Woman I Feel You, I See You
DEMUR IN MANCHESTER
THE ART WORLD BY WOMEN
WOMEN IN THE ARTS
WOMEN TAKING PICTURES
THE ANATOMY OF EDY POPPY
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Editor’s Letter I
never understood what being a woman meant until I become one myself. There are things I use to hear my mum say when I was younger and, in my head, I would always think why is she overreacting? As I have grown older I now realise it’s a little tough being a lady. The role itself comes with a great responsibility and unnegotiable terms and conditions in small print that no one can really prepare you for. Being a woman is a great privilege although it doesn’t always feel like it. Yet every single day women everywhere are getting up and kicking ass. As it is Women’s Day this, month millions of people across the world will take time out to celebrate the woman and it’s a great honour to have a whole day reserved just for us. The trouble is it is often easy to forget to celebrate ourselves every single day that we are women. Fear not Demur is on the case. No one understands the difficulties that women go through in work, personal relationships, physically, emotionally and just generally in life, better than women themselves. So, in this month’s issue, we are just talking to the girls. Emma Moir of Box Galleries talks to us about women in the art industry and our French Photographer Anna Gourlaouen Ledé paints a picture for us on what it’s really like to be a female Photographer. Kerry Bannigan founder of Nolcha Shows, a showcase for
Noreen Chada – Editor Kay Samuel- Editorial Assistant Nicole Samoto – Social Editor Alice Diamond- Staff Writer Emily Bone – Fashion Writer Mia Seabrook – Music Writer Stella Dzingai – Contributing Writer Shirly Dee – Creative Content Manager Emma Gillett - Graphic Designer Hannah Smith - Music Writer Mia Woloszczynska – Music Writer Lydia Redpath - Features Writer Stefania Sarrubba - Arts & Culture Writer Jennifer Damian – Features Writer Nicholas Barber – Features Writer Published by Demur Ltd
independent designers during New York Fashion Week, shows us how she is paving the way for women in the fashion industry and we hear from some of the designers who have showcased at Nolcha. I believe when you are in a position to impact people and pave the way for others, you should do so by any means necessary. In fact, we all have the power to do just that, but we don’t often realise it. I am so grateful that I get to use Demur as a platform to address some of the issues that I deeply care about, one of them being the female empowerment. The Demur team is predominantly made up of women, not by design but just by default and I’m sure you will agree with me that these ladies have been killing it. Women have come a long way and we still have further to go. I hope you enjoy this issue with pride in celebrating the woman that you are and if you are a guy embrace the woman around you.
Until next time, Noreen Chada Editor
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Pot Kettle Black
PKB is a specialised coffee and brunch place based in the Barton Arcade, a beautiful indoor space, which is host to a wealth of businesses and venues. The coffee here is AWESOME, and apparently, the Baristas are amongst the best around (according to their website – but also according to a taste test by me), and it’s not even that expensive (£2.80 for a flat white!) They also have a tempting breakfast and lunch menu, or brunch menu if you prefer, with, vegan options, gluten-free options and some unhealthy options. It’s a beautiful space, with friendly helpful staff, and would be a great way to begin your day in Manchester! (The cakes are also insane).
ACool Day in Manchester I am from Manchester and I’m sad that people STILL don’t know how great this city is. I’ve put together this guide so anyone can come and have a fantastic, wonderful, interesting day. Most places recommended are independent artists, musicians, producers and the like, or I just think they’re cool so deserve to be on the list. Either way, if you follow this list (or at least part of it) I guarantee you ‘A COOL DAY IN MANCHESTER’ By Nicholas Barber our Mancunian correspondent
www.potkettleblackltd.co.uk Unit 14, Barton Arcade, Manchester, M3 2BW
Championing innovation, HOME showcases the very best in contemporary and classic cinema, an exciting and eclectic mix of plays and shows, and experimental, provocative art exhibitions. There is also a great café and bookshop onsite. The ethos of HOME is that of exploration, appreciation, and independence. It is a place for independent artistic experimentation that gives a platform for new and established artists (I say the word in the most eclectic sense) and encourages creativity and freedom in their artistic process. HOME is an awesome place to discover new art and new experiences that will expand your perception of whatever artistic journey you decide to embark on. www.homemcr.org 2 Tony Wilson Place, Manchester, M15 4FN
