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Class of 2021: two graduates from different continents

Emerging from an academic year like no other are these ambitious image-makers with a bright future

Above: from the series I’ll Be Late Tonight (2018-2020) by Roxana Savin

The class of 2021 has produced some amazing image-makers around the globe during a particularly challenging year for students. In the July/August 2021 issue of the RPS Journal we showcase seven graduates, from photography courses around the world, whose work is getting them noticed. Here we focus on two more burgeoning talents from different continents and with contrasting perspectives on the world. 

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Roxana Savin

Graduating from Falmouth Flexible (MA)

Find out more roxanasavin.com, @roxana.n.savin

“Living in different countries for most of my adult life, the feeling of being an outsider and not really belonging has always followed me. Photography is a means to express these feelings. It’s also a way to engage with the place I’m living in, and with the community.

“My latest project I’ll Be Late Tonight, which I developed over the course of my MA, is inspired by my experience of living as an expatriate housewife in a gated residence in Russia. I began to photograph the women in the community who gave up their jobs and careers to follow their husbands abroad and became housewives. Making this work was therapeutic and a self-reflective journey. It made me question the role and status of women, and the difficulties of balancing family and personal aspirations.

“The visual language is an important artistic instrument in my work. In I’ll Be Late Tonight, I was interested in evoking a feeling of cold, absence, a longing for renewal, which speaks about my experience as an immigrant. For me, the work is not really completed when the shooting is finished. The conversation with the viewer, their reactions to the project, are an inherent part of the work.”

Left, right and below: from the series I’ll Be Late Tonight (2018-2020) by Roxana Savin

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Above: ‘Untitled, 2018’ by Roxana Savin

Allie Tsubota

Graduating from Rhode Island School of Design, USA

Find out more allietsubota.com

What I initially loved about photography was that it took me out into the world. I trained as a dancer through my mid-twenties, so was more accustomed to a studio-based practice where, conventionally, the work is confined to a predetermined space.

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“I’m working on a photographic project exploring the psychic lives of Asian Americans and those of the Asian diaspora as landscapes characterised by histories of migration, racialisation and assimilation – three processes that produce a sort of collective and pathological ‘racial melancholia’. I’m looking to the historical and to the archive – or the dearth of the archive – collecting and reflecting on those places where the psychic and the historiographic meet.

“I’m finding that the history of Asian Americans – like the history of many racialised communities – is one of settler colonialism, racial capitalism and white hegemony, all of which have been deeply obscured within the archive. And so the project is as much about aggregating histories and making sense of them as it is about making photographs.”

Left: ‘Untitled (family cutout II), 2021’ by Allie Tsubota
Right: ‘Untitled (orchid), 2020’ by Allie Tsubota

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Above: ‘Untitled (boulder), 2021’ by Allie Tsubota 

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Above: installation view, 2021 by Allie Tsubota 

Enjoy more work by 2021 graduates in the July/August 2021 issue of the RPS Journal

The RPS Journal is available exclusively to members. Join us to receive our award-winning magazine and read more inspiring features. Explore full member benefits here