how it is for you to work together with another four photographers? The DOCKS-Collective is very important for me. We are 5 documentary photographers who act upon shared humanistic values. We are developing individual and contemporary approaches to documentary photography, narratives that question and re ect on personal chosen topics. With our projects, sometimes we photograph together, we make exhibitions or publications. Recently we have published a newspaper, which we distribute free of charge.
For your project “Yurt district” you travelled to Mongolia to capture the people living in the outskirts of Ulaanbaatar, after leaving the rural side in a search for better living. How long did it take you to nish the project? I was in Ulaanbaatar for a month in September and worked on the project. But: the project is not nished yet, I would like to go back and work on it more intensively. Due to the pandemic I unfortunately had to cancel my planned trip in April. It is called the “Yurt district” because there are people who are still living in yurts, right in the urban side of Mongolia. What were your expectations before going there, and before facing a new culture? Did they change now after meeting the people?
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Futures Photography Of course I carefully study the topic and the facts beforehand. I have read a lot about Mongolia and the changing living conditions. But it is always di erent when you are there. The smells, the food, the air: you cannot feel that in any book. Above all I always nd it very instructive and lovely to talk to people and learn more about their lives. Through the personal stories I later have of course a di erent, much more personal view on things. Among the people photographed by you, is there any person you have known, whose story touches you? If yes, can you tell us about them? Sure, I have many stories to tell. A small family impressed me very much: Together with a translator I climbed up a hill to have a good view over the city. On the way we met the father of Otgonbaatar (7). He invited us to visit his yurt. The hard life became very clear to me once again. The father is a single parent, a construction worker and has two children, one of them disabled. Every day he carries his son on his back from the road up the hill to the yurt. His other son, Otgonbaatar, is full of hope. His dream job is to become a hip hop musician. The hope despite such di cult circumstances impressed me. Poor hygienic conditions, lack of drinking water systems, and medical care are characteristic of these residential areas. What was the reaction of your audience after seeing the photos? The series, as it is not yet nished, has not really been published yet. Therefore not many people have seen it yet. I am curious what people think. What was your biggest challenge in photography? There are always problems. But they change in the course of time. I often have self-doubt. Is the topic good? What do the others think about it? Can I portray the protagonists the way I portray them? Sometimes it inhibits me, I think too much and I don't take enough pictures. Do you have a role model in photography, someone you look up to? There are many amazing photographers with great projects. For example Alec Soth, Bieke Depoorter, Rafal Milach or Rob Hornstra. But of course there are so many good photographers that I cannot list them all. What is the current photography project youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re working on at the moment? Can you tell us a bit about it? Climate change is already very much on my mind. Despite Corona, it should not take a back seat in political decisions. I am currently starting a new project in Germany. Because climate change has also arrived here.
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Futures Photography Do you have other future projects in mind? Besides the new project in Germany, I am of course also planning a lot with the DOCKS Collective. But I can't reveal details yet. How was your experience as a Futures artist, and how has it enhanced your work so far? Due to the pandemic, I unfortunately cannot continue my work in Mongolia at the moment. But: especially the portfolio reviews with great other photographers or gallery owners have motivated me. It is always exciting and inspiring to talk to people from the scene.
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Mark McGuinness Mark McGuinness (b.1991) is a photographer from Dublin, Ireland. After working as a freelance commercial assistant, Mark began working as a production assistant for Magnum photographer, Jacob Aue Sobol. Soon after that he began focusing on long term personal projects. His rst work ‘Dreaming of Figure Eights’ (2017) saw him return to South Lebanon to explore the a ect of power and in uence on the landscape. The work was selected for the Kassel Dummy award 2017 and was exhibited both in Ireland and abroad. In 2017 he was selected to represent PhotoIreland as part of Parallel - European Photo Based Platform, the body of work which was produced through the program was exhibited at a number of photo festivals throughout Europe. In 2018 he was nominated for the World Press Photo Joop Swart masterclass and in 2019 became the inaugural Irish participant in the European Investment Bank’s Artist Development Program in Luxembourg. Mark is currently working on a number of projects and in 2018 started a Masters degree in photography at Aalto University School of Arts, Design, and Architecture in Helsinki. His ongoing research is focused on 19th century colonial activities in Ireland, particularly the mapping of Ireland, and the a ects these activities had on Irish cultural identity and representation.
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Futures Photography Tell us a bit about yourself as a person and as a photographer. My name is Mark, I’m a photographer from Dublin, Ireland. I have been away from Ireland for a while, always coming or going somewhere but now I nally have some time to be back home full-time. What is your vision as a artist? I don’t have one set of rules called ‘my vision’ that I adhere to. My work has been evolving over the last few years and it is still changing. I think it depends on the project, di erent methods suit di erent topics and projects. It depends on what I am trying to say and then I try to gure out the best way to say it. Were you always attracted to art? Not at all. I never studied art (until very recently) , it wasn’t even a subject in the school I went to. I was more interested in the news, papers or television reports, documentaries, that sort of thing. In a lot of ways, I still am. Do you remember the rst time you ever held a photo camera in your hands? I don’t but I know which camera it likely was. I used to use my Father's 35mm point and shoot a lot as a kid. Maybe it was my 9th or 10th birthday and one of my uncles heard I liked using a camera so he bought me my own. I still have them both here somewhere. What made you wanna press the shutter button? At that time I was just photographing my friends on weekends away in the cub scouts. You shoot in black and white and in color. Do you prefer one more than the other? I don’t prefer one over the other but I do go through phases. I’ll get really into one of them for a few years and slowly lose interest and just wish I was using the other, I’ll switch and then the process will repeat. I have been using black and white for the last few years and it was for a number of di erent reasons. Primarily I just wanted to be able to control the whole process myself which is much easier with black and white and I just wasn’t concerned with complicating things by adding in colour. After this latest project I have started to look at colour photos again which is usually a sign that I’ll switch over for again soon. Do worked as a production assistant for Magnum photographer Jacob Aue Sobol. How did that in uenced your work?
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Futures Photography Yeah, I did. That was a great time for me. I thought I knew something going there, it turned out I knew nothing and I ended up learning a lot. Jacob’s work didn’t really in uence me at the time but when I look at it now I see aspects of it creeping into my own work but I didn’t go there to learn how to imitate him. I learned the most from just being introduced to the ‘photo world’. I went to photo festivals for the rst time, got into photo books, met lots of amazing people all working on di erent projects. It was a really eye opening experience and one I’ll always be grateful for. Tell us more about your project “Ink”. How it all started? It started like most of my projects start, as something completely di erent. I was photographing with another idea in mind that was just not working. Through that I was spending some time driving around Ireland and going to some very remote places out on the west coast. I kind of parked that work and went back to the drawing board. After shifting my research to another area I found out about the Ordnance Survey (OS) and the work they did in Ireland, mapping the island and making it the rst 100% mapped country in the world. It turned out that through the rst failed project, I was kind of already working on what would become this work without fully knowing it myself. I then got a map which marked the triangulation-points where the OS took their initial measurements to map Ireland. These are called trig-points, there are the concrete pillars you can see in some of the photos.
While working on this project you met many people, which you even photographed. Do you remember about somebody in particular?
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Futures Photography I didn’t meet too many people during this project, the places where the Ordnance Survey took their measurements from are usually on the tops of remote mountains where there are not many people. I did meet a few people along the way and as the work evolved some of the portraits made their way into the edit. There is one image of a woman wearing a raincoat and a kind of cowboy hat that sticks out for me. The photo is from Donegal, the very far north-west of Ireland. There is something very anonymous about her and about the landscape she is in. There is nothing constructed in the image, just a small track worn into the grass. Considering I was spending all my time looking for these constructed triangulation-points and the work was looking at the idea of a constructed landscape, there is something refreshing about this image. I like the idea that there are still some wild parts of the country out there. I don’t know what it is, I just always liked that one. What was your biggest challenge in photography? A big challenge I face is just trying to juggle everything so I can continue to make work. Trying to fund work is probably the single biggest logistical challenge. Artistically I guess the challenge is to always try to push forward, to approach projects from a new angle. If you are repeating yourself or someone else, then what is the point in making the work? Do you have a role model, someone you look up to? I wouldn’t say I have a role model. But of course there are other artists whose work I admire. The list is constantly changing but at the moment I am into Mark Steinmetz, Seiichi Furuya, Jitka Hanzlová. I just bought the book A Period of Juvenile Prosperity by Mike Brodie which I like a lot. What is the current photo project you’re working on or developing at the moment? Can you tell us a bit about it? What other future projects do you have in mind? Currently I am just nishing my masters thesis which has taken up a lot of my time. As that ends I am looking forward to starting to take in new ideas again, I’m really looking forward to reading books that have nothing to do with my thesis again. I am always taking photos so I’ll just go back to devoting more time to that. I have some ideas that I think could become something so I’ll go explore those more over the next few months. How was your experience as a Futures artist and how has it enhanced your work so far? It’s been a very strange year for everyone with Covid-19 and I assume it has not been a normal year to be part of FUTURES. Things are just about to start with the online program so we will see how it goes. We (hopefully) have some prints being exhibited this weekend but that depends on the lockdown and after that the online program will start. I am looking forward to meeting the other artists and contributors.
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Paulina Metzscher Paulina Metzscher was born in 1995 in Hamburg, Germany and is currently based in Berlin. In 2014, she was awarded as the Sony World Youth Photographer of the Year and was previously selected for "30UNDER30 Women Photographers" selection from Artpil. Her portfolio consists of various pieces from the eld of documentary and ne-art photography. People and their stories, always captured by the intimate look of the photographer, are the focus of her work.
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Futures Photography Would you tell us a bit about yourself as a person and as a photographer? I grew up in the north of Germany in Hamburg, right next to the wuthering river Elbe and to the sound of sea gulls. I've lived in several places over the last years and at the moment I call Berlin my home. I've completed my studies in visual communication in a small western German town but have always been fascinated by di erent crafts and artistic expressions - right now I'm very much into pottery. What is your vision as a photographer? I like to imagine the world as a place each of us can contribute to with something they feel they're passionate about and which reveals their own perspective and thoughts. With regards to myself, I feel like it's been - and still currently continues to be - the medium of photography and my genuine interest in culture and identity. Capturing a perception of time, trust and understanding are the key elements of how I work, all of which I hope will make those I photograph feel at ease and comfortable to show who they are in that moment of time rather than what they may believe others or myself expect them to be. I hope to create more future projects that evoke questions, will have a lasting emotional e ect on the viewer and contribute to an examination of topics that I believe deserve to get more attention and require a better human mutual understanding. Do you remember the rst time you ever held a photo camera in your hands, and what made you wanna press the shutter button? I can't remember the very rst time but I remember the rst years. When I rst picked up my camera at the age of fourteen, it was a way of processing the world around me. It all started with portraying my close friends and myself- focusing on the young souls around me and their journey of growing up, as if taken straight out from the pages of my diary. Do you ever shoot in black and white? I don't really but it would be a nice challenge though. Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re living in Berlin, Germany, a highly developed country. How was your experience in Republic of Moldova, a former communist country and a very undeveloped country? I believe it's di cult to think about this topic in terms of a narrative that constructs a very black and white situation. Moldova is somewhere di erent in time and space to where Germany is right now seeing those di erences was a very eye- and mind-opening experience.
