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NOURRIR STAFF

NOURRIR CONTENTS

CONTENT EDITOR

GRACE ANDERSON grace@nourrirmag.com

CREATIVE EDITOR

FREYA BOULAKBECHE freya@nourrirmag.com

CONTRIBUTORS

HEBA AMIN, KATIE MARTIN, ERIN SMITH, JODIE ARNOLD

STAFF

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EDITORS’ LETTER

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CONTRIBUTORS

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TWO BUDGETS 7

ON THE COVER

ART BY HEBA AMIN - TRESSPASS #2, 2005 WAX, SCREEN PRINT ON MASONITE

LUSTS & MUSTS 9

SUBSCRIPTIONS

MEDIA@NOURRIRMAG.COM

NOURRIR BUSINESS

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NOURRIR POLITICS

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SPOTLIGHT

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NOURRIR TABLE

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FINAL THOUGHTS

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NOURRIR’S MISSION STATEMENT Nourrir, the French word meaning “to nourish” is a multi-media lifestyle magazine designed to feed all five of the senses - sight, sound, touch, smell and taste. We will feature food, fashion, travel, current events and women who inspire us. We don’t want to tell women how they are supposed to be, we want to give them information that will support their path, today. With commitment to responsive and insightful storytelling, and a keen and fresh editorial eye, Nourrir dares women to not only be good enough, but exceptional. We believe in you.

media@nourrirmag.com

facebook.com/nourrirmag

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@nourrir_mag

@nourrir_mag

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EDITOR’S LETTER

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arch snuck up on me much in the same way as the infamous “first-year 15” does for unsuspecting 18-year-olds entering college - just without the weight. Have I been living in the present moment or overwhelmed by self-absorbing stress? Either way, February passed without me noticing. And, yet, as I look back, I see accomplishment, challenge, triumphs, sadness, joy, friendships evolving and friendships fading, travel, and so much more. Each time a new activity presents itself, I now put it through a filter which I am calling my “higher purpose filter”. Does the new person/thing/activity support me to being an agent of positive transformation? Does it help me be kind? Does it help me be free in mind? Does it help me stay present? And, I guess what I have found is what I already knew; some of the best times in life are also the “hardest”. And, against my rebel teenage self, I have become to believe what so many have said before me - the harder you work, the luckier you get. One step at a time, one foot in front of the other, one present moment followed by one present moment, my luck becomes my life. So, what does that have to do with Nourrir? March is when spring begins. March is the Persian New Year (which we will write about in 2017). March is about “Luck Being a Lady”. In this edition, I honor that I am the luck I need in my life. I am the captain of this ship called Freya, mind, body and spirit. As Osho says, “the soul is the invisible part of the body, the body the visible part of the soul. They are one.” I am uniting them in me. I honor the women who are on their own path. March highlights many of the ways Women are the Luck They Need. Heba Amin, my dear friend, and an amazing visual artists also known as part of the trio of Homeland Graffiti artists and leader of the #watermelonrevolution graces our cover. Enjoy and please send us feedback!

Freya CRE ATIVE EDITOR NOURRIR MAGAZINE

EDITOR’S LETTER

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ebruary was a weird, weird month. I went from sunny skies and sandy beaches in the beginning of the month with my darling husband to staging what can only be described as an impromptu relationship intervention for a friend of mine at the end of the month. It is because of the leap year? Does that one extra day in February just screw with us? Either way, I’m exhausted and desperately seeking March. Ah, March. My beloved. My favorite month of the year. My birthday month. You came in the nick of time. And, in like a lamb, I see. I put a lot of stake in the weather, when it comes to March - it’s how I accurately plan my birthday parties, even as a child. I knew that if it was calm and gentle March 1st, surely on the 31st a blizzard would hit and ruin my party. And vice versa. Like clockwork. The proverb “In like a lamb, out like a lion” was traced back to Thomas Fuller’s 1732 compendium, Gnomologia: Adagies and Proverbs; Wise Sentences and Witty Sayings, Ancient and Modern, Foreign and British. In fact, the book has several excellent March proverbs, which don’t seem to have had the same lasting power: So many mists in March you see / So many frosts in May will be. A Peck of March-Dust, and a Shower in May / Makes the Corn green, and the Fields gay. March many-Weathers rain’d and blow’d / But March grass never did good. I began to really think about that old proverb - can it be applied to everything in life? If you approach an obstacle with enough force, can you leave it gentle and soft? If you start a relationship meek and afraid to speak up for what you want, does it end in a charred, stained heart? But, like everything in life, March doesn’t always follow its weather pattern. Sometimes the whole month is just a snowstorm, sometimes Spring arrives early and stays. So, who really knows. I will leave you with this piece of advice I wrote to my friend during a particularly difficult night for her: “We are not the woman we see reflected in the eyes of our lovers, but the woman who stares back at you from the eyes of our children.”

