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When my niece was born

“When my niece was born”, photo essay by Varvara Shinkarenko

“When my niece was born”. You actually won’t find in this photo diary any picture of my niece, but it was one of the main reasons why I travelled to Jordan 10 years after my first visit. It was a great pleasure to go again through all this spectrum of emotions and memories; coffee, cardamom, the voice of Fairuz and beautiful open people’s faces. That’s where you fuel up your imagination and where the beauty of simplicity lies…

(by Varvara Shinkarenko)

Q&A with Varvara Shinkarenko

Photography is…
Photography for me is a unique type of art. Having a camera in your hands is like having a piece of plaster, mud or cement in your hands.  Ideas, visions in your head and a tool in your hands – when they all collide – photography happens. There are no boundaries in photography. It’s like travelling in space, where you chose your own direction. Are you going to stay realistic and document life situations which are relevant here and now, or you are going to use the power of your imagination? But no matter what path you follow in photography, there’ll always be a piece of your DNA in it, because like any form of art it starts in you and comes out of you carrying your identity.

Photography and writing…
Writing was never one of my strengths…that’s why I probably gravitated towards photography. They say words are powerful, but photography doesn’t even need words or the ability to read to be powerful. And it’s our right to choose whether we want to take advantage of this force, manipulating it  or we want and try to be true, first of all, to our own selves.

Who left the biggest impression on you?
I do love documentary photography, it’s history, it’s reality, it’s then, now and after. It’s a combination of cultural diversity, travellings and human beings. It’s life, it’s larger than life.  But I particularly like the work of Gennady Koposov, Russian photojournalist.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with the readers?
In everything we do, we should try to keep our humanity and care, then we could make this world a little bit better…or, at least, make someone’s day.

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Varvara Shinkarenko

(1983), I’m a self-taught photographer, originally coming from Russia. I’m not a great talker, so trying to explain and express the way I see… More »

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