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  • Jon Longworth

Seminar with Silvana Trevale

On the 1st November, we had an online lecture which involved the presence of photographer, Silvana Trevale. Obviously, being as experienced as she is in the field, she had a lot of invaluable info and advice to give us.

Silvana studied at the University of Huddersfield. Throughout her time at the university, she always had a passion for the portrait driven projects, as she focused on fashion photography, alternative fashion and then fashion photography with a heavier emphasis on documentary. Whilst generally staying within this field, she has broadened her skillset to accommodate a broader portfolio. After graduating from the University of Huddersfield, Silvana has since then been featured in numerous photography publications including the likes of FotoRoom, Kodak and Intern Magazine, as well as several others. As well as this, she has gathered a large list of clientele that she has worked for, including the likes of British Vogue, The Telegraph and Save the Children to name a few.

Something that I love about her work is her documentation of her mother country, Venezuela. This may be in part due to some of my work treading along the same lines in the past. Silvana documented a project called 'Venezuelan Youth' in which she photographed the next generations of the country, which have grown up in a time of social, political and economic turmoil. This documentation of change from childish naivety into hardened maturity as they grow up and adjust to the world around them is something that I found to be quite poignant. Another project, titled 'Warm Rain' extended upon the themes previously explored in 'Venezuelan Youth'. It takes an almost humanist approach towards the political climate in the country, by exploring and examining the lives of the people who occupy this space, looking at and talking about how these people face the reality that is in front of them.

As well as acting as a photo project, it also seems to act as a way for Silvana herself to connect with her heritage on a deeper level by allowing herself to understand the greater struggles of the country by engaging with it on a very deep and personal level.

Silvana and Lockdown's effect

Silvana, like many photographers at the moment, has acknowledged the struggles of trying to produce work in a Post-Covid world, noting that "It is a difficult time for everyone at the moment, finding and producing work proves to be difficult".

Like many photographers though, she stated that the circumstances had allowed her to try new things and finding yourself. That lack of familiarity for most of us has thrown us into the deep end in a sense, as we have had to adapt to the shortcomings that are placed in front of us that has led to us trying new things, or new ways of shooting or new explorations of concepts. By stripping away what we have considered so essential as photographers, it does almost create a feeling going back to basics and using the raw elements at your disposal.

To conclude, Silvana's work resonates with me on a personal level, mainly because of her work ethic when it comes to shooting in Venezuela. That desire to understand the country that she comes from strikes a chord with me. Since my mothers side of the family is from Ireland, I have always felt a desire to photograph it and to understand it, to absorb in its sights, its landscapes and its experiences. That tapping into the root of where she came from, or in my case, where my family came from is very important in the development of a person, as it creates a better understanding of ones self.

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