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Futures Photography What did you like the most about Moldova, and what did you dislike the most? I met so many open-hearted and hospitable people in Moldova. For sure, that was the most beautiful experience for me. I disliked the stories that were told about all the corruption going on, especially in terms of the political system that Moldovians have to su er from a lot. In your work, the main focus are the people and their stories. What do you think about moldovans now, after interacting with them? Again, I was very amazed how open, kind and welcoming all the people I met were and was positively surprised at the high level of trust I was met with. I was amazed by all the di erent life stories they shared with me and how many of the Moldovans I met feel very connected to their home country and its history. I was so fascinated how some of the people put so much commitment and energy into their work to take an active part in creating a better way of life in Moldova and supporting their NGOs for children and the elderly. What were your expectations before visiting the Republic of Moldova? Did some of them change afterwards? I really was driven by curiosity when I visited the Republic of Moldova for the rst time - so I basically had no expectations.
How was born the project â&#x20AC;&#x153;Those who remainâ&#x20AC;?? Before the project, I worked on a story about the asparagus harvest in a small western town in Germany. Many workers there came from Romania or the Republic of Moldova. So I got more and more interested in the topic of working migration and read a lot about Moldova. Then I decided to visit Moldova out of curiosity. I got in contact with some NGOs and started to work with them.
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Futures Photography What was your biggest challenge in photography? I feel like photography can be a very lonesome working medium from time to time which is what I struggle a lot with right now. Also, one of the biggest challenges and a question that I ask myself a lot is how photography can contribute to and help in deconstructing the di erence between the 'other' and the 'known' and how to avoid simply recounting and enforcing a certain narrative and instead question existing ways of thinking via the medium of photography. Do you have a role model in photography, someone you look up to? I deeply love the work of Rineke Dijkstra and Sian Davey. I think both of them have a very sensitive approach to their subjects and I like how they deal with the topic of adolescence. Is there a current project youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re working on at the moment, and what can you tell us about it? I'm at the very starting point of a new project that deals with forced adoptions during GDR times in Germany. I was curious to start a project that deals with a part of my home country's own history. What other future projects are you developing? I feel from time to time like I need to go back to how I came to fall in love with photography in the rst place: portraying my close friends and focussing on their journey of growing up. We are all still going through this process and I would love to get back to capturing the women in my life and the mental, physical and emotional spaces they're in right now.
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Ella Polkowska Ela Polkowska is a photographer based in Warsaw, Poland. She is interested in documenting people, places and objects on the margins of everyday life and subjects relegated from the dominant public memory or hidden from consciousness. Studied Art History and Film Studies at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow. In 2013 graduated from the Academy of Photography in Warsaw. From 2013 to June 2014 participated in the Mentorship Programme by Sputnik Photos. From 2015 to 2019 student of photography at the Institut of Creative Photography in Opava, Czech Republic. Participant of the 2nd cycle of PARALLEL - European Photo based Platform (2018-2019). Her main projects are "Splinter", a story of people living in continuous disorder, "When Objects Are Always Similar” about visual parallels between pictures and „Firmly Pinch The Skin Together” about tension, pressure and balance in everyday life.
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Futures Photography Would you tell us a bit about yourself as a person and as a photographer? My name is Ela Polkowska. I'm a photographer from Poland; recently I moved to Sweden to do my master's in photography at the HDK-Valand Academy in Gothenburg. What is your vision as a photographer? I'm mostly interested in margins of everyday life and subjects relegated from the dominant public memory or hidden from consciousness. How did you rst start in the eld of photography? About 10 years ago I started to feel a need to register strange looking structures and objects around me that no-one paid attention to (at least that was my impression back then). What motivates you as an artist? Films and old paintings. I'm inspired by many of them, in cinema especially by works of John Cassavetes, Ingmar Bergman and Michelangelo Antonioni; I also admire, invariably for years, medieval, renaissance and baroque paintings. Do you remember the rst time you ever held a photo camera in your hands and what made you wanna press the shutter button? I don't remember any particular moment, but it must have been quite late, when I was in high school. Are the frames thought on or are they made randomly? I don't plan beforehand. I take pictures whenever something catches my eye, due to its disturbing function in the space around me, and I'm always surprised by what I end up with. Tell us more about your photo project “Firmly Pinch the Skin Together”. The project relates to the conception of the Skin-Ego by Didier Anzieu, where skin is treated metaphorically as a wrapping that protects our interior but which also enables us to connect with others. It is a visual manifestation of a tactile universe that involves intimacy and closeness, whilst capturing sensitive moments of tension and pressure.
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Futures Photography The title refers to a medical phrase used for injection procedures, and correlates a painful gesture with its curative function. The series explores the outward appearance of our inner selves by recording dilapidated structures, body parts, motion and touch, tracing our sense of anxiety, discomfort and relief. Where did your inspiration come from for this photo project? I started my artistic practice with documentary photography, but I always had a feeling of being an alien in somebody else's environment. Therefore I decided to turn the lenses toward my own world, taking photos of everyday moments and momentary situations around me. Do you ever shoot in black and white? For some time now I shoot only digitally, so even if I'm interested in black & white images, I see all of them in color at the beginning. Therefore it's always a decision after a picture is taken. What other sides of photography are you interested in? I like staged photography, I admire photographers who have everything thought out before taking pictures and who work according to their vision from start to nish. What was your biggest challenge in photography so far? The biggest challenge is always asking people to pose for my photos. Do you have a role model, someone you look up to? I try to be open to di erent role models and people from various social circles.Â What is the current photography project you are working on right now? Right now I'm trying to put 'Firmly Pinch The Skin Together' in a nal shape, editing photos and looking for the best way to communicate the project to the world.
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Futures Photography Are there any future projects you are developing? In the future project I would expand on the privacy and intimacy, with a broader look at interpersonal relations and fears felt on a general human level. I want to examine the visual traces of uncertainty and insecurity, re-enact gestures in which, consciously or not, we let out our anxieties and concealed feelings. Also, I still try to unveil a story of the demolition of orthodox churches commissioned by the Polish government in 1938, unknown to the public from the very moment when it commenced. How was your experience as a Futures artist, and how has it enhanced your work so far? The Futures platform allows me to re-think my latest project 'Firmly Pinch The Skin Together'. Currently, I'm working on an online exhibition called RESET, curated by Salvatore Vitale, which is for me a great opportunity to nd new forms of presenting images in the unlimited therefore challenging territory of the web, especially that I see the internet as a perfect eld for playing with the way in which anxieties felt both on a global level and in con ned space of isolated apartments can escalate.
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Vera Ryklova Vera Ryklova is a Dublin based artist, working in lens-based media. Currently undertaking MA in Art and Research Collaboration (2021), she graduated in 2015 from the Institute of Art, Design and Technology, Dún Laoghaire, with a BA (Hons) in Photography. Ryklova presented her rst solo exhibition in 2018 at Triskel Arts Centre in Cork (IRL). Her work has been also featured in a number of group exhibitions held in Republic of Ireland as well as in UK, including the Royal Hibernian Academy Gallery in Dublin, the Ulster Museum in Belfast (NI/UK), and the FiLiA feminist conference in London and Manchester (UK). She was shortlisted for the Hennessy Portrait Prize in 2016, which exhibited at the National Gallery of Ireland, and she is the winner of the 2017 Hotron Art Works Prize for work by a recent graduate. Her work was also reviewed in the photographic magazine Source under Source Graduate Photography 2015, and is included in the Art Collection of Trinity College Dublin. In her practice Ryklova explores both the social construction of the self and the self-concept. Through the medium of her own body and using her own – subjective – experience she intimates a woman’s reality to the public eye while concerning her socially formed traits. Performing to the camera she produces series of photographic and video self-portraits that reveals an emotional con ict driven by role expectations and embedded social practices. The creative approach she has developed gives the camera the function of a distancing device that she utilises for her to experience a state of catharsis. She links the execution with the liberating emotional discharge. Making her work serves as a coping strategy, this adds an extremely personal aspect to her practice, but still touches on universal human experiences. Ryklova’s activities are also engaged in curatorial practice. In collaboration with emerging artists she organised and curated two photography group exhibitions in 2015 and 2017, both in Dublin. Originally from the Czech Republic, Ryklova was brought to Ireland on a journey of personal discovery and since 2007 she has been living and working there.
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Futures Photography Tell us a bit about yourself as a person and as a artist. I am originally from the Czech Republic. I was brought to Ireland on a journey of personal discovery and since 2007 I have been living and working there. I studied at an art college in Dublin and graduated in 2015 with a BA (Honour) in Photography. Since then I have been pursuing my career as a visual artist. My current practice is very much about the concept of the self and its social construction. Depending on the project, I address a variety of themes, such as performance of social roles, emotional con ict between designed expectations and lived reality, sense of belonging, identity, alienation, longing, loss… These all feed into the key subject – the self. Last year I returned to an art college again and currently I am in the nal year of my postgraduate studies, MA in Art and Research Collaboration.
What is your vision as a photographer? I aim for the audience to realize that a photographic image refers to and represents reality. What has been framed in the image is what has been created. The choices about what to include or to exclude from the frame, from the audience’s view, form the basis of any artwork. In this sense, I construct the image. It is like a collage. But my ‘collages’ are created during the process of execution, as I go through multiple experiences, while exploring my subject. The act of composing happens outside the frame. The places where I execute the work act as props, they assist me in communicating. I would not say that I have a speci c vision of what my work should or will look like while pursuing a project. My practice is based on the process - of making the work, exploring the idea. I do not think of the end product much. I explore how to represent my concerns, how to experiment with my ideas. The lens documents that.
Where does your ideas come from? What inspired you? My ideas originate from as well as re ect on my life experience. I use my own body (female) to explore them. When it comes to how to approach them creatively I deliberately look for inspiration outside photography. Music, literature, lm, and of course visual art are massive contributors to how I go about what I desire to convey in my own work.
How did you start in the eld of photography? I’d say there have been two phases to this process. The rst, in school as a teenager I was introduced to photography in extracurricular activities I had to take part in. Photography remained only a hobby until I studied it at art college. Then it became something more. The lens is a means of my artistic practice.
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Futures Photography Do you remember the moment you ever pressed the shutter button, and what made you wanna do that? The rst time I ever held a camera was when I was 15. At that time, I understood the photograph to be reality, and I photographed literally everything, with no speci c concept in mind. I was merely looking at the world through the camera’s lens and I was completely taken by it. I fell for the entire process, from loading the lm, taking light reading to developing and printing in a darkroom.
Were you always attracted to art? Yes, I have been. Apart from being exposed to classic master pieces via education in school and learning to appreciate their signi cance. I have always been drawn to a work that was somehow peculiar – odd – quirky. Such an art work raises many Why’s and I am interested in thinking about the answers.
You did projects in Ireland, Czech Republic and Hungary. Was there some sort of difference between those 3 places? Yes. The cultural di erence between an island and a main land. What I always encounter, any time I return to the Continent is a strong sense of familiarity, no matter what country I nd myself in. When I was making work in Hungary, as well as visiting it for the very rst time, Budapest felt like Prague. I miss my continent, and at the same time I love coming back to my island.
How did you accommodate in Ireland, after living in Czech Republic for so long? Ireland is my home from home. It has been a challenge though. On many levels. But I have loved it with everything what it takes and brings, the wins and the tears. That is what I looked for in the rst place, when I decided to move abroad, to give my life a new spin.
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Futures Photography For your project “Child” you worked with 4 pairs of mothers and daughters, all of di erent ages. How hard was for you to communicate with all of them? It was not hard, really. In any of the cases. All the mums were genuinely interested in the subject and their children excited about the experience. They took the plunge without hesitation. It is only a coincidence that they all happened to be girls. I am very much interested to work with sons as well. And I hope that I will get the opportunity. I wish to nd a mother with a son willing to collaborate. It may even require me to change the game a bit.
