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Alla Viskunova: Allow yourself to be yourself

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Alla Viskunova is a Russia– based photographer. Portrait, fashion, art. the Best of Russia-2016 finalist

What’s the difference between a feminist, and a woman?
This is a very sensitive topic today. Firstly, feminists are women and they want to show patriarchal society that they can be proud of it. It’s about equality between men and women as full members of society. And progressive men who support this idea can also be called a feminist, this is not a discovery. The problem is that today many people don’t understand the true meaning of the word «feminism». Sometimes it is associated with hatred of men. And this leads to the fact that the concepts of a woman and a feminist are separate.

Are you shy?
Sometimes. As an artist I should feel love and acceptance of my viewer. But it doesn’t mean that I depend on other opinions. I found my audience.

Could you say that you feel better when you hide yourself, your shyness, behind the camera. We hide and then we start shooting…
I don’t hide something behind the camera. This is absolutely certain. On the contrary, I open myself as a person. I explore myself and send the message for the world.

Which is the most powerful image from the collection for you personally? And why?
The best photos are always the strangest and most spontaneous.
I’m looking for a lack of staging within a staging)) But it’s important to make this pictures not only about a model or only about me as a photographer. So the most powerful images in my portfolio are about some topic: aesthetics, body, femininity and masculinity, rock and roll – anything that interests many people! I select my photos very carefully.

I am also sentimental and I love my shoot for Lewis Magazine because it was one of the first to be published outside of Russia. And this’s about rock and roll, damn! (just kidding). In fact, this is about youth and freedom. About the music inside.

I also love filming about physicality as an art. And I love some street portraits like this. I was shooting with a fashion model and this boy asked me to film him with his dog.

Do you have muses?
It depends on what to call a muse. Each model is a different muse for me if I chose her or him for shooting. I love strange faces, strong personality and people who knows how to control their body. And sometimes my muses are photographers who inspired me. In this sense my first muse was Peter Lindbergh.

Do you ever feel objectified?
Of course. Especially at a young age.

What do you hope to see happen in the near future?
I hope to see more beauty where it was previously hidden due to stereotypes. I am glad that the world and fashion began to move away from beauty standards. I want taboo topics to become the norm. But without fanaticism.

 How do you generate new ideas?
 I do not generate ideas; I feel what I want to say to my viewer and look for visual forms.

What is your message to the utopian’s readers?
Allow yourself to be yourself and allow others to be different. The world is not perfect, but this is its personality.

Enri Mato is an urban architect and photographer born in 1986 into a family of artists. His father was a sculptor and his mother was a restorer, who worked at the Louvre Museum in Paris. He grew up in Tirana, where he discovered his interest in photography and art at an early age.

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