DMA Motion Final, Summer 2018
I remember the day I purchased my first vinyl record: it was a Sunday in mid-March of 2015 at the Melrose Trading Post. After having my hand stamped— granting me access to the labyrinth of thrifted goods— I made my way through the crowd of alternative characters and wannabes alike, with no specific item of purchase in mind. Hours passed, and as our scavenger hunt came to an end, I walked towards the exit empty handed… that was until out of the corner of my eye I saw a paper box entitled “Frank Sinatra”. Allured by the funky fonts and graphic illustrations, my immediate attraction was to everything but the actual contents sheltered behind the album sleeve. I began selecting and mentally organizing the albums into a grid that would eventually embellish the ocean blue walls of my bedroom. I continued shuffling through the box and making small talk with the vendor, and he eventually revealed that there was an original record in the stack from the sixties that had been specifically pressed for radio play, but was previously unopened…ah ha I found it! “Sinatra’s Sinatra.” I recognized a few songs including “Young At Heart” and “All The Way,” but was yet to be charmed by the remainder of the album. In due time my initial attitude of simply purchasing albums as a piece of art, and owning them as an artifact to display, was quickly transcended and replaced with a deep adoration for the stories forever inscribed in the grooves of every vinyl record.
Soon after my initial flea market finds I hastily purchased a turntable. At the time Urban Outfitters had been marketing briefcase styled record players manufactured by Crosley; reasonably priced, aesthetically pleasing, and conveniently portable I purchased the Crosley Cruiser turntable— failing to recognize that social media hype nurtured by millennials did not warrant high quality. Restricted to a low volume, extremely sensitive to vibration, and constructed with a flimsy tone arm and cartridge, the turntable failed to meet the superior sound of vinyl records. Disappointed, I returned to the boundless world wide web for answers: beginning with “How to Troubleshoot a Crosley Turntable” and eventually arriving at “Reviews on the Audio-Technica Stereo Turntable.” My initial excitement had eclipsed rational, but after researching to great lengths I decided to return the Crosley Cruiser and heavily invest in the Audio-Technica AT-LP120. Fun fact: having the speaker enclosed in the same housing— as with the Crosley— sends vibrations to the record, ultimately damaging the grooves, and distorting the sound. Built in speakers do not do the concept of phonographic records justice; there is an appreciable sonic difference to turntables connected to separate powered speakers.
Since then I have developed quite the collection (if I do say so myself). From Amoeba— a retail beacon of hope in an industry drowned by digital downloads and music streaming services— to the Record Collector— a dusty hole-in-the-wall where Frank Sinatra was an avid customer during his time in the recording studio— the 16” by 16” sitting in my bedroom has transformed into the Pandora’s box of music-lovers.
My appreciation for this medium is not a mere anecdotal trend; each thrifted and newly purchased vinyl has a story— those directly associated with my life and those of strangers whose lives are entrapped in every crackle and pop of the used albums. Shopping for vinyl records heightens the listening experience; attentively flipping through stacks of albums and intimately interacting with the music before it is even heard outshines the digital version of any song or album. The tactile sensation embeds the experience in our souls.
Despite the eye rolling and condemning remarks, records do indeed sound different: they are warmer and richer. Unlike digital music that is compressed in order to be uploaded and heard on portable devices or broadcast radio, when a record is pressed it sounds as the producer and musician intended. Quality is not sacrificed and details are not lost.
Nevertheless, vinyls are not invincible; they are enchantingly imperfect. Their fragility warrants easy warping and scratches. Their lack of portability bounds the listening experience to a specific time and place. Furthermore, you can neither shuffle or skip songs: you are at the musicians will to listen to the album as he or she intended it to be heard. You are forced to key into every sequence and manifest meaning from each instrument, lyric, and storyline. Within the realm of digital music you are an independent consumer, but in the case of vinyl records you give your heart, soul, and ears to the musician. You are obliged to listen to the musician’s truth— their whole truth.
There is an allure to the interactive quality of vinyls: the ritual of carefully removing the record from its sleeve, placing it on the turntable, meticulously lowering the needle, watching it spin, hearing the first few notes of a song, and eventually flipping the record over to the next side. It is a hypnotic spectacle that avoids the immediacy of digital technology. You are forced to slow down and pay attention to every step of the process and every detail being amplified through the speakers.
