Monday 22 February 2016

"Get Fit Your Way" an experiment to test reliability towards the Public Local Authorities

  • At the very morning, have you ever wondered the real capacity of a trolleybus full of people in Chisinau?
  • A youngsters' team, iYoung wanted to know the question above and started a social experiment in order to increase (or maybe not) skepticism towards the Public Local Authorities

The National Center for Young People iYoung from Chisinau, Moldova, begun the Saturday 20th February with a social experiment with the aim of demonstrate that the number indicated at the information pannels about the passenger capacity in the trolleybuses from the city it is precise or not. The event was at the Alba Iulia 113 street, at the last station from 22 trolleybus and it was needed an amount of 102 people.
Part of iYoung team
A team composed of young volunteers in which between of them there are Sofia Copacinshi, Elena Tighineanu and former president, Artiom Ursoi, have thought up about this innovative experiment: "We wanted to verify the information given by Public Local Authorities in Chisinau regarding public transport and it is passengers'capacity, check if it is truth or not that can lift 102 people inside", Artiom said.
Sursa foto: iYoung
Also, there are other goals as meeting new people, make networking in public spaces, check the WiFi connection which is now available in some trolleybuses from the city, see the capital, and, of course, to have a unique experience in a friendly environment. "When I saw all the snow this morning I was afraid that no one would come but then everyone came in a good mood and the weather did not influence at all. We are happy with the success have had the experiment and we will continue with more ideas", Tighineanu said.
Sursa foto: iYoung
Once arrived to the meeting place under a light snow, Artiom,  gave different numbered papers to count all members hoping to arrive till 102 people, number that implies the total capacity in a trolleybus from the capital. At the first moment, between the attendants was not possible to reach amount of 102 people, requiring near 40 more people.

Even so, all partakers of this event came inside the trolleybus in an playful and amusent atmosphere while Artiom asked to the debt collector to charge more than 50 tickets.The face of the lady was all astonishment. As the trolleybus was moving through the city Artion and some people started counting how many they were in the trolleybus till it was reached the quantity of 102 people. In that moment, they were mixed exclamations and some looking of expectancy and incredulity from the people that did not participate at the experiment.
The final result was surprising because after the lifting of the 102 people there was still enough space to more passengers inside the trolleybus
So, the participants in conclusion received a free trip around the city, in concrete, through Buiucani district across socialization having as a result an increasement of trust towards the local government.

iYoung will propose new surprises and experiments in the next weeks. Particularly a “blind date” this Wednesday 24th February for the most intepids and curious youngers which will feature, as noticed, a blind date with eye bandaged, a dance in couples and the winners will achieve two romantic dinners at FORTUS restaurant. All of this with the goal of harmonizing real relationships not based only in online dating, meeting new friends and, after all, having a unique and and notable experience. More information here.BLIND DATE EVENT and iYoung Facebook page.

Wednesday 9 December 2015


Experts from different fields in mass media met on Wednesday 2nd December in Trattoria della Nonna restaurant in order to debate about informative manipulation phenomena, the dangers that it carries and the proper antidote for spectators, in a discussion moderated by journalist  Lina Grau and carried by the Independent Journalism Center from Chisinau with the support of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). 

Between the participants they were different mass media professionals as Cristina Mitu, from the Audiovisual Media Coordinating Council (CCA in Moldovn initials); Serghei Cornetchi from the Parliamentary Commission for the Mass Media; Ion Bunduchi, mass media expert and Vitalie Calugareanu, journalist.

During the session it has been discussed about the different ways of showing manipulation phenomena in mass media and the diverse methods to combat it, funneling the discussion in 2 aspects present in mass media: the internal manipulation and the external one, been analyzed which is propaganda in Moldova, its repercussion when informing about Ukraine current events and the importance for journalists to be aware of this danger. 

Bunduchi expressed that are the institutions which are in charging of completing the Agenda Setting thanked its events and occasions, besides TV has a great manipulative force, stunting citizen’s mind. Because of it, he claims an antidote against that manipulation we suffered based in a critical vision and learning from the Ukrainian propaganda. He added that in this information era where all of us we have free access to different sources of information is making us prone to manipulation. So, from his point of view, mass media consumers can be manipulated in two ways: when we lack of information and when we have an excess of it.

