These Are A Few of My Favourite Things: FEBRUARY 2018

For the shortest month of the year, February sure did deliver a lot. I think I can positively say that this month has been the most tumultuous and testing month of my life. And it seems like it wasn’t just for me but a lot of people in my life. In the 4 weeks that were February I found myself single again, moved houses, have experienced incredible stress around our previous tenancy and landlord, found out more about myself than I ever thought and been offered a new job. Maybe chaos attracts chaos. But one thing I do know is that strength attracts strength and I sure have been inspired and motivated by all of the wonderful people around me. The people who have helped lift me up, push me out of my comfort zone and help me find strength in some pretty challenging times, and it is these people I am eternally grateful for. Alas, February is over and finally a much awaited March arrives.

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💃🏿 Bangarra Dance Company

I guess you could call it Christmas in February, because for Christmas I bought Mum tickets to see Bangarra Dance Company’s show at the Newcastle Civic Theatre. It was such a gorgeous performance and I was absolutely in awe. Wow! I cannot recommend seeing them enough! Thanks Mum for being the ultimate date to the theatre!

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🎨Museum of Contemporary Art

So I finally made it to the MCA’s incredible exhibition by Pipilotti Rist’s ‘Sip my Ocean.’ I had seen several Instagrammers check out this exhibition and damn their photos were incredible…. so I wanted to check it out for myself! Chloe and I headed to Sydney dressed to the 9’s and damn it did not disappoint! It was an incredible experience of light and sound! Plus we got several pretty awesome Instagrams so I’m pretty content.

🎹 RAD Bar

For those of you who don’t know… RAD is (as the name implies) a super rad bar in Wollongong that is home to some incredibly live music. Showcasing local and incredible acts, I constantly forget how awesome RAD is!

💕 Date Night

No matter how rough and tough, or exciting and wild life gets, it’s so important to take a breather and catch up with the people around you that you love. I had a little date night with Chantelle, and it felt so great to go out and just spend some quality time together. I also spent Valentines day with the one and only Miss Tishia! We ate way too much food together and hatched our plan to take over the world. Watch out friends, date night is coming to a night near you.

 

📷 Polaroid Camera

For Christmas I was spoilt and my sister bought me a polaroid camera. And I wasn’t sure how much I would use it, but surprise surprise, I love taking photos and this is no exception. These are just some of the pics that I’ve snapped and I absolutely love it! I think my favourite thing is my reaction when I photo turns out well!

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🎶Tunes

Steele Syndicate. I was lucky enough to randomly catch these guys at RAD bar this month and DAMN I have not danced so much! Their vibe is so funky and uplifting! Add a few beers and you my friend, have a good night filled with dancing and good times ahead of you.

Odette. OMG this song! I’ve heard it so many times on Triple J but I never picked up on who the angel behind it was! Finally I’ve tracked her down and wow she’s amazing! Her other work is amazing and she is definitely one to keep on your radar!

 

Vallis Alps

These guys!!! Her vocals are so astounding and the beat has wicked good vibes! I’ve been listening to this EP on my way to work and I assure you I’ve been arriving in a great mood! Get around it!

🎥 Flicks

Breakfast at Tiffany’s 

Audrey Hepburn you mega babe! There’s nothing quite like re-watching an old classic with some amazing company. Whilst I must admit I get quite lost and caught up in the plot, it’s so joyful to be whisked away back in time to the golden ages. This movie is a constant reminder to keep it classy but just a little nasty.

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📚 Books

Chapter One by Daniel Flynn. So there’s this company called Thankyou. I’m sure you may be familiar with it. They’re basically a social enterprise where money goes directly towards a project in another country. You may know Thankyou water. When you buy a bottle of water, proceeds go towards providing clean water to a community in Vientam for example. This book is the business behind it and I must admit is it very captivating, interesting and inspiring. Whilst I have some pretty big critiques of the company and the execution of their mission, the one thing that cannot be faulted is their determination to get in there, be taken seriously and make a difference. It’s an easy read and for anyone interested in start ups, business and development, then this one is for you!

The world doesn’t need another book, it needs an idea.

You can find out more information here. 

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📷 Bloggers and Vloggers

Bryce + Hailey

Uh what is it with cute couples and YouTube?! There’s something about these two that are so adorable that I can’t help but fall in love with their videos! Their style is funky as and they seem like the sweetest most genuine humans. I particularly loved their video from around Europe so make sure to give these guys some love.