The White Hotel
I’ve left this one till last because if you couldn’t be bothered to read through the whole list, then frankly you don’t deserve to hear about this secret hotspot. Based on the outskirts of Manchester City centre on an old industrial estate in the next-door city of Salford (so not strictly Manchester), the White Hotel is an old MOT garage converted into a music venue and club. This spot is hard to find due to its almost non-existent online presence and the fact that there are no signs leading to or on the building itself. I’m excited about this place because, it has a freedom to do whatever it wants, which means there is always something different going on - and I’ve already said too much. But go. Unit 4, Dickinson Street, Salford, M3 1ND
Matt and Phreds
This cool Jazz bar in town, is also situated in the Northern Quarter, a stone’s throw away from the Castle Hotel, Matt and Phreds is a music venue that showcases the best in local and international Jazz 6 nights a week! The gigs are free Monday to Thursday, but £5 entry on Fridays and Saturdays, and I highly recommend you book a table as space is limited and you want to get a good view of the incredible talent that’s in there (I do mean the musicians). They also do amazing cocktails, and amazing pizza too! This is a cool place to stay for the night and get into the Jazz vibe, but it’s also nice just to pop in for a drink to see what’s going on. www.mattandphreds.com 64 Tib Street, Northern Quarter, Manchester, M4 1LW
Manchester Art Gallery
Okay, it’s free – so go! It’s accessible, with a mix of historic and contemporary art that showcases the artistry, tastes and techniques of every era and culture, from ancient civilisations to today’s designermakers. This is a great space to chill out, relax and remove yourself from the busy world by engaging in something new, interesting, and inspirational. There is something therapeutic about this place, so even if art isn’t for you, just give it a go, you might get into it. www.manchesterartgallery.org Mosley Street, Manchester, M2 3JL
Siam Smiles serves authentic Thai street food, in a Thai café, in a Thai supermarket, in the middle of Manchester’s China town. If you want a fancy eatery, then this is not the place. HOWEVER, great tasting, authentic Thai food, in the bizarre setting of a Thai supermarket for a really reasonable price, is what you’ll find. A quick mention for Hos bakery, a traditional, family run, Hong Kong style sweet and savoury patisserie, a few seconds walk, away from Siam Smiles if you have a sweet tooth, or just fancy a quick snack. www.facebook.com/SiamSmilesCafe 8A George Street, Manchester, M1 4HF
An old Manc boozer, born in 1776 and situated on Oldham Street, otherwise known as Manchester’s Northern Quarter. The Northern Quarter is the ‘cool’ area of Manchester full of quirky cafes, bars, shops, and restaurants. The Castle Hotel is a small but intimate pub with lots of life and history, selling great beer, wine and spirits. This is a beautiful pub, and if that wasn’t enough, it is also home to a fantastic music venue, showcasing interesting up and coming bands and artists and most tickets tend to be under a tenner! This place is a really good find. GO AND CHECK IT OUT! www.thecastlehotel.info 66 Oldham Street, Manchester, M4 1LE
Arndale Food Market
Situated in the Manchester Arndale, an indoor shopping centre in the heart of Manchester, the Arndale Food Market has a magnificent variety of international food stalls, such as; Jamaican, Greek, Brazilian, Chinese, Indian, Vietnamese, and fusion food. There is a great atmosphere about this place, with lots of amazing food, at extremely liberal prices. There is something for everyone, and although at busy times table spaces are limited, there is an awesome communal vibe, and people even share tables! I know - it’s incredible. And sometimes, if you’re lucky, the random strangers you share a table with, might just talk to you. I know crazy hey?! But that’s the spirit of the Arndale Food Market, and why it is a must if you love food, and you love good prices. Special mention for ViET SHACK, as it is extremely popular and tasty. And you got to try Zorbas Greek spinach chicken. It’s all great. Just try it all. www.manchesterarndale.com/stores/arndale-food-market Market Street, Manchester, M4 3AQ
Women Painting The Art World Brighter The art world is evolving like many things in our world. There are more opportunities for artists to get their work out and for people to discover and promote new artists. However, there still remains issues for women in the art world. Although there have been some improvements over the years, women are still underrepresented in art. Men rule the art world but is it because women are just not that interested in art or is there a deeper underlying issue? We talk to two women who are helping shape the future of art for the next generation.
