Today the photography course had it’s first professional photographer come to visit- Seba Kurtis from Argentina. He wanted to become a writer but found that he needed to force himself into writing. Seba left for Europe after crisis occurred in Argentina and spent 5 years in Spain as an illegal immigrant. His experience in life as an immigrant has become his life long project, looking at different situations, places and how people move from one country to another.
For the majority of the talk, Seba talked about his personal project ‘Immigration Files’. Within Immigration Files you’d find he has created projects within, from ‘Drowned’, ‘700 Miles’ and ‘A few days more’.
The photographic project ‘Drowned’ all started off from his old family photographs and films which unfortunately got damaged by a flood. The damage caused the emulsion to wash away le aving little to the imagination. Seba came to realise the damage is him, the project becomes him. The identity of the images shows a sense of invisibility.
From the use of his childhood photographs, he made use of what he had and looked at both the front and back to see what the damaged had caused and used the pattern and water marks by influencing himself by drowning his own work. He loves the idea of not having full control over his own images but can be controlled as to what is shown to the audience. At the beginning of ‘Immigration Files’ his feelings towards and during the project was he was angry. He’s angry over the situation and problems people go through daily to survive in life and having been through this himself, encourages him to keep producing and showing this side of life. Although Seba Kurtis has overcome this and lives a very happy life in Manchester, United Kingdom, whilst going back travelling to these places he still gets emotional over it, it is a raw project, it’s his past.
During the lecture he was asked whether he will ever complete this project?
Every year. Every year i think this will be it, but every year i carries on, moving to different areas, looking at different subject matters. This will be a lifetime project.