Grace CONTENT EDITOR NOURRIR MAGAZINE

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CONTRIBUTORS ERIN SMITH Erin Smith is a woman wearing many hats, like so many of us. She is an accomplished sales executive with a focus in technology. After having earned a degree in Journalism, she embarked on a journey to Ireland. Erin is known for her dry wit, comedic timing and devotion to her own truth.

JODIE ARNOLD Jodie is a curator of terrible Craigslist ads, a runner of marathons, and she enjoys recreating popular movie trailers using only Precious Moments figurines. She lives in Chippewa Falls with her husband and twin sons and is most grateful there’s a brewery less than a mile away.

K ATI E M A RTI N Katie Martin graduated from Webster University with her BA in Communications and is currently pursuing her MBA from Concordia University in St. Paul. She also serves on the executive board of the St. Patrick’s Association in St. Paul. Katie is based in Minneapolis and works as a regional manager for Acumatica, a Seattle based cloud ERP company.

N M “Each of us is a unique strand in the intricate web of life and here to make a contribution.” - Deepak Chopra

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WANT TO BE A CONTRIBUTOR? Do you love Nourrir? Would you like to expound upon that love and contribute to our magazine? Well, you’ve come to the right place. We are always looking to add to our contributor roster, to bring in your fresh stories, your funny ideas, your gorgeous illustrations and expand our amazing community of creative contributors. We’re so happy your interested in us, and here’s what we’re looking for in material: We’re especially interested in personal essays and cultural criticism with unique and diverse points of view, LGBTQ perspectives, smart articles with original reporting, and illustrations. We want stories that you’re passionate about and that only you could tell. We love essays that highlight creativity, dream jobs, positive body image, learning to be an adult, friendships, the weirdness of relationships, and learning how to work through tough times (whether it be the big crises, or the small “I just don’t like myself this morning” moments). We want stories that make us feel like we’re all in this together, whether it’s an essay on how a celebrity inspires you or the way a news event connects with you personally. We’re looking for funny, honest, smart, creative people with strong writing and grammar skills and the ability to spin an interesting yarn. We also encourage artists and illustrators who want to share their work with the Nourrir community to apply. Does this sound like a dream come true? Then here’s what to do: Email us at media@nourrirmag.com with ideas you have for specific articles and a brief (one paragraph) description of who you are and what kind of writing you do and in the subject line, write a very short description of the idea you have for an article, If you already have a draft of a story you think might be right for us, go ahead and send it! We’d love to read it to see if it might be a good fit. If you have writing samples, send them along. We’re so happy to have you!

TWO BUDGETS: FRUGAL For the gal who has champagne tastes on a shoestring budget - looks for under $100 March’s theme: Luck be a Lady

TopShop Wide Brim Fedora, $25 White Bow Tie Hem Crop Tanks, $30

Chicwish Baroque Lace Grey Frill Hem Skirt, $45

SHOP YOUR CLOSET FOR MORE GREAT LOOKS

GRAY SUEDE FLATS

TAILORED SHIRT DRESS

CIGARETTE PANTS

SILVER FRAME CLUTCH

Grey Point Toe Ankle Strap Suede Flats, $21

Choies White Shirt Dress, $45

TopShop Black Slim Trousers, $40

Tevolio Chain Metal Clutch Handbag, $25

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TWO BUDGETS: SPENDY

For the woman who has capital to invest in a chic wardrobe - looks for under $1000

LUSTS & MUSTS Here are five things we’re obsessed with this month - don’t say we didn’t warn you.

Mè Dusa Handbag, $64

APPS Unroll.Me Decluttering your inbox has never been so easy, or looked so good. With Unroll.Me, you can unsubscribe from unwanted emails, consolidate sales/ newsletters/listserv emails into a convenient daily digest called the Rollup, and keep the rest in your inbox.

L. Erickson ‘Interlock Turban’ Silk Velvet Head Wrap, $98

Funlayo Deri - Embroidered Silk Chiffon Maxi Dress, $650

BOOKS A Shade of Vampire by Bella Forrest

GIFTS TO GIVE Initial String Art by Mckennah Grace and Co. Mckennah Grace and Co is a rustic farmhouse string art & home decor shop run by a Erin Ritter, a mom of three kids out of Georgia. The piece featured above is a beautiful hand-painted string art initial plaque that can be customized with paint and string colors of your choice. It comes ready to hang and can be in your hands in less than 2 weeks. Picture and description by Mckennah Grace and Co.