mma Moir owns and runs Box Galleries, a contemporary art gallery in Chelsea, London. What does it mean to be a woman in art? I think being a woman in art is empowering and despite it being historically a male-dominated industry, I believe the tides are slowly beginning to change. You no longer have to have grey hair, glasses and deep pockets in order to make a change and create your own destiny in the art world. Many "Galleristas" are now creatively running successful galleries, pop up exhibitions, partaking in the most important art fairs, collaborating with interior designers to provide rotating artwork for commercial venues and generally working together creatively in such an ever-changing market. I set up Box Galleries in 2012 and being a young(ish) female gallery owner, I have faced many situations where prejudices have been made but it just makes me more determined to succeed. Are women in the art industry really underrepresented? Overall women are underrepresented and there are a few different strands to this where equality has by no means been met. For example, female artists represented in commercial galleries, female artists featured in top auction sales, Galleristas, female artists having major exhibitions and showing in big museums such as Tate Modern, National Gallery, Saatchi Gallery. I think sometimes there is a general consensus that there must be a man
EMMA MOIR behind a woman who is succeeding in the art world and therefore it does occasionally feel as if women are on the back foot. I am sure there are as many if not more female artists to male artists, however, we just hear and see the male artists a lot more. Other than Tracey Emin who has defied the statistics and patterns, I don't believe many people out there could name any other female artists. What can women do to be fairly represented in the arts? I think it requires a change in mindset. Women's marginalisation is not uncommon in any industry, but it is important to speak out, be confident and assertive in what women have achieved and wish to achieve and push the boundaries. I also think journalists, art critics and influencers in the art world can create a shift by actively encouraging and promoting women to be fairly represented.
Can women be heard by using art as their voice i.e addressing issues such as equality? Although I feel strongly about the subject and despite being able to use the action of creating art to make a change, I believe that there are better ways to affect change than to create politically charged artwork. Often this can come across as bitter and negative when actually it is a positive change of assertion, which I believe most industries and men are happy to accommodate. It's just a case of analysing the facts, being proactive and changing our inherent perceptions of society. How would you answer the question asked by the Guerilla Girls, 'Why haven’t more women been considered great artists throughout Western history’? I think women have been considered great artists throughout Western history but certainly, men have dominated. I don't think this is isolated to the art industry and is a more general observation. I also think this is changing and therefore we should continue to think forward and not backwards. Box Galleries 402, Kings Road
nam Gbewonyo is a multimedia textile artist, who set up the Black British Female Artist (BBFA) Collective. The organisation was set up with a mission to change the landscape of the art world, making it a level playing field and bringing voice to a marginalised group who have a lot to say in Enam’s own words. What does the BBFA actually do? The Black British Female Artist (BBFA) Collective is an initiative I founded primarily to create a platform for black British female artists to build sustainable careers. In addition, our work seeks to address the invisibility of UK’s black female artists by tackling issues of gender equity, racial identity and political discourse. Currently consisting of 5 members who specialise in a myriad of disciplines, it is our hope to build the initiative into an incubator programme providing support to black female artists at all stages of their careers. So, what you have managed to achieve so far with the collective? Since we started in 2015, we have been forging forward on achieving some key goals such as becoming an influential link between artists, the BAME community and art institutions, creating events that help break the barriers to inclusion in the arts. Further, investing in the cross-cultural development of artists through exchange programs with artists in Africa and its diaspora. To date, we have delivered exhibitions in partnership with the likes of the African and
African Caribbean Design Diaspora Festival and TEDxEuston. We have also held a number of talks, the most recent at the Caribbean In/ Securities: Creativity and Negotiation in the Caribbean conference. Last year we fulfilled our first Arts Council England funded cross-cultural exchange in Ghana. This sought to initiate much-needed conversations with our Ghanaian counterparts about the challenges they face as female artists and facilitate collaborative working, culminating in an immersive exhibition, which showed as part of Chale Wote Street Art Festival. What difficulties do you think women are facing in the art world at the moment? Speaking from the perspective of the arts and as a black female artist, the issues we face are many and extremely complex. However, as a Collective we seek to address some key challenges such as the fact that we are a demographic that has been largely overlooked and our works on average sell for less than our black male counterparts and much less than our white counterparts. With Lubiana Himid winning the Turner Prize - a long overdue and therefore monumental event – we hope the tide is turning but are realistic in the fact that it’s a small win in a very mighty ocean.
BBFA artist Adelaide Damoah and Ghanaian artist Samira Saidi during their private view performance for the BBFA cross cultural exchange project/ exhibition, DISPERSED.
With that in mind, what is the way forward to resolve the issues? I think it lies in us! We need to take ownership, to purposefully claim our space and our right to be visible and present. Collectives such as ours, Black British Girlhood and the multitude others that have emerged over the past few years, were all formed from a direct need to do just that and affect change. Resolving the issues will take time and I think will need to involve partnerships with art and education institutions which are at the root of these embedded marginalisations. For example, when Gal-dem took over the Victoria & Albert Museum, that was a beautiful moment that screamed we are the backbone of this empire, we deserve and are validated in our presence here and we are claiming our space with pride. More of that please! It also important that our community sees the value in our art and invests in it, this is the only way to bolster the art market and create a sustainable industry with longevity. The African American community do, so why not us?
