ALL ABOUT AINA
All about Aina.
She is the culprit in this series of interviews. One of her images unintentionally transported me to another place, a simple play of light made a thousand thoughts suddenly appear and I tried to put them in order. The image of a closed-door with a glass window that revealed a blurry outside world seemed sublime to me. How is it able to summarize so many things? It had only been a couple of seconds on my retina.
My name is Aina, I am from Barcelona although right now I am living in Köln, Germany.
What makes you stand out?
I excel at "doing many things but not excelling at any one in particular." I don't know whether I actually stand out, but one thing I'm proud of is having learned to skate after the age of 25.
What do you do for a living? What do you do to distract yourself?
Well, to earn a living I do what comes up. I studied Fine Arts and one of the talents you develop in your career is adapting to any situation. Right now for example, I'm working part-time as a Barista and the rest of the time I'm working as a freelance photographer for small brands.
To distract myself, I have the virtue of doing many things at once, which can sometimes be counterproductive, but I also love it. When I have free time and the sun is out, I go skating. In this city there are no bowls, which is what I like the most, so I am learning to skate more on the street. Recently, and for rainy days, I bought a second-hand sewing machine and I have learned to sew, so now I have started to do it all: my current goal, to finish some pants! It is very rewarding to see your own finished garments, and it is much easier than it sounds!
The rest of the time, especially this year I have spent reading, painting or doing something with my hands.
How are you living this pandemic? Has it affected you a lot?
As clichéd as it may sound, I think everything happens for a reason, and I think the pandemic came to help change and adjust many things. I am grateful for this year and I consider myself lucky. It has been a year where I’ve had much more time to dedicate myself to working on personal projects and getting to know myself much better.
And I think that yes, like all of us, the fact of feeling limited in many aspects has affected us emotionally and there have been days when I wanted to run away, but if I have to keep something from all this, it is with the gratitude of what it has brought me personally this year.
Has this situation helped you give another value or vision to things and to your priorities?
As I mentioned in the other question, this situation has helped me to grow, to know a little more which way to go and to define my priorities. Maybe it sounds a little strong but, I think this year has been for many like one of those near death experiences, the kind that make you rethink what really matters and put the rest aside. I have realized that what is really essential are the day-today little things, valuing those things that are close to me.
How do you think things will go? What will you do when this is all over?
Well, as we are now, I think this has come to stay and that we should learn to live with it as much as possible. I hope that it will improve of course, and I hope that when this happens, we have not forgotten what it was like to hug when meeting friends.
What I miss the most and will do when it's over is go to a concert, travel with the van without thinking about borders or tests and visit my friends and family in Barcelona more often.
Do you have a project in hand that you want to share with us?
Well, right now I am working on a small project that makes me especially excited. It will be for a clothing brand from Barcelona, an editorial inspired by the first women skaters during the 60s.
Then @llacunaproject, a personal research and archive project in which I have been working for years, on some photographs that I found of my grandfather, who was living in the United States for a year at the end of the 50s. I am working on a photo book that I hope to be able to publish soon.
Recommend us something (eat / drink / read / watch)
Something I ate yesterday and hadn't eaten in years: Strawberries with cream. They took me back to my childhood’s summers. So you if you want to go back in time, I recommend them. If you do not have a sweet tooth, one of my favorite dishes and one that I miss living in Germany, a good "fideus a la cassola" never disappoint!
The last two books I have read have been The Year of Magical Thinking and Blue Nights by Joan Didion. Two intimate and hard books, although precious, where she reflects on and deals with the loss of the beings we love the most. Highly recommended. I was also moved for the first time with a book with Canto Jo i la Muntanya Balla written by Irene Solà, a novel that tells the same story, but through the voice of different characters, including the clouds and the animals of the Pyrenees Mountains.
This month I am doing a cycle of Alfred Hitchcock, and I think it is difficult to decide on a movie, one of the ones that I have liked the most without a doubt, Rare Window. And a current one that I saw this weekend, Nomadland, an incredible reflection on loneliness and losing everything at the age of 50, a moment in your life where it is not so easy to start over.