Vittorio Virgili Sandals, $215

SHOP YOUR CLOSET FOR MORE GREAT LOOKS

MUSIC Desert Strong by Alice Smith

TELEVISION Fuller House on Netflix

With lyrics like these: “The time has come for me to start packing in I’m folding the shores of my life into valises I can’t stand this desert heat no more” Alice Smith speaks to your soul.

This reboot of the 90’s classic television show Full House, will fill you with nostalgia over high-top sneakers, scrunchies and a whole lotta hugging.

SILK CROP TOP

WIDE LEG JEANS

BALLET FLAT

PRINTED SHAWL

Mary Katrantzou Bree Crop Top, $270

MM6 Maison Margiela Jeans, $325

UNUETZER Lace-Up Suede Ballet Flat, $395

Alexander McQueen Skull-Print Pashmina Shawl, $445

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This sexy vampire love story will feel the fang-sized whole in your heart left by Twilight (don’t lie, you loved it too). It’s free on Kindle Unlimited. Don’t think about it, just get it, read it and freaking love it.

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NOURRIR BUSINESS Crooked Waters - How one woman’s love of spirits became a booming business

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his story begins somewhat unremarkable -an idea born on a Friday evening out of sheer frustration. “How come my wall of bourbon doesn’t taste as good as my wall of scotch?” Heather Manley adjusts her baseball hat and flicks dog hair off her yoga pants. I listen as she explains how this conversation unfolded and the detailed nuances around the traditional aging, barreling and bottling of scotch that produces the unique and full bodied flavors so many are familiar with, but that she feels are missing from traditional bourbon. Like the way a sommelier describes the blueberry finish of a Pinot Noir or the hearty red grape of an Argentinian Malbec, Heather personifies a well-educated student of the craft. I’m sitting at the counter grazing on a charcuterie board you’d find at a James Beard awarded restaurant you want it to be obnoxious but it’s too effortless to be anything but just good taste. The copper accents on the stove pair well with the roughly-finished kitchen floors- almost like Shiplap from a turn of the century stable. Her boyfriend is at the stove making eggs for dinner. She pops a piece of cheese in her mouth and continues, “I thought, why can’t we do what they’ve been doing for centuries with scotch...to bourbon?” That child-like curiosity is the first page to many of Heather’s creative endeavors. She’s a relentless entrepreneur with three companies under her belt while only in the third decade of her life. Heather’s artful in creating brands around things she knows she’s good at – family, food and booze. I’ve known Heather for a few years- worked with her, laughed with

BY ERIN SMITH

her, argued and drank with her. I knew her well but what I wasn’t clear on was how, at the age of 38 has she seen run-away success with much of what she’s put her name on. Namely OnDemand Group, a chic IT Consulting firm in the ultra-hip Uptown neighborhood of Minneapolis nestled between farmto-table eateries and sustainable urban gardens - a family business she heads as CEO and has grown by multitudes over the years; Heather’s Dirty Goodness, born out of her foodie fanaticism, is a line of seasonings reminiscent of a wholesome cottage kitchen combined with the flair and cheekiness of a pin-up girl; and Crooked Waters - her latest and arguably boldest, venture into the world of spirits, comprised of locally

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made craft single barrel bourbon, a Navy-strength gin and soon-to-be released charred French oak aged vodka. She set out with a simple goalcreate a bourbon that was different from the rest. Novel idea? Hardly. Easily attained? Not one bit. Many have tried, but few have succeeded what Crooked Waters has in less than two years. However, what is notable is the way in which their spirits are made and distilled. Heather’s carefully crafted bourbons are aged in port and sherry casks found only in Portugal and Spain - a process she didn’t see was being done by anyone in the country, and in 2013, certainly not being done by anyone in the Midwest.

It’s the reason the taste is rich beyond its years, and boasts a flavor that flirts with a taste found deep in the cellar of an old public house on New Orleans’ Bourbon Street. Crooked Waters in its infancy, has mastered the art of producing fine spirits. High quality, unpretentious, and most importantly - exceptionally drinkable. Through two distillery partnerships, their product is distilled, bottled and packaged in St. Paul, Minn., as well as in Madison, Wisc. It’s cleverly named King’s Point and Lost Lake Bourbons and Abyss Gin pay homage to the lake life that is both home to Heather and familiar to most Minnesotans. And without even trying, Crooked Waters is meeting another demand: satisfying what so many are now expecting more of: integrity of ingredients and transparency of the process from crop to cocktail. It’s gin for example, is a recipe perfected by Heather in her home

kitchen after experimenting with an absurd amounts of juniper berries and other botanicals - the end product resulting in an incredibly floral spirit that die-hards would insist on sipping solo. (Dieter Bone, editor of The Verge reviewed: “Crooked Waters makes the most ‘I’m not fucking around Gin’ I’ve ever tasted.”) When I asked why I should I make my Manhattans with her bourbon versus another Heather said, “because it tastes better. For two reasons – it’s aged in a unique way and at 90 proof, it’s smoother than you’d expect.” She’s not any smarter than anyone else who has ever had a great idea, but is she is more determined possessing a rigor and a drive that is unrelenting. To her brand she brings the devotion of priests - the study, the devotion, the honesty of understanding something wholly in order to create; to evangelize. It’s endearing to see Heather’s genuine resistance to accepting that her own hard work and brazen