What you have got lined up for BBFA in the next few months? Currently, we are working towards our first group exhibition, which has been in the works for some time and will be a month-long show in London supported by a programme of public engagement events. For the future; weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re working on our next crosscultural exchange likely to happen in 2019 and a number of other collaborations with some exciting brands (which we canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t reveal as yet) as well as UK arts institutions and schools. For more information on the artists, collaborations or partnerships, visit www.bbfacollective.org
BBFA and Ghanaian artists kick off the BBFA cross cultural exchange project/ exhibition, DISPERSED, with an artist roundtable.
Kerry Bannigan THE WOMAN WHO IS
FASHIONING THE FUTURE FOR INDEPENDENT DESIGNERS.
erry Bannigan is the co-founder of Nolcha Shows, New York's leading showcase for independent fashion designers, held during fashion week. The Nolcha Shows gives designers an opportunity to showcase their collections to a global audience of press, retailers, stylists and industry influencers. Over the years Kerry and her team have built the Nolcha Shows to become a leading a platform of discovery; promoting cutting-edge innovative fashion designers through runway shows and exhibitions. We caught up with Kerry to find out more about Nolcha and Kerryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s views on women in the industry. Kerry also managed to share some words of wisdom for aspiring female entrepreneurs.
SUSTAINABLE HANDBAG BRAND ARANYANI ON THE NOLCHA SHOWS RUNWAY THIS FEBRUARY
Another successful New York Fashion Week comes to a close, what we will see this year with Nolcha? I would like to see Nolcha remain as one of the top go-to fashion production companies in New York City. The team thrives when producing runway shows, boutique openings, brand launches and so much more within the fashion industry. Simultaneously we will continue to offer Nolcha Shows, a turnkey solution for independent and emerging fashion designers to receive prominent positioning during New York Fashion Week.
As a female entrepreneur, what advice can you give to women aspiring to work in the fashion industry? After 12 years the fashion industry still inspires me every day, I find that a privilege and somewhat an honour to be able to call this work. You need to make sure that whatever you chose to do, makes you tick and fulfils you as this is a demanding industry that takes a lot out of you â&#x20AC;&#x201C; mentally, emotionally and physically. However, the reward for the creativity, the people and the energy is not comparable to many other sectors. Gaining experience is also very crucial as nothing beats hands-on learning to help you discover your strengths and what to pursue. Additionally, networking is key and if you can be matched with a mentor that is extremely helpful too. What issues do you think women in your field are facing at the moment? It is not a case of what issues women in fashion are facing, it is more a case of what challenges people â&#x20AC;&#x201C; women, men and children - are facing globally in the fashion industry that needs to be addressed. The industry needs to come together and continue to work on achieving fair trade, fair wages and more sustainable practices. Thankfully more brands are stepping up and addressing poor factory conditions, increasing wages and overall attaining better standards for their workers. You have a keen interest in sustainable fashion, tell us more about that Social impact and sustainable fashion have always been topics close to my heart, even before these terms had a name and when ethical fashion was the minority, not valued as stylish or impactful. The fashion industry holds so much influence that it has the power to achieve incredible positive impact. I truly believe that the fashion industry, specifically the entrepreneurs and the creative visionaries, are the key to our socially responsible future. I find it extremely exciting that many new fashion and lifestyle brands now launch with sustainability or social impact as a part of the brand DNA. This provides great hope for the future and impact of the
KERRY AND AMANDA MUNZ, THE FASHION FOUNDATION AT THE NOLCHA SHOWS FALL/ WINTER 2018 | PHOTO CREDIT: JULEIMAGES
fashion industry in many ways. Aside from fashion designers making internal sustainable practices, there are also amazing organisations like the Fashion Foundation who are combining fashion and charitable giving. They receive donated collections from fashion brands and retailers to then sell to consumers to provide school supplies to students in need. As Nolcha gives such a huge global platform to independent designers, do you feel a responsibility to prioritize women first when considering designers to take on? We seek to support gender equality throughout but also to focus on the talent and work of the designer. We tend to showcase a majority of female-owned fashion brands. Not due to feeling a sense of responsibility to prioritize women but due to the high level of creativity, the standard of the brand and craftsmanship of the collection. I feel that the work speaks for itself and the women fashion designers we work with, are building incredible brands.
