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Interview

Ire Lenes: Photography is the key that opens new worlds and connects me with new people and their stories

text:
Futures Photography
Date:
December 14, 2020
“Photography is the key that opens new worlds for me and connects me with new people and their stories.” In this interview, meet Ire Lenes, nominated for Futures by PhotoEspaña.

Ire is a documentary photographer from Madrid, where she lives and works. She has a Master's degree in International Relations in the Diplomatic School of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Spain (2008) and a Bachelor's degree in Sociology in the Complutense University of Madrid (2005). ⁠

⁠In 2017, her personal connection with Lithuania led her to embark on a long-term project, the analysis of ethnic minorities in the Baltic States and the understanding of the particular situation in each country, a trilogy approached from a sociological perspective and materialized through visual narrative.⁠

Below, we talked to her about her career and inspirations:

The documentary photographer Adam Broomberg mentored five Futures Talents over the three months running up to Unseen Amsterdam 2019
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Can you tell us a little bit about your inspirations? Which themes do you often work with?

For me, working from sociology is fundamental. I am interested in everything related to social processes, in particular how the post-Soviet society is structured in the Baltic countries powerfully draws my attention.  My biggest source of inspiration is the research that answers the questions I ask myself.

How do you see your relationship with the medium? How do you use photography to express your art?

The photography is the tool through which I express my concerns, it is the excuse for which I decide to embark on the research and development of topics that I need to understand, it is the key that opens new worlds for me and connects me with new people and their stories.

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Do you have any ongoing (or more recent) project that you would like to share with us?

I am currently working on the second chapter of the trilogy that I started in 2017, the work is called ‘Aliens’. It is a documentary work where I investigate the situation of non-citizens in Latvia.

We have been facing a lot of challenges this year. How do you see this moment for art? Is it changing your practice?

It has been a time to reconnect with myself, to stop and think, to review my file. Since I cannot go to the places where I locate my photography, I am also taking the opportunity to delve into the research stage.

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Can you share with us some of your plans for the future? Do you have any new project in mind?

I am currently combining the edition of the second chapter of my trilogy with the research work on the third chapter located in Estonia, where I am investigating the situation of post-Soviet ethnic minorities again.

What do you expect from this experience as a Futures talent?

Participating in this project has already been a fulfilled expectation, I have been able to know the variety of current European photography. It is also true that I hope I can go where my own means do not allow me.

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