Céline ANAYA-GAUTIER
Photographer

Céline made the portraits of the talented young people supported by Porosus in 2018.

 

What is your artistic background?

I came to photography a little by chance, during a trip through the Andes after the death of my grandfather. Is there such a thing as chance? I had decided to follow in the footsteps of his childhood, but I fell ill on my journey; a man, Eduardo Herran, took me in; he had been an internationally renowned photographer, and later, when he saw one of the photos I had taken, he immediately said to me: ‘you have the eye, you are a photographer.’ I didn't really know what to do with my life at that time; I had been travelling between South America and Africa for two years, I had been a stewardess in France and Peru, I had given a lot of time as a volunteer for different humanitarian associations, so I thought why not. I came back to France after my trip through the Andes and joined Icart Photo, a school that lasts three years, but I only did one year, (it was much too expensive for me and I was already 24 years old, I just wanted to learn the basics of photography). I then started my first photographic project, Coeur de Femmes, I did two years moving between street photography, the association Coeur de Femmes and the Halte Femme at the Gare de Lyon train station. It was after this project that I knew that my place on earth was to live immersed in different worlds or different societies. ‘Being a photographer responds to a desire to bear witness, to transmit a reality pushed beyond the first glance.’

 

How do you see your profession today?

Today I feel I belong, which is a great opportunity nowadays. Being a photographer allows me to live 1000 lives in a single lifetime. Being a photographer allows me to never take my artistic or economic achievements for granted. Being a photographer is an everyday struggle because nothing assures us that tomorrow we will be able to continue our passion. I want to continue to work with film as far as my personal work is concerned, it’s an expensive decision and not adapted to the reality of the demands of the press or publishing world today, but it is a choice that gives me the freedom to practice the profession I want and how I want. 

 

How do you see yourself in five years? In 10 years?

I don't know how to answer this question, I can say that my next subject will be on the relationship between humans and death and that I am embarking on a three-year study of euthanasia and premature babies. Photography is the backbone of my life, to which I am in the process of adding writing. I have just written my first award-winning story Dis Maman, C'est Encore Loin Compostelle?So in 10 years’ time I would certainly like to be recognised as a woman photographer and writer.

 

This interview was conducted in 2017

Photo credit: Céline Anaya Gautier