📝 Quote

So as you can imagine, this month was a little rough. It’s OK, I’m OK and I know that everything is going to be OK. But it takes time to come to that realisation. Not even the realisation, but to truly feel and believe it. It’s too easy to convince yourself that you’re alright when you’re not, and (sadly) too easy to fake a smile. What is difficult is acknowledging you’re lost, confused, sad, lonely, optimistic, excited, relieved…. confronting those feelings is difficult. But once you do, and choose to surround yourself with people who are ‘loving, nourishing, kind and authentic,’ you’ll realise how amazing you are and how much you deserve!

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I can honestly say that I feel like a stronger person now that the month from hell is over! With each ending comes new beginnings, some in the most unlikely of places. March, I am excited for everything to come, I’m committing to working hard and playing even harder… just please be kind. I’d really appreciate it.

Simple & Easy Way To Make A KickAss Travel Video

So you want to make a travel video but you don’t know where to start? Well there’s a million ways to make a travel video. The most common is a quick GoPro edit with a Kygo song plastered on top. But if you don’t have time, money, energy or resources to put together an epic travel video… never fear. I have the ultimate travel app for you!

1SE (1 Second Everyday) is the easiest yet most creative way to document your travels. In short, this is how it works… you take one second of footage everyday and it saves it into a calendar. You can set reminders so you don’t forget to take a quick video. Then at the end of your trip, you mash it all together and export the file.

The best thing is, that it allows you to capture what you think is important or special about a particular day. And even if you don’t do anything specifically important or special in a day, and you end up filming your office desk or your coffee order, they’re all part of what make up your adventures.

PLUS… it requires minimal effort. It’s a slow project but at the end of the year, you’ve got about 5.5minutes of adventures, and I assure you that you’ll thank yourself when you watch your year back.

Below is my 1SE video from 2016. Let me know what you think! I’m making another 1SE for 2017 so watch this space! I’ll also be making a proper travel video (maybe with a bit of Kygo overtop) so once I sift through my 100’s of Gigabytes of footage, I’ll be onto it.

Make sure you subscribe to my YouTube channel to be sure you don’t miss it! 

The Little Red Shirt That Captured The World’s Attention For All Of The Wrong Reasons

Aylan Kurdi’s body was found on a beach in Turkey in September 2015. Lifeless, his innocent body was dressed in a little red shirt and boots. At just three years old, Aylan Kurdi brought immediate light to a crisis previously ignored by the mainstream media and the rest of the world. When I first saw this image in September 2015, I remember staring blankly at my computer screen with tears rolling down my cheeks. I wasn’t sad or angry, I felt numb and empty. I remember being mesmerised by his little red shirt. There is no denying the overwhelming sadness this image brings us. However, there are certain questions and issues around this image that are important for us to address as we look through a lens at people and a world far from us.

 

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Refugees rescued from the coast of Libya. Source

Why this image?

Thousands of photos have been captured documenting the enormous movement of people since the beginning of the refugee crisis during the Arab Spring. The photo above is an example of a photo that would typically be used by the media to sensationalize and dehumanize refugees and their threat to our way of life (Klocker & Dunn, 2003).

‘Images of children suffering form the ultimate emotional argument, compelling us to move from sentiment to action, from the particular to the universal, from passivity to engagement’ (Kennicott, 2013). People around the world reacted to this image. It may not have been for the right reasons, but they saw shame and horror that they couldn’t ignore. (Sontag, 2003).

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Cover of the Independent showing the body of Aylan Kurdi. Source

To look or not to look? To publish or not to publish?

A debate which arose following the publication of the photograph of Aylan’s body was whether or not to show the image, and whether or not we should be looking. Channel 10’s The Project stated that they would not show the image as it was ‘too distressing for viewers’ (Ting, 2015), followed by host, Carrie Bickmore, breaking down expressing ‘I am lucky that I and my children live in Australia’ (Ting, 2015).

“A picture of a dead child is one of the golden rules of what you never published.” (Laurent, 2015)

What is interesting is that the network’s primary concern is the wellbeing of its viewers. That they’re doing their audience a favour by not subjecting them to such horror of the reality of this migrant crisis. What about Aylan? His father? His Aunty? What about their distress and suffering?

