Today: Jun 17, 2024

Photographer paints a fine picture for students

Photo Courtesy | “Brown Tea Party” from the Ratline photo series by Tina Schula.

Shaunna Cullen General Assignment Reporter

Nazi’s and terrorists –hate groups — have served as inspiration for photographer Tina Schula in her most recent work.

Schula visited Southern and gave a lecture about her work and the reasons and research behind it.

Schula was born in Vienna and lived there until she was 21. She then decided to move to New York City in the early 90’s. There she said she wanted to go to New York University, but could not afford tuition. She applied to a film school in London, and made the cut.

While Schula’s said her background is in filmmaking, she did get more into photography in 2005.

“If I can make a film, I can make a narrative in one single frame,” said Schula.

Schula said “The Tin Drum” was a movie that served as a catalyst in her filmmaking. The film is about a little boy who did want to grow up because of the hypocrisy of the adult world.

“It brought the horrors of World War II close to home,” said Schula.

Photo Courtesy |
Tina Schula, a photographer and film maker from Vienna, spoke to students about her experience as an artist.

This particular movie inspired a photograph she took of a friend who happened to live in a heavily religious neighborhood.

Schula said her friend never felt very welcome in the neighborhood, and the two were even asked to stop taking pictures because the people did not want their children exposed to film.

The reason why Schula said she is doing photography on topics such as Nazi’s is because there are stories that are still popping up today. One of the more recent stories Schula mentioned is that of Aribert Heim, also known as Dr. Death, whose story about his Nazi involvement showed up in the New York Times in 2009.

Her photo spread titled “Ratline” amplifies the tension between old and new generations feelings about Nazi’s. In each photo, Schula said she tried to show the strain within the families.

Frank Sollito, a senior photography major, said he came to the event to see if Schula’s process could help him with his own work.

“I love cinematic photography. It looks like it’s just out of a movie still. I really enjoyed it, I really connected to it because it’s the same stuff I like to do,” said Sollito about Schula’s work.

Schula explained her process about how she goes about setting up for a photo shoot after she has thoroughly researched her topic and subjects. She said she liked to write notes about each character then create an image of what she thinks they should look like.

Schula also takes a lot of time for casting. Sometimes she uses her friends, or she said she likes to use her friend’s friends. Schula said she uses a film camera, which means she does not know exactly what each shot looks like until she loads the camera’s film onto a computer and then she said she gets to see the shots.

When Schula was living in the U.S. she said she wanted to research hate groups to show that the issue of hate against certain religions and races are still a problem today.

Schula talked about some of the groups she researched such as Davioresh, the Weather Underground, and Heaven’s Gate.

These groups inspired another series of photos Schula did titled ”Radical Camp.”

Jen Leno, a junior art photography major, attended the event as an assignment for her photography class.

“I think her method was crazy, “ said Leno. “The research she put into it totally shows. Her images were stunning, I thought they were beautiful.”

Currently Schula teaches in New York City and concentrates on fine art photography working with non-actors, an approach she said she feels is more raw.

Photo Courtesy |
“Brown Tea Party” from the Ratline photo series by Tina Schula.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Latest from Blog