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Marina Leal's fenced in photos reflect life in quarantine

"My name is Marina Leal, I am 23 years old and I live in the countryside of the state of São Paulo. I am finishing my degree in International Relations and, meanwhile, trying to develop artistic projects that mix politics, culture and sociology. I wish to deepen my productions with photography and its possibilities to observe our materiality from different perspectives, from the most concrete to the most surreal."

See more of Marina's work on instagram at @ninagleal

A/A: What specifically re-ignited your passion for analog photography?

ML: In July/2020 I've recieved the proposal to do a collab with a cultural institution I really like here in Brazil called "SESC". The job was to put together a series of collages that would illustrate a video on the subject of photography. At this point, I realized that I had many photographic items that I had with me for years but because it was a very expensive 'hobby' I was unable to give that much attention. From then on, I decided to test new films and compositions, as if I was going back to 11 years old, when my father passed me his old Zenit 12pro, but with new knowledge and other understandings about the photometric mechanisms.

A/A: What inspired you to try double exposures?

ML: The double exposures have always intrigued me for the possibility of playing with the real. With the desire to start shooting again, I decided to test a whole film on them because I was able to double the number of photos - which in my mind was a way of passing the fact that the roll of film is more and more expensive here. This way, I would be able to test something around 72 clicks for the same roll. After that, I went after the precursors of lomography and found Smena8, a Soviet camera that allows you to hit many exposures in the same frame without having to 'cheat' the camera, as I did with my Pentax K1000. In the photos taken here, the mixtures with grids caught my attention, matching the quarantine we are experiencing. I believe that most of them were not intentional, but I also believe that there are no mistakes in analog photography and that makes them even more interesting.

A/A: How long have you been a photographer?

ML: Ever since I was little I remember looking forward to the moments when my mother came back with the printed photos. She generally waited to put together a considerable number of rolls and it took a long time to see the photos. When I got my first camera, the Zenit 12pro, I had no idea how that analog mechanism worked, very different from the 'point and shoot' we had at home and did all the work themselves. Without having my own money to reveal and be in touch with the initial productions, over 13 years I have been practicing photography as a curious way of observing the places around me, the house, the meals my mother used to make, some trips. Today, that curiosity remains here and has taken me on paths that until a year ago I would never have imagined.

A/A: What would you like to work on next?

ML: This year, I decided to add photography to my college graduation work. With this, I intend to combine analog photography with the attempt to unveil the roots of capitalism in the third world, where market globalization masks the social gaps that are growing at a rapid rate - even more during the pandemic. The goal is to highlight the fallacy of globalization as a 'homogenization' of the world, showing its strictly capitalized character, while in the social perspective we still face numerous barriers marked by colonial traits, fundamentally racist and anti-popular.

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