Goals and Realities of the FMP and the MA

I cannot deny the MA has been a bumpy road. Having arrived straight from the HND Photography in Glasgow Kelvin College and have done my BA graduation in 2000 in Brazil, it was a big brave step .

Firstly, I was overwhelmed with all the information and everything that I had to take in, but with time I got used and started exploring the content of the course. I really enjoyed the theory and the talks, always learning something new. As for my work in progress, I struggled in the start, as I was taking so much in and it was difficult to make a decision on what to do.

So I kept experimenting to find my voice, and tried many different things, such as self-portraiture, landscape photography, portraiture. Looking back now my projects were not very well developed, it lacked on understanding on the same subjects I was studying. Therefore, it took time to wrap it all together and to arrive at the final destination with the information and skills needed.

I did encountered personal problems at the end of 2019, when I suffered personal loss, but I kept on and did not give up. I got pass it, eventually, and continued to FMP thankfully. And, when I felt ready and willing to go on a documentary project highlighting the local families in my area, the lockdown arrived.

As a result, I quickly reinvented myself and changed the subject. I have already exploring domestic photography during the previous period, so I just continued to do so. I was wishing to get out at that point, but as the options were limiting, I continued to do so. And, as I was the main caretaker of my children, the project could be done while I was looking after them, without need of a second person to look after them.

Looking back now, it was the most sensible decision to take and I acquired knowledge with it. I collected many photo books of intimate family photography and, even thought this is not my only interest in photography, as I also enjoy being out in the world, I have a genuine interest on it. As a mother and photographer, I will always take pictures of my children, now with more trained eyes and informed about the current environment on the genre.

At the moment, once I have more time on my hands for practice out of my house, I have fields I would like to explore, and I feel more prepared and confident to do so. I have made some mistakes in the past, while in the HND. My intentions were good, my I got lost on the way. I did not realise until on the MA. And, admitting this mistakes, were also painful, because I previously thought that it was a great achievement.

After all, this is the reason I enrolled on the MA, it was to grow my practice, to reach a next level. I have to say that this was achieved, and that it was not always pleasant, because sometimes for growing it requires to feel uncomfortable. Out of my comfortable zone, I was and now a new beginning awaits me. It was often hard also, to go through grief at a certain point, and, after, to challenge time during the pandemic period.

The things I wish I had done, but had no time or freedom to do (Covid19): improve more my writing skills. I want to get my writing skills to another level also, but I am also glad to be able to write. Even here, I have missed writing, even if not in a level that I would like to be at. But, on the other hand, I can read Roland Barthes perfectly, along with many other theorists, as my reading level improved significantly.

During the MA I also learned to be more humble about my work, and also to appreciate my colleagues practice. I just wish that I could have participated more, as I was most of the time busy at evening times. But I have also to be gentle to myself to understand that I did what I could at the time. The future awaits and now I am armed with the knowledge and connections I acquired during the MA.

I am also glad to have attended to face-to-face events. The first was in Paris Photo, I have never experienced an event with such magnitude. It was mind blowing and very inspiring, and I would like to visit Arles next time it is on. It was also a great opportunity to meet tutors and to connect. The second was Falmouth Symposium just before the lockdown. I drove my car all the way there, from Glasgow, 10 hours drive each way roughly. I am glad I have done, otherwise I would have wasted my last opportunity to get to know the campus and to be part of workshops as a student.

When talking about the digital events, I sadly missed some, due to various circumstances. I believe that, because I was raised before the digital era, some elements of it do not feel natural. What I have to do is to get out of the comfort zone and transcend into it. The covid times made this essential, the world is in change at this moment, and my practice need to change with it. To connect the traditional with the modern, to keep connected with the present.

To sum up, the MA made my practice grow in uncountable ways, and I am glad I took this ride. It updated, corrected, informed and empowered me. The tutors were always helpfull and patient and honest, and I don’t mind honesty if it is not judgmental, and I never felt judged, but rather information as an intent to inform.

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