Mitu stated that one of the patterns for fighting mass media manipulation is by doing a monitoring process of different sources of information with the purpose of detect manipulation cases, regretting that the CCA cannot apply any sanctions due that in the Audiovisual Code from Moldova does not exist terminology as propaganda and manipulation. For that, CCA needs to rummage in certain dispositions from the legislation with the purpose of saving pluralism of opinion, sociopolitical equilibrium and the accurate, objective and equidistant information. Also, she remarked that in the last times, the channels use more and more manipulation techniques. In addition, during 2015, CCA, regarding foreign propaganda, stopped activity of Russia24 channel in Moldova, emission accused of being spokesman from the Russian State Propaganda.

Cornetchi added that nonetheless this situation; they have been approved 5 laws about the modification of the Audiovisual Moldovan Code with the purpose of introducing the concept of manipulation.

For Calugareanu, the problem goes further the manipulation issue. He insists in the reluctances of some mass media businessman by respecting the Ethical Code of Journalism.

Also it has been spoken about the new European Union directive about the Audiovisual Code and due to that experts say that the Broadcasting Code from Moldova will require changes. They signed also as forms of manipulation the silence and lying in mass media, showing as an example the 2009 protests in Chisinau, moment where the main channels from the country ignored them in favor to entertainment programs. So, it is confirmed that silencing facts establish the manipulation of the public opinion.

As a conclusion, guests were agreed in making a balance and having personal assessments when watching different informations, using a critical vision. From the other hand, it has been put as an example Germany: to create a syndicate which legitimize approval in press, marking that because that reason, Moldova and Romania is more inclined to manipulation, because there does not exist such syndicate which approves that informations. Likewise, experts recommend to mass media spectators to encourage self mind, to use alternative sources of information, including those from Europe and to investigate manipulation cases in press.

Thursday 17 September 2015

The complexity of Moldavian society. A conversation with Vitalie Sprînceană

Vitalie Sprinceana (Telenesti, 1982), is a Moldovan sociologist. He has studied Political Science in “Sveti Kliment Ohridski”, Sofia Bulgaria, he has a Master in Philosophy in Moldovan State University and a PhD in Sociology at George Mason University (USA). Journalist, activist, amateur photographer and blog author, he has his own blog ( where he writes about immigration, religion, anthropology, Internet, politics, BBQ and women. He is project coordinator at Oberliht (association which fights for open spaces in Chisinau,, collaborator at CriticAttac ( and Platzforma ( Vitalie gave us a broad frame of the Moldovan society from his point of view.

Interview by Francesco Brusa and Teresa Morán

We would like to focus about some topics we think are pivotal in Moldavian society, at least from an external perspective such as our one. Let's begin with the search for a national identity. Do you think a Moldavian national identity already exists or rather it is necessary to build up a new one?

First of all, lots of questions and problems lie in the issue of identity itself. On the one hand, identity is a social trend, a willing we cannot avoid to confront. It is something beyond us, something characteristic of this world to search identities, to attach identities to the people, to localities, to countries, to continents. Discussions about 'who am I' are not specific only to Moldavian society, they concern lots of communities. I would say they are typical of the capitalist mode of production. So, the question of identity as such rises up many problems. On the other hand, thinking about Moldova, I disagree at a certain degree that Moldova needs an identity. Debates about it are misguided, poorly informed, they impose or they are trying to complain about the lack of an identity but somehow it something you don't need it. Identity is something archaic and, even though I'm not saying that everything new is good, I think we passed the era of “building nation”. We know already that building a nation is a very violent process: besides the claim about a metaphysical unity or brotherhood, there is a real violence imposed over people, both symbolical and physical. So, my question is: to what extent do we need it? I don't think Moldova needs a national identity and I think discussions about Moldavian identity should be understood in a broader context. Maybe they don't indicate exactly that Moldova need an identity but rather they indicate that there is a problem in terms of distrust by Moldavians towards how society and the political institutions function. It's kind of complaining for a lack of something that you can attach your hopes, something stable that could hold when everything doesn't work. So, I think the search for Moldavian identity is basically this.

