Spotlight: An Interview with Stefano Carini

🕐 7 min read

Director of NOOR Images and the NOOR Foundation, Stefano Carini converses with Sowvital Chief of Editorials, Kimberly Glassman.

In your own words, tell us about your work experience and current project with Sowvital.

Working started almost by chance, if you believe in such a thing. I needed work after the pandemic had put a stop to many of my projects. When Jack reached out for assistance with a project in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, I pounced on it.

Kurdistan has been home to me for some time, so much of my life is intertwined with the place that I felt it was an experience that developed naturally. Jack and I understood each other, and I was given freedom to imagine and propose my own ideas for the project. I loved that, and I wish that working relationships would all be based on that concept: creative people need trust and freedom to imagine.

My work with Sowvital was different from other commercial projects I had worked on; in a way it was liberating.
Black and white garden
What are your thoughts about the future of art, botany, and technology?

I personally see art, botany and technology as being intrinsically intertwined with one another. Botany offers an extremely wide range of possibilities to tackle issues of our times: plants are key elements for our planet and its well being, and embracing plant welfare would do us a great deal of good.

I see artwork as a political act at its core: art then will (or at least should) play an essential role in our future if we are to survive. Art and botany together can create very powerful forms of expression and communication. When you add the immense power of technology into the mix, which we have just started to discover, we have in our hands all we need to solve our problems.

The question is: do we want to solve the problems, or do we prefer to profit from them?
Hiker on mountain with dogs.
How does your artistic style fit within the Sowvital philosophy and ethos?

I don’t think I have a particular style. I am a multidisciplinary artist, working with a variety of media, tools, techniques, and materials. My approach is always tailored to the story and the content at hand. I embraced the Sowvital philosophy easily as I am a free thinker who approaches subjects and issues with an open heart and mind. I define my style as based on the people I meet, the issues I tackle, and the subjects I portray. Once I feel a connection with my subject, the rest comes easily.
Flowering plant close up
What are your inspirations in life and work?

I am inspired by people who do things with passion, dedication and integrity, aiming to the highest quality possible, who refuse to adapt, and who manage not to lose perspective, but who instead remain true to themselves throughout the process.

Do you have a life or work motto?

I wouldn’t say I have a motto. Rather one thing I tell myself and my children: everything seems impossible until we can imagine it; then it becomes possible, and often attainable.
Stefano Carini is the Director of NOOR Images and the NOOR Foundation. Carini has more than a decade of diverse experiences within the world of photography, photojournalism, and visual storytelling in Europe, the US, and the Middle East. Carini has trained hundreds of image makers, often on the ground, through complex crises (such as the war with ISIS in Iraq and the consequent refugee crisis), and he has produced, curated, and designed books and exhibitions. Carini has developed a variety of programmes on visual literacy for children, teenagers, and adults. He is currently enrolled in a three-year course on counselling Gestalt as a natural continuation of his professional training. He is also co-founder of DARST Projects, a nomadic platform for documentary projects (Visit here).