Q&A: Olga Sokal


Have you recently been living by any life philosophy? Try to finish every project that I start. What will baffle future generations about our day and age? How could we live without teleportation. Are you aware of any conspiracies? Well… probably if I would tell you I would need to kill you. What is it that interests you about photography? I feel for me it is always more about the connection between people I shoot than about the actual photo. The photography is just the way I express it. What is the worst thing about city life? Crazy cost of life. Too many distractions. What part of the planet would you like to explore? Siberia. I am obsessed with it. Hopefully can make it there soon. What do you think is the most plausible of the supernatural? Ghosts. Part of me always believed they exist. Pick a field of science to be an expert within. Genetic engineering. What moment have you most wished you’d had a camera when you hadn’t? There is one event… but I probably should never talk about it on the internet so as not to get into serious trouble. Choose a job you would be willing to do for free on the side. Bus driver. Unfortunately everyone says I am a terrible driver but I still think they are all wrong. Describe the most important photo you’ve seen. When I was still at college in Poland one of my best Teachers and also a great photographer Ania Sielska brought a copy of Michal Luczak’s photobook “ Brutal “ to class. I think there were a few images from that book that really got me interested in pursuing photography. How often do you take other people’s advice? I do but only from people I trust. Describe a personal hell. Not having time to work on my personal projects. Unfortunately it happens way to often these days. Which living person do you most admire? There is too many people I admire for many different reasons.

On what occasion do you lie? When on family meetings someone is asking me “when are you finally going to get some stability in your life?”. What was the last crime you witnessed? Missing milk from my fridge. What is the best way to educate yourself? Be curious about other people, try do new things, fail, make mistakes and learn how to let go. What is the next book you want to read? White fever by Jacek Hugo-Bader. Ultimate camera? Probably 8 x 10 but who knows. Most used camera? My linhof Technika V and Mamiya 7ii. What object do you want? Mark Rothko painting but I don’t think it would ever fit on my walls. What object do you need? A working cell phone. How would you explain the internet to someone from the 1950’s? The tool which makes communication between ppl so easy and difficult at the same time. Are you satisfied with your level of physical strength? Probably not. I guess I work too much which probably is a terrible excuse. Describe a cheap thrill.  – riding a bike in LA while it’s raining. Unfortunately it’s not possible very often. Pick an historic moment from the last hundred years to bring a camera to. The beginning of “ Solidarity “ which was first Polish non-governmental trade union and it made big contribution for communism fall down. Are impulses more important than consequences? Yes. Which talent would you most like to have? I would love to speak every language in the world. What is your plan for the next 24 hours? Trying to finish project I started ages ago.

Olga Sokal is a Los Angeles based artist, originally from Poland. For the past 5 years, she has dedicated her photography practice to working with different communities in Chernobyl, Ukraine, Poland, Slovakia, Romania and Los Angeles. Her interest lies and focuses on the marginalisation of communities within society. Through her work she investigates the consequences of communities becoming detached and isolated from the rest of the country, and how this affects the culture. To see more of Olga Sokal’s work visit — Website / Instagram.