Jordi Busque ist Astrophysiker und Fotojournalist. „Gestrandet“ in seiner Heimatstadt wartet er darauf, seine Freundin irgendwann nach Monaten wieder sehen zu können. Und er wünscht sich, wieder zu reisen… Aber die Zeit des strengen spanischen Lockdowns hat er gut genutzt. Das und einiges mehr hat er den #FacesOfPhotography erzählt:
How have you and your photography been doing in the last weeks and months?
Luckily nobody in my family has got Covid-19 but still the lock-down has been a challenge. Me and my girlfriend have been „trapped“ in different countries and have no idea when we will be able to see each other in person. I usually spend most of my time in Latin America working on different stories but the lock-down caught me visiting my family in Catalonia, so I have been unable to return to work the usual way. Here the lock-down has been very strict (for several months it was forbidden to be outside home except to go buy food). I really enjoy being outside in nature, doing long term hiking and camping, so it has been a challenge to be indoors for so long. Still, thanks to the Internet, I’ve been able to keep active. I’ve been spending this time doing research for future stories, writing for future articles and book projects, and pitching stories about science (I’m an astrophysicist) using photographs that I had already taken. I have also started to learn Arabic, which has been in the back of my head for some time. Doing stories in South America has shown me how better positioned I am to go deep in comparison to, say, an American photographer who would only speak English. So I am trying to add new languages to improve my ability as a photojournalist. And in order to satisfy my need for nature and as a way of doing something to keep my mood positive in the midst of so much bad news, I started sprouting tomato seeds and now I have planted them in my mom’s house garden.
How much is the photographic industry in Spain generally affected by the crisis?
I think it is quite bad, but it was so before the crisis anyway. The thing that has gotten really worse is for photography related to promoting the country as a tourist destination, for obvious reasons. I’ve also heard of photojournalists being rejected to work in public hospitals because they didn’t want the horrible images happening there to go public. Also this obsession the media have of going mono-thematic have not helped. It seems the only stories worth publishing now are about the virus.
What do you think, how does the future of the industry look like?
I’m not very optimistic. There are a lot of talented photographers and this is really good, but the opportunities to sell our stories have been shrinking for many years. And it’s difficult to imagine that the coming general economic crisis will increase those. The only thing we can do is to give our best and try to be imaginative to create new opportunities.
And that of photography in general?
The future of photography looks quite good. I think there are a lot of talented photographers and no shortage of stories to be told. Technology has also improved a lot so even with inexpensive cameras you can take technically good images. A problem that I’ve been seeing for a long time is a tendency for many photographers to converge in style. So I think the landscape of possibilities is still mostly unexplored, so photographers who like exploring in that sense they have a bright future I believe.
What do you wish for your photographic future?
I wish that soon we can travel again safely. Personally a big part of the joy of my job is to travel and know all these different worlds, and then use photography and text to explain them. It also would be good for publications to become more wide and diverse in their subject matters, and also be more about who publishes the story better rather than who publishes the story first.
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