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ambition are the reasons her businesses thrive. And, the reason Crooked Waters, having been available since only Sept of 2014, is on the shelves of some of the most trendy and high-trafficked watering holes. “Rhett is the reason Dirty Goodness and Crooked Waters are even on the shelves. They’d be nothing without him,” Heather said about her long-time boyfriend and creative collaborator, “And I’m not just saying that to be nice.” It’s true, she isn’t one to give gratuitous compliments where they’re not due. I waited a year for her to decide my kid was cute. “I have the ideas, but he’s made them brands.” She’s uncomfortable with notion that she’s gotten to where she is through her own efforts. Not because she isn’t a self-aware, fierce business woman, but because she’s a girl who grew up in a family where being hard working wasn’t a unique quality... it was simply the way to be.


The family consulting business was a collaboration- her parents built something together in a niched, albeit competitive market that they would later see Heather and her brothers modernize and make their own. “Sean is the reason OnDemand is the company it is today,” said Heather of her brother who she co-owns the consulting firm, “We’re a team, always have been. He’s good at a million things I’m not. He loves doing what I hate to do, and I love doing the things he hates. It’s a great partnership.” When I ask her how she defines her own success, she says it’s having someone tell her a bartender recommended Crooked Waters on a night out, or having her bourbon as part of a family celebration, or when a customer ordered five pounds of Heather Dirty Goodness because preparing a holiday meal without it wouldn’t be a holiday at all. “The thing I made the recipe for is being served at their table. That’s the greatest compliment I can receive,” she said. You can see the experience is visceral for her, it’s vulnerable and authentic. But, Heather’s nothing if not a realist admitting she worries about making mistakes all the time and about falling short. What does failure look like to her? “Bankruptcy.” I chuckle. She did not. “Look, the way I see it, I’m always a few months away from totally screwing up and losing everything.“ She’s deliberate about leaving a lineage that will make her dad proud and creating something that resonates differently than the status quo - not so much because of what it is, but in the impact it has. She’s married to the idea that dedication and differentiation are the key to growing her brands, and you see it echoed throughout. She’s not the first person to live by those rules, but she is someone who’s doing it exceptionally well. So, how does she find the time to fit it all in? “Don’t ask me that question,” she says, uncomfortable and almost

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NOURRIR POLITICS Jodie explains “Feel the Bern” and the grass-roots campaign to get Sanders in the White House

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annoyed, “Because I don’t. I don’t have more time than you- someone who is a mom, has a toddler, a demanding career, who has arguably more responsibility some days than I do. I’m failing all the time. There’s no right answer about how to avoid that, you just keep going.” She continues, steadfast, “I never feel like I’ve given enough to my work, but I give what I can each day, and sometimes that’s good enough and sometimes it’s not.” One could argue that it doesn’t make a difference who’s created a product as long as it tastes good and fulfills its purpose. But doesn’t it make that last sip of your gin martini all the more enjoyable knowing the

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person behind it, sits across town truly humbled her bottle sits on your kitchen counter? I would argue it does. Crooked Waters can be found at some of these retailers and watering holes: Bachelor Farmer and Marvel Bar, Ciao Bella, Coalition, The Commodore, Coup d’Etat, French Meadow, Happy Gnome, Libertine, Borough, Nightingale, Marin, Herkimer’s, Mill Valley Kitchen, Nakato, W. A. Frosts, Victors on the Water, MGM’s, St. Anthony Wine & Spirits, North Loop Wine & Spirits, France 44 and Lunds, Bylers & Kowalski’s Liquor.