We spoke to some of the designers that showcased at Nolcha this season
ARANYANI What did it mean for you to showcase at Nolcha? Working with Nolcha was great! The team are very professional and the support they provided ARANYANI was genuine and sincere. They really care about the brand, we are very happy and look forward to joining them again in September. The bags were well received and everyone that we interacted with, loved them! How did you celebrate the launch of your collection? We had 3 events in New York during Fashion Week, so that was little time to celebrate, but more celebrations will come as we continue to plan more events for 2018. We look forward to the different collaborations arising from Trunk shows, to gallery exhibitions and more. The ARANYANI brand brings a unique forest-inspired experience to the discerning world-class consumer. Each product is inspired by nature and it embodies a royal-deserving attribute, through carefully preserved heritage and a vibrant fashion relevance. ARANYANI take pride in their creation of a distinctive refined art de vivre, which in other words means, a bag. The brand only produces two pieces of each design, for each city around the world.
IMAGES BY PAUL NEWLAND, FASHIONSTOCK
VITRUVIUS What did it mean for you to showcase at Nolcha? Showcasing our students' designs at Nolcha, we were able to broaden their perspectives and bring our young designers to experience the process and thrill of the fashion world, helping to discover their passion, confidence, and determination. Every child has the chance to influence the world, and it is only possible to nurture them by providing an open learning environment fused with opportunities for challenges and advancement. Vitruvius is a collective student brand founded in 2015 by the M. Pollio Education Group Inc., the holding company of Green Apple Art Center based in Vancouver, Canada. Vitruvius is an embodiment of young designersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;
bold creativity, authenticity, exploration, and distinctive self-identity. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Our educational entity has been established in Vancouver since 2006, dedicated to providing art and design education for primary, secondary and high school students. We focus on teaching through an inter-disciplinary creative approach and experiential learning, as well as by providing opportunities to students to showcase their works on professional platforms. The ultimate goal is to help our students develop a brand-new perspective to unleash their creativity, ignite the creative catalyst, and cultivate a future full of development potential with their independent thinking.
BY SONIA OLLA
What did it mean for you to showcase at Nolcha? Showcasing at Nolcha was an incredible experience. To work with such amazing people, to see the brand come to life fully, and to really concentrate on making it right, all of these things made a dream, a reality. Nolcha allowed us to really express who we are as a brand! We couldn’t be more grateful. How did you celebrate the launch of your collection? With more hard work! Creativity makes room for more creativity. I toasted the evening with my husband, my New York family and my team – and started thinking about the experience and what we have to build upon it! The essence of the By Sonia Olla brand comes from Flamenco – its passion, artistry and its roots. ‘Our roots are what make us who we are. So, the purpose of the brand is to celebrate who we are but pushing forward at the same time. We mix tradition and innovation within our designs, and we want people to discover who they are, and who they can be.
Woman I Feel You, I See You
Photographer Balint Nemes @balintnemes
Anka Roosk @ankaroosk
WOMEN IN THE ARTS D
id you know the gender pay gap is wider in the creative arts than any other industry? Women in the creative arts should be celebrated just as all these men are and acknowledged like in any other industry. The reality is, female writers, artists, musicians, directors and many other creatives are facing a gender pay gap only 1 year after graduating. This is an ongoing concerning issue amongst most industries, where a lack of equality is affecting many women and it is even more prevalent in the creative industry. A survey in 2016 demonstrated a noticeable difference, with white males dominating the creative industry significantly, with women only filling up less than 40% of the jobs available. Even more alarming is the salary discrepancies of up to
£55,000 between these female employees and their male counterparts. Most recently the BBC released an example of this; 170 of the female employees demanded a public apology over the gender pay gap within the company, after discovering their male colleagues were earning a 9.3% higher salary. The BBC women addressed the issue in writing and expressed “for many years women at all levels and in all grades and positions at the BBC both on and off air, staff, and freelance, working in the UK and abroad had suspected they were not being paid equally – even when management expressly assured them they were.” The submission explained testimonies from a number of female BBC employees; one woman explained that her male co-presenter was being paid 50% more than her.
In the decade we are in now, society has developed significantly since the domineering of men. The right to vote has been solidified for 100 years as of this year, with the thanks to the suffragettes, and now is the time women cannot back down. As equals, the gender pay gap is another hurdle we must knock down together. It is because of this we are seeing less and less women in the creative industry. This is being trickled down into A-level students, where art subjects are being dropped due to the increasing focus on graduate salary for women in the industry. Although many universities are celebrating the creative subjects not all the course places are being filled and thus we are not seeing the full potential of women’s creativity.
