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Sara Shamsavari is a British photographer who works around the World. She talks with us about her symbolist style and her project "Dastaar- fitting in and staning out", which is inspired by the idea of transforming prejudice and misunderstanding in to something new and beautiful.
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1. Thanks so much for speaking with us, Sara. Can you tell us a bit about how you started with photography, and how you define your style?
My pleasure, I began from a fine art/ music background and was always impressed by the speed and accessibility of photography and its ability to convey a message. It is also a medium that creates an instant bond between the artist and the person being photographed. My work is primarily portraiture in the context of projects that address social and cultural concerns that we face in society today.
2. We are really curious about your project Dastaar- Fitting in and Standing out, what did you want people to feel when they see it?
As with all my projects I hope to encourage human understanding between people who are different from one another. Despite the fact that migration and displacement have been happening since the beginning of time people are still dealing with real prejudice even in diverse society. As with many other projects including The Veil Series and The Dandy Lion Project, Dastaar - Fitting in and Standing Out looks at a group of people in society who face a lot of ignorance , misunderstanding and stereotyping and yet shine in the face of this.
3. Why did you choose a city like London to create your project, and where have you found most of your models?
London is the most exciting most cosmopolitan and cultural rich city in the world- here you have everything and everyone. Sikh men and women can be found everywhere throughout London.
4. What are your thoughts about the cultural influence Sikhs are getting from British society and vice-versa?
Its beautiful to see the mixtures of popular culture influences and tradition come together among some of the participants of the project. Tattoos are very popular in the UK, so is is sartorial dressing. The paisley print that originates iran/ India is insanely popular in the western fashion but sadly often not credited to its rightful place of origin.
5. Do you intend to go further with Dastaar to other cities as you did already with Veil series?
At the moment there are no plans to extend Dastaar. The Veil series however has just been extended to UAE.
6. Our app Albert helps independent professionals who work on the go. As professional photographer on the move, could you let us know how you think Albert can help?
I think Albert is fantastic because it allows you to send invoices on the go. At a time where most people work from their phones it takes a lot of pressure off compared to more traditional time consuming invoicing.
The 3-Point Summary
- My work is primarily portraiture in the context of projects that address social and cultural concerns that we face in society today.
- With all my projects I hope to encourage human understanding between people who are different from one another.
- "Dastaar - Fitting in and Standing Out" looks at a group of people in society who face a lot of ignorance , misunderstanding and stereotyping and yet shine in the face of this.