Get Familiar

For the OSCAM x Patta exhibition, we've interviewed the artists partaking in the event. First in line is Stacii Samidin, a Surinamese photographer from Rotterdam who entered the scene with his continuous photo series Societies - capturing subcultures and minorities and street life in all over the world.

Read on, get to know Stacii in the interview below.

Stacii, as a quick introduction to our readers, who are you and how would you describe your art?
Raw honesty, radicalism, and unfamiliar territories are the foundation of my continuous life’s work called Societies. At the core, is the essence of seeing, hearing and accepting a human being without prejudice and judgment. I document the lives of minorities, the oppressed and of those with unorthodox lifestyles all around the world. Creating a shift in the individual and collective consciousness by challenging our perception and raising the voices of the unheard through photography and film.

How did your relationship with art begin?
During my teenage years, I had difficulty conforming to the world around me. Being labeled by stereotypes and feeling unheard, Hip Hop and radicalism became my allies. I started documenting my environment without the intent of becoming a photographer. This came to the attention of a professional documentary photographer who introduced him me the field. Shortly after, I got the opportunity to exhibit my first series Moluccans in The Netherlands (2011), a controversial subject about the Republic of South Maluku (RMS) youth, in the Nederlands Fotomuseum. From that moment on I understood the power of my medium. Photography became my first language and it had a tremendous influence on my personal life, work ethic, and determination.

How would you place your art in our current social/ political landscape?
When creating my art I'm highly aware of the times we're in. I take my responsibility in writing history very seriously because I reflect on various groups of people and identities of this century. Documenting who we are today while breaking down stereotypes by confronting us all with the similarities we have instead of focusing on differences, relates to us all when we think of our role in society. That's also part of why my life's work is called Societies.

What do you feel an artist needs to add on a cultural level?
The essence of my work starts with shedding all the external layers to get to the core. The core of your being without any outside influences. Your true self. That's what I bring in to my work, what I capture and what I challenge everyone to do.

What messages are you trying to convey to your audience through your art?
Imagine how beautiful the world actually is. Once we realise the necessity of challenging our perception of it and put in the work, we can grow on all levels both individually and collectively.

Please explain your creative process.
Craftsmanship is very important to me. Therefore, I shoot analog to capture the rawness of my subjects. I have also developed my own theory to create Societies of which I believe translates through my work.

What is your favourite part about being a photographer?
ThatI get to meet beautiful people all around the world.

How has your history of working with Patta been so far?
Meeting Societies in Jamaica is a blessing for life.

What’s your dream goal and/or project?
My dream goal is to be signed to Magnum Photos.

What advice would you give to young artists who would like to get their work in galleries?
Don't dream too long, work hard, be patient and let your work do the talking.