A view that some may share with Sontag, is that by capturing images of suffering, ‘where news has been converted into entertainment for a small, educated population living in the rich part of the world, is that everyone becomes a spectator, suggesting that there is no real suffering in the world’ (Richard, 2010). Richard then goes on to suggest that we as ‘consumers of globalized media should refuse to look at photographs of suffering because suffering’s urgency is thereby diminished’ (Richard, 2010).

 ‘Perhaps the only people with the right to look at images of suffering, are those who could do something to alleviate it.’ (Sontag, 2003, pp. 37)

The Independent (as illustrated above) took another stance by putting Aylan on the front cover. By doing this, they are refusing to igrnore this issue and reaching out to those with the right to look who can do something about this suffering. And is that something that we as global citizens should be doing? Educating ourselves about what is happening in the world, and being motivated to do something about it.

The West vs. The Rest

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One of the many cartoons that emerged after the image was published. Source

Laurent expresses that the child’s ethnicity played a critical part of the photo’s reception. He explains that ‘dozens of African kids have been washed up on the beaches of Libya and were photographed and it didn’t have the same impact’ (Laurent, 2015). This is then illustrated by Carrie Bickmore and the world’s reaction thinking that could be my child. Ethnocentrism is a key issue in mainstream media, why do we only pay attention when there are terrorist attacks in Paris but not Aleppo? Is it up to us as global citizens to seek global news, or should we sit back in our beach chairs and wait for it to be handed to us on the front page of a newspaper?

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‘Hope for a New Life’ Warren Richardson. Source 

Other significant images of struggle and suffering

Whilst the image of Aylan Kurdi’s body is one whose importance will linger, there are many other significant photographs which capture the struggle and suffering of refugees. The image above ‘Hope for a New Life’ was captured by Australian photographer Warren Richardson in August 2015. A baby is being passed through the border from Serbia in to Hungary (World Press Photo, 2016). This image won the World Press Photo of the Year, a highly prestigious title in the name of visual journalism. And looking back over the past winners, there have been many which carry a similar theme. Where an audience sits at their computer screen, flicking through winning photographs of people subjected to torture, abuse and suffering absolutely unimaginable.

Moving On

We have two options. The first is to look away. We can ignore this little boy, face down on a beach, and lay on our beach chairs and carry on with our lives. Something the Australian government would prefer to do. Or we can choose to look, we can choose to be upset, confronted or angry. And we can choose to do something about it.

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When I went to the ‘Let Them Stay’ rally in Wollongong on the 20th March 2016.

 

Further Information

You can see, what I regard, the most important photo of 2015, Aylan Kurdi found on the Turkish beach, here.

You can see the Project’s take on reporting this news here. 

References

Klocker, N & Dunn, K. M 2003, Who’s driving the asylum debate? Newspaper and government representation of asylum seekers, ‘Media International Australia incorporating media and policy’, No.109, pp. 71-92

Laurent, O 2015, ‘What the image of Aylan Kurdi says about the power of photography’, Time, 4 September, viewed 19 March 2016, http://time.com/4022765/aylan-kurdi-photo/

Kennicott, P 2013, ‘Why Syria’s images of people suffering haven’t moved us’, The Washington Post, 13 September, viewed 20th March 2016, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/why-syrias-images-of-suffering-havent-moved-us/2013/09/13/30407f98-1bb3-11e3-8685-5021e0c41964_story.html

Richard, F 2010, ‘The Thin Artefact: On Photography and Suffering’, The Nation, 23 November, viewed 19 March 2016, http://www.thenation.com/article/thin-artifact-photography-and-suffering/

Sontag, S 2003, Regarding the Pain of Others, Chapter 3, Hamish Hamilton, London, England, pp. 36-52

Ting, I 2015, ‘The Project’s Carrie Bickmore breaks down over image of drowned Syrian toddler’, The Sydney Morning Herald, 4 September, viewed 19 March 2016, http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/tv-and-radio/the-projects-carrie-bickmore-breaks-down-over-image-of-drowned-syrian-toddler-20150904-gjetma.html

World Press Photo, 2016, ‘World Press Photo of the Year’, World Press Photo, 28 August 2015, http://www.worldpressphoto.org/collection/photo/2016/spot-news/warren-richardson