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Snap! ‘my first’ issue No 12 CONTRIBUTORS

cover by karin demeyer · Styling by Pascale Georgiev / model Zoë Slobodzian

Editor in Chief › Shayl Prisk Co-Director › Hannah Byrne Founders › Hannah Byrne & Shayl Prisk

Mascots › Seamus, Kisha & Mini Intern › Rebeka Palaez Gaetz Copy › Shayl Prisk, Hannah Byrne, Pascale Georgiev

Creative Director › Shayl Prisk Art Director & Designer › Vanda Daftari Fashion Director & Head of Production › Pascale Georgiev Head of Marketing › Hannah Byrne Web Editor › Hannah Byrne

Writing › Shayl Prisk, Hannah Byrne, Amy Karvan, Pascale Georgiev, Daniel Luna, Sylvain Martet, Roxane Hudon, Sara McCulloch, Julien Gregoire, Katie Kotler, Deiter Stal, Marcin Wisniewski, Alex Chinien, Ben Pobjoy, Edmund Lam, Primessa Espiritu, Xanthia Ledger, Daniel Oropeza, Ariane Gregoire

Photography › Karin Demeyer, Clara Palardy, Adrien Baudet, Coey Kerr, Maxyme G. Delisle, Caroline Mauxion, Andreas Sundgren, Raphael Ouellet, Richmond Lam, Sandrine Castellan, Michael Heilgemeir, John Londoño, Simon-Pierre Gingras, Jerry Pigeon, Mathieu Fortin, Leila Stambouli, Anouk Lessard, Jean Malek, Jorge Camarotti Artwork › Aurelie Grand, Capucine Labarthe, Alex Sebag, Katty Chose, Marion Sosa, Aurore Chauve

My First Oyster Amy Karvan

When I was 16 I tried my first oyster. By that age my parents had divorced and my father was living in New York City. The divorce agreement was that I would stay with him one weekend a month. He even had a bedroom for me in his small but slick apartment in Manhattan. I remember one weekend in October I came down on the train and as usual the first thing we did was leave the station and head to the Museum of Natural History. It was ‘our place’. He was dressed more formally than was usual for him, and he seemed nervous, he was checking his watch a lot and he

kept asking me if I was hungry. There’s something to those theories about women and their intuition: I knew straight away that he had a new girlfriend. As we left the museum, the night sky was a dark intense blue, and my stomach felt sour. We took a cab to a French restaurant and on the way, with his arm around my shoulder, my father told me we were going to have dinner with a new friend of his. The details of that night are pretty blurry in my memory. I vaguely remember Elaine: she was was painfully saccharine, and she had a smudge of lipstick on her top teeth for the first half hour of our dinner. It was

a strange night. It didn’t feel like a night to celebrate, not for me, but we drank some champagne together and were cheerful. When her plate of oysters came and she urged me to try one, the damp, mucousy sensation of it sliding down my throat was pretty unappealing. I smiled and refused a second one, preferring to drink the rest of the champagne in my glass. My dad has not remarried, and Elaine is long gone now, no surprise. As for me, I have never felt the urge to try another oyster; once was definitely enough.

cover by karin demeyer · / Styling by Pascale Georgiev model Zoë Slobodzian / Dress by Halston Heritage at The Bay shot at restaurant chez gautier · 3487 Avenue du parc ·

My First house illustration by aurÉlie grand ·

illustration by CAPUCINE LABARTHE

illustration by alex sebag

illustration by katty maurey 路

Marion Sosa is a mixed media artist based in Mexico. These images are taken from her War of the Roses series, which is a personal and cultural reflection on ideas of family. Shayl Prisk spoke to Marion about this series and the way these images reflect on certain norms and expectations regarding love, marriage and relationships, and the stigma that is still attached to dysfunctionality within families. SHAYL PRISK › In your War of the Roses series, you present a collection of old family photographs that have been damaged and destroyed in some intentional and obvious way. This series was shown in a group exhibition Asesinos (or Murders) at the Yautepec Gallery in Mexico in 2009 and within this context your images come across as documents or souvenirs of violence. When you created the series what was the underlying statement or, impact you were interested in making? Is it purely personal? Or is this also a commentary on broad social ideas? MARION SOSA › I have a very transparent approach to my work: I observe and develop an intellectual critique on a social tendency or dynamic and that almost certainly pushes me into the lion’s den, and I am confronted with my own story. It’s the way I feel entitled to talk about these social issues, such as family values and identity.

