Our seventy second interview in this series of intimate interviews is with talented mobile photographer and artist Rita Tipunina, you may know her work from her popular Instagram page – @ritatipunina This interview is a stalwart refresher on how life differs in a country like Russia, to the UK or US for that matter, “it is foolish to be politically indifferent. Especially in Russia”, replies Tipunina to our political question. We learn and grow from this interview, through girth and plenitude this is one that may stay with you. Enjoy!
To read the other published interviews in this series including artists, Adria Ellis, Rino Rossi, Mehmet Duyulmus, Alexis Rotella, Lou Ann Sanford Donahue, Irene Oleksiuk, Kerry Mitchell, Filiz Ak, Dale Botha, Lisa Mitchell, M. Cecilia Sao Thiago, Deborah McMillion, Rita Colantonio, Amy Ecenbarger, Jane Schultz, Anca Balaj, Joyce Harkin, Armineh Hovanesian, Kate Zari Roberts, Vicki Cooper, Peter Wilkin, Barbara Braman, Becky Menzies, Sukru Mehmet Omur, Sarah Bichachi, Michel Pretterklieber, Alon Goldsmith, Judy Lurie Whalberg, Andrea Bigiarni, Sean Hayes, Oola Cristina, Kathleen Magner-Rios, Linda Toki, Deb Field, Emilo Nadales, Lydia Cassatt, David Hayes, Jean Hutter, Frederic Deschênes, Mark Schnidman, Fatma Korkut, Fleur Schim, Rob Pearson-Wright, Dieter Gaebel, James Ellis, Marco P Prado, Jeronimo Sanz, Manuela Matos Monteiro, Bleu Chemiko, Manuela Basaldella, Stefania Piccioni, Luis Rodríguez, Marilisa Andriani (@mitrydate) Mayte Balcells (@artofmayte), Nicole Christophe, Jennifer Graham, Cathrine Halsør, Paul Toussaint, Carol Wiebe, Julie Denning, Kim Clayton (@berleyart), Karen Messick, Serap Utaş, MaryJane Rosenfeld, Paul Suciu, Susan Latty (@pause.and.breathe), John Nieto, Phyllis Shenny, Joy Barry, Max Lies Derdonk and myself, go here.
All images ©Rita Tipunina
What was your earliest childhood ambition?
To be an archaeologist. I wanted to learn the secrets of ancient civilizations and discover my own “Troy”. Or maybe I watched too many Indiana Jones films.
Performing my own poem, I won the first place and I was terribly proud of it. Speaking about photography, it was not so long ago. My photos began to be shown on the screens in the Moscow metro, and they still are. I can’t always see them there myself, but very often strangers write to me and send me photos. It’s nice.
I spent my childhood in Siberia, and for the first time in my life I earned money by helping to plant a new forest. Small pine trees and fir trees, during the whole summer, we planted them in the soil. Now, I want to believe, this is a sunny pine tree forest.
Private or State school?
State School. I started studying at school when the USSR, as a state, only ceased to exist and there were no private schools in Russia yet.
University or work?
Both . I studied at the Faculty of History, while trying to earn money.
Who was or still is your mentor?
There has never been a mentor. Everything that I can do, is what I always learn myself, using various resources, from books and films to videos on YouTube.
How physically fit are you?
In excellent condition. Cycling and swimming mainly keeps me to keep fit. For example, last summer we went cycling inside the Arctic Circle, drove about 700 km along the Kola Peninsula. It was very cold and hard, but fun.
Ambition or Talent. What matters more to success?
Talent, whatever it is, needs to be developed. If you feel some kind of strength, ability, you need to fight for them. Ambition is important. But talent and self-confidence come first, it seems to me.
How politically committed are you?
It is foolish to be politically indifferent. Especially in Russia.
What would you like to own that you don’t currently possess?
An opportunity not to think about money, and travel more.
If we talk about things, then a new phone with a better camera.
What is your biggest extravagance?
I spend on travelling. I really like travelling around my country. But Russia is very big, it takes a lot of money.
In which places are you happiest?
I think happiness does not depend on the place, but on what is inside you. But geographically for me there are two best places in the world – Lake Baikal and Georgia (country).
What ambitions do you still have?
I am not a very ambitious person, I just want to enjoy life and do what I like.
What drives you on?
Novelty. When every new day gives you new places, new people, new sensations.
What is the greatest achievement of your life so far?
My life is what it is now. I am a happy person, I have almost everything I need.
What do you find most irritating in other people?
I don’t like stupid people
If your twenty year old self could see you now, what would she think?
That life was a success
Which object that you’ve lost do you wish you still had?
If an object, then no. But I would like to bring back the feeling when one day is a whole life, and summer lasts forever.
What is the greatest challenge of our time?
To create a world in which there is no place for hatred. The problem is that it doesn’t exist.
Do you believe in the afterlife?
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