We are always excited when creativity meets social engagement, even more when it is done using our film. We had the pleasure to talk with Kevin V. Sanichar, a.k.a. kapturedbykvs, about his project Wildfire 2088 and how Lomography Redscale XR 35 mm ISO 50–200 offered the perfect characteristics to make his ideas a reality. Here is his story and his message on climate change.
Welcome to the Lomography Magazine. Can you tell us about yourself, and your project Wildfire 2088?
My name is Kevin V. Sanichar, I’m a 24-year-old published film photographer and artist currently working in digital marketing born and raised in Toronto, Canada. My work consists of using the uniqueness of analogue film to transmute creative energy into conceptual and experimental art collections.
My 40th photo series, Wildfire 2088, shot on Lomography’s Redscale 35 mm film represents the peak wildfire season, August to September in Toronto, during the year 2088. Shot during those exact summer months and released in October 2022. Photos from this collection were intentionally left outdoors before developing, resulting in the final images containing heat fog, increased grain and contrast.
I thought, what's more visually scary for the spooky season than a film series that depicts a future of dystopian views and orange hued toxic air that can very much become our reality? A report released early 2022 shows that extreme wildfires will increase by 50 percent by the end of this century. The creation of this project and main importance is to bring awareness to climate change with images that showcase a daunting future and knowing we have the power as a collective to make an impactful change.
You mention that this project was your 40th. What are your other 39 conceptual photo series about?
My film photo series serves as a diaristic journey of my life through art, numbered by each roll of film, conceptual project or location visited. Starting with 001 in 2019 followed by 002 being shot on the Lomography Simple Use Color film camera in 2020. I began numbering my photo series due the longevity and the future opportunities I knew that can align from this sort of organized documentation of my art. That desire to continue progressing up the numerology scale has kept me dedicated and focused on being consistent with creating these past three years, a saving grace throughout the pandemic.
It took you six years to build this work, can you tell us about your experience during this time?
About six years ago I had no social media dedicated to my photography, just a personal account with a few occasional images. I was finishing up my senior year in the city and would have to commute through this underpass with the most beautiful mural art work depicting a post-apocalyptic Toronto. It was the first instance where I felt moved by a piece of art, pushing me to think about the future of climate change.
I spent the following years creatively stunted until 2019 when I was introduced to Lomography film. The unique film stocks allowed the concepts I've kept documented bloom into mood board visualizations. When the pandemic happened it was one of those situations when preparation meets opportunity, with all of that time on my hands the projects naturally manifested. I spent the following years giving myself permission to create, being my authentic self while engaging in the world and community that is analogue film.
For this project I shot three rolls of red-scale in preparation, keeping notes on the process for lighting and editing. Throughout that time I invested in a film camera with a superb lens, got more involved in the developing/scanning process and as a result put out 35 film series leading up to this project. This shooting process in particular was the most cathartic and rewarding feeling I've had, capturing scenes I dreamt about for years! Ultimately having this film series actualized and released is a proud moment for me, six years in the making.
What is the meaning behind your title? Why did you choose 2088?
Music is my number one source of inspiration. Back in 2016 an excellent self-titled collaboration project “Twenty88” was released. As a fan of retro-futurism and cyberpunk culture, I naturally became drawn into the world they’ve created. With the articles of how climate change is increasing and expected to evolve in the next few decades, 2088 was the obvious choice.
How is your relationship with time related to climate change, and consequently to the time it needs to build a photo project? In the next six years we could see even more dramatic changes.
So much can change in six years. Contrary to the project theme I'm a huge optimist and hope the changes are positive ones. The efforts in Canada and its government being committed to net-zero emissions by 2050 is a major step forward towards protecting the environment and sustainability for the decades to come. It's a priority to keep educating myself further on climate change, expanding my knowledge on global initiatives and movements.
A goal of mine is to be able to work on a documentary style photo project in South America on climate change and how that has affected the environment and local communities of people over the years. Whether it takes a few months or years to build the project I remain committed to using my platform to highlight real world issues and make a positive impact through all I do.
For your series of conceptual projects, which film did you use? And which was your favorite to work with?
All my favorite conceptual projects I've done so far have been with LomoChrome Purple film. It truly is my top film stock to use because of how my shooting process completely shifts. I tend to opt for environments of peak greenery, beaches and a wide spectrum of colors keeping in mind the drastic shift that will occur.
Once it gets developed the results are magical, producing some of my favorite film images I've ever taken from my various projects; The Violet Hour, Hothouse Flower and Brightside, the latter having a photo from that series being published and featured on a billboard in Brampton, Ontario, courtesy of the Brampton Arts Organization.
What are your next projects and ideas about?
For this next chapter the key word I would use is evolution. I’ve been gearing up to shoot more portrait work, double exposure and short form video content. Something in the works for quite some time is a curated and limited print collection from my film portfolio. As for my recent Lomography film projects, I don't want to reveal much yet but I may be creating something along the line of a conceptual Lomography analogue universe.
I recently purchased a medium format film camera and am currently in Montreal, Quebec shooting my next film series on Lomography Lady Grey 120 film. Everything I've done art-wise is with the intention to be a part of a bigger picture and a long term goal of mine. Stay tuned.
You can submit projects shot with Lomography products to email@example.com. You can follow Kevin's work on his Instagram.