This is a weekly series where we feature our incredibly talented Adolescent members and their work! Sign up here to join the Adolescent Membership and be part of the @ family!
Guess what? Here at Adolescent, our newest Member Crush is Milena Pazos! Now 18, Milena started taking photos in 2015, documenting everyday life and teenagehood. Intimacy, friendship, and dream-like scenarios are some of the themes present in her work. This week, we sat down with Milena and talked to her about the economic challenges of shooting film in Argentina, being spontaneous while shooting, and self-care in quarantine.
Adolescent Content: Tell us a little bit about yourself! Where are you from? How old are you? How are you spending your time these days?
Milena Pazos: My name is Milena Pazos and I’m an 18-year-old photographer from Buenos Aires, Argentina. I consider [myself] extremely lucky, as I’ve recently been able to start [working toward] an Arts degree online, and I’m concentrating extremely hard on it. Other than that, I’ve used quarantine to try and practice a little bit more of self-care in the forms of yoga, gardening, and journaling, [which has] really helped keep me grounded.
Adolescent: How has 2020 changed your work and style?
Milena: I’ve always used photography as a sort of visual personal diary to try and document my life and the things that catch my attention. This year, I’d say my work and the things I long to photograph have become more introspective, with a slower pacing, which is very unusual for me.
Adolescent: Can you tell me about your shooting process, from coming up with a concept to editing the photos?
Milena: My camera is always with me wherever I go, and I think that definitely influences my shooting process. I love the fluid relationship I have with my creative flow: sometimes an idea comes to mind, and I’ll write about how I plan to translate those concepts into my artwork. But most of the time, I take photographs instinctively and let myself get carried away with spontaneity and my constant daydreaming. Life is truly unpredictable, and the viewfinder is always there to guide me through it. After I transfer the photos to my computer or develop the analog images, then the editing begins. I always try to find connections between the different photos that I take, even if there isn’t temporal linearity, and I focus very strongly on color as a way to find the pictures that truly resonate with me.
Adolescent: How does being in Argentina affect your work?
Milena: From an economic point of view, being an artist in Argentina is hard. Equipment is extremely expensive, even more so [when it comes to analog]. I love taking photos on film, but sadly it’s hard to afford the supplies necessary to do so sometimes.
On a more positive note, I feel very lucky to have lived my teenage years in the context of a feminist revolution in my country, led by a movement that fights for women’s rights and has put the discussion of the legalization of abortion in the public agenda. Feminism has really shaped me as a person and I think my work has always been intertwined with that fight and the need to express myself through my body and my identity as a queer woman.
Adolescent: What’s it been like being an Adolescent Member?
Milena: I’m honestly still amazed by the fact that Adolescent is something that exists. It’s so wonderful to know that there’s a space where young people are empowered, celebrated, treated with respect, and seen as fully capable of professionalism and tackling very important conversations. It’s definitely really motivating to see so many talented young artists and opportunities that encourage us to be true to our creative visions.