Beautiful People

Catalina Martin-Chico

Friday 2 August

A reporter of the human being par excellence, Catalina Martin-Chico immerses herself in the lives of those she testifies of.

Specialized in long-term documentaries, she likes to follow and return to the people she has met over the years.

She does not hesitate to work on complex subjects such as women in Yemen or with the FARC in Colombia, and regularly publishes in the New York Times, Le Monde or Marie-Claire.

A beautiful soul that we were lucky enough to meet!

Catalina Martin-Chico pour Sessùn
Who are you?
I am a humanist, Franco-Spanish photographer, who loves people, life, and good food!
Can you tell us about your career path?
Long university studies that led to a job I didn't like. Departure to live in New York for a few years and photo school. I fell into the cauldron, I found my "thing". I started telling human stories through my lens, late... and I haven't stopped since.
What made you want to become a reporter?
When, as a young woman, I was travelling with a backpack, I quickly understood that tourism was not for me. What I liked about my travels was to go into people's homes, and spend the day there, not to visit such a temple or museum. So my driver was my passion for people. The desire to tell stories of life, of people who are invisible to the world. I like to make them visible.
A story that particularly touched you?
They have all been significant, I am never totally the same after each documentary, especially the personal subjects I lead on the long term, and where I make several trips and live in immersion with the community I document, whether with the last nomads of Iran, Yemeni women, the ghettos of St-Martin, or the camps of ex-FARC in Colombia...
What determines the topics you choose to cover?
My own curiosity. Talking about people we wouldn't talk about if I had no interest in them.
Catalina Martin-Chico pour Sessùn
Catalina Martin-Chico pour Sessùn
How do you build a report? Where do you start with?
You must already have a strong desire to do so, be curious yourself and explore beforehand. Research the subject, possibly find a "fix*" (*a local person who finds authorizations or opens access so that we can get to work) and find access to our subject. Then it is necessary to reach the communities to be documented, often isolated. Then once there, you have to be accepted, be able to be immersed, create trust. And after take good pictures and tell the right story..... And once back home, you have to know how to edit the photos, how to choose them and how to work on post-production... quite an adventure!
Are there any topics you would like to cover?
Right now I dream of being able to tell about coca production in Colombia and it's too dangerous and I had to postpone my trip. I would dream of being able to go back to Yemen as I did a few years ago and make subjects in rural areas... but the war and the situation in Yemen for years has prevented it, and for a long time to come I fear it... I dream of going to the Arctic and seeing the northern lights and glaciers.
What is your relationship with fashion?
"Less is more". Simplicity, comfort but beautiful cuts and good materials.
Do you have a fetish outfit when you go on a report?
It depends on the country. Hot/cold, Muslim or not. But overall a light and wide pants, tennis, and t-shirt. Comfortable, not sexy, mosquito repellent, and most importantly, all-purpose!
How did you get to know Sessùn?
On my friends' feet... feminine and comfortable shoes, I wanted them!!!!
If you had to describe Sessùn in a few words?
Femininity, Simplicity, Subtlety.
Your last artistic crush?
Braguino, documentary/film absolutely magnificent!! They made an exhibition of it at the BAL too... The image, the history, the immersion, everything is there. Fan 200%.
The three books that most impressed you?
I don't read much, shame on me. Only during the holidays the rest is "useful" reading. But I'm in the Vernon Subutex trilogy, yes 3 years after the battle and I have to finish the Elena Ferrante!
Your ideal day?
A day when I don't care about nor phone neither time. Necessary ingredients: Sun, water, the very close ones. Only concern: the evening dinner, and where is the sunscreen....
The best 20 € you ever spent?
A perfume, bought on promotion at the airport duty-free and that I gave to a FARC veteran, and that he keeps as if it were his greatest jewel...
The superpower you'd like to have?
I wish I had plenty! May the inflexible, narrow-minded, enter into cocoons like butterflies and come out of them nice, human, tolerant, empathetic and with humour! Press the "reset" button regarding the damage caused to the earth? Blow up all borders. May the money be only chocolate coins. Get back to the basics.
Thank you Catalina!

To go further in Catalina's work, here is the way!

And for her Instagram, it's this way.

Catalina Martin-Chico pour Sessùn
Catalina Martin-Chico pour Sessùn
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