new genuary: introducing alina negoita
Another year, another fresh batch of exciting young talent. Throughout the month of January we will be introducing the photographers set to define 2017. Capturing the world around them and interpreting it through the prism of their own experiences...
Alina Negoita, 25
Tell me a bit about yourself and where you grew up?
I am a photographer, filmmaker, and fierce feminist. I love the sea and sunset skies. I am into swimming and boxing. I cannot stand dishonesty and oppression. I grew up in Ploiesti, a city near Bucharest, the capital of Romania.
How did you get into photography?
Sounds cliché, but destiny? I didn't grow up in an artistic environment, but I used to draw and paint the people around me before I started to speak. It has definitely been a very organic transition to photography, and later, film. I remember always looking up Sally Mann's work; her Candy Cigarette was the first image that truly struck me when I got introduced to photography. I couldn't pin point back then what it was — I just felt it was strangely beautiful and strong, yet so raw and vulnerable.
What is it about the medium that appeals most?
What fascinates me most about photography is its ability to connect with people and its relationship exchange with the subjects — you gain trust by giving trust.
How and where did you learn your craft?
When in high school, I took photography and cinematography classes at the local art school in my hometown. I had Mihai Vasile as a tutor and later as my mentor — his name may not sound familiar to you but I owe him the foundation of everything I know. The lessons had nothing to do in particular with technique or lighting, but learning how to see and what we choose to see. I further studied fine arts, fashion photography at UAL and now I'm completing my MA in Visual Communication at Royal College of Art.
Is a degree necessary to pursue a career in photography?
More than a diploma that very few people will ask you about in life, you need drive, perseverance, an open heart, and open mind. Be ready to fail and ready to start over again in order to pursue a career in photography, or any other creative industry.
Who or what inspires you?
My parents. People who are good at heart and work every day to leave a positive mark in the world. Humanity overall.
Who is the photographer whose work you most admire?
Lee Miller and Alex Webb.
Who would you most like to shoot?
The Dragon Girls from Shaolin Tagou Kung Fu School, the Daasanach tribe, Yeonmi Park, Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, Ezra Miller. I have quite a big list!
What's been your career highlight so far?
I don't really think of my career in terms of highlight — there is a client list on my website, but I find client lists quite distracting from the work itself as people tend to fall for big names. I'd rather think of my career as a series of interconnected events that keep me moving forward, and because of that each project, commission, or publication is equally important.
What are you most excited about for 2017?
Advancing with the projects I am currently working on, take on new and exciting projects, putting my dissertation topic into practice, graduating in July, working on my first book, doing art on a full-time basis, and potentially moving back to New York.
What are you working on right now?
I'm working on a couple of long-term projects involving women and social change. The project that keeps me awake at night is documenting the women's revolution in Rojava. It is, by far, the most enriching, complicated, inspiring story I have ever worked on.
What do you stand for?
Truth. Courage. Tolerance. Solidarity. Liberation for the oppressed. Empathy, and not selective empathy.
Photography Alina Negoita