The exhilaration of playing records from some of my favorite musicians is a highlight of the enriching listening experience. The moment the needle touches the vinyl’s surface I am back at the Troubadour— West Hollywood’s infamous rock club where some of the biggest names, including Elton John and Sam Smith, have made their Los Angeles debut, where future band members, like those of the Eagles’, met at the front bar, and most importantly where I developed a life-long friendship with a high school classmate. The Troubadour is my safe heaven away from the white noise of the outside world, and the Audio-Technica is means of hosting my own private concert within the four walls of my bedroom. I close my eyes and I am there: the neon Troubadour sign illuminating the stage, the band throwing every ounce of their energy into the performance, the bass electrifying my body, and my best friend by my side— despite the 2,455 miles currently between us.
My turntable’s ability to transport me to the heart racing, blood pumping nights at the Troubadour is a testament to music’s responsibility as the soundtrack to our lives. With every vinyl record a kaleidoscope of memories populates my mind. With Donna Summer’s “On The Radio” record I am back to the early summer mornings, from age seven to eleven, in my mom’s mini-van as she drove my sister and I to camp; with Bing Crosby’s “Merry Christmas” record I am seated in front of a toasty fire with the smell of wood encapsulating my family’s cabin in Mammoth during our winter ski trips; with Taylor Swift’s “Red” record I am reminiscing over the madness at the Staples Center as my twelve year old self stood in a crowd of thousands mesmerized by the musical theatrics; with Bank’s “The Alter” record I am on stage in my high school auditorium performing my final dance solo; and with Bon Iver’s “Bon Iver” I am cozily hidden under the sheets of my bed, a tub of ice cream in hand, and my best friend consoling me over heartbreak.
Vinyl. There is nothing like it: the context, texture, and depth extends musical experiences far beyond a mere song or album. Every listen is yet another “first” as the sound never identically matches the previous play. Just as we humans are not timeless, neither is material music: it physically ages alongside us. Though a new record may begin unscathed each scratch, skip, and sizzle is a testament to the grooves of history. Vinyl collections are archives of personal memories, and with every play we are both remembering and contributing; simultaneously reading and writing.
What matters most to me about my personal vinyl collection is that the records are passed down from generation to generation long after I am gone. Just as my father gifted me his vinyls from college, I hope the myriad of records housed within the shelves of my home are reflective of the life I lived; the people, places, experiences, and emotions I was fortunate enough to be exposed to. Whether the vinyls are heard alone or in a sociable group setting, I hope they are deeply listened to; I hope individual and collective imaginatives draw great meaning from the sounds pulsating through their ears and into their hearts; I hope the rips and tears of the album cover and the notes scribbled on the album sleeve contribute to a more profound mode of listening. Material matters: without physical formats my stories, and those preceding them, could never be permanently inscribed into the soundtrack of our lives.
The best way I know how to create art is through the triumphs and sorrows of my own human experience. I started curating what is now Growing Pains during week three of fall quarter with no intention of sharing it with the world: it was to be a chronicle of my first ten weeks of college, a chronicle that would solely be for my personal recollection. The decision to share this project on a public platform transpired from the realization that I was building a heart of armor at the hands of shame. The shame of still making sense of college, while everyone else seemed to have it all figured out. The shame that lead me to abandon what made me most me: vulnerability.
The development of the book was my safe haven away from an emotionally convoluted transition; it was means of reveling in the pain while concurrently finding my way back to myself. My freshman fall quarter at UCLA was neither the first nor the last time that I will be placed at a crossroads with who I am and who I have the potential to be, and truthfully there’s a tragic beauty to that reality. Growing Pains never die; they simply manifest in authentic ways and are felt to various degrees.
Drawing has never been, nor will it ever be, my medium of expertise. Nevertheless, as I ventured through the UCLA course catalog during orientation I felt inclined to enroll in drawing as my art course of choice; I inevitably would have to take it in order to satisfy one of my major’s lower division requirements, so why not embrace the challenge and start my college experience even f u r t h e r out of my comfort zone.
While there were a multitude of moments filled with frustration and discouragement, I can now confidently say that I am no longer intimidated by the means of ‘drawing.’ From September to December I walked into each four hour studio session ready to experiment with the multi-dimensional medium: rather than confining to the perfection of a specific skill set, I focused on developing my individual artistry through collage and typography.
The themes explored in the drawings displayed above are a collective body of work that eventually manifested into a project entitled Growing Pains… coming soon ;)
For as long as I could remember perfection was the driving force behind my life. Everything I sought to achieve was precisely calculated down to a T leaving absolutely no room for mistakes or failure. I was comfortable, unhappy, but safe because with the certainty for success everything would be okay. Eventually nothing was okay. The pressure I placed upon myself ultimately engulfed me: my physical health was sacrificed at the hands of stress and I was forced to face a new reality. I had no other choice but prioritize my well being and learn to cultivate genuine happiness.
