After reading this tribute to Candy Royalle in The Guardian I thought I would write a few words about a lesson that I learned from her a few years ago. Candy was a warrior in her craft, an honest and fierce wordsmith. I recall at a music industry discussion/ workshop in God Queen a few years ago that Candy also attended – I brought up some of the challenges of being a female music photographer in a male-dominated industry –particularly in the hip hop scene in Sydney. I was convicted by some of the unethical practices happening within the industry and its double standards; and choosing not to conform to certain activities or practices, let alone document such things and staying silent on what I have witnessed. Her response resonated with me which was to 'speak truth to bullshit'. The thing that didn't sit right with me was that I am also a qualified social worker, and human rights and social justice principles are fundamental in our practice. It did not make sense for me to treat them as a binary set of values and practice standards across industries. That is the essence of human rights and social justice. Being honest is a daily choice. It's not like one day you wake up and then you are suddenly an honest person. We make the choice everyday whether we take the hard road or the easy road. I know I have had my fair share of silence and speaking truth along my journey both professionally and personally. Some people have told me that I am brave because I am honest, but ironically to be honest, sometimes I am and sometimes I am not. I definitely have a long way to go. I just want to encourage you to do the same as it is the first step to freedom for many, including yourself.
Condolences to her family and loved ones, may they have the strength and courage as they mourn the loss of this beautiful soul.
Carols at The Newport
On Sunday Nate and I shot the Carols at The Newport (the Northern Beaches) for Sydney musician, Kylie Fisher (of Lady Red Entertainment) and her live band. The venue had such a relaxed ambience surrounded by the gorgeous scenery of the lake. There were lots of kiddies busting a move to all the classic Christmas and pop tunes. Kylie is always amazing with the crowd and leading her team. Thanks for having us cover it. Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Yesterday I had the opportunity to be one of the coaches for Global Sisters Glo Youth Ideas Challenge in collaboration with Woodville Alliance. We learned about the myths around business, the different types of businesses, starting off with an idea and developing it into a business, pitching it, funding it and more. The young women seemed to have a great time!
I first came across Global Sisters whilst I was working in a Community Hub (in a primary school) and developed an arts group for women, in collaboration with Information & Cultural Exchange. I was thrilled to be aligned with an organisation that I share the same philosophy and values with. About six years ago I started my own small creative business Mosca Media Australia. What started as a hobby/ interest and passion grew into a demand for service. We offer photography, videography and graphic design (including logo & branding). For enquiries feel free to email email@example.com or message us via www.facebook.com/MoscaMediaAustralia (until we get our website up again).
For now here is a blurb on Glo/ Global Sister’s:
"As youth unemployment continues to rise GLO has been created to expose young women 16-24 years to self employment as a potential career path, changing the mindset where employed vs unemployed are the only options. GLO creates an entrepreneurial experience to empower young women to make a job rather than take one. GLO has been successfully piloted in Brisbane and Sydney with Melbourne next." - Global Sisters
Check out the video below.
GLO Ideas Challenge from Heather Thomson on Vimeo.
You are limited edition.
Roadtrips got me thinking like..
Life can be so demanding sometimes. So I make sure that I take some time out for myself. As much as I am a suburban girl, I can easily adapt to the country, a city or even a village. But you can't beat the tranquility of the natural landscape when it’s just you and the Creator (the Universe, Allah, God etc). Throughout my travels across the globe so far, I’ve come across some pretty cool street art. But I must say we have some pretty cool local work too– this time we got to check out some cool work in Katoomba. I didn’t bring my digital SLR this time as that thing can get pretty heavy. So I used my iPhone 7 Plus (I think that's the model lol).
Here are some of my random thoughts...
Everything that I see, is art. Life is art. Anyone is an artist, whether or not you have a qualification. As Pablo Picasso once said ‘every child is an artist. the trouble is staying an artist when you grow up’.
So if we are all born artists – we are innately creative beings, particularly those who immerse themselves into their craft. Our work can be expressive but we are either subconsciously or consciously inspired by other artists, artworks, people, experiences.. life. When I see photographs, whether portraiture, landscape, etc. we photographers are called the 'artist'. But when I think about it more deeply. Am I not capturing the “artwork” (or subject) that was already created well before I captured it? Certainly, no doubt, it is our own take, our own perspective and an amazing image is made with our skills. We spend time and money on educating ourselves and buying all this equipment and tools to create something beautiful. But the point is the natural subjects are already created.
I am not overly religious or a fundamentalist in my beliefs, but I am spiritual and am pretty open minded. However, I do wonder when we capture an image or create something, are we really just creating biproducts of the work of an artist who much bigger than us? When I take the pictures, I am called the artist. The way I perceive it as that I am simply taking photographs of people, that an “artist” or “creator” has crafted.
In the world of art, if you have an original piece it is worth a shitload of money especially when an artist had passed away. If you own an imitation, it is much cheaper. Further, I think of humanity in that way. That is, we are all limited edition artworks and there is no duplicate of ourselves. To put it in perspective, the world's population currently sits at 7.6 billion people! Yet, we all have our unique DNA and not one of our fingerprints are identical, not our past ancestors, our current generation or neither will the future generations (even though not everyone has fingers, but you get what I mean). That’s how I see humanity and the world. Individually unique, but also the same in many ways such as the need to feel loved, valued and belong.
I was recently asked by MC Trey to develop a short documentary video entitled 'We Still Rockin', which is about the hip hop in Australia, from the perspectives of female artists' and community workers. These women have contributed to the development of the scene since maybe the 1990s-2000s and continue to practice as artists and youth and community development workers across Western Sydney and greater Sydney, working with young emerging artists.
Our first interview was with MC Trey's long time friend MC Thorn at Redfern Community Centre. Thorn took us back in time into what life looked like for a young person back then. I was fascinated by Thorn's passionate narrative and Trey was definitely feeling it too as they reminisced on the good old days.
I look forward to our next set of interviews with Trey and her friends. Our video will be part of the 'It's Our Thing: More history on Australian hip hop (Part II)' exhibition at Blacktown Arts Centre between 22 June 2017 to 12 August 2017.
Update: the video was exhibited alongside some amazing artworks from artists and hip hop practitioners. It was a very inspiring exhibition. To view the mini-documentary 'We Still Rockin' click on the image below.
On Sunday I attended the Uprock Park Jam where it was kind of like breakdancers' heaven. I came to help 4 Elements crew volunteer but there were "too many chefs in the kitchen" so to speak. So I decided to take photos instead. I got to see a few friends from The Street University which was cool to catch up. There was about 6 hours of breakdance battles! There were various categories: juniors, solo, crew etc. We got a bit tired by the end of it after being diligent spectators and in my case, taking photos (before my camera battery went out). There was also an awesome showcase of live graffiti by Korean street artists Enzo and Royal Dog!! After watching all the amazing talent and all the B-boys (and one B-girl), I decided I need to get fit again. There needs to be more ladies in this game. So this week I've been doing more activity, eating better and getting more sleep. Self-care is on-point so far. Just gotta be disciplined. Piece-A-Cake! *cough*
Follow my random adventures!