So, my aim (and I know it could be very tricky) is to have a Moldavian civic nation. A nation, or a community - maybe it's a better word - that gathers individuals who are committed to certain rules of the game, to certain trust in some institution, to some values rather than to ethnics-related collective imagination. I think that at a very fundamental level the ethnonationalism, the idea you are someone because there is something beyond your control and in a way everything you are is predicted, enter into collision with the idea that you're responsible and you're free to choose. Here a crucial conflict lies and I go for the part of the equation that says that you have the right to choose. The sad part is that also the Moldavian left is speaking this language of identity and for me it's one of the cause of its defiance: it indicates lack of imagination and ideas. I think that we should switch the focus and abandoned this question, especially because it is very divisive. On the contrary, we should build some community and not unity, something that is built consciously and not imposed from above.

So, what do you think about the discussion of European integration, considering that it is usually seen as a mean to fight corruption while there are some research that refute this point ( Besides that, what is in your opinion the “real core” of corruption? Is it mentality, the economical system, etc...?

Again, I think the discussion about joining European Union is by no means complete, complex and realistic. It's a “quasi-religious” discussion, wherein European Union is seen as the savior and it also looks at it as a whole, while part of the European Union itself is called into question (just think about the Greek issue). When people talk about European Union as a way to fight corruption they don't have in mind the real European Union, the real kind of the European justice or the real judiciary systems, because there's a lot of countries with a lot of systems that function differently. Europe is seen as a kind of imaginary entity that will start to finally make justice in Moldova. 


As for corruption, it's a complex question that doesn't deal only with mentality. Mentality could be a partial explanation but maybe it's the effect of corruption rather than the cause. If we take a look to recent history of Moldova, we see that mentality can change very quickly and very easily: 20 years ago 80 percent and something of the population was atheist and now is 90 percent and something is religious. I would say that the problem lies more in the institutional setting of Moldavian society, in the way we as a society build our institutions and in the way we are hijacked by powerful interests. Partially it spreads because the inefficiency of the institutions: when the institutions are not efficient people always try to find quicker ways. Usually, in order to make anything you have to ask to many institutions for different approvals for your projects or requests and all this process takes a lot of time and effort. So I guess lots of people try to cut somewhere this chain by paying money or bribing. So corruption is both in a way a mentality caused by the inefficiency of the institutions and also is a result from official structure of the political system. In a super-centralized system like the Moldavian one, people who are aside the center of power know they should bribe some politicians in order to obtain something. I'll give you an example: a mayor of a small village knows that in order to realize a project in his village he should go to political parties in Chisinau and exchange something with them. So I would say corruption is a very complex problem. Part of it could be solved by fixing the institutional setting and by making institutions more efficient.

Related to your example, we know there are lots of differences between the capital and the rest of the country. How all of these differences work at a political level?

There are several points. First of all, decentralization process isn't working at all. Everything is concentrated in Chisinau that is the center of the decision making. There is actually a law about decentralization but its implementation is always postponed. Of course, differences between Chisinau and the rest of the country are concrete so mere decentralization without a proper strategy on how to develop rural areas will not work because it'll end up with Chisinau getting richer and the other part poorer. Also, another problem on the local level is that the institutions of the political system are structured in a way that they privileged big parties and politicians located in Chisinau while they disadvantage the local politics. Let's take the rules for getting into the Parliament: the actual system is proportional that means deputies are elected basing on party's lists and they're not representatives of district areas they will take care of. Therefore, what you get in the end are deputies who live in Chisinau, that are close to the headquarters of the Party and you have less and less people from the provinces and also as a regular citizen you don't have any mechanism to ensure a control over this deputies once they are elected. So I would say – and that's my opinion- we need at least a system half and half that could facilitate the advancement of people from ground level who will be more responsible to their specific area. At this point, you have a dead end in politic: you have the same people in power and from the ground you don't have the feeling that your decisions somehow matter. The only way to engage people in politics is by voting and this is a huge problem.