I knew where I had to start: Vulnerability. A delicate word with too great of an impact; an impact so terrifying I came to desensitize myself. Revealing my fears, frustrations, and failures to others, let alone to myself, was something I simply couldn’t will myself to do. Rather, I mastered the art of building walls out of fear of saying too much or feeling too deeply. Someone had recommended reading Brené Brown’s Daring Greatly, but I continuously avoided opening the book because I never seemed ready to hold up the mirror and acknowledge my authenticity (which included imperfections). Months passed and the book remained untouched on my bedside table.
It wasn’t until a very precise moment— my solo junior year at Milken’s annual dance showcase— that all the walls I had so consciously constructed came crashing down. Leading up to the fleeting moments on stage, the hours practicing in the studio were filled with frustration; despite knowing the dance like the back of my hand a key element was missing and I couldn’t put my finger on it. The problem? I was dancing with my head rather than my heart. On stage every ounce of pain was alleviated with an unfamiliar sense of liberation, and though tears blanketed my face I couldn’t help but smile the entire time. As the song came to an end, a single sentence dominated my thoughts: “that— that is how it’s supposed to feel.” Drained by the high emotions from that evening my head was begging for sleep, but my heart wanted nothing more than to become acquainted with the wise words of Brené Brown— and that it did.
Choosing to read Daring Greatly was a life changing decision—one that I regret waiting so long to start. Brown’s wit and candor allowed me to deeply empathize with both the ample research as well as her personal experience. By the end of each chapter my trust in Brown grew; so much so that by the end I was willing to confide in her. Brown’s captivating writing challenged me consider the steps of allowing vulnerability to take the wheel and courage to steer me in the
right direction scariest direction.
1. Cultivating Authenticity: Letting Go of What People Think
2. Cultivating Self-Compassion: Letting Go of Perfectionism
3. Cultivating a Resilient Spirit: Letting Go Numbing and Powerlessness
4. Cultivating Gratitude and Joy: Letting Go of Scarcity and Fear of the Dark
5. Cultivating Intuition and Trusting Faith: Letting Go of the Need for Certainty
6. Cultivating Creativity: Letting Go of Comparison
7. Cultivating Play and Rest: Letting Go of Exhaustion as a Status Symbol and Productivity as Self- Worth
8. Cultivating Calm and Stillness: Letting Go of Anxiety as a Lifestyle
9. Cultivating Meaningful Work: Letting Go of Self-Doubt and “Supposed To”
10. Cultivating Laughter, Song, Dance: Letting Go of Being Cool and “Always in Control”
These ten “guideposts” outlined in the introduction were the catalyst for transforming my life from one of fear to one genuinely lived as myself. Vulnerability truly is the birthplace for love, creativity, and courage: it’s what challenged me to wear my heart on my sleeve, put my art out into the world with no expectation for acceptance, and most recently choosing to take drawing rather than photography as my first college art course (simply because it was the option that scared the shit out of me, and because for me it’s no longer about acing or failing the class— it’s about showing up and courageously accepting the challenge despite the outcome).
Today, and every day since the start of my senior year, I’ve wholeheartedly embraced vulnerability, and while I sometimes still struggle to reveal my fears I recognize that doing so is emotionally liberating; there’s truly a raw power in opening yourself to the risk of rejection— one that will clarify our purpose and deepen the meaning of our lives.
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Everyday these notifications populate my phone, directing me to a new coffee shop, a health orientated restaurant, or an “Instagram worthy” dessert bar. Over a nine month period my friends and I accumulated a list of places that we longed to go to because the food looked mouthwatering— the key word being looked. Finally, after months of waiting we decided to dedicate a day driving through various Los Angeles neighborhoods and indulging in....(drum role please)...ICE CREAM.
As we piled into the designated vehicle, stomachs ready for goodness, we blasted Declan McKenna’s newly released album “What Do You Think About The Car” and headed to Downtown. On the corner of S Spring St and W 7th St was our first stop: Little Damage— an instagram famous shop known for their charcoal soft serve. The “Mother of Dragons” charcoal ice cream had a modest almond taste—not strong enough to taste like marzipan, but not utterly bland. The interior aesthetic of the shop was definitely more pleasing than the actual dessert; the unique black-goth appearance of the ice cream juxtaposed with the colorful neon signs decorating the shop gave you a solid picture perfect moment. Simply, the image was stronger than the taste.
