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S I L V I A NO.4

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COVER PHOTO BY MARIAM KALANDARISHVILI


SILVIA


c o n t e n t s

CHEYENNE VARNER

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TRISTANA ALANA DEE HAYNES

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LUKASZ WIERZBOWSKI

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LÚA OCAÑA

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MARIAM KALANDARISHVILI

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LOST MEMORIES

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editor’s letter

To be honest I really hate writing these letters. I look back on my previous ones and cringe at the word vomit I produce. I’m already cringing at this. Currently, I’m sat on the sofa with pizza in my hand and Boy Meets World on the television as I finish up the issue. Working on the magazine—though work— is also always a nice break from everything else. There’s the paper I’m not writing. There’s the test I’m not studying for. (An hour later) There’s the editor’s letter I’m trudging through. I wish I had all the time in the world. But at the same time, I think being aware of a final end makes things more important. If you want to or have to do something, you should do it now. I should finish my paper and study for my exam. Honestly, please just start skipping this page.

BLANCHE MINOZA EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

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freedom is on the front porch waiting

in the pulse of curtains swaying in the windows of opening brown eyes while a jam jar lid cracks in the kitchen and cuts a calloused hand a car drives by below speed limit but knocks the curb as it turns anyway where the grass grows between the slabs of the sidewalk waiting to reclaim its pasture thirteen men slam desk drawers shut; one man’s drawer breaks so he curses at his wife who shouts at her child who was already crying but she didn’t hear; the rain decides not to fall a day longer and freedom is on the front porch watching little girls sit down at kitchen tables, draw themselves into the sides of milk cartons and jump rope down the sidewalk ‘til they tangle in the cord. all the people say, whose rotten little town is this anyway? freedom says, it’s yours

cheyenne varner cheyennevarnerwrites.wordpress.com 2


can you imagine if i laid out on my carpet

and my thoughts of you became the magic that i thought they were from the beginning. then the bits of fabric in the floor would start to undulate, become an ocean underneath and carry me, quietly, with tempered haste out of my door and through the hallway, down the stairs and onto the wood; i would slide into the living room where a couch cushion would turn up in wait to bounce me up and out of the open front window; the grass would catch me, i would cartwheel off the lawn and down the road, my hair a perfect rounded spinning frame around my smiling face; i’d be as dizzy as i ever am when i am lost in thoughts of you; and it would only take two blocks’ time to bridge the miles between us. i would roll onto the road you come home to, just as you open your car door and step out. i would face plant in the grass as your eyes skim over the dashboard and you would smile because you had just been thinking of me too. the magic would eliminate the moments it would otherwise take for you to walk to where i am; you would simply appear before me and our smiles would align like they were designed to be so mirrored.

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tristana cargocollective.com/tristana 4


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ALANA DEE HAYNES alanadeehaynes.com

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LUKASZ WIERZBOWSKI lukaszwierzbowski.com

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lúa ocaña 18

luaocana.com

BY BLANCHE MINOZA


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If you had to throw away all your cameras but one which would it be? “Without doubt, my Olympus OM-1.” When/how did you become interested in photography? “I affirm that I started stumbling with photography eight years ago, but the truth is that I recognize the beginning of almost nothing that manages to be important in my life. Photography it is. I reside in Barcelona. It was here where I combined by studies in the Institut d’Estudis Fotográfics de Catalunya with my absolute predisposition for the autolearning, prioritizing my own experience and ‘to be’ behind the camera.” What/who are some of your greatest influences? “I love the world of great photographers such as: Masao Yamamoto, Robert Frank, Dan Estabrook, Duane Michals, etc. I feel admiration for many anonymous photographers who can be found randomly on the Internet, in the middle of a photography workshop, in a small book in some library, or in art ‘little known’ but beautiful. My inspiration was never anything especially. I have my preferences between photographers and artistic movements, but they aren’t especially what moves me to shoot. The desires and ideas are created in my day after day, what I photograph it’s the same that stimulates me to photograph, it’s as if there were certain scenes, landscapes, persons, details, which

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according to my impulses are done to be photographed or to evoke possible projects.” Are there usually an particular emotions you want to convey or stories you want to tell in your photos? “I capture what I feel is a part of myself and my immediate environment; most of my projects are the combination of the anonymous elements within a fundamentally intimate setting. My goal is that no one feels like a stranger when looking at my photographs though they are all self-portraits, and hope that’s what makes them unique. Subtle elements, intimacy, and nostalgia are all important aspects of my work, but undoubtedly, if there is an adjective that describes my work it’s ‘personal.’” What’s one place you want to visit before you die? “Perhaps moon, but I have a fear of flying. That means that now I can die in peace?” What’s a favorite memory from your past? What’s something you look forward to in your future? “All my childhood is in my mind a Super 8 movie that I remember fondly. In the future I hope to not lose enthusiasm, only that, stick with the excitement attached to the body.”