Tell us more about this process of getting to know them. I have known the three of the four from before and well. But Jasmin (9 years) and her mum Katarina I met just at the very day of our session. We only knew of each other shortly through my friend, Katarina’s sister. Working with ‘perfect strangers’ and witnessing during the creative process the transformation of the child’s initial shyness into a fully a ectional interaction with me was the most cathartic experience. And it has inspired me to continue experimenting with this project in such a manner of collaboration. If possible.
You started your project “Optimal distance” after living almost 10 years in Ireland. You wanted to express the loss of sense of belonging, the loneliness you felt. I’m curious which was the reaction of the public at the sight of these pictures.
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Futures Photography This project is ongoing and as the experience still persists I feel that it is going to be ongoing for some time. The work that came out of it so far will only be presented to the public in an exhibition, next year. So, I am too very much interested in viewers’ reaction. I believe that they will be willing to engage with my subject and as they draw on their own life experience they will nd easy to relate to the work.
What was your biggest challenge in photography? The biggest challenge that my practice and in fact many photographic practices, still face, is the secondary place that photography occupies in the art-world systems.
Do you have a role model in photography, someone you look up to? When it comes to the creative process, I am mainly in uenced by Jo Spence’s politics of photographic artform.
Beside these still ongoing projects, do you have a current one you’re working on at the moment? Currently I have been focusing on a project I named the only real thing to do. The idea is to produce a number of video self-portraits that present one same concept where I question the role of faith while I confront my search for contentment, togetherness – a state when need and desire are united. My biggest aim is to begin producing series of videos with the equal importance as I have done with series of photographs.
What other future projects do you have in mind? I have some new material or rather ideas that I have already explored to some extent. There is not much to give away as they are in a quite early stage. Mainly I want to expand on my interest in experimenting with the execution and produce a body of work that is inspired by Erving Go man’s sociology book The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life (1959). With this I aim to bring a sense of confusion, suppression, a deed of speculation that the process of socialization generates into focus. And I would love to produce a photobook. Of the earlier work I made.
How was your experience as a Futures artist and how has it enhanced your work so far? The nature of my work seeks confrontation as well as I seek critical discussions about the subject I explore and the creative approach I employ. So I very much enjoyed talking about my practice to art professionals I met virtually at FUTURES Conversations. I gained a quite interesting insight into my work in progress, which was truly inspiring for the creative process. And I very much look forward to presenting my work to other FUTURES artists next, at Open Mic.
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Mar Saez Mar Sáez (Murcia, 1983) combines her work as a freelance photographer with the development of personal projects with which she tries to explore the complexity of identity and biopolitics, trying to make a portrait, from within, of the realities that concern her. She has won the LUX Prize twice for Professional Photography in the Documentary category. She has also participated, since 2008, in various solo and group exhibitions in Europe, Asia and the United States and at fairs like Paris Photo, ARCO, Estampa o London Art Fair. In October 2016 she published her photobook Vera y Victoria and in 2019 Gabriel, both with the French publisher André Frère Éditions and presented in Paris Photo. She also published the newspaper DÚO-A Sobre el viaje por carretera con desconocidos (About the road trip with strangers) (edited by Phree), together with the writer Miguel Ángel Hernández. In 2018 her works have been exhibited in Barcelona (Can Basté), Madrid (Feria Estampa y Pilar Serra’s Gallery), Baracaldo (Festival Ba est), Arles (Feria Cosmos), Vitoria (Sala Amárica), Alcobendas' Art Center and Marseille (Galería Retine Argentique), among others, and in 2019-2020, in Tigomigo Gallery (Terrassa, Barcelona), F22 Foto Space (Hong Kong), KLAP Maison pour la Danse (Marsella), the London Art Fair and Desenfocada Gallery (Málaga). As an artist, Sáez is represented by the Pilar Serra Gallery in Madrid, the Fifty Dots Gallery in Barcelona and the Institute Agency in Los Angeles.
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Futures Photography Tell us about yourself as a person and as an artist. I consider myself a restless and curious person. I like toÂ investigate about topicsÂ that I do not know and to deepen in other realities through photography. For me, being a photographer is a way of being in the world and communicating. It is a driving force that keeps me alive and eager to learn. Moreover, for me art is a powerful tool for social change that allows me to denounce unjust situations, make unknown realities visible and tell stories. What is your vision in photography? I am very interested in research on social issues, the relationship between the human being and photography, 'diarist' photography and exploring new documentary narratives, as well as the limits of the documentary genre. Do you remember the rst time you ever held a photo camera in your hands? What made you wanna press the shutter button? In Secondary school I learned the magic of photography in the laboratory when we developed ourselves and made our own camera obscura from a cardboard box. I loved that possibility of a more handcrafted work. I don't usually work with analogue photography, although it is true that Gabriel's project was mostly done with a medium format Hassel camera and I enjoyed it very much. My love for photography comes from childhood. My father has always been a great fan of photography and at home there was always a camera with which my father captured di erent family moments. When and how you decided to become a photographer? I started in the art world while working in the written press in the culture section of a national newspaper where I was a journalist for six years, just after nishing my degrees in Psychology and Audiovisual Communication. Because of my work I had to go to many exhibitions and artistic events that made my interest in art and photography grow. At that time, I was working and continuing my education with specialization courses in contemporary photography in the few free time I had left, and already when the media closed, in the time of the crisis, I dedicated myself exclusively to photography, something that I had always wanted to do.
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Futures Photography You studied Psychology and Audiovisual Communication at the University of Valencia. Does that in uence your work, and how? The interests that inspire me in photography are all those that revolve around femininity, identity, biopolitics, etc. I am moved by human beings, their concerns and worries. In short, what drives them, what motivates them, what worries them. In the end I think all these interests merged in the two degrees I studied: Psychology and Audiovisual Communication. On the one hand, Psychology allowed me to go deeper into everything related to people's minds, how we think, why we think or feel a certain way. It allowed me to know myself a little more and to know the other a little more. On the other hand, Audiovisual Communication gave me the tools to be able to tell the stories I knew, it allowed me to know the means to tell them from other angles. It was a combination that I am very happy to have made, although I have always been left with the thorn in my side of studying lm, because I wanted to be a lmmaker when I was a teenager. I am very passionate and lm-loving, and every time I see a lm I seem to be living the story that the director is telling us.
If it were for you to choose between analogue and digital cameras, which do you prefer and why? Due to costs I always have to choose digital photography, but analogue photography makes you feel very intense emotions sometimes when, after shooting a lm, you worry about whether it will have been watched when you take it out or not, etc. It is a ritual and never lack the nerves of seeing how the photos had gone out and if they have gone out all. With the Hassel camera I had some problem with some light coming in unknowingly, as it was a very old camera and I lost some photos. Working with this camera reminded me of when, as a teenager, I used to work analogue photography and after shooting the photos came the ritual of the laboratory, the magic of developing and the anxious wait to see the results. This has a point that with digital photography has been lost and I nd it very motivating, sometimes I miss it a little. Digital photography also has its advantages, such as saving costs and seeing the result immediately. But the truth is that analogue photography has something that catches you and sometimes you have to go back to it even if you don't take it as a regular way of working. I think it's something you should never give up completely. What sides of photography are you the most attracted to? I try to explore the complexity of identity and biopolitics by trying to make a portrait, from within, of the realities that concern me. I also work a lot on the theme of femininity.
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Futures Photography The Gabriel project is a visual portrait of Gabrielâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s transition over six years, from female to male. How was this project born? This project is based on an earlier project called 'Vera and Victoria', which is a visual diary from 2012 to 2016 in which I portray the intimate and loving universe of Vera, a young trans woman and Victoria. When I was taking photos of Vera she told me that she had a trans friend who was going to start the transition at that time and that he was interested in doing a project with me. At that time I contacted him and started the work that has been going on for six years.
What was your opinion on this subject before starting this project, and did something change about it along the way or after you nished it? The project has allowed me to learn about the experiences and feelings of trans people who, unfortunately, sometimes still su er rejection by society due to misinformation and even irrational fears. This work has allowed me to see the importance of the struggle of these people and the defence of their freedom of being. What was the reaction of the public after seeing this project? Many families of young trans people have thanked me after seeing the work because they have explained to me that this type of artistic project is a platform for communicating other ways of being in the world, of feeling... The work makes a particular life visible, which is Gabriel's, but like Gabriel's there are many other similar life stories that it is possible to discover from witnessing the vital journey of transition made by the protagonist of this project that I present in Futures. Was it easy for you to communicate with your subject? Given the fact that he posed nude, and for some transgender people it is quite di cult to show this to a wide audience due to some body insecurities. My personal projects tend to be long term and this makes the photographic barrier in the picture thinner and creates a climate of trust. This was fundamental for Gabriel to feel comfortable and for all kinds of images to be possible. The human body is a part of human nature but not the only or most important one. Body and mind coexist in all people and the body, whatever it is, should not be a taboo subject either within or outside the artistic eld.
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Futures Photography What was your biggest challenge In photography? I am passionate about learning about other life stories and telling them through photography. I nd it a very powerful tool for communication and connection with the people you work with or those you portray in your projects. Where do you take your inspiration from? I am very interested in the work of photographers who tell life stories from the inside. I love Larry Clark, Nan Goldin, Sally Mann, Richard Billingham, Sophie Calle, Diane Arbus... I also love the cinema and some of the lmmakers who have inspired me have been Ingmar Bergman, Julio Medem, Wong Kar Wai or Fatih Akin, among others. Do you have a role model in photography, someone you look up to? Many, I couldn't say just one. Do you have a current project youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re working on or developing at the moment? What can you tell us about it? I have a project in progress at the moment. I have recently been in Hong Kong, where I was lucky enough to exhibit the work I mentioned earlier: "Vera and Victoria" in the F22 Photo Space gallery. During the time I spent there I started a project about one of the longest protests, of the many that have shaken the planet last 2019, by young people who are ghting to protect the rights and freedoms in the former British colony, under Chinese sovereignty since 1997 and which, because of the agreement signed with Great Britain, in 2047 will become totally dependent on China, to which they are strongly opposed. Do you have other future projects in mind? Soon I will travel to Rome where I will live for several months thanks to a scholarship from the Royal Academy of Spain in Rome which will allow me to develop a new project with which I intend to explore what the city is like today and observe the emotional relationship of citizens with their surroundings in a historical moment wounded by a pandemic.
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Futures Photography How was your experience as a Futures artist and how has it enhanced your work so far? When PHotoESPAĂ&#x2018;A told me that they had selected me to be part of the Futures initiative I was very happy because it is an international platform that includes important organisations related to photography and it is a great opportunity to promote our work, thanks to the meetings we are having with professionals. These meetings allow us to broaden our view of our work as they give us feedback so that we can improve it. Furthermore, this initiative has allowed me to take part in a collective exhibition at the CĂrculo de Bellas Artes in Madrid, together with my colleagues Bernardita Morello, Ire Lenes, Jon Gorospe and Ruth Montiel Arias, which will be on display until 22 November at the PhotoEspaĂąa Festival. I really appreciate the opportunity, the visibility of my projects and it means a great di usion at an international level.