After typing the next desired address into our iPhone’s maps we began walking towards Gresescent Ice Cream— a whimsical parlor celebrated for their ice cream bouquets, which is a just 10 mini scoops of ice cream, 5 different flavors, for $9 in a huge waffle cone. Overwhelmed by the copious selection of flavors the employees reassured us that we could try as many samples as our hearts desired. Our chosen flavors were: blackberry mint mojito, honey hazelnut pistachio, lemon bar, salted caramel buttercake, and sea salt chocolate ganache. The blackberry mint mojito was by far my favorite: the citrusy fruit complimented by the touch of alcohol had a very interesting kick to it. The remaining flavors— each suited for very specific palates— were quite memorable. Unlike Little Dragon’s loud aesthetic, Gresescent’s all white, simple, and modern appearance allowed the ice cream to truly shine. Overall, it was a splendid experience!
From the New York-esque streets of Downtown we traveled east to Koreatown for our final stop: Somi Somi— a dessert shop known for their Taiyaki soft serve and goldfish-shaped waffle cone. The available flavors are matcha, ube, milk, and black sesame. Personally, the matcha was slightly too bitter and the milk too sweet (they would have been the ideal swirl, but unfortunately it wasn’t being offered at the time). My friends each ordered their own waffle cone with Nutella filling and a single flavor. We all devoured the ice cream: waffle cone falling apart, ice cream melting, Nutella sopping all over our hands, and absolutely no care in the world for how messy it was. While it might not have had the most glamorous store front, Somi Somi’s quality lead us to recognize it as the best ice cream of the day (by our amateur standards).
What once was spread by word of mouth is now popularized by social media: social networks hold the biggest influence over millennials. Not only are we using Instagram, Snapchat, etc to decide where to eat but also what to eat. Rather than reading through menus we judge food by pictures and choose to order the most posted meal. Nevertheless, just because something is labeled “Instagram worthy” doesn’t denote high quality.
While Instagram famous locations are “trendy” I challenge you to seek out your city’s hole-in-the-wall restaurants. Sometimes the best places are hidden from the public eye.
Countless hours this summer were spent either admiring the ever changing scenery from train windows (while anticipating the arrival to our next destination) , OR stuck waiting in LA's dreadful bumper-to-bumper traffic. Here are the tunes I counted on to ease my mind during such wistful rides...Hopefully I can introduce you to some new favorites!
This time last year a single idea occupied every senior’s train of thought: COLLEGE. Where are you applying? Are your test scores high enough? Do you have ample extra curricular activities decorating your application to characterize you as well rounded? Now, exactly twelve months later day by day we are each departing to our next destination— whether that be across the country, or in my case down the street.
As many of my friends empty their closets into boxes and walk around Bed, Bath, and Beyond purchasing college necessities, I prepare my heart for yet another goodbye— or as I am constantly reminded a “see you later.” The reality of attending a small private school is that months, and or even years from now you’ll across paths with someone you once knew; while we may be going our separate ways, we will eventually find our way back to one another. Though these may be “see you laters,” they truthfully are a goodbye to the people we are in this very moment— and that, THAT is what makes the final hugs and farewells unnerving and formidable.
Back in March, after the flood of college acceptances and rejections drowned the halls of Milken, the seniors were brought ashore with a lecture highlighting the virtue of true friendships. While the entire presentation captured my attention, a single inquiry hit home with me: Do you have someone you can call at ungodly hours of the night with absolutely no hesitation or apprehension? Whether it be an emergency or a simple “I need to talk”…? Before the next point was made tears filled my eyes as I looked to my left and right, because I did have that someone in my life— and not just one or two, but seven "someones"— and I am beyond blessed to say that I do.
With college move-in snapshots taking social media by storm, there’s a single common pattern throughout all the pictures and videos: in the corner of all the Instagram and Snapchat posts are pictures of friends plastered above beds or desks. As I come across these all I can think is that one thing is true: though we may be miles apart the memories captured in those photographs make us feel at home. They take us back to good times. While the individuals in the images may change, their shared memories and the power of true friendship will persist through time and space.
It's difficult to wholeheartedly understand what traveling does to your soul until you've done it. As your mind wanders and your heart is exposed to inspiring experiences you slowly become accustomed to the feeling of change and the exhilaration of leaving your comfort zone. Your obligation as a traveler is to deeply observe the world around you, take notes, and record what you are drawn to, because to expand your mind is to expand your universe.
