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November 4, 2020


Photography by Sofia Dalamagka
Interview by Melanie Meggs

We all know the feeling of loneliness. The feeling of being unseen and unheard, of being lost in a crowd of strangers, all of them going through their own struggles and joys, none of them truly noticing us. But when we look closer, we can see the secrets hidden in their faces. The feelings that cannot be voiced, the stories waiting to be told. It is this hidden beauty that Greek photographer Sofia Dalamagka seeks to capture in her work.

Sofia takes us on a journey around the forgotten ports and impersonal cities of the world, introducing us to the faces of strangers who, in their own way, tell stories and evoke emotions within us. Through her lens, Sofia dives into the innermost depths of human existence and reveals the feelings hidden away beneath the surface. These are people searching for something, be it joy, recognition, or even just a way out. Connected by a shared sense of deep loneliness, they are paused in time - living and breathing in moments that will never return.

For Sofia, photography is not just a profession; it is an art, a form of love that will never pass away. Her camera is her eternal mistress, and through it she invites us all to take a second look at the people who pass us by each day. To pause and reflect on their innermost thoughts and feelings, and to uncover the hidden beauty in our own lives. With her work, Sofia Dalamagka encourages us to recognise the importance of understanding one another, and to appreciate every moment that life gives us.

“Photography is a way of my existence, a kind of love that does not wear out as time goes by and my camera is my eternal mistress. The only thing that I’m sure about is that I don’t want to give answers, but I want to create questions. For me, capturing a moment should create doubts. Maybe I want to do a social statement. Sometimes, I want to express all the feelings that I hide. Sometimes I want to make the viewers question themselves, provoke or to disturb them. Even give them some negative feelings because that is a way of a creating a connection with the picture you have taken.”


THE PICTORIAL LIST: Sofia please tell us about yourself. When did you start getting interested in photography?

SOFIA DALAMAGKA: I started taking photographs as an amateur when I was 28 years old. It was some kind of love which still continues to give me that feeling until today. For about two to three years I took a small break. Photography was my 'saviour' when I felt totally blank inside, when I was questioning my own existence. Between falling and creativity, I consciously chose the second.

I try to evolve constantly by taking lessons, seminars, certifications of courses, by reading and studying a lot, by experimenting. Many times, success flirting with failure. And that's where all the magic hides, trying to overcome yourself and your expectations!

TPL: You sent us photos from your series 'Roll The Dice'. Tell us how this idea started and what you want the viewer to interpret?

SD: Roll the Dice is a poem by Charles Bukowski. He is my favorite poet and writer. I read that poem every time I get desperate. That poem was the main idea for the creation of these pictures. It talks about those who lose their courage, and find many obstacles during their everyday life. I want the spectator seeing these pictures to realise that it is important to remain humane and that everyone is alone in this world going through his own everyday battles.

TPL: Where do you find your inspiration to keep photographing?

SD: In love, traveling, in a passing glance, in books, in the waves of the sea, in the sound of rain, in the smell of wet soil, in promises that weren't kept, in stories of lovers and friends.

TPL: Do you have any favourite artists that you would like to share with us, and the reason for their significance?

SD: Francesca Woodman and her tragic end have affected me deeply as an artist and as a woman. Nevertheless, Daido Moriyama work with his dark nightly Contrast, Saul Leiter’s poetry and Vivian Maier’s deep irony about human existence spreading through all of her work were what sculpted the way I take for real and how I try to show the meaning of what I see.

TPL: Do you prefer to photograph alone or with friends?

SD: I think of photography as a unique procedure where there is no space for babbling. It’s a secretive experience. If you are not a lonely wolf, you are not a photographer!

Photography for me is the reflection of the photographer. An inner world emerges and becomes real through this. It deals with the irrational, the illusion and the subconscious. Photography is the memory. An experience. A persistence. A glimpse. A promise never kept.

TPL: Has your style of photography changed since you first started?

SD: I have changed my perspective and style since I started to work with photography and I still continue to reshape my personal perspective without to totally change the identity of my work. Change is part of my personal evolution, we shouldn’t be afraid of experimenting, of taking risks, of change in general.

TPL: Where is your favorite place(s) to photograph?

SD: As much as I love traveling, I believe that familiarity is what creates images with meaning, a story to tell and substance. Wherever I go I always end up taking pictures in the small by the sea village which I come from and live during winter. Mainly around the village port, where little stories are evolved, unnoticeable by others.

TPL: How does the equipment you use help you in achieving your vision in your photography? Do you have a preferred lens/focal length?

SD: On the street, or outdoors in general, I really like to be unseen by people that's why I prefer a quiet mirrorless camera. I like wide frame from wide angle lenses but I usually work with the usual 50mm lens which is closer to what I can see. There are times again when I like to focus on details that might describe a whole way of life or a personal story. I love cold colors and the way mirrorless cameras show the color palette, with that vintage feeling they give you as well as the filters they offer you like black and white film. All these helped me very much to improve my portfolio by creating a project with coherence.

TPL: Are there any projects you are currently working on that you would like to let everyone know about? What are some of your goals as an artist? Where do you see yourself or hope to see yourself in five years?

SD: Lately I have been experimenting with techniques mix media and double exposure, I have been trying to connect pieces of images into one image connected harmonically and even.

I would like to finally carry out the exhibition I have been working on with another 26 women participating, with the title 'Under Negotiation' which I personally revised, but unfortunately was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It is about the existence and women psychology and how every woman gets along with her body, stereotypes, motherhood, the pressure she has to put through with our worlds social standards. I dream of my first own personal exhibition, my portfolio is in progress. I hope that I will be able to have created my own photography team where I live which will show the cultural heritage of where I live and which will give the opportunity to 'Jung' people to express through photography.

TPL: Have you ever been involved in the arts before you found photography?

SD: When I was a little child I would always remember my mother painting with oil paint on canvas, I still have the smell of the paint and the thinner in my memory. If I close my eyes I can hear the sound of the brush on the canvas. That was my first contact, and the most magic one, within the world of Art. I remember looking at her in awe and with childhood enthusiasm.

TPL: "When I am not out photographing, I (like to)…

SD: I like taking photographs either way, cause it’s an obsession, a way of existence and the way of how people see the world. I revise exhibitions, write articles about photography, read about the work of modern and classic photographers and argue with my friends if a photo is eventually good or not."

Sofia Dalamagka has shown us that there is beauty all around us, and that through understanding and appreciation of one another we can find a greater appreciation for our own lives. Her photography is a testament to that and an invitation to pause, reflect and celebrate the beauty of life. We encourage you to connect with Sofia and to see more of her art, and to take a second look at the world around us.

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