Think about it. How many female directors have you heard of? In the UK only 12% of creative directors are in fact women. Creative Equals ; a company, which champions gender-equality in the creative industries, are trying to change this. CE have partnered with ‘Campaign’ to celebrate 30 women redefining their abilities through their creativity and craft. Pansy Aung is an example of one of these wonderful creative women. Christmas 2016, Aung created the Samsung Gear S3 world choir, the worlds first biometric stage. The biometric
data taken was of the heart rate, calories burnt and the movement of the members of a choir and transformed into cinematic visuals. For the very first time, this enabled the audience to not only hear and see the performance but also witness the emotions felt by the choir members as they sang. The creative intelligence by Aung is the primary reason we need more women to utilise their creativity, imagination,
We Need More For The Women in the Creative Arts 29
and skills by working in the creative industry. Emily Churches is another inspirational creative who helped bring to life the ‘#Withrefugees’ campaign. Partnering with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Just So and Google, Emily created an emotional 90-second trailer for the longform documentary covering the first-ever refugee Olympic team at Rio 2016. As a member of Young Creative Council, Emily now runs placement schemes and university workshops where she gives advice and encourages young people to join the creative industry. Not only has Emily proved that women are just as capable and inspirational as men in the industry but is trying to pave the way for more young women. So, for the woman who is waiting for a sign to jump in and pursue their creative passion, this is it. We need you! Emily Bone @emilybone
Women Taking Pictures with Anna Gourlaouen Ledé
A recent study by the State of News Photography found that female photographers were less likely to be employed by large media companies, compared to men. We are well aware of how women are underrepresented in various industries but French Photographer, Anna Gourlaouen Ledé says, “This is even more apparent in the area of photography.” Last year a notable camera company recruited 32 photographers to test out and promote their latest camera and out of the 32 photographers chosen, there wasn’t a single woman included. Is it just men who buy cameras from this company or are there really no female photographers out there?
he excuse some media companies have given is “we don’t know where to find these female creatives”. So, is it that women are not doing enough to promote their work? “Women are often too modest to champion their own work,” says Anna. If female photographers want to increase awareness about their plight and works, they have to be their own advocates first. It seems like such a burden to go out of your way to prove your worthiness to people who are ignorant anyway, but that is the way the system is designed. Sara Krulwich a female photographer, went out looking for a job in the 70’s and was once told by one Editor that hiring a woman was like hiring half a person. The industry has come a long way in terms of inclusion and diversity but there is still room for improvement. So, what does it mean to be a female photographer in this day and age? “In my opinion,
being a woman photographer is no different from being a male photographer. What matters is the perception of the human being and his or her unique viewpoint,” says Anna. Female photographers can offer a different perspective to the images we see. Every day photographs of women appear online, on billboards and in magazines used for advertising. Images that display women in any subtle disparaging way are frowned upon although in the end they receive more of our attention. Are the men behind the cameras to blame for not representing women in a more positive way?
If women are not so happy with the way they are represented do female photographers, then have a responsibility to represent woman in a positive light with their photography? Anna says “The essence of art is always transformation and my vision is present women in a respectful way.” Anna believes women are the pioneers of the upcoming creative world, bringing unique outlooks, especially in photography. Anna Gourlaouen Ledé is a fashion and lifestyle photographer based in Paris. Instagram: @ lede_anna By Kay Williams
Faber releases debut EP ‘I AM’
t’s as if Faber (formerly known as Hannah Marie) has been secretly listening to our thoughts. As we were searching for the perfect anthem to celebrate our womanhood this month, Faber has only gone and released her debut EP ‘I AM’ filled with 7 tunes all about female solidarity and we are certainly here for it. From when she first picked up the violin aged 6, Faber knew music was her destiny and after attending Italia Conti Associates there was no way even Faber could resist she had talent and she had to put it to good use. Faber released her debut
OUR OFFICIAL ANTHEM FOR THIS MONTH.
single ‘Heaven Knows’ back in 2015 through SoundCloud only, and since then she has been building up a buzz for herself in the London music scene. The ‘I AM’ EP in its entirety is based around the theme of feminism and equality and packed with soft ballads, rocky riffs and delicate spoken word. With someone with such an important message and a strong voice to spread it, we have no doubt many ears will perk up after hearing Faber. As you press play you can’t help but be taken in by Faber’s soulful vocals with a rocky
edge. Faber’s music is heartfelt, empowering and will have you pondering about a few moral principles in life. If you have seen Faber perform you will know her stage presence is nothing short of mesmerising. If you haven’t seen her perform just as yet, she will be waiting for you on Friday 16th March at Spice of Life in London. You can grab tickets at www.sheisfaber.com/gigs ‘I AM’ is out now and available to stream on Soundcloud. Stay connected to Faber @ sheisfaber
THE SIA AMUN PLAYLIST
e first met Sia Amun at the W ‘Fashion Meets Music’ pop up in Camden a few years and we have been keeping an eye on her progress ever since. Sia Amun is our adoptive American child who seems to have been taken in by the English culture. Sia’s debut EP ‘The Blue Dream Project’ was premiered on Reprezent Radio and Sia has hopes of returning to the UK to perform for us again. Having penned hits for the likes of Lady Gaga, Mary J Blige and Trey Songz, we were keen to find out what Sia’s taste in music is like.