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Sasha Chaika Sasha Chaika (b. 1994) is an artist currently living in St. Petersburg. He graduated from the Faculty of Fine Arts and Sciences at the State University in 2017 and today works as an art and fashion freelance photographer, art-director, lm- and music-maker. Sasha participated in the 5th Moscow International Biennial for Young Art in MMoMA, previous year took a part of “Somewheres & Anywheres: Young Photography from Eastern Europe” exhibition in Berlin gallery EEP and join BERLIN PHOTO WEEK. His short lm “Swallowed by the Routine” was selected for the Fashion Film Awards 2019 by SHOWstudio X HARRODS and was shown in London last October. The main themes explored by Sasha now are the struggle with the language, because words controls us and reduces our worldview; queer theory, that means in nite pluralism of identities, meanings without hierarchy, ever-changing exible self-de nition; and criticism/decentration of the concept of truth. This three ideas are really close to each other like the liberation from automatisms, habits and the aspiration to independent, a ective perception and action.
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Futures Photography Tell us more about yourself as a person and as a photographer. Hello! My name is Sasha and I am from Russia. I take pictures and make videos for 7 years, so it’s my main activity and work as a freelancer. Actually I tried to get a full-time job in a waterpark like a photographer, I needed to shoot visitors during their stay there. It was terrible because they didn't want my personality, style, and vision. They only needed me like a technical executor, and I felt so degrading. So after this experience, I'm trying not to cheat myself and work only using my vision and identity. But actually, I do not want to limit myself to these two ways of self-expression (like photo and video). Now I’m into music and creating objects too. I was born in St. Petersburg, Russia and still living here. I’m a queer person and I have so much fear to express myself in the full power I have inside of me based in my hometown, so I feel a lot of borders that inhibit myself to do and experiment more with my artist identity. Most often I feel depressed. At some point, I became afraid of going out of the house. Yes, of course, I go out sometimes, to make a shootings, spend time with my friends or buy food and other stu for living and art creation, but still, it’s very stressful for me, to feel unprotected in the face of total strangers that I might come across on my way. My biggest fear is to be assaulted – emotionally or physically, I cannot stand up to aggression. There were only a few times when I was met with open aggression on the street, but the context of predominate homophobia in Russia is daunting me. Once my phone got stolen near my house and I went to police where a policeman took a look at my nails and went: “Are you from those?” I feel really unprotected faced with police because I’m queer and I smoke pot. I often think about the fact that the police can sco and torture me. I know so much stories from my friends. In our country, the police quite easily can disobey the law, plant drugs in your bag. It’s scary and enhance the feeling of terror and vulnerability. I cannot recall a lot of events of my life, especially from childhood, but some moments have formed me as a person. For example, being in a medical sanatorium when I was in elementary school (I have scoliosis). Before that, I’ve never been apart with my parents for so long. I cried every day after the sun has set and I was left completely alone, one on one with the emptiness. I looked in the window and wanted to run away. Almost every action there uncovered my absolute insolvency in terms of independent life. When they were making a plaster bed for me (that looked more like a co n) I couldn’t wash the plaster that was used to make an impression of my back o of me. I got out of the shower four times and every time the nannies would tell me that I’m still covered in plaster. I can track the feeling of being small, incomplete and helpless in the face of a huge world back to that moment. It still comes back sometimes. I didn’t grow up in small city, my parents gave me to much love in childhood and supporting me now, but my way is the way of pain and fear, melancholy and su ering. But also I’m trying to be strong and say what I want to say through my photography. That’s why I think I have in my work so much sharp corners, harsh ash, poisoned colors, infantile touch, intentionally distorted optic and pervert topics (by pervert I mean smth that not normalize in culture, especially in Russian, what I try to normalize and make it legitime). Actually I’m a very cheerful person, but often I feel really depressed, because I scared to be me.
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Futures Photography What is your vision as a photographer? The main themes that inspired me before and now are the struggle with the language because words control us and reduce our worldview; queer theory, that means rejection of binary constraints and everchanging exible self-de nition; and criticism of the concept of the one and only monumental truth. These three ideas are similar for me because it's all about liberation from automatic perception of what is happening, and the aspiration to independent, a ective perception and action based on feelings, not on old systems. We are more then any systems and words. And of course it’s about my personal attempts to be free from it. My work is an anarchic, sincere, and lively response to an ideal but dead “high” culture. With the help of art, I show the distortion, exaggeration, and theatricality of reality, taken as the norm
You also create music. Is there a connection between music and photography, from your point of view? Music – it’s a very physical way to represent my ideas, my feeling and emotions. Aims of my mixes are a also liberation from automatisms and the desire for independent emotional perception through the marginal deconstruction of conformist music. Inside my mixtapes I combine the incongruous, which subsequently gives the e ect of lostness for audience in order to nobody can have preparing dance movements and expectations, in order to listen my music in the moment here and now, feel it. My mixtapes are anthropological cut of me – I cover current events in Russia (from di erent media spheres), using samples from Russian cheap TV shows, advertising, making dark and hardcore mashups on pop tracks. Since the moment I played my rst ever DJ-set I understood that the scene could become a place where I could represent myself not indirectly, but quite straight-forwardly, through my body, clothes, actions, and voice. It was something that I lacked in my real life because I simply didn’t feel comfortable enough to express myself in the streets of Russia. Sometimes in the metro, I cry to songs of a Russian goth-rock band from the 90s called Agata Kristy (Agatha Christie). During these moments I searched for a place to represent my feelings, my pain. And now I understand that the most suitable place for that I was suppressing in myself is the scene and the best instrument is music and performance. I wanna be understood, share my story, I want people to see and hear my pain.
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Futures Photography Tell us about the rst time you held a photo camera in your hands. In school, I was already taking photographs. At that moment people I hung out with who also shot pictures told me that if I know nothing about the technical side of the process I’m not a photographer. And I really didn’t know anything about aperture, exposure etc. I trusted these people and decided that my doings are pretty naive and mediocre. I stopped shooting photographs and started doing something that none of the people from my circle was doing – shooting video. Now I would gladly give these people the middle nger. Now I know about a lot of technical aspects of a shoot but consciously choose to follow my naive understanding of professional photography. For example, I never shoot RAW, screw up the horizon line. And I would want to tell everyone who doesn’t know something about photography and just does it intuitively – it’s awesome, fuck the rules. I really like the practice of lming videos and I still shoot short meter lms. I came back to photography during my rst year at university when I started attending photography courses there. My photographs re ected my feeling of the world back then. In the beginning, they were an unconscious expression of my inner processes but later on, I understood that by looking at my photos I can decipher the secrets of my psyche and analyse which objects attract me and how I shoot them. There is a theory that there are two possible ways of creating – Apollonian when you come up with an idea and embody it purposefully, you choose your materials and make something you’ve planned. The second approach – Dionysian – speaks more to me, it’s when you make something unconsciously. You draw, sculpt, paint and then you have at your hands an archive that you look through and analyse, and like that you understand what your art is about. Photography never lies, it can tell many things about its author. I prefer the Dionysian approach in making art when everything is born out of randomness, anxiety and a ect.
What made you wanna be a photographer? My desire to be understood made me wanna be a photographer. I have never felt that people can get to know me as well and become interested in my inner world as it happens through my art. I also got to know myself more through the creation of my works.
You grew up in the 90’s in a country where Slavic culture is at home. How did that in uenced you? I think this background leaded me to do my project «Russian Shame». It’s a project about my experience to be Russian – from my childhood dream to contemporary nightmare.
Also, how is living and working as a young and nonconformist artist in Russia? It’s hard for me and for other young talents. Most of contemporary young artists facing the lack of feedback and support from professional art community, because it’s really small and closed. And a lot of artist just cease making art or leaving the country. Also they facing misunderstanding and aggression from the audience, because most people in Russia are not ready for changes. Russia is very large and, unfortunately, most of the population lives in poorly developed areas, where conservative propaganda is still in uences and control people minds. Artist, who speaking out on topics contrary to the government's opinion is punished with arrests and pursued by the police.
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Futures Photography Soon in our country, there will be a court hearing about sex/fem/LGBTQA+ activist Yulia Tsvetkova’s case. Her body-positive drawings calling to accept your body and manifesting the fact that many beauty norms are a product of society are now considered distribution of pornography and LGBTQA+ propaganda, so Yulia can face up to 6 years in prison. I respect such an activity and trying to translate the same ideas in my art too. It’s really upset that our government do what they do.
You address taboo topics in your works. Howe were your photos received by the Eastern European public? With interest and desire to discuss and share your personal experience. I think that art must create a eld for conversations. I mean art is like a mirror for viewers, and each person sees their personal experience in artworks. So I think it’s nice when art makes you think about you and your experience, and it’s perfect when people start to openly share their experience with each other through their emotional re ection on any artwork.
In your project “Russian Shame” you captured moments of everyday life. Tell us more about it. This is the biggest project I have now. I worked on it about 5 years and now I want to nish it and make the photobook and exhibition. I want to make this book interactive - ip images upside down, create gapes in pages, make di erent size of pages, create volume panoramic spreads with three-dimensional pictures. Generally make this layout queer. Russian shame is about overcoming the gap, the abyss between the an ideal and reality, that leads to creating your own personal identity, that will be di erent from ideal u wanted to achieve. This crooked path leads not to be the copy of what u thought ideal, but create something new. I think it’s a moment of power, when in the situation of impossibility of straight forwarded achievement of your goal you become yourself. I feel that in Russia there are the possibility of matching the ideals only in a distorted form become the moment of birth of something sincere - the (un)ideal, (un)completed and (un)de ned - something di erent from the concept of the ideal, that poses the problem of the conventionality of this concept itself. Naivety and longing, decadence and dirt allow me to live and feel authentically in Russian. Russian Shame it’s a project implies a rejection of existence in the position of the victim and marginalization. I want that Russian Shame will be identity, which we should be proud of, because life is born in a aw and mistakes. The project has a big anthropological side, where I show how I see Russia, Russian people, Russian environment, and also how I feel Russia – with big love and big pain.
What is the current photo project you are working on at the moment?
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Futures Photography I’m working now on the materialization of my works. I want my photos and the meaning that I put into them can be the physical part of peoples everyday life. I don’t want to tell the details now, but you can follow my Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/sashachaika/) for updates, soon you will see smth interesting ;)
Are there other future projects you’re planning to do? I really want to develop in the direction of musicmaking. I want to work more with my artist identity and to be experimental pop porn star.
How was your experience as a Futures artist, and how has in enhanced your work so far? Now I have so much changes in my life. I want to come back to my basics and start to unconscious express of my inner processes. For the rst time in a long time, I began to think more speci cally about myself and my experiences. Yes, my photographs have always re ected this indirectly, but I was always afraid to talk about myself openly like I want to do now. I want to say thank you to Marina, Veronica, Celso, Nastya Fedorova for o ering to join this project, because now is the hard moment for me like an artist and the Futures give me opportunity to analyze all my path, remember that I am not so bed in my art and give me inspiration to go further. Also it’s an amazing practice to talk in English about my artistic practice, I never have done it before in , and now I really want to improve my English too.
