Guest Blogger

"The Still Present" by Luisa Nolasco


Luisa Nolasco was born and raised in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and is currently doing a MA in Documentary Photography and Photojournalism at the University of Westminster, in London.

Having studied Social Communications, she began taking pictures at the age of 16, after buying her first camera. As a documentary photographer, Luisa develops images that speak both to her and to others about what is happening out there in the world. Part of her process before taking pictures is to observe people. Luisa wants to capture simple moments of the day to day life and traditions that sometimes seem to be forgotten or are not paid attention to. 


Guest Blog post by Luisa Nolasco:
My interest in photography has always been to talk about time through images. I am concerned to understand what time means.

In a world that is buckling under the weight of profit-making and overrun by the power-hunger of globalization, it seems like time has become something rare. If everything is moving faster and faster how is it possible to slow down? This is why I decided to create a photographic experiment on how to freeze time, or to simply make it repeatedly continuous, rolling still.  "The Still Present" is a body of work in which I photographed the tube: always at the same time, on the same seat and at the same station, everyday, for a month. I did this because it takes away the feeling of overflowing information, it creates a common and familiar environment, making both me and the viewer more comfortable. 

I picked the tube as my working place for two main reasons:

  1. Firstly, because it is a fast-paced environment – and my will to go against it. 
  2. Secondly for being a reasonably controlled space to explore, or what Marc Auge calls a “a non-place”:

    "A person entering the space of non-place is relieved of his usual determinants. He becomes no more than what he does or experiences in the role of passenger. Perhaps he is still weighed down by the previous days worries, the next day concerns, but he is distanced from them temporarily by the environment of the moment. Subjected to a gentle form of possession, he tastes for a while the passive joys of identity loss. What reigns there is actually, the urgency of the present moment." _Marc Auge

Within the broad subject that time is how many paths can we take? How many projects can unfold from it?

I guess this is up to us; writers, sculptures, photographers, painters...


The Life of Riley, Retired | Kathryn Weinstein, San Francisco


Kathryn Weinstein is a graphic designer and teaches design courses at Queens College. The Life of Riley, Retired, an on-going project documenting life with her husband, is her first passion project using a camera since graduate school. With The Life of Riley, Retired she is curious if she can interest a young audience with a character that is over 70 without perpetuating stereotypes of aging (ridiculous, pathetic or isolated) and still is relatable to an older audience.

Life of Riley.png

Guest Blog Post by Kathryn Weinstein:
On April 23, 2017, I launched The Life of Riley, Retired on Instagram as an experiment in adapting the strategies of niche micro-influencers to a character navigating retirement and ageing. In preparation, I studied the visual diaries of New England gentility, surfer gipsies, hipster marathon runners, teenage fashionistas to determine if I could find commonalities. Despite the differences in life-styles, all were young, attractive, and adept photographers who had created visual diaries documenting their lives in instalments, and successfully attracted a loyal base of followers (10-100 thousand strong). I came to believe that the success of these micro-influencers, like successful advertising campaigns, lay within the viewers’ identification/desire to connect with a certain lifestyle presented. 

I wondered if these narratives would arc as their protagonists aged—was their success dependent on linking one sunny moment to the next or could complexities of life be introduced as part of the narrative? Would their audience abandon them for younger stars if they begin to show signs of middle age, or would audience and protagonist grow old together? And what do young people think of ageing if they are immersed in a sea of imagery celebrating youth? Where were the visual diaries of older people on Instagram, and is the scarcity a reflection of the demographics of Instagram users (54% are 29 or younger, only 16% are older than 50), or as a culture do we shun representations of ageing that do not reiterate stereotypes?

So with a goal, but no roadmap, I immersed myself into the world of Instagram. These are the challenges that I listed when I started the project:

  1. Could I create a coherent visual narrative that strangers would want to follow?
  2. Could I pique interest within a young audience if my main character is 74 years old without perpetuating stereotypes of ageing (ridiculous, pathetic or isolated) and still be relatable to an older audience? Can the story of ageing be a nuanced adventure, open & expensive?

Have I met these challenges? I’ll keep you posted.