Monday, 1 December 2008

Samira Schulz | Documentary Competition Gold Winner

Theatre Fatale

Gold winner of My Back Yard 4 - documentary photography.

Samira Schulz transformed her backyard into a set for the winning series of images Le Theatre Fatale. The series developed organically: the idea came to Samira one sunny day in her garden and friends and neighbours were asked to improvise on a constructed stage-set. Samira explains, "I asked them to interpret their new roles in response to circumstances and to the object of desire. Through improvisation, the experiment resulted in a tragicomedy inspired by stereotypes that have been incorporated into our common perception through movies, advertising, TV and other media."

Samira decided to interpret the brief for My Backyard 4 very literally when she entered the images. She says, "As much as the term back yard is debatable, so is the genre of documentary photography. These images would most certainly not fit into the general understanding of documentary at first sight but, arguably, they are documentation of a happening that took place just there."

Samira came to London from Berlin in 2001 in order to study at the London College of Communication. Her original plan was do a one-year foundation course, but she soon decided to stay and continue with a BA (Hons) in Photography.

Samira uses her photography to capture what she can not express in words. "Rather than depicting reality," she explains, "I try to create a different one: this counts for my staged work as well as for my snapshot photography." She is considering continuing the idea of Le Theatre Fatale throughout the evolving seasons, but her next project involves a trip to South America where she will work with both still and moving images.

View Samira's LPA folio

The brief,

My back yard …. the good , the bad and the down right ugly.

What do you consider to be your back yard? Your block? Your neighbourhood? Your town or city? The more expansive of you might even consider it to be the planet we inhabit. Whichever way you look at it, your back yard is a very personal space – ideal subject matter for the documentary photography. This is an opportunity to comment on the people and places that are important to you, a chance to introduce us to the society, sights, secrets that are very special to your own back yard.

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