A la une, Arts, Photographie
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Angela Sairaf, photography across borders

Angela Sairaf is a Spain based photographer born in Porto Alegre, South Brazil. She has a PhD in Techniques and Processes in Imaging (Complutense University of Madrid) and a Master of Contemporary Photography (EFTI), plus three fellowship trainings at the International University Menéndez Pelayo where she studied Visual Poetry, Creative Processes of a Reporter and The Nature of Photography.

Angela Sairaf has also worked for over 15 years as a writer and photographer for important Brazilian magazines. In the 90’s, she worked for a renowned modelling agency in Tokyo. Angela Sairaf received awards and participated in solo and group exhibitions in different countries. She usually gives lectures in prestigious schools of art and photography such as EASDA, TAI, EFTI, APERTURA and MACA (Contemporary Art Museum of Alicante) in Spain. Her work is part of the collection of MACRS (Contemporary Art Museum of Rio Grande do Sul) in Brazil.

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1. Do you see yourself as a figure in photography ?

No, I see myself as a photographer and all the rest are just labels.

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2. How would you describe your style ?

Actually I wouldn’t do it: I don’t like to put my work on cages.

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3. How did your first become interested in Photography ?

Photography has always been part of my private universe. My father was passionate about photography and loved to read, so I’ve always had many books and photo magazines at home. I loved hanging out with him to shoot. I was always asking him to reach me the camera to peer through the viewfinder. One day, he bought a new camera and gave me his Ricoh. I was six years old and I loved the gift. Also we traveled a lot and when we went home, we were editing the photos together. So, quite naturally, I ended up taking photography as a profession.

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4. Tell us about your career…

When I was 18, a friend who knew that I loved to make pictures asked me if I could make him a book as he would like to work as a model. I had never made a book before, but as he was my friend, I made him some pictures. He was very handsome and when he took the book to an agency, the person who got it loved the pictures and asked him who was the photographer. It was very funny: he told her my name and, of course, she had never heard about me. So he asked her: Really ? Don’t you know her yet ? She is very good ! She called me saying that she loved my work and would like to direct me to shoot people who came there with no pictures or bad photos. In few months I started to photograph to magazines in Brazil and I did it during more than 15 years. In parallel, I started working for a modeling agency in Tokyo. Then I came to live in Spain, and I would like to try different things. I decided to make a Master in Contemporary Photography and later I got a Phd In Techniques and Processes of Imaging, where I deeply investigated the relationship between photography and blindness. I also studied Visual Poetry and other things. Lately I’ve been working on personal projects.

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5. Have you the feeling to be entrusted with a particular mission through photographs ?

No. I don’t have this feeling. I do it because I love it.

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6. Are you sensible to poetry ?

Yes, I’m sensible to it, specially Haiku. Actually I’m like the water: sensible to almost everything.

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7. How do you feed your inspiration ?

Working: If you get the camera you will always find something to photograph.

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8. Does Brasil culture & folklore have an influence in your work ?

Probably. I was born in Brazil and I lived most of my life there, so the Brazilian culture is very present in my daily life. However, for me it is very difficult to identify where and how exactly these influences appear in my work: Brazil is a very big country with many different cultural manifestations. Besides that, I also lived in Japan and in Spain and I absorbed much of their culture. I believe that everything I live influence me and this is reflected, somehow, in my work.

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9. What is the creative process behind your work ?

I usually work in a very intuitive way. I don’t use to plan my pictures, they happen naturally.

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10. To which artistic movement do you belong to ?

I belong to nothing. And in the same way, nothing belongs to me.

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11. Do you consider yourself as an eye witness or an artist of your time ?

I simply can’t go in only one way. It is very curious how people use to ask me this as if they were opposite things. I just love the different possibilities of photography. I don’t think I am one thing “or” another, I’d rather say I’m a photographer.

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12. What are your future plans ?

At 19:00 I’m going to sing and later I’ll meet some friends. About tomorrow ? It doesn’t exist yet ! Ok, I’m kidding, but not too much: I don’t use to make plans for the future. I prefer to deal with what I have here and now and when the future becomes the present, I will simply do the same.

More about Angela Sairafwww.angelasairaf.com

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