Kontinent is happy to announce and introduce our new member, Pi Frisk, a freelance photographer based in Stockholm, Sweden. Her main interest lies in documentary photography and humanitarian reportage. Pi does various assignments for daily press and news websites and is regularly featured in Sweden’s major newspapers. We have five questions to the Swedish Picture of the Year 2016 nominee.
When did you first discover your interest in photography?
I started using an analogue camera in my teens and quickly developed a strong interest in visual storytelling. At first, I turned the camera to my own world, to the lives of my friends and I. Then, at University, I studied media and communication and became increasingly drawn to the relationship between photography and social issues.
You were nominated in the Swedish Picture of the Year Award, what do you think the jury was attracted to in your work?
The two bodies of work that I submitted are very important to me. They share a similar visual language, but I don’t dare to guess why they were nominated.
Can you tell us how you usually come up with ideas for your stories and describe the projects you were nominated for?
It’s usually something that I see or hear. Impressions. Then I try to run with it, I want to find out more. I’m fascinated by the interchange of image, social engagement and artistic expression.
When the Västmanland wildfire broke out in the summer of 2014, I had just started working for Svenska Dagbladet (SvD). Another team was covering the story and they had produced powerful images, and then the story died in the media. The following summer the story was no longer being reported on. So I decided to go to the area around Sala where the fire had destroyed vast swathes of the forest. I photographed and met some people who told me about the difficulties their community has been facing.
The other project is about a summer camp for children from Belarus affected by the Chernobyl disaster. I had always known of the camp since I grew up nearby. It has been held every other summer for the past twenty years. For a long time, I thought it was a subject that I should document, so in 2015 I contacted the organizers and asked if I could meet the children, spend time with them and cover their story.
Why do you think so few women were nominated to the Swedish Picture of the Year Award 2016?
There are many reasons; statistically women are less often chosen by editors to cover certain stories, but also there are few women applying. Hopefully this will change in the future.
So what is next? Are you working on anything right now?
I’m currently working on a project about various forms of incarceration. I have done two parts so far, one is about high-security risk, pregnant women or women who’ve just given birth, and the other for violent male prisoners pursuing yoga and a spiritual path as a way to rehabilitate themselves.
I hope to be able to dedicate more time to long-term projects.