We asked Alixandra Fazzina, a photographer from NOOR agency, 5 questions to get to know her even better. Alixandra will hold a workshop called Up-close: Long-term Documentary Storytelling at this year’s Organ Vida festival edition. You can apply HERE!
What do you want your viewers to take away from your work?
The most important thing for a viewer is to be engaged with my work. My photography is almost always issue-based and covers underreported or unseen stories. It is key that the imagery gets people interested in the subject matter and hopefully makes them understand a part of the world seen through my eyes a little better.
When I teach a workshop or master class, the most important thing is for the participants to be inspired! I am of course hoping that the participants would hit upon something small and special that will have an impact on their own work. Hopefully they can walk away from the workshop and take their personal projects to another level.
Which photographers have influenced your interest in photography?
I don’t come from a photography background so that’s tough to answer. I’m influenced by the world around me, and what feeds my imagination comes from so many disciplines rather than from one or two people. I am much more inclined to pick up a book, and it could be the thing which sparks an interest. I can recall, for example, reading Martha Gelhorn when I was a student and she being a tremendous inspiration.
What is the last exhibition that surprised you? Why?
Not surprised, but I thought that Laia Abril’s recent exhibition On Abortion at Arles was just amazing. It is incredible that she can even take on such a broad and difficult subject and through photography produce such an eloquent response.
I also loved Imran Qureshi’s show at the Barbican in London. Before that, I had only ever seen his work in Pakistan, and the installation with its echoes of violence was just so powerful.
How did you get into photography?
I studied fine art and my background is in drawing and painting. I began my career working as a war artist with the British army in Bosnia. Back then, my camera was simply a tool in my kit bag but essentially the transition from page to photograph isn’t so huge.
What are your thoughts about contemporary photography? What do you desire to achieve through photography?
What is perceived as photography and what photography actually is are two very different things in the contemporary world. The eye has almost become the camera, and people are addicted to imagery and devices and screens (which I don’t have). We are at a tipping point where the world of photography is almost frightened to take the image off a wall or page. While I don’t embrace this myself, I’m also super excited to see where photography could go.
On the other hand, my work is about exploring what is less immediate. I’m trying to make in-depth documentary-based work that takes far longer to view. There does seem to be space for markets like long-form journalism, and of course the art book market has become resurgent, so I very much hope I can still thrive.
While I’m always keen for my work to have longevity, I am currently exploring new ways to engage audiences, or indeed present my photographs. Hopefully I’ll be designing another installation soon!
Photo: ©Eduardo Diaz