THE SONG THAT DESCRIBES YOUR CURRENT MOOD ‘Havana’ Camila Cabello, that's my jam! WHAT IS THE ONE SONG THAT GETS YOU FIRED UP ANYTIME, ANY DAY ‘Ready Or Not’ - Fugees. WHAT IS THE ONE SONG YOU CANNOT GET OUT OF YOUR HEAD Liquor Locker - Vic Mensa.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE SONG BY YOUR FAVOURITE ARTIST I love too many songs to have just one favourite, but if I could tell you the first song that comes to mind, it would be ‘Little Lies’ by Fleetwood Mac. YOUR GO-TO KARAOKE SONG ‘On & On’ - Erykah Badu. THE SONG THAT DESCRIBES SIA AMUN The first single from my EP Flowers, no doubt. THE SONG YOU DANCE TO WHEN NO ONE IS LOOKING I dance to pretty much anything that sounds good whether or not someone is looking honestly. The Blue Dream Project is available on all digital media outlets, including iTunes, Spotify and Google Play.
By Kay Williams
Edy Poppy ANATOMY. MONOTONY. Translated by May-Brit Akerholt
The Anatomy.Monotony Career Path of Edy Poppy
The age limit for models
Edy Poppy is a former model who has always been a writer waiting for discovery. Now that she has put modeling aside, she can focus all her efforts on entertaining us in another form of art… writing. Anatomy.Monotony tells the story of a couple who have rather uncommon ideals about fidelity.
The transition from model to author
I’ve always been a writer that also modelled, never a model that started writing. Already as a young girl growing up on a farm in a small Norwegian town, I wrote poems, short stories, and fairy tales. The stories kept me from dying of boredom in this place where nothing ever happened. In literature, everything can always happen. It was a way to survive, so to speak. Or as the American writer Joan Didion puts it, “We tell ourselves stories in order to live”. Writing was me, whereas modelling happened to me. Longing for experiences, I moved to London in 1998, at the height of Cool Britannia. After a week in this city I sat in front of two photographers by chance in a bar, they asked if they could photograph me, and that was the start of it. What I loved the most about modelling was how each photographer could change the way I looked by the way they looked at me. As if the photographers had written me.
One of my goals as a writer is to challenge and open up what beauty can be. Vår, the main character of my novel Anatomy. Monotony., has her own ways of finding beauty in the world, and most of the time it’s connected to people’s flaws. What one doesn’t like in oneself is often what makes one unique! Beauty-surgery, for instance, seems to edit out the amazing oddity in people. I feel a responsibility as a writer to challenge that narrow, stereotyped vision, which is no vision at all. Language define what beauty is or can be. Translatedcan by May-Brit Akerholt The word mole has a very different feel to it than the word beauty-spot. The latter makes the first become beautiful. Words are not only descriptions of reality they also create it. When it comes to the idea of age limit for models, I think only death should be the limit. Every age has its own beauty. Ugliness often appears when you try to go against that process, rather than embracing it, re-inventing it, making it cool!
On giving Lou and Var, the main characters of her book a happy ever after ending
When I read fairy tales as a young girl, I always hated the “happily ever after”-part of the story. Because then there is nothing more to the story to tell. It’s the end, even if the characters are at the beginning of everything. In the fairy tale Cinderella, for example, we only know about her struggle to get the prince, but nothing about her life with him, it’s masked by the happy end, even if it’s probably very interesting. With Vår and Lou, there is no “happily ever after” in that sense. Life continues. And life is a beautiful struggle.
hers, Vincent Gallo. At that time, I thought he would be the perfect Lou. Firstly, they actually look alike - dark curly hair, prominent nose and feminine lips. Balancing back and forth between masculine and feminine. I always found Gallo’s high voice surprising and interesting, as is his penetrating, almost threatening gaze. If I should choose someone younger to play the characters in their real age, Lea Sedoux is the first that comes to my mind. In Blue Is the Warmest
Anatomy. Monotony the sequel
Absolutely! In my short story collection Coming.Apart., that Dalkey Archive Press will publish next, there are a couple of stories that follow up the characters’ path. And after that, there is another novel that I’m writing at this very moment. Since “Vår” was inspired by myself and the way I lead my life, she will follow me for the rest of my life, going through the processes I go through, love the people I love. She is my best friend, worst enemy, my alter-ego. Vår will grow old with me and my writing. Hopefully she will always remain curious, always willing to experiment.