’m getting a Bernie Sanders tattoo (of the permanent variety) and some of my friends think this is fuckin’ nuts. Apparently I’m supposed to be worried that he’ll lose and suddenly the whole tattoo itself will be silly and irrelevant. They remind me of the time I got the tattoo for the guy who played football for Alabama (he was on the team for approximately ten minutes before getting booted) or the lizard I got because I had $45 and that’s how much the tattoo cost, and tell me, “This will be the same. You will be getting this covered up TWICE like the other bad decisions.” WRONG. Admittedly, I can be a bit hasty when it comes to...life, but my love for Bernie goes way back. I first heard Bernie Sanders speak almost 15 years ago now, and he blew my mind. He called out corporate greed, big banks, our corrupt media, our embarrassing health care system, the need for prison reforms, etc. No one else was talking like that. I was thinking, “WHO IS THIS GUY? Can we make about one million of those guys and distribute them evenly around the country?” His message then echoes clearly the same message he is bringing to his presidential campaign now. No bullshit. No worries about previous positions on issues that he’s had to adjust to play the game. He is the SAME GUY he was 15 years ago, minus less hair that’s more gray. The day Bernie announced his candidacy, I told my husband, “I’m so sorry but I’m going to be really busy for about two years here.” I threw myself into the volunteer pool as soon as they had work available. This campaign has become a labor of love for me and I keep giving more and more time because the return is so damn important. Never before has a political campaign felt like a movement. Not like this. He doesn’t play THE GAME.

BY JODIE ARNOLD

There is a GAME and even politicians with good intentions end up playing it. Minus this guy. There is an energy and passion for ISSUES that has been missing from the many other campaigns I’ve worked on and volunteered for. At the heart of all of Bernie’s issues are these very simple facts: We are all people. We are all in this (life) together. We all do better when we all do better. We have an obligation to care for each other and this planet. We. Not me. I get emotional just thinking about the implications of that basic idea of WE. As a Christian, I’ve struggled for years with how corporate greed and capitalism-gone-crazy has so dangerously clouded what’s really important in life. Breathing clean air, eating food that isn’t filled with poison, trusting that we can go to the doctor without going bankrupt, getting an education to better ourselves that doesn’t leave us paying debt for the rest of our natural lives and beyond. These things feel so simple to me. So

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basic. So fundamentally CORRECT. Why wouldn’t we want these things? Why can’t we have them? I am a strong woman. I raise children, I’m a wife, I work, I volunteer, I run marathons, I bake cakes, I pretend I can sew. I know how bad-ass women can be. But I’m also smart enough to know that gender alone doesn’t define a candidate. If Bernie were a woman, I’d still be throwing myself into this campaign with the same passion and it still wouldn’t have anything do with gender. I choose Bernie because I believe our country can do better. And I believe he is the only hope we have for seeing that happen. Regardless of how this race goes, Bernie will never stop being a champion for me. For everyone. He’s inspired me for a lifetime and he’s already changed the political conversation. For a campaign that initially polled at 3% nationally, I’m pretty damn stunned by the progress we’ve made. Now it’s time to get that tattoo and #FeelThePermanentBern.


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NOURRIR SPOTLIGHT From Egypt-USA-Berlin and back again: Heba Amin is a global woman of intrigue BY FRE YA BOUL AKBECHE , ART BY HEBA AMIN

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eba’s world has been turned inside out since the summer of 2015 when she and two fellow artists were catapulted into the world news for their subversive graffiti art in the American series, “Homeland.” “Homeland is a watermelon” has transformed into a movement: #watermelonrevolution. However, Heba’s work has consistently challenged the status quo and invited viewers to take their share in the beauty and the creation. The global exposure will “not change my work, but give me a platform to talk about important issues.” For those reasons, among many we will explore, Heba has been on the Nourrir radar since 2006. And, we’re thrilled the rest of the world is taking notice. The business of creation itself is an inward journey. Going through a self described “cultural isolation period” to focus, Heba enthralls with the output both political and moving simultaneous. Her creations are the marriage of thoughtful statement with bodily experience. Action and observation filled her world from the start. A daughter of intellects - raised in a country of history, upheaval and promise, Heba immersed herself in critical thinking via her pencil. In her own words, let’s get to know Heba better: Why Visual Art? For me, it is a tool to explore and express my observations about the world around me. The contemporary art world is perhaps one of the few fields where people are openly critical about politics and current events. That doesn’t mean it is any safer than other

fields, but there is a general support community around that. In Egypt today, however, we are seeing the shutdown of many cultural institutions. It is not uncommon for artists to be silenced during times of upheaval. Artists share what they see and that can be very dangerous to authorities. But I don’t know how to be any other way. How did you get started? From a very young age I had a paper and pencil in hand and was always drawing. I am lucky that I had an upbringing and education that was full of art and, more importantly, nurtured my independent thinking. What inspires you? Who inspires you? I think when you work and live your life as an artist, you respond to everything around you. You are trained to do that; you become incredibly perceptive and observant to what’s around you. I don’t think it is very hard to be inspired. I don’t think it is hard to be moved or interested or curious. The world is a fascinating place! What role does Art have in the contemporary digital world? Artists have always been using new technologies to make art. They’ve also been critiquing the impact technology has on cultures and societies since its inception. This is not new. The digital medium is an art medium in and of itself. It includes the many artists who work with video, internet art, new media art, programming, photography… Art will always play a role in life, but if we ask what role the contemporary digital world plays in Art, we can address the ways in which artists have much broader networks.

