If you don’t know the boss gal behind @Sirius.Film, then you’re about to get to know. She’s worked on brilliant collaborations with some of the world’s most talented individuals and big brands – all the while bringing diversity to the fore and making a bold statement that film is not dead. This is Danika.
Introduce yourself, what part of London (or the world) are you from?
My name is Danika Magdelena, I’m 21 and I’m a visual artist. The majority of my work is photography based. I’m from North London but my parents are from the Caribbean.
When did you first start taking photography seriously?
I studied photography at A-Level but I never really learnt much from my classes. When I started doing an Art Foundation, I realised that I needed to choose a pathway that best suited me and I didn’t know what. Originally I practiced textiles and fashion design but I was never any good at it. Photography just came quite easy to me so that’s when I started taking it more seriously and organising actual shoots.
What inspired you to pick up a camera?
I’ve always been someone who loved taking selfies but in terms of photographing people properly, I had a friend that was basically like a muse for me. I loved the way he looked and I enjoyed shooting him and seeing how the photos would turn out (especially in film).
From then on I continued to shoot other people. I also use to go to a lot of parties so I loved bringing a film camera along to an event and capturing the vibes of the night. Especially because everyone was so excited to see how they turned out.
There’s an ethereal, romantic but very gritty nature to your photography, what photographers inspired you to create in this style?
I don’t really feel inspired by other photographers much as I tend to not watch what other people are doing. My inspiration mostly comes from old family photos and my own personal experiences. My life is full of romantic up and down experiences (lol).
What’s it been like working with VOXI and Nike? How did these collabs come about?
I had my first Nike job last Summer! A good friend of mine worked in the head office at the time and had showed my work to her colleagues. They really liked my photography and felt that it suited a campaign they were having. It went really well and they kept hiring me which was amazing.
The VOXI project is more a recent thing that came completely out the blue. I think they had seen my work on Instagram so they reached out to me to apply to be a contributor. My application was successful and I have been completing briefs for them since.
Talk to me about the GDC project, what is it and how did you start it?
GDC’ is a movement founded by me, that promotes female empowerment, mental health awareness and self-expression, through art and creativity.
Initially, I started the project for my own self-healing. I’ve been writing for over 7 years about my personal experiences of love and heartbreak and I felt that it was time for me to embody my emotions and incorporate them into visual art. I collaborated with a cinematographer called @sabbadams and wrote and directed a short film with one of my poems read over visuals. I felt it represented the essence of being a radiant and powerful female.
I also expanded further on this project by creating a zine that featured poetry I had written during a previous relationship and photographs I had taken that complimented the theme of the zine. Lastly I collected anonymous submissions from girls on social media about their experiences of love and heartbreak. I wanted to show women that heartbreak is something that all of us go through and the intensity of these emotions differ in each and every one of us.
We all have different coping mechanisms and positive ways of expressing our pain and sadness, which we should be using to inspire and heal one another. The result of this body of work lead to me having my first solo exhibition in February, supported by world-renowned sneaker and fashion brand Converse. The exhibition was a beautiful success and the feedback I had received from all the artworks has been very positive and motivating.
Where do you wanna be in 5 years and how can we help you get there?
I have no idea where I see myself in 5 years but hopefully doing a lot more jobs and a steady income, so I can invest in my own projects. I hope to see RONIEBOND work with more amazing women that might lead to collaborations for me in the future.
You can find Danika on social media @sirius.film. Explore @thegdcproject and follow siriusfilm.tumblr.com if you’re a real g and you know that Tumblr is the spot.