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Olga Shurygina Born in 1987 in Russia, Olga is a multimedia artist creating her projects in Uzbekistan, her mother’s homeland. She graduated from Moscow Industrial Art Institute in 2013. In her works Olga uses a variety of media - from subject art, installations, and performance to social research and cinema. She addresses the topic of her female genealogy: both her grandmother and mother came from Uzbekistan. Olga treats this country as a timeless space, a portal where she nds answers to questions. In her rst projects she started from classic art forms - subject art, performances and photographs, and applied mixed media method in her current project Mirage - installation, social research, movie technics. This is a social research project about the Aral Sea disaster and the people living in it‘s aftermath. The starting point was the idea to suggest the locals in the town of Muynak, a former seaport, sharing one ceramic plate and laying out a mirage on the bottom of the dried Aral Sea near the town. The results of which were expressed in an installation on the bottom of the extinct sea and a full-lengthy lm Olga created while working on the project. Also working in this vein, by her own, she explores female artist possibilities in a contemporary traditional society. “My work is a path from small forms to large ones, from serious mental practice to an intuitive and free play method. My life has become an indispensable part of this conscious philosophical method. Last project Mirage can serve as an illustration of this approach. Here I play a game in which the object turns into a tool to communicate with the whole country.”
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Futures Photography Can you tell us a bit about yourself? As a person and as an artist. I often ask myself, what is art to me.. And today my answer is - it is a sanctioned mind expander. And the artist has this ability - to see the world wider. To show the whole breadth of the world, not limited by the person's ability to see and think. Children have this ability. My name is Olga Shurygina, I am an artist. Before my art career I was a fashion designer, I had my own brand. But later, after a long search, I decided to take up art. It all started with a trip to my grandmother in Uzbekistan. Which resulted in the rst project Shuzbekistan (Shurygina + Uzbekistan) (https://shurygina.com/Shuzbekistan)Â about local women and their professions, about my grandmother, who worked as an artist at a local silk factory all her life.This was the beginning of my journey as an artist. I discovered the ability to work with people, especially women. In my last project Mirage (doc lm, photo series, installation), I invited the whole city to become participants in my project. The main interest is to combine a variety of ancient traditions, creating a single eld, expanding consciousness.Â
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I also know that you work and live between Uzbekistan and Russia. How do you accomodate, and how often you travel between these two countries? For the past two years, I have often come to Uzbekistan. I spend a lot of time on the road. I live with friends or rent an apartment from local residents. At the beginning of the year, I planned to move to Uzbekistan for some time, but on the day of my departure, Uzbekistan closed its borders. I'm waiting for the opening.There are several art and social projects in the plans. Russia and Uzbekistan have their differences, with one having almost 90% of the population muslim, and the other mostly othodox. Which one inspires you the most? The topic of the meaning of life and the universe is extremely interesting to me. I looked for answers in philosophy and art. But for the rst time I began to receive answers in Uzbekistan, having met a couple who had arrived there to search the local ancient traditions and shamanism, together we went to the local bakshi (shamans), and later went to Africa, where we studied the local ancient tradition. Surprisingly, both of these traditions turned out to be very similar. In Russia, I have not yet been able to encounter local traditions that would interest me.
How do you choose your subjects? I often choose a "random moment" in observing people, the one that I feel is the most emotionally natural, unexpected. And every time I look at the result with pleasure. Favorite subjects - observing people in their everyday life. Or creation of any objects speci cally for shooting. They are often invented during the process itself.
From what I saw you mainly shoot with an analog camera. Can you tell us why, and why you're choosing analog over digital? I like the result with an analog camera. In shooting, I often use both a digital and an analog camera, but it is with the analog camera that I get touching photos. I think this is due to the xation of "that very moment" and further work with color.
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Futures Photography What was your biggest challenge in photography? The biggest challenge so far is the Mirage project. A multi-level research project in which I suggested that the local residents of a former port town in Uzbekistan share one ceramic plate (as a symbol of a local resident) and then laid out a mirage from them at the bottom of a dried sea. The development of this project was surprising - when, having o ered a tool for communication in the form of a plate, the process got out of my control and already residents of the whole country began to send plates. It was interesting to involve a wide variety of people - the local administration, the mayor of the city, the deputy prime minister of the country, the ministry of tourism - and their reactions to the project, which I documented in photos and videos. And of course it was important to do it on your own, without any help - what a huzhon girl is capable of in such a traditional society. In fact, this project is a mirror, a re ection of modern Uzbek society and an opportunity to expand their own and their consciousness, showing such an unusual method of interaction, telling about modern art. I have received many letters and feedback from local residents, especially girls and women.
Do you have a role model in photography? No, I dont think so.
What made you wanna be a photographer? This was the simplest and fastest method of capturing reality, because I started shooting on trips, where I wanted to constantly remember the moment.
Do you remember the rst time you held a photo camera in your hands, and what exactly made you wanna press the shutter button? Oh, it's hard to remember, I think it was in childhood, I think my brother and I were fooling around.
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What is your current photography project you are working on right now, or what was your last one? Now I am doing intermediate projects - photo stories, drawings, storyboards, which will result in one big project - a lm that I want to shoot in Uzbekistan. It will be a continuation of the Mirage story.
What future projects are you developing at the moment? Right now I am preparing material for a Kraft Funding platform - I want to organize a movie show at the bottom of the sea for local residents of Muynak. And looking for a team and funding for the lm.
What was your experience as a Futures artist? I am very glad to be a part of it. Looking forward to interesting events and communication with organizers and participants! I really love to create something in a team, especially in these di cult time, this is especially valuable.
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Sebastian Steveniers I'm Sebastian Steveniers, 37-year-old Belgian documentary photographer, who works for the Belgian newspaper De Standaard as a photojournalist, making portraits and stories on a daily base. I also work on di erent long-term documentary projects. I started o with photography on a late age, because I have a history of pro-basketball player. I decided to go back and study after I quit basketball. After a stop at RITS Drama school in Brussels I started to study photography at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts (KASK) in Ghent where I got my bachelor in Photography. I have an undeniable curiosity and hunger for both small and large, well-known and less well-known stories. I use my camera as a key to enter a world or to make any contact. It gives me a y on the wall feeling, with which I can experience a tranche de vie for a while. I always try to approach my subject as objectively as possible and let my eye do the work. Photography helps me to understand certain facets of life in a better way. I've always been attracted to uncommon subjects and stories, which aren't mainstream and easy to approach.
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Futures Photography Tell us about yourself as a person and as a artist. I'm Sebastian Steveniers, 37 year old Belgium Documentary photographer, who works for the Belgian newspaper De Standaard as a photojournalist, making portraits and stories on a daily base, besides that I work on di erent long term documentary projects. I started o with photography on a late age, because I have a history of pro-basketball player. I decided to go back and study after I quitted basketball. After a stop at RITS Drama school in Brussel I started to study photography at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts (KASK) in Ghent where I got my bachelor in Photography. I have an undeniable curiosity and hunger for both small and large, well-known and less well-known stories. I use my camera as a key to enter a world or to make any contact. It gives me a y on the wall feeling, with which I can experience a tranche de vie for a while. I always try to approach my subject as objectively as possible and let my eye do the work. Photography helps me to understand certain facets of life in a better way. I've always been attracted to uncommon subjects and stories, which aren't mainstream and easy to approach.
What made you wanna become a photographer? When I turned 11 I got my rst camera from my grandmother. Because of my great hunger for knowledge and stories, I found that I could nd out a lot through my camera. When I got older I was always fascinated by strong images. Because of this I followed a year of image and installation. This is where I discovered my interest in photography, which led me to take an entrance exam at KASK. That's how I started my photography education.
What’s your vision as a photographer? I view everything as a kind of research. Hence my passion for documentary photography. My projects are usually long-term projects. I try to immerse myself in the world of my subject. Hard work pays o . I try to re ect that in my images.
In your project “Bos ghts” you shot only in black and white. Do you ever shot in color? I normally always work in color. Also for my images in the newspaper. This has been a conscious choice for this project.
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Futures Photography The fact that you photographed a violent moment is somehow related to choosing it to be in portrayed in black and white? Because most ghts take place at night, and uorescent jackets are worn, this becomes too dominant in the image when the camera ashes. There is often also blood on the images and by using only black and white this is less harsh. I also think that black and white has a timelessness.
What were your expectations before joining the ghters, and before taking part in this event? I had no idea what to expect and whether this was going to be interesting enough to be able to participate in later.
Did the result meet your expectations? I had no expectations so after the rst time shooting I saw that I had something in my hands that had never been shown before.
How did you decided to portray this kind of gathering? I was shown a video of a Forest Fight. This made me curious and wanted to know more.
What was your biggest challenge in photography? Persevere during my training. Many times I wanted to give up. I even quit twice due to personal circumstances. Thanks to the support of many people around me, I am happy that I still got through, otherwise I would never be the photographer I am today.
Do you have a role model, someone youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re looking up to? I have several photographers that I look up to who inspire me for di erent reasons. These probably also in uenced me over the years. JoĂŤlle Sternfeld, Martin Parr, Nan Goldin, Larry Clark, Stephen Shore, William Eggleston, Carl Dekeyzer.
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Futures Photography Do you have a current photo project youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re working on right now? Can you give us some informations about it? My new project that I've been working on for a year is about a monster volcano. I do not want to provide more information about this yet.
What about a future one? Due to Corona I am currently unable to travel outside Europe. Since this is essential for my upcoming project, this was paused for a while. This is a more personal project about my family roots. I hope to get started on this soon.
How was your experience as a Futures artist? How has it enhanced your work so far? Many exchanges have already happened with positive in uence or possible future new things. I am curious for what is to come.
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Kacsper Szalecki Kacper Szalecki is a cultural animator and visual artist focused on photography, installation, and performance. He studies New Media and Digital Culture at the University of Łódź. He debuted as a photographer in 2016 at Krakow Photomonth with the “Olympia’s Diary” project. From 2017 to 2019, he was part of art collective Fashion House Limanka, whose works were presented as individual exhibitions in the Museum of Art in Łódź and Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art in Warsaw. He currently works at the Museum of Art in Łódź, where he is curating the “Save as a draft” program of Instagram art residencies.
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Futures Photography Tell us a bit about yourself as a person or as a photographer. I'm Kacper. I currently live in Łódź where I study and work. For four year, I co-created the Dom Mody Limanka [Limanka Fashion House] art collective in this very city and ran this kind of artist-dedicated space. These experiences made me realize that I really like working with other artists, photographers, performers. Sometimes I even prefer to facilitate some creative processes, make work possible than produce my own art. Your photography style is quite colorful. How do you choose the predominant colors in your compositions?
I'm into vibrant colors. I like Pipilotti Rist’s words about color being a danger. It’s like a warning - like the skin of poison dart frog or caterpillar. The color screams: “for your safety leave me alone”. If you’re asking about speci c colors in the Potopia project, I’ve chosen them very easily. I opened Polish white-and-red national ag in Photoshop and just swiped the hue bar a little, changing it to the yellow-and-pink ag; that was the base. By the way, later I realized that is the palette of The Pink Panther - my favorite cartoon character. I also like the slight di erence between red and pink. Red is associated with blood, strength, fast sports cars. It’s very masculine but only a few drops of white are enough to make it gay. There is also another thing. Sometimes the emblems, which hang in public institutions like schools, fade over time. Red changes to shades of magenta and white paper gains some yellow. What made you wanna be a photographer? I’m not sure if that was my dream (laugh). I just use photography as one of a huge variety of contemporary art media. What I like the most about it is that it is a ordable and widely used because of smartphones. Do you remember the rst time you held a photo camera in your hands, and what exactly made you wanna press the shutter button? Probably I had my own compact camera as a child. Later, as an teenager, I tried to take some photos with Zenith or something like that, I was also very inspired by the idea of lomography and the role of accident in it but I wasn’t satis ed with the e ects so I dropped it. I returned to analog photography by accident, in high school my classmate gave me a compact camera. I took the rst photo and actually thought: “Yes, that's the moment”. When I saw my friend Sasa, lying naked on my bed under the small reproduction of Katarzyna Kozyra’s work Olimpia, that’s when I started my rst, more conscious project Olympia’s Diary.
