Short bio: Roxana Pop (Roxi Pop) is a Romanian Fulbright student who graduated in 2015 with an MA in Journalism from the University of Missouri. In 2012, after she graduated with a BA in Journalism from Babes-Bolyai University, Pop left to the United States to develop her visual storytelling skills, and to explore a culture very different from her own. Pop is drawn to unique communities. Her master project was about Chautauqua gated community located up-state New York. After she graduated, January – June 2015, she lived in Norfolk, Virginia and assisted documentary photographer Matt Eich. The internship with Eich was followed by another Chautauqua summer, where she taught photography workshops, had a personal photography exhibition “Chautauqua Dreamworld.” As The Fulbright Scholarship ended, in the fall of 2015, Pop moved back to her home country Romania, launching her career as freelance photographer. Together with other two Romanian photojournalists, she founded Fotopia collective – a photo collective dedicated to promote documentary photography in Romania.
Why do you photograph on film? I used to photograph a lot with my phone using Hipstamatic, being completely in love with square format. In 2015, Matt Eich was the one who put the Yashica Matt 124 G, for the first time in my hands. Since then I didn’t stop using it, even though I use it only for personal projects. Photographing on film slows me down, makes me pay more attention to what I include in the frame, it makes me question myself more about what I want to share with the word through photographs. Since my return to Romania, photographing on film became more of a problem because I can’t find good place to process the film, however I am decided to keep on doing analog photography, it fits the way I see, it fits my personality. Nonetheless, I find film photography as a more intimate medium to document stories, in comparison with digital photography.
What is your work about? Scrisoare de acasă \ Letter from home For the last three years spent in the U.S., I skyped with my family every two weeks. First part of the call was always full of excitement and curiosity to see my parents, to look at their faces, to analyze them and see if they changed. Then I would look at my face in the small box in the right corner of the screen, and see if I changed. A lot of screenshots were taken, trying to document our long-distance relationship. Today I am home. Funny enough that home didn’t feel like home but more like a new territory for me to explore and discover. After being alone for so long, suddenly, I have a family again. I have parents and grandparents. I have a beautiful garden with greenhouses, vegetables, and fruits, a backyard full with chickens. Overwhelmed by emotions, my first instinct was to document my return. These photographs are the expression of my joy, gratitude and regret for the time passed.