Jun 26, 2019
Ioanna is a Greek photographer currently based in London who creates visual narratives driving inspiration from the past and cultural traditions. In her series "Aidos", Ioanna explores the religious behaviour of her mother after the passing of Ioanna's dad. Mixing personal images with daily scenes, a world of traditions and simplicity is revealed to us, where memories play also a big role.
am - First of all thank you very much for your contribution to our project. Can you please introduce yourself for us?
IS - Hi there, thanks for having me. I am Ioanna, a Greek native, London-based photographer. My background is in journalism (BA), Photography (BA) and urban cultural studies (MA). I am currently completing a MA and a photographic research at the 'Royal College of Art' in London while working on my new series that has been recently awarded with 'The Royal Photographic Society Postgraduate Bursary Award'.
am - How did you start in photography?
IS - I started during my MA in urban cultures, firstly shooting architectural ruins in the framework of projects on urban regeneration looking into the relationship between photography and global and social systems of power, both in historical and contemporary contexts. But I suppose my interest and fascination with images, dates back to earlier times and self- expression/ experimentation during my early writings and studying of literature and poetry before beginning with my BA in Journalism.
am - What is “Aidos” about?
IS - When two years ago my father passed away, my mother had the wish to build a chapel in our garden in his honour. The tradition of privately built small chapels standing as shrines to loved ones who passed away is common practice in the Mediterranean. During the consecutive foreign occupations, the church was the principal upholder of Greek culture and it still has great social, economic and political influence. Now that religion became part of our family, I was curious to witness it through my mother’s behaviour as a believer. What makes us escape our own country and how do we live based on values we once learnt and always questioned? How do we struggle, allow and accept? Behind the images can be found the story of the individual seeking for shelter in the wider system of religious traditions and cultural beliefs in a society functioning on that basis. The series triggers the memory while embracing transformation. It develops like a Greek myth about life and death contextualising the idea of mourning in the wider field of Greek drama and psychology. The title comes from the mythological goddess of shame, modesty and humility.
am - What were you most interested in capturing with these images?
IS - My work suggests a constructed space of fantasy and loss within the magical potential of transformation and fiction the camera allows. I am specifically interested in how we draw things from the past to the present by encapsulating them, giving them presence and how a photograph as a disruption of time and place can be the tool for recreating the vision of a memory. I like to see my work as a series of images that provide a thorough map of what amounts to a set of movements in space and time. What is important to me is to find a personal connection with an external meaning and express through it an internal vision to the world.
am - Who are your favourite photographers / artists?
IS - Robert Adams, Thomas Albdorf, Sophie Calle, Rafal Milach.
am - What’s your favourite movie?
IS - "The Color of Pomegranates" by Sergei Parajanov.
am - What is your favourite photo book?
IS - "Das Land" by Manfred Willmann and "Mais La Nuit Ne Part Pas Pour Autant" by Xiaoliang Huang.
am - Thank you very much for your time and your contribution to analog magazine.
IS - Thanks a lot for your time and collaboration.
All images © Ioanna Sakellaraki