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Interview

Sina Niemeyer: I am obsessed with intimate imagery, exploring the body and hands

text:
Futures Photography
Date:
March 27, 2021
“I’ve never seen myself as a great photographer but rather as an artist who is using the medium of photography to create stories and convey emotions in order to build empathy for certain issues.” In this interview, meet Sina Niemeyer who joined our platform in 2020, nominated by the Triennial of Photography Hamburg.

Sina is a photographer and visual lens-based artist living in Germany who is best known for her intimate and subtle imagery. In her personal projects she focuses on taboo topics, feminism and relationships. She likes to combine different media and material such as video, photography, archive images, sound and objects.⁠

Below, she talked to us about her inspirations and career:

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?

I draw my inspiration from all forms of art such as painting, sculptures and performances but also from my surroundings, especially nature, people or stories I’m told. I’m a big fan of intuitive works and when different disciplines are merged. In my own work I tend to fall back onto sensitive and feministic topics, mostly because of my own experiences but also because of the times we live in. I am obsessed with intimate imagery, exploring the body and hands.

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

I’ve never seen myself as a great photographer but rather as an artist who is using the medium of photography to create stories and convey emotions in order to build empathy for certain issues. Photography serves as the foundation for my projects and then I work around it, adding material and other media. While I do enjoy the sheer beauty of an aesthetic photograph, I think I could never create such images because for me, the message, the intention of something, always has to be first and is only underlined by the aesthetics of arts so people will actually look at it and be interested in what you want to express with it.

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

I am still working on finalizing my Philippines project but in the last year a lot of projects have been added. I am currently turning my book about child sexual abuse into a graphic novel together with a French illustrator. It will then hopefully be translated into many languages and be available worldwide for education. Furthermore I was given a grant to work on femicides in Germany already a couple of years ago and would like to start the project this year – depending on Corona.

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Last year was challenging in many different ways. How do you see this moment for your career? What has changed in your practice?

Almost all my exhibitions were cancelled and I am deeply missing openings, photo festivals and other events to get to know new people, see some old familiar faces and exchange ideas and opinions. Yet, the bonds created before have become stronger and I am very happy about the support that some colleagues and I give to each other, not only in Berlin but also globally. Furthermore, it was of course sometimes great to meet people all over the world in one morning zoom call session. Overall, for me, it is a good time to slow down a bit and catch my breath in order to hopefully be able to fully concentrate on a new project soon.

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

I have also been photographing and writing in a diarylike-style – this is something I would really like to edit soon and make a book out of it. Generally speaking, I am planning to find a studio for myself in which I can explore more art techniques, especially installations and performances. When I think about the future, it makes me happy because there is yet so much to explore – stories, arts and many different ways to take.

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