we are stardust by Flavia Dima

we are stardust

Period: March 2014 – August 2016.

Place: The flat I rented in Cluj-Napoca.

Camera: Polaroid 600.

Film: combination between vintage Polaroid film stock and Impossible Project.

Exhibited at: Reactor de Creație și Experiment (Cluj-Napoca) and Tipografia (Brașov), as part of a booklauch dedicated to Mesaje din Cluj (graphic novel; co-authored with Vlad Forsea),


I started taking these photographs during my second year of college. I had an old, dusty Polaroid camera which I had gotten as a gift from some relatives living in America, back when I was a teen. However, it was just then that the Polaroid factory had closed down, so it was nigh-impossible for me to obtain film stock – I had two packs which were seemingly produced somewhere in the 80s or 90s. Thinking I’d put it to better use sometime later (even though the concept of instant photography was mesmerizing), I left the camera untouched for almost five years.


Back to 2014. I was witnessing how people around me were starting to shoot pictures on film, which reminded me of my Polaroid camera. I have to admit that the very first two or three pictures I took were more of a gimmick – I wanted to have a keepsake of a specific moment, and since I didn’t have a way to obtain film stock yet so I didn’t take my camera out of the house.


At some point after those first couple of picture, the idea of the project started shaping in my mind. I was studying journalism at the time, so questions about mediums and mediality were popping up in my head all the time – I was growing increasingly dissatisfied with digital photography and the fact that the vast majority of images it was producing were dispensable, that a shot could be taken countless times and then the best one would be chosen. I searched for something that was essentially imperfect and naive, something at which you had an only shot to arrive to and that would be it – and Polaroid offered me exactly that.

From that moment onward, I made a point of taking pictures of most people who passed through my house during those years, knowing that I was passing through a very, let’s say, un-permanent period of my life. Everything was a subject to change, everything seemed fragile and temporary – contrasting this with the fact that I was producing an instant of those moments which would oftentimes prove more resilient as an object in itself, rather than the circumstance it was depicting.

These pictures are of people that at one point I was closer than in others, people just passing through, people who would end up changing my life & perspective of it, who would enrich my life with countless new experiences (and then disappear). There’s ex-boyfriends, exes of my friends, people who moved in an out of the apartment, old friends, people from other towns and parents, or the odd self-portraits in here. They are not in any sense picture-perfect, the compositions are sometimes conventional or outright faulty, but the story of each picture and, above all, their atmosphere is what interests me. The title of the series is inspired by a song called „Woodstock”, by Joni Mitchell.



My future plans include a series of pictures of the some of the most important women which are a part of my life, which I hope to complete until summertime. I’d also like to manufacture a Rubix cube whose sides would be composed of Polaroids, maybe.


– Flavia Dima


Andrés Aguilar Caro: “Instant photography has been the engine of my professional experience”

Andrés Aguilar Caro begins his career in photography at the same time he begins to study journalism. Disillusioned with XXI Century journalism, he starts to focus on documentary photography, and, specializing in photojournalism, he start working as a freelance photographer and editor for international media. In 2010 he gets his hands on the first instant format camera and starts working with it parallel to his digital equipment, recording some of his more intimate works in this new format. In 2013 he leaves aside his career as a freelancer to create his personal project: Polaroid of the day, until today. Polaroid of the day is a platform for cultural and artistic support for amateur and professional photographers of the instant format, and in which everything is about art, capturing it in very personal images and where photography is the goal of the whole  project. www.polaroidoftheday.com

Andrés was the helping hand behind Romanian Polaroid Photographers’ debut show last year in Barcelona.

Interview by Ioana Cristina Casapu

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Rachel Frank Talks Double Exposure On Spectra Cameras And The Magic Of The Improbable

Rachel Frank employs the perfect combination between instant photography and surrealism: double exposure. In order to convey the magic of nature and small scale anthropology, she combines snippets of reality that help the viewer escape to realms initially hidden from the naked eye. Her delicate shots of landscapes communicate the almost overwhelming smallness of our existences, yet the persistence of the human element reminds us that our surroundings have meaning merely because we exist to invest them with it. The following interview offers wonderful insight regarding the artist. Her answers are charged with a special kind of familiarity, but also an almost almond scented nostalgia that probably comes naturally when working in a field where you stop time to preserve certain moments.

Interview by Diana Dupu

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Cosmin Bumbuț and the last 100 Polaroids

For 15 years,  Cosmin Bumbuț worked as a fashion and advertising photographer for Elle, Marie Claire, Harpers Bazaar, Esquire and brands such as Coca-Cola, Marriott Hotels, Mercedes-Benz. At the age of 40, he decided to work only on the subjects he enjoyed most – photo essays about real people, who have impressive stories and an important message to spread. In December 2013, he moved into a camper together with journalist Elena Stancu and started travelling around Romania in order to work on long-form journalism projects. They tell extensive stories about today Romania through images and words on teleleu.eu,.

Also known for his Last 100 Polaroids project, amongst many other photographic work and documentation, Bumbuț will exhibit a small part of his instant film collection, shot on original Polaroid film, at EMOTION IN MOTION.

Interview by Cătălina Miciu

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Andrei Nicolescu: “Instant photography is history in the making”

Andrei Nico is a brilliant advertising copywriter and graphic designer currently based in Bucharest, Romania. He’s a firm believer in the power of literature to enrich the mind and delight the imagination, inspire hope and build character. Photography and Andrei have recently joined hands to shine a light on a new medium of expression. Hopefully, it will all work out for the best.

 Interview by Laura Beatrice Herman

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Horia Brebeneanu: “Photography holds an emotional ace card that appeals to us all”

Horia is a long time analogue amateur photographer. One day he found a box type analogue Polaroid at a flea market. The camera was kept on display for some years, while he enhanced his hobby with a theoretic master in photography at UNarte. In 2011 he got the first pack of Impossible Silver Shade film and steadily instant film became the choice for keeping his personal photo journal. In 2012, his work was featured in a group exhibition organized by Impossible Project in NYC.

Interview by Cristina Hiraeth

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Sven Van Driessche: “Making love is also something you do with your eyes and as a photographer”

This Belgian photographer started to work with Instant film after learning Polaroid would cease film production. Inspired by the works of Anton Corbijn, he focused on travels, artistic nudes and portraiture. His work has been widely featured in international photography press and in the POLADARIUM calendar.  www.polagraphy.be

Interview by Laura Beatrice Herman

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Stories from the city, stories lost at sea


“In this air, you only get to breathe properly at night. Sometimes, my night slip slowly sticks to my skin like a deep jelly that’s about to drip. I can feel the sweat becoming part of my attire, like a gown that’s too hard to undress, like peach syrup melting under skimpy sun. The city has no smell and my fragrance dissolves itself nearly before touching my neck. I’m getting new freckles on my nose and cheeks, and while all languages of the world collapse in my head like providential rain, I still ache for cold sea breezes and unfinished sympathies with strangers in trains.

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