Let's switch to another issue: homophobia. In the aftermath of the gay pride on 18th of May, you wrote: “intolerance towards gay people is one of the most visible phenomena in Moldovan public space” ( Do you think the opponents of LGBT march acted out of pure homophobia or there are other issues at stake?

I think I should start by making a disclaimer: my position of an observer is that of a heterosexual man. So when I speak about this topic my point of view is in a way limited, because I see only the surface of the phenomena: I'm not facing everyday forms of discriminations that are going on in Moldavian society. But, let's put it clear: here there is a very high degree of intolerance towards homosexuals in daily life's issues. It's hard to say which is the real cause of this intolerance and I wouldn't go for like an explanation that takes 'either...or'. On one hand, there are surveys that show people are intolerant towards homosexuals on a everyday basis. The 2008 European Values survey is maybe the most reliable and it was asking people questions like “do you like having homosexuals as neighbors?” and people were having a very negative attitude. So, generally, there is a real homophobia in Moldavian population. On the other hand, we cannot deny that there is an all conscious political effort that treat homosexuals as something as a threat for the society and the country. This effort has been done consciously by part of the Moldavian society and with the very active participation by the Orthodox Church. There are many reasons why church is doing that: they want to mobilize people against modernity, against processes that they perceive as dangerous to them, like democratization of religious life (giving right to others religious community) or as a distance to the European integration political project which is a project wherein Moldova is kind of being engaged. Also, there are several groups around the church that are participating in this process of “prompting homophobia” and they're using anti-homosexuals rhetoric in order to gain some advantages, to begging or to gain some positions inside church hierarchy... Plus, there is also a lot of frustration in Moldavian society because of the so-called “failed transition” and the failed attempts to reform the society, because of the economic problems, etc. Therefore, part of the politicians is also using the homophobic rhetoric in order to gather voters and “channel” this frustration. You can see there are several ways in which a real and concrete homophobia that do exists in the country is exploited for different purposes, political ones or theological ones. Unfortunately I think at the moment the homosexual community is constructed like the “Other”, the radically different other that somehow is imposing a threat to the community itself. It's ridiculous to think that 30-40 homosexual are posing such a threat to the 'old traditional society' but this anti-homosexuals rhetoric is being used to express discontent to modernity, to the actual state of things. This is why I'm saying it's a very complex issue and we don't gain anything by saying that this is a total artificial issue or it is a real homophobia: it's both.

You're part of Oberlhit association which deals with urban spaces and which aims at prompting a different use of the public space. Can you describe how 'urban space' was conceived during Soviet times and what changed after Soviet Union collapse?

I think I should start from acknowledging my relation to public space, which I guess it's a very important issue in the society's development. The way in which public space functions is crucial to understand the way society works as a whole. So, thinking about URSS, I would say that “public space” functioned in a very specific way: it was an oxymoron or, to put it more correctly, a combination of two oxymoron, because “public” as we know it nowadays didn't exist back then. For “public space” I mean a space where you come as you are and you try to act or express something. In URSS the public space was more prescribed: it had the function to represent, to show, to model, to behavior, to emphasize the grandeur of that society. On the one hand, what happened after 1991 was a process of democratization of the public space because now you can use it without any constraint. But still it doesn't allow you to come as you are and build a society. You cannot go as a LGTB; you cannot go as a representative of a minority religion, for instance. Plus, there is an illogical commercialization of the public space. So, what is going on now is actually a process of constant disappearing and erosion of public spaces that contains public infrastructure and the emerging of other public spaces where you do not go just as a human being, but you go as someone, mainly as a shopper.

So our struggle as association is to have a kind of public space that allows you to come as you are and wherein you can therefore see the inner contradictions of the society (richest people allow to come as well as homeless ones, for ex.). We started by trying to reactivate a small park (Zaiki park) wherein a company wants to build parkings. Of course, we are trying to involve inhabitants of the area surrounding the park; we are listening to their needs and try to create something together in that place. We want to create a “precedent” that can hopefully work as a trigger for other similar processes.