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Today artists are not limited to the cities where they work, but have access to information and audiences on a scale like never before. How do you want to impact your audience? I suppose like most artists, I want my work to be thought provoking. I want to instigate a dialogue about whatever idea I may have put forth. That is the biggest reward for an artist, for people to have a discussion about it…even if they don’t like it. What values motivate and drive you? I am drawn to topics that have a socio-political message. My research lies somewhere between architecture, media, technology, politics and the ways those fields converge and impact the human psyche. For me, my work is an extension of my personal beliefs, my thoughts and concerns. I use my work as a vehicle to talk about the issues that I think are important. As a woman, what unique challenges do you think you have faced so far? I am lucky to be working in a field where there are many women role models; many women in art have influenced me. But because I am involved in the new media scene, which focuses on art and technology, I often find that I am one of few women presenting at art conferences and festivals. I even taught at a technical university for five years, and in those five years I had handful of women enrolled in my classes. You definitely notice your outsider status, but I’ve always used that to my benefit and made sure my voice was heard.

AS BIRDS FLYING VIDEO STILLS, 2016

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Nouadhibou, Mauritania 2014

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What more do you want to do? My plate is definitely full and I have so many interesting projects to work on. But the curiosity in me always wants to see more, experience more, learn more…I don’t think there is ever an end to that. I am still at the beginning of my career and there is a lot happening. That is a very exciting place to be! I have just launched my first collective, The Black Athena Collective, with artist Dawit L. Petros and am thrilled to be working on an extensive collaborative work. This opens up the possibilities of what I can achieve as an artist. I’d also like to make more art films. Tell me about the Fragmented City Project “Fragmented City” was my first extensive research project as an artist, it was my thesis project for my MFA program. Cairo is one of those cities that imposes itself on you; it is very present in your daily life whether you like it or not. In the years that I was abroad, Cairo went through some drastic transformations that shocked me every time I returned. I think the visual deterioration shocked everyone really. It became a very obvious metaphor for what was happening politically in the country. And so for years, more than a decade now, I have been exploring the physical deterioration of the city and linking it to the psychological well being of an entire population. This meant that I explored a lot of the city, I filmed, I interviewed people, I documented and gathered archives. I then populated Google Earth with the unfinished and abandoned buildings I had documented to critique the fantasy image of tourism online. This project, with the amount of material I had collected, led me to my “Project Speak2Tweet”. There is no doubt in my mind that everything I had witnessed and documented would obviously lead to unrest. The tension in the air was unbearable and it was clear that the situation was not sustainable. When the uprising started in 2011 I was not in the country but I was doing everything possible to stay informed and be involved. This is when I came across the

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Speak2Tweet voice recordings during the Internet shutdown of the initial days of protests. On January 27th, 2011 Egyptian authorities succeeded in shutting down the country’s international Internet access points in response to growing protests. Over one weekend, a group of programmers developed a platform called Speak2Tweet that would allow Egyptians to post their breaking news on Twitter via voicemail despite Internet cuts. The result was thousands of heartfelt messages from Egyptians recording their emotions by phone. These voices made complete sense to me. These were the voices I imagined in the context of the city I had been documenting. And I was not wrong; there was a kind of magic that occurred when I combined the two. “Project Speak2Tweet” is both a research project and a growing archive of experimental films that utilizes Speak2Tweet messages prior to the fall of the Mubarak regime on February 11, 2011 and juxtaposes them with the abandoned structures that represent the long-lasting effects of a corrupt dictatorship. It addresses many topics from revolution and human rights to urban theory to technology; I use this growing archive as a platform to talk about all of those things. How has the global political environment impacted how you see imposed infrastructures on the human psyche? If I understand this question correctly, the global political environment is very much a part of why I do the work that I do. It’s why I took the opportunity to incorporate subversive graffiti on the set of the US TV series ‘Homeland’, because they feed the world dangerous propaganda in line with their own political interests. It’s why I launched my artist collective, The Black Athena Collective, where we are attempting to critique Western historiography and challenge the Global North over Global South hierarchy. It’s why I speak at the conferences I speak at. It’s why I teach. When you create, what do you feel?

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I wouldn’t be creating art if I didn’t think my work meant something. Choosing the path of an artist is not an easy one and is incredibly risky, and if I wasn’t behind 100% I wouldn’t do it. I’m not sure I’d want to do anything else. And as such, clearly my work brings me a lot of joy.