As cliché as it may sound, after nearly a month in Europe I have returned to Los Angeles a completely different person—and for the better. I spent twenty-fours days learning to navigate through nine countries alongside more than a hundred individuals— majority of whom I had neither met before nor was I close to: as someone who seeks comfort in certainty this single factor made my long anticipated trip more than daunting (so much so that I was questioning my decision to go minutes before I drove to LAX). There’s not much to it besides the fact that I was scared: scared of being the outsider, scared of being miserable, and scared that I would waste away this opportunity as a consequence. Not even an hour after landing in London did I recognize how naive I was for allowing my nerves to nearly get the best of me.
From the fashion forward streets of Paris to the quaint, colorful villages of the Italian coast I grew. Vulnerability drove my curiosity opening my heart to new people and new places. In each city I challenged myself to venture beyond the strains of tourism into the hidden gems that the locals deeply treasured. On the days I explored alone I threw my camera around my neck, packed my metro card, replenished my liter water bottle, and walked the city with no specific destination in mind. There were times where I felt completely at home and other times where I was constantly looking over my shoulder as I tried to escape the incessant cat-calls, but not once did I regret my decision to board the Air New Zealand flight departing LAX.
Our travel days were long: early mornings, frantic afternoons spent running between platforms during quick changes, and hours asleep on trains (3-4 hour naps were our new 8-10 hours of sleep). My moments awake where consumed of thorough reflection recorded in my travel journal. I’d compare the first and last day in a specific city and goosebumps blanketed my skin; I could feel parts of myself slipping away from my grasp. The butterflies filling my stomach encouraged a reversal to my reserved self, but the pictures and videos crowding my group’s photo circle constantly reminded me how much I needed the change Europe was nurturing.
I’ve learned to look at the world through the lens of a traveler rather than a tourist. I’ve learned to be okay with making a fool out of myself and laughing at my quirkiness (I mean lets be honest who else would go to a Parisian club wearing Birkenstocks? None other than Ninable). Most importantly, I’ve learned that spontaneity trumps control; theres a beauty in surprising yourself and allowing life to take an unexpected course.
My heart has never felt so full; Europe brought me unparalleled happiness and life lessons that have me head over heels excited for the next chapter: UCLA let’s gooooo!
“The happier you try to be the more miracles appear.” This is Eva Perlman’s life philosophy; an 85-year-old mother, grandmother, great grandmother, world traveler, soon to be published author, and Holocaust survivor who believes we are the ultimate determinants of our personal happiness.
From the haunted corners of Poland to the spirited streets of Jerusalem, the members of the Los Angeles March of the Living delegation never faced a dull moment in Eva’s presence. Every day as we made our way towards the stone cold walls of Birkenau, the ethnic streets of Krakow, or the therapeutic waters of the Dead Sea, Eva’s charisma filled the empty airtime on our buses. Her storytelling enriched our personal reflection time while her cheeky jokes lightened the mood. At the end of each day, while we departed our buses, the same whispers echoed under people’s breath: “How is Eva so positive? How is she SO happy?” Though she makes happiness seem like an easy state of being to achieve, Eva shares “I’ve done a lot of self development in my life; I’ve taken a lot of courses about how to put the past where it belongs and look forward to the future. I’ve learned that you have to be grateful—that your thoughts bring up what happens to you.”
With the looming memory of a childhood spent on the run hiding from the Nazis, Eva now lives a life of gratitude; she seeks meaning in life’s smallest moments and counts her blessings by reminding herself of everything money can’t buy: her friends and family, the beautiful Los Angeles weather, and the gorgeous velvety mountains that make her time stuck in traffic worthwhile. She continues with an analogy for the law of attraction explaining, “Your mind is a garden, your thoughts are the seeds; you can grow flowers or you can grow weeds. At the beginning, I made, perhaps, an effort to say ‘thank you God for today,’ but then it became so habitual that even, say I drive and I see a red light in front of me coming up and it suddenly turns green and I don’t even have to brake, I say ‘thank you Lord.’”
Eva’s positivity and vitality have a magnetic force that enchants everyone. On the March, there was never a morning when she did not greet us with a warm smile illuminating her face. There was never a moment where she hesitated to be vulnerable and grace us with her courage. What drew me to Eva was her fearlessly authentic and empowered character; she marvels at the miracles of the universe and carries herself with an unparalleled level of elegance and humility. There aren’t enough words to express my gratitude for Eva’s wisdom. As my high school career draws to an end, I constantly seek value in every fleeting moment— the good and the bad— because it is during those moments that our reactions matter the most; it is in those moments that we can challenge ourselves to choose happiness over all else.
