MIRRORS: Nina Voulis

1987, born in Moscow (Russia). lives in Ghent (Belgium). now in Copenhagen (Denmark).

  • Who are you?

A photographer, as probably most of the Lonely Walkers. An adventurer, to some extent. Or maybe rather an explorer. I’m curious, I like to learn, to discover new things. I travel, in search of ever new places to wonder at. I’m impatient. An engineer in environmental technologies. I keep questioning the world as it is, I believe it to be imperative to see things in their complex contexts with all their connections to each other.

Or to say it in an Amelie Poulin like way. I dislike the wet touch of freshly washed clothes. I dislike the guilty feeling of throwing away food. I dislike badly lit rooms with too small windows. I like the promising smell of a sunny summer morning in the mountains. I like to bike without being in a hurry or even having a concrete place to go. I like to watch people when they are not aware of it.

  • What is it that took you to see the world through a lens?

Photography started for me from a very different hobby. Many many years ago, I used to make bracelets, necklaces and other beady things. Though I still have all my beads in maybe a hundred different colours and shapes, I abandoned this craft long ago, with the pretext of not having enough time anymore. Back then however, at some point I decided to share my creations with the outside world. So I needed to make photos, though I didn’t have a digital camera, nor did my parents. (They had only a small analogue one, you know, kids, this museum artefact that had a film to develop instead of a sensor and a usb-connection.) Presumably I had been persuasive enough because in the end we borrowed a digital camera from a friend and off I went. It’d never be the same again, the seed of photography had been planted and some months later I got my own (compact) camera. After having destroyed that one and having outgrown my later bridge camera, I’m now proud to see the world through the different lenses of my small DSLR.

  • What do you write between lines?

Most of my pictures are just a handful of lucky moments I’d like to share with you, a nice composition, some bright colours, a beautiful light. There is nothing more in them than marvel of that moment. A captured detail of an ever-changing world. From time to time I however do feel the need to create photos with a somehow deeper meaning. If this urge arises from a news fact, an injustice or just a general philosophical thought, I’d tell you right away in the caption of the photo. So this all is not quite what you mean with “between the lines”. Sometimes I do write between the lines of my photo, I put a lot of individual meaning in it because that photo was made out of a necessity to materialise a deep personal feeling. Though this, I’d never tell you.

  • What can we see in your mirror?

The small details of the world that otherwise might have escaped the eye and be forgotten by the mind. The fugitive moments I did manage to capture, a stunning light, a particular feeling, a surprising detail of a place photographed by thousands. I believe our lives to be made of the little every day things, the good ones to be cherished, the bad ones to be dealt with. Major changes rarely happen, one has to build his or her daily happiness on the small joys in life, on its details. Try this, on your daily way to school or work you’re certainly coming by the same place again and again and again. Take a second to realise how the light of that moment and the weather of the day changes that place, how your mood influences your perception of the place. Enjoy the details.

  • Define you in 5 words.

SIMPLICITY. Touching art, striking quotes, well-thought architecture or practical design. Beauty and meaning, potentially coming together with functionality without anything superfluous. That’s what I really like having around me.

INDEPENDENCE. The freedom to be able to decide for yourself, to make your own choices and follow your own reasoning. The freedom of not having to stick with the crowd if you do not agree. I however acknowledge that independence, as a form of freedom, only goes until the limits of another person’s space and freedom.

OPEN-MINDEDNESS. Connected very much to independence, open-mindedness is for me the ability of bringing up the respect for the other’s independent choices and thinking, for the other’s habits and way of living. Open-mindedness is a way to discover a new part of the world.

CRITICAL THINKING. Also in a way connected to the previous two, critical thinking is a way to question the world as it is now, to cease taking things for granted while trying to see them in a new light, a new perspective. Critical thinking is the first step on a road for change, because sometimes some things just need to be changed.

CURIOUSITY. An attitude to discover more, to look further. Children look at the world with admiration, exploring with surprise the daily things of life. Growing up, I always wanted to keep at least a trace of this ability to look at the world as if I’m discovering everything for the very first time. It keeps me enthusiastic.

  • Define you in 5 pictures.

 

 

 

 

  • Tell us the quotes that describe you best.

Coming home from very lonely places, all of us go a little mad: whether from great personal success, or just an all-night drive, we are the sole survivors of a world no one else has ever seen. – John le Carre

We travel, some of us forever, to seek other states, other lives, other souls. – Anaïs Nin

There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle; you can live as if everything is a miracle. – Albert Einstein

  • Recommend us a photographer (or as many as you want!)

Stefan Vanfleteren (BE), Michiel Hendryckx (BE), Henri Cartier-Bresson (FR)

  • Your motto?

If your knees aren’t green by the end of the day, you ought to seriously re-examine your life. - Bill Watterson. Calvin and Hobbes.

  • Where can we see you?

www.flickr.com/rhyt

www.ninavoulis.eu

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3 Responses to MIRRORS: Nina Voulis

  1. Great words and beautiful images Nina…

    “If your knees aren’t green by the end of the day, you ought to seriously re-examine your life. ” – SO true!!

  2. Pingback: From this Day on… A Lonely Walker | Days in Denmark

  3. Pingback: two years and still “yesterday”… a visit in Barcelona | Thelonelywalkers' Blog

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