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Ilia Yefimovich is a Russian born and Israeli based award winning documentary photographer. His works explore Global communities, borders, social histories and current relations.
He aims to show his viewers the world as he sees it as a photographer.
To express his own personal outlook on the projects he shoots with an empathetic and political stance.
Yefimovich is a teacher pf photography, he has exhibited his works on and international level as well as launching a documentary photography magazine.
You were born in Moscow and currently living in Israel, tell us a little about both, growing up in Russia, what prompted the move to Israel and what your experiences have been like and how they differ in both countries?
Thats a long one indeed. It’s very hard to speak of the move as I was still a kid. But I do remember the change. I guess it was for the good but I can definitely speak about my art and what the photography in Russia stands for in my work and of course the daily work in Israel and the West Bank.
My work researches into human conflict and its obsession with territory. As an observer I’m building a maze of ideas that create parallel realities that merge into a sanctuary of surreal narratives from the combination of their representations of the familiar and common places.
In Russia I base my work upon memories of my child hood where as in Israeli I focus mostly on the current situation and how it affects me.
How long have you been shooting for and what got you into photography, what were you doing before?
Well today I can say, as long as I remember. But actually it all started around the age of 16. My older Brother was my biggest influence back in the day. He was very much into photography and as a younger brother I myself also just had to get a camera.
What is it that draws you to documentary photography and what is the message you aim to put across in your images?
I want people to freeze for a moment, to get there mind around a subject, to be able to process the situation around them.
Without trying to be a judge I want to teach people to be able to observe.
In todays vivid world of social media and endless images scrolling – It’s very hard to put a point to something and just stop for a moment.
Tell us a little about the The Archive’ magazine you co-founded?
This project has been running for few years, we were able to find a lot of talented photographers and we wanted to showcase there work.
Is there a narrative you want to cover that you haven’t yet?
In many projects that I do lately I’m trying more and more to share part of my personal world. I guess it’s the hardest for me. Observing the outside world is fairly easy for me.
You shoot with a large format camera, can you tell us a little about it, what turned you on to it and what you feel you get from it?
Large format photography, it’s like a drag, the process and the images come out so different from what we see on our daily, digital basis, it’s hard really to shoot with anything else now.
I do choose different cameras for different projects, I love to play around with tech – but there isn’t anything in this world that comes close to the process of shooting with large format.
The precision that you line up the frame and then this magical moment as you slide the film in and suddenly you can’t really see the images anymore – gives me the goosebumps each time.
Whats can we expect to see from you in 2020?
The hardest questions of all in the interview, as this crazy years comes to an end I can reflect and say that it was mostly focused on family and not really in creating new images outside of my daily news work.
Covid lockdown melancholy really got into my work – and in my future projects I really would love to focus on my world.
Where can we find you online?
If you feel like chit chat the Instagram: @yefimovich
But my art work can be found on : www.ilia-yefimovich.com