PROJECT SPEAK2TWEET I’M THE SON OF THE NILE, 2013 (FILM STILL)

How do you manage the ups and downs? I’m not sure that I do. But I do have to say, I took my biggest risks when I was down and had little to lose. It really paid off in the long run. Like everyone, I go through phases but my work is with me through all of it. How do you change your communication style when in Berlin compared to the US or Cairo? I wouldn’t say I change my communication style. It doesn’t matter where I am, it is still me speaking. But I can probably say my work has been influenced by the various places I have lived. What new perspectives have you seen/ heard in your recent travels? I have been very lucky that I have recently done some projects that have taken me to interesting places. I traveled five months by road in West Africa, and it completely opened up my eyes. The project focused on the topic of borders and migration and through the traveling I tried to understand as much as possible about the experience of African migration to Europe. I met some really beautiful people along the way, with very difficult stories. I was not interested in turning my camera at them and filming or interviewing them, it felt wrong. In fact, I found that the best thing I could do was listen. Their stories have impacted me enormously, and as such, this emotional influence will find its way in my work. What is the last thing you watched/ read or listened to? I have been so busy lately with my own work that I have gone through a sort of cultural isolation period. That happens every now and then, where you lock yourself out of other peoples’ art and focus on your own.

But I recently returned from a trip in Bamako, Mali and I caught the Mali music bug again. Their music is really something else. It’s like being caught under a spell. How has your work been changed or influenced by the homeland graffiti exposure? I am still experiencing the ‘Homeland’ graffiti exposure. I am not sure if I am aware of how it might

change things yet. It has definitely made my work more visible and I am being invited to speak and exhibit my work at various events. My work won’t change because of it though. I don’t think so. It is a really cool story I get to tell, and it provided a platform to talk about some important issues which are in keeping with the rest of my work. I get to say I made a short film produced by Laura Poitras! I am pretty content

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with that. What question has no one asked you that you want to answer? I am always thrilled when someone asks me specific questions about my work. It’s not because I necessarily only want to talk about the work itself, but it is that I have invested so much time and energy into a topic that I likely have a lot to say about it.


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Fayoum, Egypt Digital Print, 2014

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20° 82’ 60.18” N, 17° 09’ 41.91”W La Aguera, Ras Nouadibou Digital Print

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20° 56’ 25.78” N , 17° 2’ 8.84” W, 2016 Nouadhibou, Mauritania Digital Print

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20° 82’ 67.43”N, 17° 09’ 46.15”W La Aguera, Ras Nouadibou Digital Print

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35° 44’ 20.82” N, 5° 53’ 26.75” W Boukhalef, Morocco Digital Print

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NOURRIR TABLE Traditional Irish Corned Beef and Cabbage made easy - perfect for a St. Patty’s Day sandwich

20° 52’ 35.45” N, 17° 3’ 32.08” W Nouadhibou, Mauritania Digital Print

Ingredients 2 -2 1 ⁄2 lbs corned beef brisket 1 medium onion, sliced 1 stalk celery, cut in 3 4 medium potatoes, peeled and halved 4 medium carrots, peeled cut in 3 1 cup beef bouillon 1 bay leaf

Directions 1. Trim brisket of all visible fat, cut to fit 4 qt or larger Crock Pot, if necessary. 2. Place onion, celery, potatoes and carrots in bottom of Crock Pot, lay brisket on top. 3. Whisk together bouillon, bay leaf, garlic, Worcestershire sauce and dry mustard. Pour over brisket, cover pot. 4. Cook on low setting for 8 to 10 hours, adding cabbage wedges and caraway seed for the last hour of cooking.

1 garlic clove, smashed

5. To serve, discard cooking liquid, slice meat onto hot serving plates, ac-

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

company with the cooked potatoes, carrots, celery, cabbage wedges and your

1 ⁄2 teaspoon dry mustard

favorite mustard.

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FINAL THOUGHTS Lucky Enough - follow Katie Martin as she explores her Irish roots BY KATIE MARTIN, FREELANCE WRITER AND FORMER MISS SHAMROCK

I

found something you MUST sign-up

for!”

Six years later, they are just family.

mother

Nagging curiosity and the need to

In March of 2010, I was crowned

exclaimed as she emerged

try something new eventually lead me

Miss Shamrock and rode proudly in the

from

at

signing up. I decided that I didn’t care

St. Patrick’s Day parade with my family

Bennett’s Chop and Railhouse in St.

if I was the oldest princess they had

following behind me.

