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.
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