We’re on the road!

Hello stranger! Sorry for the silence… We’ve been traveling since the end of May and it’s been amazing!!

family airport departure sfo

Here we are at the airport, about to head off on this fantastic adventure!

I’ve been wanting to bring the whole family home to the continent (my continent – Africa) for ages and it’s brilliant to finally be doing it! We were in Tanzania first for three weeks but just couldn’t get it together to find reliable internet access. I considered writing some drafts to post once we got access, but somehow found other ways to keep myself occupied…

ajira-darch-170609-mbudya beach boat tanzaniaajira-darch-170607-mbudya beach Tanzania

It’s been incredible, to say the least, and I promise to share photos and stories as soon as possible! There’s lots to get through.

Now we’re in South Africa and it’s cold but awesome! There’s lots more to share from here too!

ajira-darch-170622-tablemountain-southafrica

Stay tuned! If you can’t bear to wait for my next post here, find me on instagram, facebook and twitter!

I saw the sign

Saw this sign on the drive home from a shoot in the city and it reminded me so much of how experiencing certain brands over and over in different countries throughout my life has made me take some comfort in their presence, because they’re so familiar… especially in an ever changing landscape. Its been my absolute luck to have been born in a family that valued traveling and were able to do it. I never imagined I would slow down quite so much as I have in the last decade but I always find a way to explore new places.And I’ve found the change of being more rooted quite enthralling.

In some ways its the adventure of wandering that I’m lured by and I’ve found learning to live with chronic illness, being a portrait photographer and raising children to each be quite adventurous. Certainly not boring, that’s for sure. And still, I yearn to get on a plane or go for a drive and check out someplace new. So… I’ll be doing some of that this year for sure. Come hell or high water. Ha!

I think most major brands are heavily tarnished by what we’ve learned about corporations and their powers etc but I like to remember that many businesses started out really small and grew and grew through the sheer power of someone’s imagination. Helps me keep plugging on.

 

Truganini

All I can say is wow. Pretty intense.

Some time ago a brief conversation about the state of the world, my interest in Australian history and particularly in racism and oppression in Australia was piqued and I’ve been learning as much as I can about it.

So, I was researching Aboriginal women in history and this name kept coming up. I’ve been reading about Truganini. She was born c. 1812 and when she died in 1876 she was thought to be the last surviving full blooded Tasmanian Aboriginal.

I can’t imagine walking in her shoes, living in the time she lived in. She was indomitable.

Edmonia Lewis

Black History Month begins today. Let’s see what we can learn about black women in history over the next 28 days!

Featured in Google’s Doodle today was Edmonia Lewis – seemed appropriate to start off with her since I was so delighted to see this when I opened my browser. Nice one, google!

Today’s Google Doodle, by artist Sophie Diao, salutes Lewis and her great work “The Death of Cleopatra,” which rests today in Washington at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. (Her work “Forever Free” resides nearby, with the Howard University Gallery of Art.) And the ribboned “Google” wording shines bright, befitting Lewis’s nickname.

Source: The Washington Post

There is lots of info about her on the interwebs so feel free to google her. In brief, Edmonia Lewis was an artist and sculptor of Native American and African American descent. She was the first black woman artist to achieve international acclaim and lived for most of her working life in Italy. Unsurprising, given that she was born July 4, 1844 and died September 17, 1907.

You can learn more about her life and her work here.

Black History Month

I’ve heard people exclaim, many times, exasperated, about why there’s a black this or black that. It’s a funny thing how someone can be completely immersed in something and absolutely not see it. So it is with whiteness, frankly. We are surrounded by it so constantly that it seems to be like air, we can’t see it or smell it, it’s just there. Only it’s not air. It doesn’t occur naturally and it’s not vital for life.

What it is vital for is the maintenance of this power structure we live in that favors one group of people over another. In order for blackness to be inferior, whiteness must be superior. The clever part is that it is so ingrained in our every day that we don’t see it unless we look.

So. The reason Black History Month exists, is to bring to light the fact that black people are here too. We have been here. Even if the history books would omit us or mention us only in footnotes or as asides to the seemingly far more compelling stories and achievements of white folks.

Its the same reason that BET and historically black colleges exist – because everything else has centered and prioritized whiteness. Its true that recently more of an effort has been made to include non-white people and cultures but sometimes this effort to include looks more like an effort to erase and assimilate.

There are plenty of other, more qualified people who’ve written more lucid explanations of the purposes and reasons for the movements mentioned above. I exhort you to seek them and read. Learn a little more than what you’ve so far been fed.

Please share any great sources below in the comments so we can all learn a little more.

This coming month, I’ll be posting the name and a short bio with links of women of colour, mostly black, who most people have typically not heard of because they’ve mostly been erased from history. Please feel free to add a name or two yourself!