Anna Rakocinska (1980) is a Polish-born documentary photographer currently based in Cork, Ireland. St John’s College Photographic Studies’ graduate, a former Creative Director, Producer and Head of Premium Content Development for a global player in digital media creation with headquarters in Ireland and hubs in Europe and South Africa. With her BA and MA degrees in English, background in teaching, translation, intercultural communication and experience in the fast-paced world of commercial photography and video production, Anna’s decision to enrol in a 2-year intensive Photographic Studies programme, with a strong emphasis on developing her documentary practice, was a conscious move from the aspirational, glossy, constructed image creation towards photography that is more personal and socially engaged. A strong believer in life-long learning, Anna has been a participant in numerous professional development photography workshops in Ireland, the UK, Poland and India, including Magnum Photos’ ‘Using Visual Storytelling for Social Change, Working with NGOs, Social Practice and Advocacy’in London (2018).
Areas of interest: documentary practice, reportage, socially engaged photography, multi-layered projects, combining image-making with writing; portraiture, photography as a tool for self-development (‘phototherapy’), traditional black and white film photography, collaborative approaches. Long-term on-going documentary projects: blending personal human stories with a wider socio-political context (themes of exploration: disenfranchised grief, women empowerment, living with autism, Poland - a country in transition).
‘Photography allows me to satisfy my curiosity about the world and connect with others. An idealist at heart, I believe in the power of an image to move, inspire, start a conversation, question the status quo, acknowledge and elevate the voices of those who are marginalized and silenced. I would describe my approach as humanistic. My visual style: documentary, candid, loose, intuitive, non-staged. In my visual work, I aspire to embody the concept of a ‘tender narration' introduced and championed by Olga Tokarczuk.’