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Futures Photography Do you shoot in black and white, and what do you think about black and white photography? I’ve done only a few exercises like camera obscura but generally I do not shoot in black-and-white. I think it’s because I’m really interested in colors. Black-and-white seems too sophisticated for me. What was your biggest challenge in photography? When it comes to photography, for me the biggest struggle is making photographic reporting or documentary photography. I just don’t like to take photos of people I don't know. I am always ashamed to ask for permission. How do you choose your subjects?
I try to do things that have really stemmed from my identity, culture or experiences. I mean, I would be afraid to appropriate some of the topics which do not belong to me; for example: I have nothing to say about motherhood. I'm not looking for subjects, I just do what I want. Now, the most important issues I want to deal with are still Polish culture and my perception of it; the perception of a person born in the 90s and growing up in early 2000s in a small city. What’s more, I also want to speak about my non-heteronormative identity, the precarious situation of being an artist and last but not least, how to slow down art production or make it less environmentally harmful. I believe that both artists and art institutions should keep “prototyping” on how to deal with climate catastrophe.
Do you have a role model in photography? Who is it? I really appreciate photographic works of Aneta Grzeszykowska, Paweł Bownik, Irenka Kalicka, Witek Orski, Sputnik Photo and the KWAS collective but I can’t point one role model to admire.
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Futures Photography Do you have a current photography project you are working on right now? I try to compose a small publication with Anna Wacławek, a graphic designer and illustrator, called: The Prison for the Plants of Łódź. It tells the story of a quasi-institution of punishment spread throughout the city. I use instant photography which, like prison photos, is a means of visual documentation. Next, I scan and place photos in the personalized Google map, creating database of imprisoned plants. Maybe it will also include a kind of herbarium. What future projects are you developing? Currently, I am working on little objects - various kinds of amulets to protect from state dangers. They will be made from melted down eagles of the Polish People's Republic. I think about it as an alchemic procedure in which historical artefacts and their contexts transform. The whole process will be recorded by Jakub Dylewski, a cameraman whom I trust completely about image composition. Now I think more about a series of short videos, objects, and performances then strictly photography. With Poland being an ex-soviet country, and an Eastern European country, I can recognize a lot of balkan references in your photos. Can you tell us what exactly inspired you for this photo project? O cially, communism in Poland ended in 1989. I was born seven years later in wild, unstable, capitalist 90s reality. Now it is almost 30 years later but, of course, the public sphere, architecture and visual culture in Poland have this ex-Soviet “ avor”. I do not have to look for it, it surrounds me all the time. If you are asking for direct inspiration, it was the video made by Artur Żmijewski, Our Song-book, in which he asked Polish Jews, who had left Poland, to recall and sing the songs of their youth. They are struggling with memory and make some mistakes in lyrics of, for example, the Polish anthem. Those glitches inspired me to create slightly reversed, non-existing state “Potopia”. Now I am focusing more on the representations of an eagle and their circulation in visual culture. What was your experience as a Futures artist? This my rst experience as the Futures artist. Of course, due to COVID-19, it is more di cult to connect but I really appreciate the fact that the project is centered around building the platform to share and meet curators, theoreticians, and artists.
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Florine Thiebaud Florine Thiebaud (b. 1992, France) is a photographer based in Brussels, Belgium. She has been working around the subject of exile in Greece since 2016. Travelling there regularly, she became close to di erent people waiting for their papers on the islands, they spent time together, stayed in touch and met on di erent occasions over the years. In her projects, she wants to express the interruption of time they experience, exploring the stagnation and repetition, and how it builds up tension in the body and mind. Recognizing the complexity of this subject, she is questioning the waiting. This in-between moment, on the edge, that mind and body canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t accept.
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Futures Photography Can you tell us a bit about yourself as a person and as a photographer? I am a French photographer based in Brussels. Between 2016 and 2019 I worked around the subject of exile in Greece. "Exiles" and "Breaking Point" are about people waiting for their papers, and the consequences on their identities, bodies and mind. I met di erent persons on the islands Lesbos, Chios ans Leros, we spent time together and met again at di erent occasions and places over the years. I know that you were born in Besanรงon, France. Can you tell us about your childhood and how that in uences your work and art? My mother used to run a cinema in the village where I grew up and she used to insist on screening independent movies. That's how I was lucky to discover art, as my parents live far away from the cities. I grew up with cinema and literature and discovered photography quite late, as its scene was not really developed in that region. I studied cinema for 3 years before graduating from a B.A and M.A in photography. How did you accommodate in Belgium? I came in Belgium for a photography bachelor at ESA le 75 and later on a master degree at the KASKA in Antwerp. Brussels is full of artists and many things are happening there, I discovered really soon the Recyclart venue, with its exhibitions and talks, that used to be the best place where to meet and discuss with artists from several countries and with di erent backgrounds. It was also really interesting to confront what I learned at ESA le 75 with the photography re exion at the KASKA in Antwerp. In my opinion they both are completely di erent and I had a great time taking from both sides to develop my practice. What is your vision as a photographer? I can't really say that I have a vision as a photographer. But this medium teaches me about time and its e ects. Having the opportunity to focus on a de nit subject for several years or months, being confronted to it and having to try to understand it is something that I am passionate about. Photography asks you to take some step back and challenges you to rethink and be careful about your position towards a subject. Do you remember yourself holding a photo camera in your hands for he rst time, and what made you wanna press the shutter button? Tell us about that. My oldest memory about a camera is the thrill I had buying new disposable cameras when I was a child. I was excited to use it whenever I wanted and then look at the result.
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Futures Photography When was the rst time you realized photography is something you want to do, and when did you started taking it more seriously? After graduating from a cinema B.A I decided to travel for one year in Prague. At that time i had a digital camera that I used a lot. But in Czech Republic I discovered analogue photography and this changed everything. I would use my free time to do street photography and portraits, getting used to the di erent cameras and lms. Then i would develop and print in a tiny bathroom. At the same time I discovered Joseph Koudelka and his work he did in Prague. This is when I decided to move to Brussels to study photography. Do you have a role model in photography, someone you look up to? I admire works of Dana Lixenberg, Rineke Dijkstra, Taryn Simon and Bouchra Khalili. I am often frustrated to observe that photography is still a man's world and that this is much harder for women to be taken seriously. So looking at their work is very much inspiring to me, I love both their obsessions and also patiences visible in their projects. In your photo project â&#x20AC;&#x17E;Breaking pointâ&#x20AC;? you mainly focused on close-ups. Why is that? For this project about exile in Greece I decided to focus on the waiting. With the waiting for the papers come the boredom, the monotony and the loss of control. I felt that a way to represent it was through the faces and bodies with the time passing by. Not so much was happening during the days, they usually all felt the same. By spending time with my contacts, I became more comfortable with the idea of being "the woman with the camera", and at the same time I was trying be more personally involved. At one point I understood that the close-ups could emphasize the notion of repetitions in the days with the tension and anxiety it builds up in my contact's mind. Even if you focused on close-ups, your subjects are usually looking away, or there is a imaginary wall between the subjects and the public. How did you managed to work with the subjects? Did they open up more to you, personally or as an artist? I agree with you talking about an imaginary wall. Because even if I spent a lot of time with my contacts, it was impossible for me to understand truly their situations. We shared a lot of moments together, they understood my position as a photographer and approach. As I was going back to Greece often, I met them at di erent steps of the waiting there. For example Edmond who is coming back several times in the book, was one of my regular contact there and we became good friends. After spending days together, my contacts were more confortable to act naturally with me and I was more able to notice details and elements in their routines.
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Futures Photography How you choose the subjects? When I arrived on the island Chios for the rst time, I received the authorisation to visit regularly a community center for adults. I wasn't allowed to photograph inside, in the order to respect the privacy of everyone, but by spending many days there (drinking co ee and smoking cigarettes...) I met di erent people who shared their experiences with me. Some of them agreed to be photographed outside in their daily lives, while some others were not confortable with it. We would walk a lot together, discussing the situations on the islands and the camps.
What was your biggest challenge in photography? In 2019 I traveled to the island Leros, where I was planning to stay one month. However, I had to leave earlier because it was really di cult for me to meet new contacts there, I didn't know anyone. I was frustrated, I thought it was necessary for my project to stay longer there in the order to show di erent situations. This is when I realized my mistake, as I was looking to develop in many directions this work instead of focusing on the absence of actions in my contact's lives in Chios and Athens. I was holding on my own pre-made ideas of a subject, without taking a step back to rethink my point of view, confronted to the reality. Working on a subject, I want to be 100% present and let it evolve with the situations day after day. Being able to let it go and forget about my own opinions is one of my biggest concern. Do you have a current photography project you are working on at the moment? If yes, can you give us some informations about it? I am going to start a project about families of incarcerated persons in Belgium. Starting from a personal experience, I want to question the absence of contact, and so the separation and isolation that is developed in the lives of the families.
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Futures Photography What future projects do you have in mind? I will show Breaking Point in the gallery Contretype (Brussels) in September and in the Fotomuseum of Antwerp in October. It will then be screened at the Boutographies in Montpellier (FR). Meanwhile, I will develop my new project in the order to perhaps apply to a PHD abroad in photography. What was your experience as a Futures artist? I am looking forward to take part to the talks among di erent Future artists.
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Dustin Thierry Page 1
Futures Photography Tell us a bit about yourself as a person and as a artist. For those who just know my work, it might come as a surprise that I am quite a peaceful person, with a sense of humor, that tends to daydream a lot. And that there is a side to me that is shy. I am sensitive to the humanity of people, modes of expression and representation. This comes from my early experiences when I was younger and this is a thread that is now woven into my artistry. I am looking for a spiritual and emotional connection within my work which then creates space for healing, where I leave room for unclarity or uncertainty at times. My work tends to answer itself as it is being built into a larger body of work and gets the room to breathe. I am in constant dialogue with my work, listening to what it wants to be and where it wants to go and how this should take shape and form. What is your vision as a photographer? I don’t identify and consider myself a photographer, not even in the traditional form. I am a lens based artist who believes that there is uniqueness in the universality of things and people. I believe that all beings are equal and should be treated as such. As an artist I strongly encourage myself to deprive my curiosity as much as possible for it to have hunger all the time. Without curiosity there is no imagination. I believe that every image comes into its own space when given the time and attention it deserves. And, last but not least, I have fun while doing all of the above. Do you remember the rst time you ever held a photo camera in your hands and what made you wanna press the shutter button? Around 1997, when I was about 12 years old. It was the CASIO QV10 that I borrowed from my stepfather; I was just so in love with it. And just like falling in love sometimes, there is no direct explanation to why this occurs, it just happens. In hindsight, I suppose what made me want to press the shutter is because I have always been very intuitive, and experience an inner world while observing and viewing things, which I then want to capture. I believe my rst photographs were of porches and waves. Looking back on it, I photographed the world which is man-made and the world that exists in perfect sync with itself. Why and how did you decided you wanted to become a photographer? Have you ever heard that expression “I didn’t choose it - it chose me?” Around 2008, when I had immersed myself in my interest for marine life, I experienced a semi-hallucinating encounter with a black turtle on Bonaire. I was diving and at that moment I was engulfed by joy and the beauty of the deep sea world, which made me wonder why we tend to spend our times living on the surface and trying to venture into space. Through some quotes and inspiration surrounding the questions and themes surrounding space colonization I wonder how we could inhabit a di erent place without even conserving and respecting our current habitat. This is where the idea started to document the deep sea world and create the relationship with space and spirituality. After years of playing in the darkroom I had found a voice for this and larger social issues that I care about.
