I have created a special section within TheAppWhisperer to publish inspiring photographic related TED talks to. The first that I am publishing today is staring Uldus Bakhtiozina, she’s a fabulous photographer and one that I interviewed recently for Vogue. “My life in general can be described in one phrase, ‘analytical spontaneity’, I analyze my surroundings and take spontaneous action”. Uldus Bakhtiozina in conversation with Joanne Carter, PhotoVogue Columnist…
Please enjoy her video TED talk below and I have also attached the text transcript.
Good afternoon. My name is Uldus. I am a photo-based artist from Russia. I started my way around six years ago with ironic self-portraits to lay open so many stereotypes about nationalities, genders, and social issues — [“I am Russian. I sell drugs, guns, porno with kids!”] [“Vodka = water. I love vodka!”] (Laughter) — using photography as my tool to send a message. [“Marry me, I need a visa.”]
Today, I am still performing in front of the camera and trying to be brave like Wonder Woman. I focus on balancing meaningful message, aesthetic, beauty, composition, some irony, and artifacts.
Today, I’m going to tell you about my project, which is named Desperate Romantics. They’re my artifacts, or paintings from pre-Raphaelites Brotherhood England mid-19th century. I took the painting and gifted new, contemporary meaning talking about issues which are surrounding me in Russia, capturing people who are non-models but have an interesting story.
This boy is a professional dancer, only 12 years old, but at secondary school, he hides his dancing classes and is wearing the mask of brutality, trying to be united with the rest of his classmates like a storm trooper has no personality. But this boy has goals and dreams but hides it to be socially accepted, because being different isn’t easy, especially in Russia.
Next portrait interpretation is metaphoric. And this is Nikita, a security guard from one of the bars in St. Petersburg. He likes to say, “You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry,” quoting Hulk from the movie, but I’ve never seen him angry. He hides his sensitivities and romantic side, because in Russia, among guys, that’s not cool to be romantic, but it’s cool to be surrounded with women and look like an aggressive hulk. (Laughter)
Sometimes, in my project, I would take the painting and give it new meaning and new temptation about it. Sometimes, I would compare facial features and playing with words: irony, Iron Man, ironing man. (Laughter)
Through the artifacts, I bring social issues which surround me in Russia into the conversation. Interesting fact about marriage in Russia, that most of the 18, 19-year-old girls are already ready, and dream to get married. We’re taught from childhood, successful marriage means successful life, so most of the girls kind of fight to get a good husband.
And what about me? I’m 27 years old. For Russian society, I’m an old maid and hopeless to ever get married. That’s why you see me in a Mexican fighter mask, in the wedding dress, all desperate in my garden. But remember, irony is the key, and this is actually to motivate girls to fight for goals, for dreams, and change stereotypes. Be brave. Be ironic — it helps. Be funny and create some magic.