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mariam kalandaris flickr.com/photos/samekak BY BLANCHE MINOZA

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hvili

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If you had to throw away all your cameras but one, which would it be? “I have a number of various cameras, but I mostly prefer what I call ‘soapbox’ (point and shoot) cameras. The fact that it’s impossible to alter the lens for each one of them makes them unique. My favorite is the Canon Ixus X-1.” Do you have a favorite memory captured on film? “I have shot a lot of photographs which portray my loved ones at a certain point in time and in certain spaces, which are very precious to me. Some of these places may not even exist now. But I do have one favorite film, which I accidentally found and developed after a sudden change in my life, a long time after I shot it. I have not shared the photos on that film, because like certain feelings and attitudes I would like to keep them private, unexposed to others.” If you could travel to any time and place to photograph, what year and location would you go to? “I don’t have a single answer to that question; I am

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fascinated by the present moment more than by any past or future era. For one thing, I would like to make some photographs in the early 90’s of Georgia.” Is your life now how you thought it would be when you were younger? “I am happy with what I do and still consider myself young. I hope that my further life will be as I see it today.” Aside from photograph, what are some of your favorite things to do? “Spending time with my favorite people, laying in a hammock and reading books.” What’s your favorite song, movie, and/or book? “The list of my favorite songs changes once a week. I cannot really name one in particular. My favorite film at the moment is the one I am involved in at the moment - I am Beso by Lasha Tskvitinidze. Again - The Unbearable Lightness of Being by [Milan] Kundera.”

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CAMERON GARDNER’S

LOST ME

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MORIES PROJECT

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He finds strangers’ photographs and posts them on the Internet. Photographer Cameron Gardner’s Lost Memories Project is a refreshing look back toward the past and the lives of seemingly random individuals who become connected in this online community of found moments. lostmemoriesproject.tumblr.com

camerongardner.com

When/how did you begin this project? “The first file I scanned in was in September of 2011, but the idea started months before this. I came across an assortment of old 35mm slides while I was in an antique shop in Carpinteria, CA. The photos were so beautiful, it probably had something to do with them being in the High Sierras as well. I think if I had come across some really uninteresting images at first I would have never kept looking through them and thought they needed to be seen by other people. The first couple boxes I found were from the High Sierras, the San Diego Zoo, and Palm Springs.”

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Why document strangers' lost memories? “I really just enjoy the process of if it all. It doesn't really matter that they’re strangers’ memories to me. Looking at old photographic works can be really inspiring.” Do you have any relations with any of the people in these photographs? Have you met or do you wish to ever meet any of them? What do you think they'd make of the project? “I don't have any relation with the people in the photographs. I've never met anyone either. I think actually meeting someone would be a really interesting experience, mainly because they would be much older than they were in the photographs and could share a story or two about the photo.” Do you purposely go out and look for lost memories, or do they just kind of end up coming to you? “The project started with myself just stumbling into them, like meeting halfway almost. I think if those first lost memories I found weren't so interesting and beautiful I probably wouldn't have thought of the idea or pursued it. I frequent

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places that I can run into new works. Sometimes I'm looking for them but usually I'm just at a flea market or somewhere just browsing everything and come across some.” Before sharing them, do you take your time looking through the photographs yourself or do you immediately post them for the public? “I definitely take my time before posting them for the public to see. It's quite a long process actually. Half the fun for me happens before I even get them onto the Internet. I organize the content, so I will take a stack from one of the piles that hasn't been worked on yet and lay them all out on

my light table. I seek out the best and most interesting photos that really catch my eye. I then scan each individual image and organize them in Lightroom. After that I sometimes color correct the images or clean up dust if needed. Other times the images look amazing damaged or with some dust.” What happens to the photos after they're scanned and posted? “The point of the project is to get these lost memories out of the box they were in and in front of people to see. They do just end up in the box again and are organized in my room but I am happy enough because I was able to share them and get my message across.”

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What percent of your inventory actually makes it onto your blog? “When all of the images are on the light table I sort of curate them, so if I have 100 images, maybe only half make it online or even less or more. It really just depends on what catches my eye. Every single batch is totally unique and different especially because they are all photographed by different people and are from so many different parts of the world. It's also really amazing to get the same location from two different eyes and compare and contrast them, making them work together. I just did this recently with some photographs from Hawaii that I am going to start to post soon.” Do the photos you find play a role in influencing your own photography? “They definitely do. A lot of the lost memories are just snap shots. I really enjoy this because the snapshot is such a powerful thing. Mainly with people, they open up more and don't care as much. If you put a big SLR in someone face

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they change their behavior and can't relax. You get to see more of them with a point and shoot. I take a lot of snapshots myself and hope to achieve the same feel. I thoroughly enjoy older snap shots much more than ones now. Snapshots now are about ‘Look at me doing this,’ or standing here so I can post it on Facebook. They aren't as genuine as before.” Is it safe to assume you find great importance in preserving and remembering the past? “It is definitely safe to say that. You can learn a lot and grow from the past. Looking back at your own photos and memories is amazing. The feeling that photographs can have on a person is really something special.” What's one of your own memories you wish to never lose? “I don't think I would want to lose any of my memories, good or bad. They are what make a person them. That's why everyone is so unique in their own way.” BY BLANCHE MINOZA


FOLLOW SILVIA MAGAZINE 53

SILVIA No. 4  

Featured artists include Cheyenne Varner, Lúa Ocaña, Lukasz Wierzbowski, and more

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