Anatomy. Monotony on the big screen
Turning my novel into a movie or TV series is definitely a plan. When I wrote Anatomy. Monotony. I imagined that the person who would play Vår, a girl craving for experiences in her early twenties, had to be someone with an alternative kind of aura, beautiful, but also willing to challenge that beauty, and most of all someone with an openness to go far into the unknown. A person I thought radiated this, was it girl Chloë Sevigny. I loved her in Harmony Korine’s films, that kind of relationship she had with him, as the director, reminded me of Lou and Vår’s relationship, the same relationship I had with my then French husband. Later, Chloë Sevigny went on to make a very challenging movie with another love of
Colour the raw, non-clichéd sexuality and personality she acts out on screen fits Anatomy. Monotony. perfectly. As for the male part, French actor Louis Garrel seems to have the suitable mixture between an intellectual and a sexual aura. If I could add a third character, Stacy Martin would be perfect as Sidney, Lou’s lover. She has this Britishness from the sixties and seventies that Sidney also has, reminding me of Jane Birkin. I’m open for these or other great people I don’t know about to contact me. So, if anyone feels compelled to give it a try, please get in touch! ANATOMY. MONOTONY is Edy Poppy’s award-winning first novel which is out at the end of March.
SHOWS FOR WOMEN BY WOMEN
ust in case you haven’t heard women have been hard at work in Hollywood over the last few years, creating some of our favourite shows. There still aren’t enough women getting the recognition they deserve, but we’ll save that conversation for another day. We have created a list of shows to celebrate women who have been breaking barriers and entertaining us. You can join in the celebrations too, by binge watching some of these below.
Z: The Beginning of Everything by Dawn Prestwich and Nicole Yorkin on Amazon This Amazon original series follows the life of Zelda Fitzgerald, wife of author F.Scott Fitzgerald. As America sets off into world war one, Zelda meets a soldier who happens to be an unpublished writer. We see Zelda’s innocence before she met her husband, and how alcoholism and drug addiction turned things sour for the pair. The series takes us through Zelda’s ups and downs especially her marital woes. The show also touches on the role and expectations of a young woman back in the 1920’s.
Switched At Birth by Lizzy Weiss on Netflix The show is focused around two teenage girls who were switched at birth. One was raised by the perfect family, wealthy, two parents and a brother. The other an aspiring athlete was left deaf at a young age after contracting Meningitis and was raised by a single mother who is struggling financially. After the girls discover they were switched at birth the two families move in together. What is amazing about this show is not only the script but the way the show is adapted for multiple deaf and hard-of-hearing viewers. The show is shot entirely in American Sign Language which shows inclusivity.
Sweet/Vicious by Jennifer Kaytin Robinson on Amazon Sweet/Vicious is a dark comedy that tackles a social issue of sexual assault, in a delightfully gruesome way. Jules and Ophelia are not just here at college to study. By night these two girls take it upon themselves to be secret campus vigilantes who go after sexual assailants amongst other ‘criminals’. This just goes to show how much free time you do have when you are a full-time student in higher education. Although the show was cancelled by MTV, it sparked a much-needed conversation about the flaws in the system regarding sexual assault. The good thing is you can still catch the first season on Amazon.
The Sinner by Petra Hammesfahr on Netflix Jessica Biel plays the character of a young mother who whilst out at the beach with her family, murders a man in broad daylight. Besides the fact that she is up for a murder charge, the more pressing issue is, she doesn’t recall the incident at all. The series is based on a book of the same title and apparently, the show itself had to be toned because the book was far too gruesome. The show takes us through why the crime was committed and in turn, we see Jessica Biel display a winning performance. We would advise not watching it in the dark if you are easily spooked.
GLOW by Liz Flahive and Carly Mensch on Netflix GLOW is a series based on the TV show from the 80’s ‘Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling. As it says on the tin, the show takes us through the lifestyles of a group of women working for a wrestling organisation in LA. The show aims to dismiss gender and racial stereotypes both which were very common in the 80’s. The show is co-produced by Jenji Kohan of ‘Orange Is The New Black’, so it’s likely you will see similar themes in GLOW. The women form an unlikely companionship to challenge their oppressors. There is comedy, drama and tears, all in GLOW.
The Bold Type by Sarah Watson on Amazon The Bold Type screams female empowerment from all angles as it shows the lives of three friends who all work at the same women’s magazine based in New York. The show is loosely based on Joanna Coles former Editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan and Joanna also happens to be an Executive Producer of the show. We see the girls go through almost everything from sexual encounters, love, fashion and career progression within the publishing world. So, a bit like Sex and the City but perhaps the more up to date version with less sex.