So switching back to the idea of a “civic nation” you expressed, can you define it more in details? What are you exactly thinking about? Empowering already existing institutions or creating new ones?

I think we need both. We need the improvement of current institutions that totally do not work. But also we have to invent new institutions because the current ones, even if we improve them at their best, will still have some problems because of the changing nature of society. What we have to deal with is solidarity; we need alternative institutions out of which organizing people's solidarity. That means being able to invent new sources of economy that differs from the importation/exportation related capitalistic system and that don't take profit as their main goal.

And I add that this project should be as comprehensive as possible. I think one of the biggest problem of the left trough history is that it invested hopes in a specific category of people, usually the proletarian classes, and I would avoid to take any privileged social locus to “plant the seed” of changing. We are supposed to act everywhere trough the society but of course it's very difficult as well as very challenging. In a way, I'm pessimistic because I think the process, if it will succeed, it will be very slow and in the current situation it's not possible at all. What we have to do right now is building networks; try to think in a more trans-national way.

Would you say there are some “taboos” in Moldavian public discourse; either they are event from the past or topics from the present?

I would say we don't have any “big elephant” but we do have small taboos, lots of topic we should investigate more that are not present in the public discourse. Our whole history is in a way very problematic, under-discussed and under-understood. Our official history is written form the point of view of political institutions. So, first of all, we need a different way to look at it, we should focus more on regular people, other institutions, family units. From my very subjective perception, we didn't yet discuss for real the topic of Transnistrian war. I mean, there is an overall simplification about: we just read the event in the framework of aggressors and defenders while we forget that people died and bad decisions were taken, etc. Also, a very sensitive topic is how Moldavian State and we Moldavians as people treated minorities which leads us into the present times. The dominant narrative is that the Moldavians have built this country on their own but this means ignoring the contribution of every small groups of people. It is like our present came out all of sudden: like if we had the democratization of the society overnight and the country started to be more closed and interacting more with European societies. So, in general, the “transition” is not clear yet, it's kind of erased and it is because we committed lots of atrocities we maybe would like to forget.
Related to the LGBT issue we discussed previously, sexuality is another taboo as well as family. So, as you can see, we have lots of small taboos spread in the public discourse and into society.    

Another important term that is often used in discourses about Moldova is “value” (European values, traditional Moldavian values...). Don't you think it's a problematic concept to which lots of discourses are referring to in a simplistic way? What are the dynamics that actually create values?

On one hand, I'm very uncomfortable with the concept of value, because especially in Moldavian society discourses that refer to values are often used to justify negative actions and decisions. On the other hand, every society has to produce big narratives trying to rationalize, explain and formulate plans for development. Values in a way are created exactly for that.

Maybe we could say that there is a sort of schizophrenia in the Moldavian society, a huge split between values that have been preached and ones that directly come out from everyday interactions.  On one hand we are in a society that claims to respect “high values” like God belief, tolerance and stuff but on the other hand/one, we face lots of problems such as corruption, discriminations, etc. Above all this, many processes of “values copy-pasting” are going on but in my opinion will never work. To give a classical example, even values from French Revolution are supported by the whole history and struggles that brought to them. But, there is a very tiny and dangerous line between the “copy-pasting” process and the fact to look at other values and being inspired by them. The latter is something different that can be positive. So, I would go for values that are not built from above but values that go from below and that have been to some extent consciously constructed. I do believe in the importance and in the relevance of values in the societies making but they should be built and created from below.

Switching back to the specific situation of Moldova, I think there is a huge and interesting potential in our society. Individualism related to the Capital has come late so, if you deeply dig into our society, you'll find lots of values and habits related with solidarity. I would say Moldavian people, I mean the way they interact with each other, are very connected to collectivism. Therefore, you can certainly borrow something from this let's call it “tradition” in order to create something new. But, of course, at the same time, there is a privileged class of values producers who are the politicians. What we need is a democratization of values-making process that can change the way we are constructing our reality.      

