Artist and Visual Photographer Sonia Hamza is the Edge of Humanity Magazine contributor of this photo essay. From the series ‘Lisbon: Listening To The Light’. To see Sonia ’s body of work, click on any photograph.
‘Lisbon: Listening to the light’ is a series of photographs conceived on the margins of a creative residence that I completed in that city.
Disappointed by the destinations suggested by the travel guides – places casual travelers are expected to visit – I made my own way, exploring locations established in the glory period of the city, the 1960’s, with its modern architecture, parallel lines and reflective glazed surfaces.
I was fascinated by the multiple visual contrasts on display in the streets, the marriage of religious zeal with the joyful geometric graphics of the facades. I wanted to capture these observations by listening to the light, rather than just making a record of what I saw. This was achieved by restricting my color palette to black and white – specifically absolute black – which allowed me the artist’s luxury of concealing anything non-essential while unveiling hidden details that may not at first be apparent. I used the deep black to redefine the contours and direct the viewer towards my version of the narrative.
I avoided addressing the city through the usual landscape conventions; my approach was to assemble individual visual fragments that I later interweaved to fully express my vision, (my background as a fashion designer trained me to adopt this approach).
The order in which the photographs appear present the contrasts that are naturally present on a stroll through the streets, but also correspond to the unique rhythm of Lisbon. The walks were punctuated by moments of unexpected harmony, where we can observe vaporous clouds, rays of light and the peculiar gyrations of strangers dancing. Looking and listening carefully, the atmosphere changed at every corner. I wanted to capture this alternation between calmness and excitement in a two-dimensional print; the camera passes on these vibrations, (and perhaps subliminally the sounds too?) felt at the very moment the shutter is pressed.
‘Lisbon: Listening to the light’ is a portfolio of photographs that are a testimony to my harmonious encounter with this alluring city. By ‘encounter’ I mean the sensation that occurs when meeting an intriguing new person and in time they gradually unveil themselves; this sharing and exchange of information makes us understand and appreciate others on a very personal level.
All images and text © Sonia Hamza
By Sonia Hamza
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