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Interview

Introducing: Yana Wernicke

text:
Futures Photography
Date:
November 27, 2018
Berlin based photographer Yana Wernicke has been nominated to be part of the Futures talents by Hamburg Photo Triennale. Yana finished her photography studies at Ostkreuzschule für Fotografie in Berlin in 2014. Her practice focuses on themes such as identity and belonging. Particularly, her recent project “Bombay Dream” focuses its attention on the role of women in the Indian film industry. She has been nominated for the Prix Levallois, the CAP Photography Award and exhibited during Athens Photo Festival and Odesa Photo Days.
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What are the main themes that drive your practice? What inspires you?

A lot of my work speaks about the themes of identity and belonging. I am very interested in how a person’s identity is shaped both from within and without and how people define themselves. What makes you who you are? What outside forces have an influence on how you present yourself? Is there such a thing as the one identity of a person or don’t we all contain several personas? I think these are some of driving questions behind my practice.

Right now I am specifically interested in the role of women in the Indian film industry and how that comes back to larger, universal question for instance regarding power balance, self-empowerment, etc.

How would you describe your relationship to the medium and how do you use photography to express yourself?

I use photography as means of understanding things better. Photography is a real door-opener and it allows you to get to places and stories you would otherwise have no access to. It also enables you to formulate your own thoughts and ideas around an issue and can sever as a conversation-starter, as a tool for communication.

I always work project based and really enjoy the intensity of diving deep into a topic, traveling and exploring until I feel have experienced enough to form and express my own opinion on it.

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