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Hasselblad Master Natalia Evelyn Bencicova: portraits of hope and change

There is a very personal feel to Natalia Evelyn Bencicova’s Inspire project. Entitled ‘Taste of leaving’, it was centred on Cvernovka, a former sewing factory in the centre of Bratislava that had become a space for collective creativity. Now it was being closed down, and Natalia, originally from the city but currently studying in London, saw it as yet another historical building in Slovakia being destroyed, despite its cultural value and creative potential. Natalia-Evelyn-Bencicova4“ ‘Taste of leaving’ was inspired by the feeling of hopelessness when I had to leave my beloved place behind,” she says, “but it has its own happy ending. Cvernovka might indeed be closed, but it’s being replaced by a new creative centre. In the same way that I photographed the process of everything being packed and closed down now I’m capturing this move into a new and amazing space. Doubt and depression has been replaced by amazing energy and hope for a better future. It’s important to realise that sometimes we have to face the end of certain things in order to be able to step forward.”Natalia-Evelyn-Bencicova1“The pictures I produced weren’t exactly as I envisaged: this rarely happens, in any case. I’m the person who is seeking absolute perfection in the midst of chaos. Even though I always create a precise composition, there needs to be the moment of the accident, and this fascinates me. I prefer to work on projects where I’m forced to challenge myself in order to learn something new.”Natalia-Evelyn-Bencicova2“The project presented in the Hasselblad book is quite personal but I still believe that it will be understood and appreciated by a wider audience. If the pictures touch something in the viewer and make him or her think a little more about things, then my main goal has been fulfilled.”Natalia-Evelyn-Bencicova3“I loved working with the H5D-50c and can’t wait to hold it in my hands again. The quality of the images it produces can’t be compared with any other camera I have used before. Before winning this competition I would never have dreamed of working with a Hasselblad and I’m really grateful for the opportunity that I’ve had.”

The Hasselblad Masters book ‘Inspire’ is available at

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