Paul one December night in 2009.

ever seen, and I certainly didn’t have

Over the course of the year, I was

“Really. In the bathroom?” I asked.

any expectations of winning. I was just

interviewed on TV and radio, “dropped

She shoved a little slip of paper into

excited to celebrate my Irish heritage,

the puck” at a Minnesota Wild game,

my hands - it was a flyer with a website

meet some new people… and wear a

walked the field at a Minnesota Twins

and phone number to sign-up to be the

sash!

game, and participated in numerous

the

my

for a month.

bathroom

next Miss Shamrock of the St. Paul’s St. Patrick’s Day parade.

The St. Patrick’s Association is a volunteer organization that hosts the

parades. It was one of the most positive

“You’re joking right?” I questioned.

parade in St. Paul and is responsible

She countered, “well, it says you just

for selecting the new “Miss Shamrock”

have to be a little bit Irish, which you

each year. The group consists of people

are. And over 21, which you definitely

of all ages and backgrounds with one

The answer today is far different

are!”

thing in common – they’re Irish or

than it was six years ago. Back then, I

Thanks mom.

IBM (Irish by Marriage) and love their

would have told you proudly that I had

I had just celebrated by 32nd birthday

heritage, serving the community, and

some relatives that came from Ireland

a few days earlier and was having dinner

celebrating St. Patrick’s Day. (They also

and I had a big, boisterous, beer-loving

with my parents in St. Paul. We are

love a good pint)

family who told wild stories.

experiences of my life, so far. What then, does it mean to me to be Irish?

originally from Minneapolis and rarely

They spend a few weeks beginning

ventured across the river, but decided

at the end of January and running

Since 2010, I can now boast that

to make the trip on this particular day

through March 17 going around to

my father has traced his roots back

to celebrate said birthday and to start

bars (of course!) promoting the parade,

to his grandfather who immigrated

looking for rehearsal venues for my

raising money and spreading Irish

from a tiny farm in Mount Cashel

brother’s wedding the following fall in

cheer.

in Roscommon County, Ireland to

St. Paul.

(Fun fact: our parade in St. Paul

But really, I knew nothing.

Imogene, Iowa as a child.

What started out as a simple trip to

is the third largest St. Patrick’s Day

There were six boys in his family,

the bathroom became so much more

parade in the country. I didn’t know

and of those, five came to America. On

for me and my family.

any of this before signing up!)

my mother’s side, she found that her

Despite feeling too old to ever

Over the course of those few weeks

great-grandfather immigrated from

consider running for any kind of

leading up to St. Patrick’s Day, those

County Kerry. (On a random side note,

pageant, I held onto that piece of paper

people became my friends and family.

I am also a distant relative of the actor,

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Peter Gallagher) My dad now has his dual citizenship (U.S. and Ireland) and we traveled last September as a family to visit the country to meet our extended family and to see the farm where my greatgrandfather grew up. Along the way, we also met some distant relatives on my mother’s side who own a small gift shop on the Dingle Peninsula in County Kerry. I learned an incredible amount about my heritage traveling through Ireland. I’ve found the Irish are an extremely kind, hospitable, and accommodating group of people. Period. (Ironically, they don’t celebrate St. Patrick’s Day the same way that we do in America.

Depending on who you

ask, the Great Potato Famine could have been avoided and was the direct result of British greed.) And they actually call their native

language “Irish” instead of “Gaelic”.

extended Irish family through the St.

Ireland has some of the most

Patrick’s Association. I’m now on the

beautiful landscapes in the world and

executive board of the Association and

the lush green mountainsides are

helping to usher in a new generation of

greener than you could ever imagine.

Miss Shamrocks, Shamrock Princesses,

The Irish are deeply rooted in their

Blarney Brothers, Mr. Pats and friends.

history and what impressed me the

I’ve celebrated birthdays, weddings,

most was how everyone we spoke with

births and deaths with these people.

were experts in the history of their

They truly are my family now. Even

country dating back several centuries.

my actual family is involved in the

I don’t know anyone in the U.S. with

Association today.

that kind of knowledge of our country’s

Learning about my heritage and

history- I mean, I doubt half of all

representing it for the city of St. Paul

high school students can’t point out

over the last few years has really helped

Montana on a map.

me grow into a better daughter, sister,

Today, when I think of the word Irish, I think of family. Only now, it has a new meaning. Not only do I feel more confident

friend, citizen and overall a better person. And to think, it all started with a trip to the bathroom.

talking about my Irish roots, now I can

I believe the saying goes, “If you’re

tell you stories about my crazy family

lucky enough to be Irish, you’re lucky

here in the U.S. AND in Ireland.

enough!”

Being Irish also means having my

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Can’t get enough of Nourrir? Check out last month’s issue. It was a good one.

Slainte!

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Nourrir March Issue 5