Interview - Mia Le Journal
I miss that precious time you have in your twenties, when your mind is still trained to seize whatever the day has to offer: it might lead to nothing or to anything, to hours of just thinking or travelling in your own imagination. I miss the quality of that time, of which we see less and less the older and busier we get.
Working on this project took me back to those days and that mindset, and pushed me beyond. Going beyond meant getting out of the frame, moving into someone else’s universe and allowing this journey into someone else to become a journey into myself, recognising the growth within each intense conversation, every silence and moment of unease. We live in a time and a place where people scan you in the blink of an eye, up and down from haircut to shoes, or through a smartphone screen, where people are quick to judge others with blunt and intrusive questioning, to make sure their time is invested in the right acquaintances.
In this series of fanzines I meet my subjects for the first time and spend a while in their homes, trying to deconstruct my own preconceptions, giving myself time to gradually enter a stranger’s persona and soul. Like a holiday from myself, I step out of my work, home, family, everyday life and comfort zone to immerse myself in another human being just as they are. Once more I enter those hours of thinking and travelling in my own mind, now from a completely different perspective, sharing myself with someone unfamiliar to me. Staying with Alex, Constantin and Emily was extremely important; they all stimulated my thinking. The time spent with each of them was not merely an escape, it was a treatment for my mind and my soul.
My aim is to withhold from the viewer any unnecessary information that might redirect the mind to an already-known image or context. In order to share this journey and my subjects, I believe it’s important to reach the viewer by a different method, outside the conventions of journalism. No landscapes, no real visual field, and most importantly no description that could interrupt the flow and point our judgement in a single, ready-made direction.
The fanzines are intended to be a journey through humanity, exploring the subjects as singularities in their own galaxies and universes and offering a simpler, bare understanding of each individual. This journey will include 30 subjects and last four years. When receiving each zine, all you’ll get is a first name: politics, sexuality, origin, religion, address, nationality and any additional information will be left out. You will be welcomed into their homes as I was, they’ll share their daily life with you as they did in front of my camera, offering a wide range of humans in their own minds and bodies.