‘Wind, Sand and Stars’: an interview with Linda Bournane Engelberth
Linda Bournane Engelberth is a Norwegian/Algerian artist based in Oslo and Berlin. Her work focuses on identity through personal and subjective narratives, as well as rural communities which are in flux. She is a member of VII Photo Agency based in New York. She was selected for the Norwegian Journal of Photography, a program supporting ten independent photographers in Norway from 2011-2013. She also won a European Photo Exhibition Award, EPEA 2014. FotoStation and Linda hold an exclusive exhibition from her previous projects.
“When I was 18 years old, I went on a holiday to Mexico and ended up staying there for two and a half years. At one point, I was living with a Dutch photographer and she inspired me to get a camera. After acquiring one at the Mexican black market, I started to do street photography. I fell in love with photography in Mexico, and it made me go home to Norway to study it further. Today I focus on certain political issues or personal stories that I consider are important.
In our time we are overexposed to photos through social media like Instagram and Facebook. Many editors send their writers on assignments and ask them to take a picture or two while they are there. It makes the impression that anyone can be a photographer. I am inspired by photojournalists that commit to their stories and make images that really convey the essence of the moment and the overall theme.”
Things Come Apart
“This series was made in 2013 in Latvia: Over 200,000 of the population of 2.2 million have left in the past decade; the majority between the ages of 20 and 30. Friendships and relationships are easily fragmented by this increase in emigration, and alcohol and drug problems are on the rise. However, despite the struggles facing this generation, there remains a deep connection to the national identity, especially to the rich and fertile nature of the countryside, accompanied by a drive to create a better future from the relationships and resources they are left to work with.”
You can call me a gypsie if you want to
“The project “You Can Call me a Gypsy if You Want To” was finished in 2013 and it is about the Romas families that come to Norway every year. The photos are taken in Romania there I followed them to see how their life’s looked lie back home in Romania.”
Wind, Sand and Stars
“I am a Norwegian/Algerian artist raised in Norway by my Norwegian mother, and without knowing my Algerian father and his family. I have always been curious about my other country of origin. As a teenager, I finally made contact with my father and more recently, my wider family in Algeria. When my Berber grandmother turned 100, she wrote me a letter so that I wouldn’t forget about my father’s homeland. This project is an attempt to research my own identity as a western woman investigating this foreignness that makes up half my bloodline.”