Yin Bunker. Photography and social reality.

by Vicente Dolz in interview - a year ago

Yin Bunker. Photography and social reality.

by Vicente Dolz in interview - a year ago
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With a camera in her hands, since she was eighteen years old, Yin Bunker is a photographer and television news producer.

She has made award-winning reports in various competitions and believes in her work as a tool for social transformation.


Yin, how did you get started in photography?

I started very young; my first feelings towards photography are the awareness of the images that we all create in our minds, they are like photograms. I think I immediately felt the need to express myself in that way, with the closest thing my mind could offer me. I wanted to find a means of expression with which to transmit or point my finger and I chose photography. I started in a self-taught way by reading a book that a relative gave me about technique. Immediately I had my first contact with the laboratory. A person invited me to a developing session... a bathroom, a red light... and I enjoyed that magical moment, the appearance of the image in the developer's bucket, that which those of us who are already a few years old have experienced and it is wonderful. At that moment I realized that I was going to dedicate myself to photography and that it would accompany me all my life. Soon after I contacted this person and bought the enlarger from him; from that moment on I only remember very pleasant moments of afternoons spent in the laboratory at home.

I also had the opportunity to study photography in one of the few schools that existed in Madrid (there were not as many as there are now).

In what area would you frame your photographic work or how would you define your photography?


I would define it as a search, author photography, experimental perhaps. I like to "touch" many areas, I don't want to refuse to do what I feel like doing at any given moment, I don't want to pigeonhole myself in anything and I think that freedom of movement is what contributes the most to this search. I have done many types of photography although now I feel more focused on author photography, in personal projects. In fact, I have just been in Vietnam, and I brought back a work I have titled Women of the South, but when I want to use photography as a more artistic, more personal, more intimate means of expression, I use auteur photography.

How do you think your life experience has influenced your work?

 I think there is a lot of each author in his or her work. In my case, I have grown up and photography has grown up with me; we have gone hand in hand, and we have lived through the same crises and the same booms. I think I have used photography therapeutically; projects like "La certeza sensible" that talk about madness or "El cuerpo y el paisaje" are very intimate works made during important personal crises. Photography has always accompanied me and has helped me to recover.

Your work "Encarceladas" was a finalist in the 2017 Albarracín Photojournalism Seminar. Tell us how that project was born and executed.

The project came out of a distressing personal moment. So I decided to go into an old prison in Segovia and do a photo shoot with an actress. This work has been pigeonholed within gender violence but it is not exactly that, it is something broader, and it has more to do with the desire for freedom.

When I went to Albarracín the first time, I was kind of lost, so many people, so many authors, and so much photography, and this was one of the works I was carrying but did not completely decide to present it. Once there I realized that it was the work I had to present and it turned out to be a finalist.

It was the first time I went and I was very excited to be selected. Later I went to Albarracín again but I didn't present any work; I preferred to enjoy the content as a spectator.

Tell us about your works "El atentado del 11M en un colegio de Atocha" and "Menores en el Estrecho".

El atentado del 11M en un colegio de Atocha is a work awarded by UNICEF and commissioned by TV about how a nearby school experienced the explosion.

Minors in the Strait of Gibraltar received an Honorable Mention from the Junta de Andalucía. It talks about a young Moroccan boy who crosses the strait in a boat and arrives in Granada. We followed him, trying to explain what happens when they turn 18 and are left without the guardianship of the state.

What does a TV news producer do?

It's my profession. For many years I have worked in a news program of small reports. I was in charge of the image part in pieces of about 7 minutes. I was in charge of translating into audiovisual language what the journalist told in his script in a literary way.  Later I had the opportunity to make a short documentary of 28 minutes in Lebanon, in a refugee camp; this is a personal project of 2017. Here I started to work for longer times, working on more complex narratives.

Have you done a multitude of workshops? Which is the one that has left the biggest impression on you?

I like to continually train myself. There was a workshop that I remember with special affection, by Maya Goded, a photographer whose work especially attracts me and whom I admire.

Which photographers have influenced your photographic work?

I have to choose a woman, you have to support female photography. One of my great idols is Francesca Woodman, because of her intimate work. I would like to one day be able to transmit as she did.

Your latest work "Only doves fly" was shot in Lebanon, in a refugee camp. How was this idea born?

At that time the war in Syria was very present in our present time and I had long wanted to do work on refugees, so I started this project with a theater director, a photographer, and another person from an NGO. I was in charge of forming the team and directing it, the production, crowdfunding...etc. We managed to contact an NGO that gave us logistical support inside the refugee camp. We made the documentary and the photographic project that had to be incorporated into a play.

What would you recommend to photographers who are starting out?

That they try to discard as much of their work as possible. More than choosing, discard. Many times you identify the level you're at by the number of photos you're left with. I think the level of demand has to be maximum. I also want them to be honest with what they feel, with themselves.

What are your next projects?

I would like to continue working on themes that I already have in development, in "La certeza Sensible", about madness and in "sobre la imaginación y la materia" about the body and the landscape, although the projects always come unexpectedly, they are the ones that find you. Who knows what the entrails will want to tell the next time?