Monday 16 March 2015

World Press Photo 2015: Interview with Åsa Sjöström, winner of the 2nd prize “Daily Life singles” with a picture from Moldova

Interview published by The Independent Journalism Center on 13, March 2015 -In romanian

The 2015 Contest drew entries from around the world: 97,912 images were submitted by 5,692 press photographers, photojournalists, and documentary photographers from 131 countries.
The World Press Photo of the year 2014 has been awarded to Danish photographer Mads Nissen, for a picture of a gay couple in St.Petersburg. “Jon and Alex” are in an intimate moment.  The picture draws attention to the legal and social discrimination and harassment faced by gay people in Russia.

                                                                 Jon and Alex, by Mads Nissen

The war in Siria, the Ebola virus, the situation of the illegal immigrants among other topics have won also Prizes in different categories. An overall of 312 pictures have been selected as the best pictures in the press during 2014.
Also there is one picture from Moldova named “Orphan Brothers” and taken by a Swedish photojournalist called Åsa Sjöström. The picture was taken on 24, March 2014 and has won the Daily Life , 2nd prize singles. 

                                                             Orphan Brothers by Åsa Sjöström

We decided to speak with Åsa to know what was her motivation to come to Moldova and take pictures of the Moldavians and how was the process while working here and also to have a global perspective of the photography world.
Åsa Sjöström is a Swedish photographer based in Malmö, Sweden. Her work focuses on social and cultural issues especially relating the intimate world concerning women and children.

She has been given several grants and awards for her photo journalistic work such as World Press Photo 2015, 2006, Poyi 2015 and Swedish Picture of the Year Award. Her work have been honored two times by Unicef Picture of the Year Award and honored by Swedish Red Cross Journalism Award among others. Too see more about her projects visit her website: 

Why did you choose Moldova? Which was your motivation and expectations?
Actually the first time I went to Moldova in 2005, about ten years ago, I worked at the biggest Swedish newspaper for one year, but after the  year is usually they have to employ you as photographer staff and this is really complicated to happen. But this is a regular way to start. I wanted to do something, so I started to work in my own and I was looking into going to the Middle East, but a friend suggested me to go to Eastern Europe.
I thought about different options, I started to look for useful information asking to my friends. In this way I discovered Moldova and I asked my friends whom didn’t know anything about this country. Many people think about Moldova as a country whit negative background, people trafficking... and to be honest at the beginning I did that too.
The first thing I wanted to cover in Moldova was a story about trafficking of women. I spent my first month in Chisinau, but I spent two weeks in a shelter for children. I realized that to work was really complicated. So I started to take pictures of the ballet school, the building was beautiful and I spent some hours there taking pictures of the dancers.

What characteristic of the county caught your attention? Why do you say you felt in love with Moldova?
The people that I have met are very friendly and helpful. I think it has been quite easy to work as photographer and the people were quite happy to speak with me and tell me the story. The countryside is beautiful, but maybe the main reason why I like it is because there is an unknown country, a really forgotten corner of Europe. There are lot of interesting family stories there.
Even thought there is not lot of information, do you agree in the way Moldova is showed in the international media? Because maybe sometimes there are lot of stereotypes
I think is like that everywhere. If you don’t spend time there you just scratch in the surface. It takes a time to show the difficulties the country is having. I always try to stay as much as I can. I think that is really important to be open to the changes, for example, before to travel you can have an idea but when you get a place you can discover interesting things and way to show it. 

Did you find any difficult taking pictures here?
At the beginning was complicated; lot of bureaucracy work. But somehow since my first trip I felt in love with Moldova and I wanted to come back, so I did it. My interpreter helped me a lot and in this trip I was showing an album with the ballet pictures to the people in order to get a better answer from them. In 2005 and 2006 I traveled to Transnistria too and it was a quite complicated back then. I saw a chance to go back to Moldova when the Ukranian wars increasing because even the newspaper here were interested in the Moldovan situation. I traveled in this time to Gagauzia where we covered some stories. So, I can say that we have been traveling around.