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Futures Photography Were you always attracted to art? Yes. And I still am. I have an immense appreciation for writing and dance. In your photo project “Opulence” you focused on portraits and fashion. What other sides of photography are you attracted to? I have a love for photographing trees. So, in that sense, landscapes perhaps. You also photographed in black and white. Do you ever shoot in color? A lot of my photographs are shot in color, consisting of portraits and work when I travel. Why you choose to shoot a material that include so many colors, textures, details and patterns, in black and white? The reason why I chose to photograph in black and white is because I am interested in the characters, the shapes and the true spirit of those that I have the privilege of photographing. Use of colour has a tendency for exoti cation, and this is the gaze I want to protect the community as well as my images from. There are certain links that are made in the visual language with the use of certain colors that I want to remove in order for the community at large and the individual within it to stand in their own — and on their own — power. Tell us a bit about your project “Opulence”, and why exactly you choose this idea as a project. It might sound strange, but the idea actually chose me in some sense. It was a combination of factors that led to the form it has now; it was the privilege of being asked to shoot one of the rst Balls in The Netherlands, which was organised by Amber Vineyard, the mother of House Of Vineyard. Coincidentally, it happened around the time when someone very close to me left this earth because they had a deep yearning for such a community which existed in Ballroom, but unfortunately was never able to nd it since it wasn’t available to them at that time for several reasons. This was the distinct jumping o point; the burning question where they could have gone had they still been here and how their life could have been a ected in a positive way. What was your biggest challenge in photography? Dealing and navigating the reality that there seems to be no cure for white domination and general arrogance in the Dutch photographic landscape. This mode of operating leaves barely to no room for non-white artists to create new narratives in safe spaces.
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Futures Photography Do you have a role model in photography, someone you look up to? I don’t have a speci c person that I look up to, because every person that I encounter in one way or the other has something they can bring to the table in their own distinct way. However, there is a body of work that I do look up to, which is Imperial Courts by Dana Lixenberg and Stanley Greene. What is the current photography project you are working on or developing? Can you tell us a bit about it? I am currently working on a project that focuses on the representation of Black and Brown womxn and queers within the arts. The work is an homage - and serves as a permanent archive - to all the amazing individuals out there who participate in, plus add value, to the artistic landscape. Yet seem to be widely ignored or go unacknowledged within the consciousness of the people at large under the narrative which I have consistently encountered, which is that ‘they cannot be found’. What future projects do you have in mind? I have many projects constantly oating in my mind, but I have come to the conclusion that in my practice it works best to not discuss these projects until I have taken my rst couple of shots, so I can see how it manifests before I can give it an actual form and shape before sending it out into the world. However, what I can say, is that these projects all surround topics of representation and uplifting the Afro-Caribbean community.
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Pierre Vanneste Pierre Vanneste is a photo reporter and director based in Brussels, specialising in long-term projects.He studied photography at INRACI (Brussels) and joins the Hans Lucas studio at the end of 2017. He questions the relationships that man maintains with his environment as well as the social issues resulting from it. His work has been published in media such as Médiapart, Libération, Courrier international (web), Equal-Times or Alter Echo. In 2018, he is co-directing "Bargny, ici commence l'émergence", a transmedia documentary (photos and videos) on a Senegalese shing commune, located 30km from Dakar, which is facing an industrial transformation of its territory as well as the consequences of climate change. His project "Dremmwel" is, to date, the most ambitious and most accomplished, it will be released at the end of 2020 in the form of a book and an exhibition connected by augmented video content. In 2019, he was awarded the Jean-Luc Lagardère Foundation Photography Grant, to support his new project in progress.
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Futures Photography Can you tell us a bit about yourself as a person and as a photographer? My name is Pierre Vanneste, 32 years old. I am a documentary photographer and videographer specializing in the realization of long-term projects. What is your vision as a photographer? I am making a documentary photograph that tries to illustrate the relationship of man to his environment and to the living. You were born in Etterbeek, Belgium. How was living and growing up there? No I grew up in Molenbeek and part of my adolescence in Braine-l'Alleud south of Brussels. Do you remember when was the rst time you held a photo camera in your hands and when you pressed the shutter button? I have absolutely no remember the rst time I took a picture or the moment I pressed a shutter button. Now I think it's important not to reduce photography to a trigger pulse. The camera is a tool, photography is a technique and what matters beyond the moment of the trigger is what you do with it, what you want to tell and how you put it into reality. Personally as a photographer or director, the image taking represents only 20 to 25% of my time on a project. When you decided you wanted to be a photographer? Can you tell us what what attracted you to photography? I started photography because I wanted to make lms. Photography was an entry into the world of the image. Very quickly it fascinated me and I never left it. At the moment youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re living and working in two di erent cities at the same time. Brussels, Belgium and Dakar, Senegal. These two are very di erent in terms of culture. Do you fancy one more than the other? Where do you like making more photo projects? I am originally from Brussels and I discovered Senegal during a shooting 5 years ago. It's a country that I love very much, I have many friends there and the subjects I shoot there are strongly linked to me. Most of the time I discover my subjects - future subjects - in the eld through the places I visit or the people I meet.
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Futures Photography What was your biggest challenge in photography? To reach a nancial balance between the realization of one's own projects, orders, ling, exhibitions, accounting, ... To be an artist in Belgium is a horror, the status of artist is very di cult to have and in fact it is never that an unemployment bene t improves. There is no recognition of artists in Belgium, nor any real cultural policy as we can see in France for example. Do you have a role model, or someone you look up to, in terms of photography? Photographers that I appreciate there are many. To name a few, there are John Lowenstein (NOOR), Alain Willaume, Matt Jacob, Bertrand Meunier and Ljubisa Danilovic from the Tendance Floue collective. Cedric Gerbehaye, Massimo Berruti (MAPS) Your project â&#x20AC;&#x153;Dremwellâ&#x20AC;? is built only from back and white photos. Why is that? I'm sure I wouldn't have been asked the question "Why color" if I had done it in color :-) .... I work mainly in black and white, that's how the photo comes to me. I don't know who said " Black and white is the color of photography " ;-)
You approached this theme in a journalistic way. You always see your projects that way? I don't think I do photojournalism, but documentary photography. Now in all my projects there is a lot of background and research of information so that I don't just create a subject in a simple perception of my own. A project starts from itself but it also travels in the subject covered, it is tinted and takes an imprint of it before reappearing on paper. The shermen were photographed during the action, you paid attention to the light, and you used high contrast. These choices reproduce the brutality of the moment. What did you feel while taking part in all of this, while being on that boat? In DREMMWEL the subject of shing has been chosen in order to deal with the extractivist relationship of the human being. This is the little story in the great history of the subject. So yes, it was important for me to represent this action.
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Futures Photography What were your expectations before getting on the boat? Did the result met your expectations? Through these videos, testimonies and photographs, I wanted to show the relationship that man had with the environment. This extractivist relationship to the world where we see everything as a simple resource to be exploited. Man wants to dispose of living things and sets up industrial techniques to hunt and extract them. Do you have a project youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re working on at the moment? If yes, can you tell us more about it? I am working on two other (long-term) projects at the moment, one of them has come out as a rst chapter. http://www.bargnyproject.com/en The other one is in progress and I don't talk about a project under construction until I have released images. Do you have other future projects in mind? I don't talk about a project under construction until I get pictures out. How was your experience as a Futures artist? COVID has changed a lot of thing this year. I'm very sad that I can't meet everyone physically. I hope we can be invited next year to take full advantage of this program.
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Dorottya Vekony Dorottya VĂŠkony is an interdisciplinary artist living and working in Budapest, Hungary. Her main eld of interest keeps revisiting the theme of the body, whether it is our own or othersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;, or a collective body consciousness. The body images appearing in her works are primary re ections of our relation to the world, the environment and ourselves, forming a map that carries our history, the traces of our age and our personal stories. Her aim is to make the spectator observe and to be observed at the same time. While we watch others, we are being watched too. The desire of observing one another, of having insight into the lives of others posits a system of norms based on which we de ne ourselves compared to others. We want to con rm that we have similar problems as others, that we are better than or just as good as they are. In other words, that we only deviate from the average on an average scale. Her works explore how we can describe our body in the most objective manner possible, to represent it without any intimacy whatsoever. Looking at these so-called anti-intimate states, the works examine all the subtle and complex relationships our physical extension forms with our environment, and how social expectations shape our appearance. Personal stories and critical observations regarding the body are represented along with abstract objects and intertwined sculptural bodies. Her fundamental medium is photography that she often combines with other disciplines, such as objects, photobooks or video.
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Futures Photography Tell us more about yourself as a person and as an artist. As a person and an artist, I am currently working on establishing a female box club; this is what makes me most proud at the moment. No start is easy, but I really believe in it. Also, every summer we organise an artist camp Köz.kemp with my friends, and besides we hike a lot all around the country. I believe in such communal activities. As for my artistic focus, I have been dealing a lot with bodily issues lately. Thoughts about the body emerged early in my childhood. My mother is a psychiatrist, my father used to be a professional sportsman, so I started doing kick-box quite early, and it remained the center of my life for 12 years. In this sport, it is rather easy to reach your limit of tolerance, and while I literally fought for the acceptance of a really masculine community, parallel I had to deal with my femininity as well. In many cases this balance went o : I felt like a woman hammering guys during training, but in real life I was always labelled masculine. For a very long time this labelling bothered me greatly, but then I started to familiarise with it, and even overacted it with my clothing and hairstyle. I now think that back then I wanted to control my identity, and make others accept it. By now this issue is gone, and I think about it as a more uid question overall. What is your vision as a photographer? My main focus is the body, as it is a great vehicle to reveal not only artistic, but also political, pedagogical, historical, medical, social and technological problems. This is also a clinical picture, as our bodies and our relation to it is ill-conditioned. The world surrounding us exploits our body, it advertises false claims as scienti c facts. It creates myths, and establishes religions producing fanatics. Let it be a diet, hair-removal, body care, clothing or possessions. Meanwhile, it repeats in a well articulated manner that you are not good enough anyway: you don’t have enough money, your skin is not silky enough, your man is not muscular enough, your nose is not pointy enough, and even if you look beautiful, you are probably rotting inside. Autonomy over our body and community practices occupy my thoughts and artistic practice the most. Do you remember the rst time you ever held a photo camera in your hands? What made you wanna press the shutter button? Well, it is quite profound: I had enough of the crappy family pictures, and wanted to make something worth looking at. Were you always attracted to art? I could not imagine my life without art; it is like the air or the daily number two. It is not a “separate” part of my life, it is my reality.
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Futures Photography How did you decide you wanted to be a photographer? During secondary school, I was interested in lm and motion-picture. After the A-levels, I started studying lmmaking, but somehow I felt it would be more appropriate to deal with still-image rst, in order to better understand motion-picture. This is how I ended up studying photography instead of movie theory and the history of cinema. Your work mainly includes the human body. Are there other sides of photography you are attracted to? I am open to everything, and see a lot of great projects in other areas too. In my opinion, any topic can be really interesting if formulated well. I am particularly interested in contemporary concepts such as post-humanism or the di erent directions in postmodern philosophy, but I like to treat myself with kitten images too. Tell us more about your projects. Do you have a favourite one so far? I really like the video project we made with Márton Perlaki, exploring the topic of birth and birthing. As an absurd standard towards women’s bodies and their ability to give birth, we can see our characters in a casting situation, where it is decided who is t for childbirth. I think it is really funny and absurd at the same time.
