The Troubles in Northern Ireland have been well documented, but Janire Najera has revisited the area and given a fresh creative take on the region, and the echoes of a troubled past that still resonate to this day.
Janire is a Spanish photojournalist that currently splits her time between Wales, Spain and New Mexico. She spoke to Photophique about this series of double exposures.
Thanks for speaking to Photophique, can you tell us a little about yourself?
Whilst growing up I was mostly interested in words and was passionate about writing and its social dimension. I studied Journalism in Madrid with plans to work within the print media after graduating. But curiosity to use other ways to tell stories diverted me into photography.
I then travelled to Wales to study Documentary Photography at the University of Wales, Newport which allowed me to develop my photographic practice further.
One of my key interests is the street, people, routines, (past and present) what I see every day and what I would like to see. Through my work I hope to re-think and develop imagery that questions the histories and environments we belong to. My documentary practice is concerned with highlighting communities that have been placed or displaced through changing social and economic climates.
Your Northern Ireland series is a powerful story, could you tell us more about the concept and inspiration for it?
As an outsider, I was captivated and intrigued by the powerful mural imagery generated in Northern Ireland over the last few decades. After an initial research trip to Belfast, I wanted to merge in the same frame murals from the past with people from the neighbourhoods in which these symbols were still displaying explicit and implicit messages to residents and visitors.
For this project, chance and spontaneity was key in allowing natural accidents to happen rather than constructing the images in post.
I was trying to pose some questions about the double dimension that characterises the Northern Irish conflict in an attempt to document past and present, conflict and peace time; inviting the audience to think about other dualities generated by human nature itself or through the influence of memory in the understanding of the present.
This series is based on double exposures, what process was used to create these images?
I used a Holga film camera as it was really portable and allowed me to shoot medium format double exposures. Once I was back in Wales I developed the films to discover how the images had been combined, scanned the negatives and did minor adjustments in the computer, as touch ups to lighting and darkness.
Muchas gracias to Janire for talking to Photophique. You can see more of Janire’s wonderful work via janirenajera.com, and keep up-to-date with her on Twitter.
Janire has also just been featured on CNN, check out the series here.
Photophique has express permission to publish these images and Janire Najera retains full copyright to all photographs featured in this showcase series.Back to Top