In nowadays media landscape we are overwhelmed by images (video, pictures of events, conflicts, war...). How do you choose what is worthy to be short or not?
I find interesting to show the people that you do not really see in the media. At the time to take the picture I try to show small moments, not being really sad I just try to portrait the reality. I try to show more than people usually expect. For example, in Dadaab, the biggest refugee camp in the world close to Somalia, before I go there I just saw picture of  starving, and this is necessary,  but when I got there I was overwhelm by the Dadaab as a community, they had cinema, outdoor activities, families doing their activities. I found this really interesting and in my opinion it is also necessary to show this reality. 

Speaking about the social value of the image... Do you consider that the picture necessarily has to work as a driving force for a change?
You always wait to achieve something with your stories; it is a dream for the journalist to change the reality. I am focus in women and children and I try to show them from a beautiful perspective, if you see a picture that make you look away this is not working as well. In contrast if you a see a picture that is appealing to you in some way is possible to see something else, you can stay out longer and even you can be upset because you like this picture very much.

Moldova Ballet school 2005. A serie of eight pictures was awarded 1st prize in World Press Photo 2006 in the category Arts and Entertainment. Photo by Åsa Sjöström

So, do you try to show also an artistic way when you shoot?
I like to work when the light is good and I am not interfering in the people I try to be quiet when I work. That is what I am aiming for. I try to look for a certain moment when I feel something.

In your opinion, what are the different between photojournalism and artistic photography?
I see myself as a photojournalist because I am trying to tell stories. Some journalist are doing short of art with the photography. Some like my picture and other consider that I am showing a kind of negative side. I think many photographers hear that.
When I am not taking pictures I am socializing, knowing the people, and then when something happens I take my camera and I take pictures. I choose my time to shoot.
If a journalist is accused of being an artist I don’t consider this is fair because everyone choose their own language to tell the story. The good journalist or photographers have their own language and I can see when a certain photographer has taken a picture and I like that.
But it is different if you have the previous disposition to take artistic pictures, maybe with commercial purposes. I do not do that.

Do you work in a collective of photographers?
We are freelance, but we like to inspire each other and hang out. I am going to start working on my own. I mostly choose my own topics.

What is your point of view in the use of new technologies or mobile application to take pictures? Do you consider that everyone can be a photographer?
As a professional photographer you cannot scare of that, we have to be better. I think is a lot of different, a professional photographer spent lot of time to shoot a picture wanting to say something. Everyone can snatch a picture on Instagram but, what does it say?
We have this discussion one in a while. You can really see the differences between a professional photographer and someone who is not. A professional is more into the people they photograph, there is a meaning. I am snatch a lot with my mobile but for me it doesn’t mean so much.
On the other hand sometimes to take pictures with mobile phone is useful, for example in Syria or places where the journalist hardly can go, some private person can show what is going go, but you have to be deep into the picture to show the reality. At least for me, sometimes it is a problem to know what is true or not. You cannot just believe in everything you see.
For example, around 20% of photojournalists are disqualified for the World Press Photo because they have manipulated the pictures. I think this is really sad. We have to learn to be professional in order to the people do not lost the credibility. I think you have to take care of your credibility as photographer and also you have to look into when you see other pictures.

Speaking about the World Press Photo, do you consider that these kinds of events are important for the photographers?
For me, every year I sent some pictures if I had some good pictures to the Swedish Picture of the year award, because is free. As a photographer I am really critical with myself. We are a couple of photographers in Malmo where I live, we short of go thought the each other work and this is sometimes that make you develop in some way.
This is kind of event put an eye on your work everywhere in the world, sometimes I think about it ethically but is so much behind all this work that are awarded. I think for the photojournalism and the history this exhibitions and books are a way of keeping the photography and photojournalism on a high level. And also make it interesting for other people, and the story you have made can live a little bit longer.

Do you have some advice for a student of photography?
It is always good photograph a lot, and never be afraid to asking people. When you go into sensitive subjects, you have to think why you are there, what you want to tell. You have a responsibility as photographer and you have to take care of the stories that people share with you. 

Picture of Hugh Jr in the small village of Baroncea Balti region. The picture was awarded first prize in Swedish Picture of the Year Award, portrait and 3rd prize in Poyi portrait 2015. By Åsa Sjöström

For further information: HERE

By: Rubén Pulido /Francesco Brusa