Where do you take your inspiration from? Mostly from my own life and from the people, the situations and the problems surrounding me. How easy do you communicate with your models, regarding the fact that they often pose nude? I try to handle these situations in the most natural way. I do believe nudity is the most perfect state of humankind, albeit with a lot of expectations and compulsion of conformity attached to it, thus it is more and more di cult to enjoy. Everyone should exercise more nudity in public. I would make doctors prescribe this!
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Futures Photography What do you want your audience to understand from your photographs? It is best if everyone looks for their own connection to the images. Basically, I do not want to persuade anyone to anything. Once the link or relation is established between the viewer and the artworks, I am super happy. What was your biggest challenge in photography? For me, the biggest challenge has always been the process itself. The planning and realisation have to go through many steps. I nd it really important for a project to be realised in an appropriate installation form, and this is often quite challenging, especially because I mainly experiment with the frontiers of photography. Do you have a role model? Someone you look up to? There are many artists I admire because of their choice of topic, their way of thinking or their forms of realisation. Melanie Bonajo or Taryn Simon are for instance two of these inspirational artists. What is the current photography project you’re working on or developing at the moment? Can you tell us a bit about it? My new project explores female fertility, marriage, sanctity, having children and the losses associated with it. Besides personal aspects, the topicality of the subject is marked by recent public discussions about reproductive rights in Hungarian media and politics. Thus, I have examined the expectations regarding female roles and the female body, its options for action, its status and representation applying a more personal and documentary attitude. Furthermore, this project questions the active options for action of the female body, and how it can be represented in a changed social order achieved on its own right. How was your experience as a Futures artist and how has it enhanced your work so far? It is a bit sad that the festival went completely online. I rather stand for personal communication and meetings, and nd it a bit di cult to catch up online, especially with the knowledge that this interview could have been recorded in a nice bar somewhere in Amsterdam. On a more positive note, the Futures Conversation discussions were really great, and I admire the topics the Assembly series touched upon!
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Members | Futures Photography A growing network of leading photography institutions The platform works as a growing network of prominent institutions operating in the eld of photography. Every year, these institutions not only select a group of emerging talents to join our project, but also organise a series of event throughout Europe. Find out more about our members: British Journal of Photography LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM CAMERA - Centro Italiano per la Fotogra a TURIN, ITALY FOMU Fotomuseum ANTWERP, BELGIUM Fotofestiwal Lodz LODZ, POLAND Hyères Festival HYÈRES, FRANCE PHotoESPAÑA MADRID, SPAIN Photo Romania Festival CLUJ-NAPOCA, ROMANIA PhotoIreland DUBLIN, IRELAND Robert Capa Contemporary Photography Center BUDAPEST, HUNGARY The Calvert Journal LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM Triennial of Photography Hamburg HAMBURG, GERMANY
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British Journal of Photography
https://www.bjp-online.com/ Founded in 1854 to record the scienti c development of a edgling medium these days, BJP takes an international perspective on contemporary photography, focusing on ne art and documentary, and the cutting edge of editorial and commercial practices. Each monthly edition (in print and iPad) focuses on a theme, including regular subjects such as Portrait, Education, Journeys and Community, together with our annual review, Cool & Noteworthy, and our annual talent edition, Ones To Watch, along with more esoteric subjects, such as Invisible World, Habitat and Tales of the City, complemented by in-depth interviews and articles.
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Centro Italiano per la Fotogra a
The CAMERA project is rooted in the desire to provide Italy with a specialised centre dedicated to photography as a form of language, documentation and artistic expression, with the aim of valorising and promoting Italian photography in a permanent and creative dialogue with international experiences. Through studies, experimentation and activities concerning photography, CAMERA’s cultural o ering aims to stimulate comparison, raise questions and investigate the narration of reality through imagery. The language of photography is thus studied down to the last detail transversally, and the results are displayed without making exceptions for genre or function. CAMERA promotes an international network of both individuals and institutions, whose collaboration is aimed at developing new projects, bringing the experience and the multiple potential of photography to a broad and heterogeneous audience. http://camera.to/en/home-2/
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The FOMU Fotomuseum of Antwerp houses one of the most signi cant photo collections in Europe, featuring both equipment and photo documents. Each year, the FOMU presents several temporary exhibitions by nationally and internationally renowned photographers. The museum’s displays change every four months, showcasing photography as a medium that is part of a broader social and cultural context. Visitors can also attend lectures and workshops, visit the museum shop and the museumcafé Pixel. The FOMU can be found in an old warehouse in the neighbourhood ‘t Zuid (South quarter of Antwerp), close to the museum of contemporary art M HKA and the museum of ne arts. https://fomu.be/
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Fotofestiwal was created in 2001. It was one of the rst photographic events in Poland: a small-scale, spontaneous initiative of a group of Sociology students. Today, the festival is an international event attended by more than 20,000 people every year. The festival is held annually in Lodz – a city with an exceptional industrial history, which has always been a source of inspiration for the organizers. The exhibitions are set in post-industrial settings: the Art_Inkubator festival centre in a former cotton storage facility or the impressive OFF Piotrkowska complex located in the heart of the city. We discover Lodz for ourselves as well as for our viewers – every year new venues are opened especially for festival events. All over the city you can enjoy over 30 exhibitions, organised in cooperation with local art galleries. Fotofestiwal has hosted exhibitions, workshops and meetings with artists such as Alex Webb, Roger Ballen, Joan Fontcuberta, Vivianne Sassen, Christina de Middel and Martin Kollar. We have developed our original Photo-Match portfolio review, which allows for even more e ective creation of collaborative networks, while reducing the distance between experts and artists. This formula has already been adopted at other festivals around the world, such as PhotoLux in Italy and the Triennial of Photography Hamburg. Apart from photography exhibitions and events for experts, we are equally committed to arranging gigs and meetings with the public. We treat the festival as a meeting hub, and photography as a point of departure for vital discussions. For us, the festival is a space for experiments and new experiences not only in the eld of art exhibitions, but also in the organization of cultural events, which is why for several years now we have been organizing it as a collective of curators, promotion and nance specialists and cultural managers. There is no boss in our team – we make decisions together and share our knowledge with one another. http://fotofestiwal.com/
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The International Festival of Fashion, Photography and Fashion Accessories in Hyères has developed since it opened its emerging photography competition some 20 years ago, a deep knowledge of the international photography scene. Each year, the photography shortlist is awaited by the professionals of both photography industry and luxury industry as a very high standard and valuable shortlist made amongst the most innovative and groundbreaking artists, with an international scope. With a great attention to the European scene, the Hyères Festival has been for instance a main place to display Dutch photography and promote its extraordinary vitality, same applies for English or Swiss scenes. This interest for the scenes of other countries joins the main goals of FUTURES and makes it a natural and obvious development for the festival. Hence, when it came to build a shortlist for the platform, the curator highlighted the fact that the 10 artists would bene t from the platform and that it would make total sense to keep the very rst network constituted by the 10, highlighting the strength and coherence of this shortlist as a group. Each of the 10 photographers shortlisted has been chosen amongst a set of 730 entries according to criteria of innovation, coherence of content and stylistic approach, commitment towards the subject or theme chosen. They give a subjective - of course- yet very representative photograph of what is at stake in today’s emerging photography scene. This is with great expectations and desire to make it e ective that we approach this international community created by Futures. Read more
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PHotoESPAÑA was born in 1998 with the intention of developing a festival rooted in society. Supported by the Fundación Contemporánea and organised by La Fábrica, PHotoESPAÑA has put Madrid and Spain at the centre of the world of photography with a yearly meeting of the highest order. From that 16th day of June in 1998 to date thousands of photographers, creators, artists, curators, museum directors, editors, heads of foundations, companies sensitive to culture, journalists, cultural managers, laboratories, photography schools, volunteers, politicians and, naturally, spectators have set the foundations for a modern festival, open to new audiences, rigorous in its approach, ambitious in its objectives, and capable of covering as ample a spectrum of interests as might prove necessary. Since its inception PHotoESPAÑA has had a decidedly international vision. As well as on strictly local values, PHE has focused both on grand concepts and vast artistic territories: Europe, North America, Latin America, the Far East. This vision has been upheld and developed by the curators and directors that every three years have been put in charge of the programme. Read more
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Photo Romania Festival
Created in 2010, Photo Romania Festival has brought photography in the spotlight of the Romanian cultural life. In only four years, it has succeeded to enter the city of Cluj-Napoca in a worldwide network of high-class photography festivals and to create the rst photography museum in Romania, with the help of the Cluj-Napoca City Hall and the National Museum of Transylvanian History. Photo Romania 2015 hosted over 70 exhibitions of Romanian and foreign photographers, workshops, competitions, a Photo Stories conference, an international meeting of the managers of photography festivals in Europe, concerts and many other special events. Read more
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Over the last decade, PhotoIreland has become a key constituent of the Visual Arts in Ireland, o ering from Dublin an annual festival dedicated to Photography, running The Library Project - a cultural hub in the city centre, and developing constructive channels with a strong network of organisations worldwide. Through these networks, PhotoIreland creates cultural exchanges internationally, promoting relentlessly the works of Irish artists around the world, actively seeking to be present in key festivals, fairs, and becoming the main voice for Contemporary Photography from Ireland.Â PhotoIreland is dedicated to stimulating a critical dialogue around Photography in Ireland, and to internationally promoting the work of Irish-based artists. We ensure that a healthy ecosystem of practices is not silenced by lack of opportunities by o ering frequent publishing and exhibiting opportunities to emerging artists. Read more
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Robert Capa Contemporary Photography Center
A modern visual arts institute, the Robert Capa Contemporary Photography Center was opened in Budapest in December 2013. Among the tasks of the new visual institute are the organization of national and international exhibitions; the foundation of a prestigious photography award; the presentation of national and international photographers and photography workshops. Activities of the institution also include foreign study tours, public discussions, lectures, thematic lm screenings, and performances, along with events of other art disciplines. Established in the centennial year of Robert Capaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s birth, the Center supports its operational, functional, and program costs from state subsidies, grants, and its own income. Read more
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The Calvert Journal
The Calvert Journal is an award-winning online magazine celebrating the culture and creativity of the New Eastâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;Eastern Europe, the Balkans, Russia, and Central Asia. With a mix of daily features, news, photography and travel reports, The Calvert Journal stands apart for its wealth of original research, striking photography, and clarity of insight on a region that, despite its richness, often goes under-reported, even as the "post-Soviet" and former Eastern Bloc have become bywords for bold, innovative creativity.Â Founded in 2009, the mission of Calvert is to build opportunity for emerging talents in the creative economy of the New East (Eastern Europe, the Balkans, Russia and Central Asia). Calvert Journal perfectly matches the platform's intentions and brings in it a dedicated focus on Eastern Europe. Read more
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Triennial of Photography Hamburg
Since 1999, the Triennial of Photography has taken place every three years in Hamburg in collaboration with the cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s major museums, cultural institutions, galleries, and other organizers. Meanwhile, the festival has become an important event throughout Germany and internationally. With a large number of exhibitions under a common theme, it highlights current topics in photography. The festival features conversations with artists, thematic discussions, lectures, portfolio viewings, and an international conference. The Triennial of Photography originated as an initiative of the photographer and collector F. C. Gundlach. Since 2014, the event has been organized by Deichtorhallen Hamburg GmbH. Read more
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