Students who speak photography

As another academic year approaches the finish line, I’m again inclined to reflect on what happened and what could be done differently, from hereon. However, as we all know, this was not just “another” school year. Now that my online classes finally came to an end and I’m fully back at regular classes with all…

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Finding my way out of confinement

caption (image above): background for a photograph celebrating my brother’s birthday, The paintings were made with watercolor, later washed away by the rain. Confinement policies due to the covid pandemic have entered a new stage in Portugal and our routines are about to change for the better. Tired of having to sit in front of…

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She has character

Caption (image above): Agfa Optima Sensor Electronic (1982). When I picked up the camera again, in 2018 – after a troubled period regarding my relationship with photographic equipment, in general, and cameras in particular -, I bought some easy going cameras: light, simple, with built-in flash. My first purchase was an Agfa Optima Sensor Electronic,…

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“The Brazilians” and the political other

Caption (image above): © Lianne Milton, portrait of Juliana Marinho, 25, owner of AfroAtitude salon, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. ‘White Brazilians are uncomfortable with the ascension of the black woman. I own my business and I’m a business owner. And they don’t believe it. My salon tries to transcend. There were no options before. It…

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The Death Tape

I’ve been thinking about this documentary – Jonestown: Terror in the Jungle – ever since I saw it a couple of weeks ago. Some images just got stuck in my mind. Writing about it seemed like a natural thing to do, but I guess it took some time to digest it and today, while listening…

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Try walking in my shoes

Caption (image above): Glasgow boots (by Sofia Silva). I’m trying to stop walking in my shoes, but finding myself unable to fulfill that wish. I’m not one to get attached to material stuff – don’t remember it ever being any different -, but there’s an exception: shoes. I never have more than 3 or 4…

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Syria: this is what a genocide looks like

  I won’t pretend to understand the full history of what’s happening in Syria. Even attempting to understand the historical, political, sociological and geographical conditions that led Syrians to their current situation, I would still fail to grasp the brutality of what’s been happening there since the uprising back in 2011. A genocide is happening…

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Photographs of animals and fake news

Animal lovers aren’t a particular type of human beings. Any deviation from this assessment would be, I think, discriminatory. Patterns tend to arise when, in an effort to synthesize, we shorten the analysis phase. Populism gallops this wave: people behave more like irrational animals – reacting and acting on instincts – and less like the…

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Class, privilege and photography

Is the condition of being ignorant essential to being privileged? Not exactly. However, most of us, when in a privileged situation, ignore its condition and thus speak about such situation with disregard for the complex web of circumstances that has led us there. We make it sound like it’s simple and say things like anyone…

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Life as soap opera (not everything is instagramable)

Caption (image above): photograph of Bianca Devins found on instagram Photography has been transformed by instagram. I now feel it’s an undeniable fact that I’ve taken a long time to accept. We’ve seen how young students have been influenced by this social network. From the square format to the characteristic seductive quality of their imagery,…

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Therapeutic Photography (part I)

Caption (image above): Digital offset reproduction of an instant portrait of my mother and her best friend Lena, painted with crayons; 1 of many tests. (by Sofia Silva, 2018). Starting this series of posts about therapeutic photography and authors working with it, I’d like to make some very brief distinctions between phototherapy, therapeutic photography, art…

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Experimental work and printing techniques (part X)

Caption (image above): ‘One Love, One Heart #5’, linocut printing on fabric with embroidery over digitized photographs (by Sofia Silva). More about Jennifer West‘s work here.  Rita Gonzalez, author of Jennifer West: Across Time and Through Media (excerpts): West came out of DIY media scenes in the Pacific Northwest in the 1990s, where e robust…

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Experimental work and printing techniques (part IX)

Caption (image above): therapeutic photography + scanography (by Sofia Silva). More about Enoc Perez‘s work here.  Enoc Perez’s new photo collages engage with social media, appropriation, and the artist’s consistent and inventive search for new forms. Sourcing images from the internet of minimally dressed or nude women, from amateur selfies to more professional photos, Perez…

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Experimental work and printing techniques (part VIII)

Caption (image above): scanography (by Sofia Silva).   More about Deborah Turbeville‘s work here.  Deborah Turbeville was one of the most revered fashion photographers working during the 1970s and ’80s, and her legacy has shifted the way we view women in fashion imagery. Beginning as fashion editor at Harper’s Bazaar, Turbeville’s entry into image making…

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Experimental work and printing techniques (part VII)

Caption (image above): lumen/chemigram (by Sofia Silva).   More about Ross Faircloth‘s work here.  Ross Faircloth about Dark Grandeur (excerpt): This series of works focuses on the darkroom and printing aspect of photography as a means for pure expression, as the camera and act of photographing takes backstage, or a supporting role. This is accomplished by…

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Experimental work and printing techniques (part VI)

Caption (image above): lumen/chemigram (by Sofia Silva)   More about William Miller‘s work here.  William Miller about Ruined Polaroids: “With its first use I realized the camera wasn’t functioning properly. It sometimes spills out 2 pictures at a time and the film often gets stuck in the gears, exposing and mangling the images in unpredictable…

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Traces

photo caption (image above): Intervention on stone by unknown author, Sintra, 2019. * * * More of Marília‘s work can be seen here. * * * More of Ana‘s work can be seen here. * * * A conversation between Marta Romero and Dana Nechman can be read here.

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A cross-cultural tale of migration

photo caption (image above): © Alia Ali, BORDERLAND Series, 107 cm x 72 cm. Pigment Print on Cotton Rag 310 gr. 1 AP + 1 EP + 5 Editions, 2017. ALIA ALI “Alia Ali (1985) is a Yemeni-Bosnian-American multi-media artist”. Her work with fabric and thread is present throughout her entire body of work, referencing…

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