This piece was inspired by the individuals in my life who have made the last few months bearable. During the college process it is really easy to feel as though darkness is consuming you, due to the amount of pressure and expectations that we strive towards. Thanks to certain people and special moments, I have a better sense of who I am and who I want to be.
"1999/2016" - Gold Key (Photography)
"From Eden" - Silver Key (Photography)
Anselm Kiefer was born in southern Germany on March 8, 1945 during the collapse of the Third Reich. He studied French and Law in the early 1960s before pursuing the study of art in the late 1960s, during which time he traveled to France, Holland, Italy, & Sweden to visit the homelands of his artistic heroes.
Deeply interested in the concept of alchemy, the use of natural materials is a trademark of Kiefer's work. Kiefer's unorthodox paintings do not sole involve a canvas and paint, rather he further incorporates raw materials (lead, ash, sand etc). Kiefer’s approach to art is figurative rather than abstract; he expresses his spirituality through creating a figurative illusion.
Captivated by his multidimensional work, Kiefer’s approach to art is greatly fascinating to me. The uniqueness of each one of his pieces—whether it be painting, sculpture, photography, or water color—reflects Kiefer’s deep passion for his craft. I am in awe by the complexities of his multimedia works that analyze the controversial topics that serve as inspiration and an outlet for self exploration.
Los Angeles, CA – Milken Community Schools is proud to announce a group exhibition featuring Advanced Photography students at dnj Gallery in Santa Monica. Their upcoming show Up For Interpretation will run from February 11 – March 25, 2017 with an opening reception on Saturday evening, February 11th from 6-8 p.m.
Eight student artists will be featured in the show: Isabel Bina, Taylor Feldman, Jordan Hofert, Lexie Kamran, Clara Pitt, Ryan Sassouni, Chad Schoenberg, and Adam Schreiber.
Some of the works are inspired by Pamela Mayers-Schoenberg’s exhibition When Did it Stop Being Fun? – a closer look at the expectations and burdens of formal education. The artists have interpreted the concept in multiple ways, presenting a prismatic approach to communicating their individual stories: from conveying the difficulty students face balancing schoolwork, extracurricular activities, and impossible expectations to an existential search for beauty within fragmented chaos. The artists will also display exploratory photographic work.
Recognized as the pioneer of color photography, William Eggleston’s work is of great inspiration to me because he seeks beauty in the mundane. There’s an eerie enchantment in his detailed photographs. The saturated environments are balanced and lively; between the warm tones (red, orange and yellow) as well as the cool colors (blue, green, and violet) Eggleston creates authentic images. Unlike the majority of street photographers who gravitate towards extraordinary moments, Eggleston was drawn to the ordinary; he sought to expose the beauty that we often overlook while underscoring the power of nostalgia. He once said, “Often very often, I have these ‘photographic dreams’. They are just one beautiful picture after another—which don’t exist. Short time later, I don’t remember them. I just remember being very happy during the dream [laughs]. Always in color.”
During my two weeks at UCLA's Summer Art Institute I was exposed to an array of photographers, and Shirin Neshat was amongst the photographers I deeply resonated with. Her series entitled "Women of Allah" examines the reality of women's identities in the Middle East. The incorporation of Persian poetry adds a melancholic enchantment. Inspired by this series, I sought to experiment with photography and typography by exploring the fears and frustrations of individuals within my community.
There's something about hearing music live that's such an enriching experience. The pool of bodies flooding the cramped, intimate venue. The bass sending bursting vibrations throughout my body. The echo of lyrics being passionately sung. The electric connection between the audience and the musician radiating energy throughout the venue. During those few hours, I'm transcended to space beyond myself. I fill my life with concerts because they're my escape; they silence the world around me and wash away the trivial worries of my life, allowing me to truly feel alive.
Memories are fragments of time, images, and thoughts. There's something about reliving memories in our mind that make us feel whole again. We cling to them, because as everything else in our life is changing, those moments will always stay a constant. While some memories burn bright within us, others slip through the cracks of our mind; if we were to remember every detail of every moment of our lives, we would be so fixated on the past that we'd forget to live in the now. It's the highest highs and the lowest lows that leave a mark on us, that help us flourish, and that mold us into who we are.