As for the War of the Roses series, it’s a confrontation with all that is spoonfed in our lives, be it personally or media induced: in particular the idea that we shall all find love, all build families and live happily ever after in a tale of fabricated dreams. This idea was something I wanted to viscerally disarm. Being a child of a dysfunctional family dynamic, I refer to my own disillusionment with that ideal, which I have confronted and questioned from a very young age. That’s not to say I’m some sort of a spinster, or that I’m against any of these desires; on the contrary, it’s the obsession with any of these ideals that I am concerned with. SP › I find the one dimensional simplicity of the contented family group shot is so perfectly thrown off by the angry and impulsive urgency of the defacing. You have worked with old family portraits and photographs in other series in the past, for instance the Mummy Dearest exploration you completed in 2008. In that series you took a number of old photos of your mother’s face and then replicated your own image over hers, as a way of questioning the maternal urge, ideas of identity, narcissism and familial bonds. By using old photographs, and the intimacy these photos suggest, the art work necessarily becomes personal, and makes certain implications – whether real or assumed – about you, your history and the state of your family relationships.

Do you engage in this work as a form of catharsis, to explore these ideas in an outward way? Or is this simply an effective way you have found to create tension by juxtaposing traditional expectations about family relationships? MS › It’s a bit of both. I find that any subject matter that could be appealing to me is born out of a certain empathy. The metaphorical choices I make in imagery are definitely a cathartic spill of some of my most intimate turmoils, although I do find that in the end, the works will represent a very broad part of society. SP › As an artist you have explored a number of mediums to express ideas, including the traditional forms that fall under fine arts. Your transition to photography in recent years corresponds with an ongoing interest in ideas of personal history and personal development, such as the two series we have just talked about, along with Familiarity (2006-2007) and Friends and Not Such Good Friends (20052007). The camera can be an unorthodox instrument for self-examination: we usually think of photographs as an outward document of a surrounding environment, or a conjuring of a world external to the photographer. Do you find you use your camera as a catalyst for change and personal discovery; would it be wrong to describe parts of your work as being a self-portrait in some abstract way?

My First family Photos part of a series by Marion Sosa

MS › The sorts of subjects that I approach most definitely have to do with different aspects of myself and the stages in my life. That is to say that I’m probably a very self-absorbed human being, hahaha. On a more serious note, talking specifically about the medium, my style and use of medium has been versatile throughout the years; I unconsciously worry very little about how that may come across and just work with whatever feels right for that particular project. Having gone from painting and drawing as a main medium in my teenage years, to photography, the move came from a need to find more variables and a more concise way of saying what I needed to say. The love for the medium from its modern technological flexibility and variation, to its romantic analog archival format, came later, and has just recently begun to have a heavier weight as I search for more nostalgic textures in my work. For example I have recently begun experimenting with Super 8, and that has been like stepping into a whole new world, with an entire language of its own. But in the end, the films are a natural progression within my body of work. This of course has made everything more expensive and challenging to produce, so the quantity and rhythm has been teaching me a whole new way of perception, from conception to projection.

My First Beauty Essential In this series: artwork + photos by adrien Baudet 路 creative direction by pascale georgiev

My First Treat

My First Fashion Statement

From capes to bapes, kids can pull off the craziest outfits. Clockwise from top left › fairy Hat for a day in / Cinderella costume, worn as a daydress / white tights and cowboy boots, why not match? pink plastic handbag to carry your rocks / golf club to match cotton sports set / crimped hair for a night out

photos by coey kerr 路

My First STUNT words by sylvain martet

My first cat words by hannah byrne

My first dog words by hannah byrne

Wessel › 11

“I started diving at five and I won my first medal at six years old. Now I dive everyday; I do about 16 hours a week. It’s given me a pretty nice six-pack!” Amethyste › 9 “I started with nail-polish, when I was only two. That was my first make-up. Now I have a full kit and I love having friends over to do their faces.” Emma › 16 “My first serious boyfriend was when I was 12 and it lasted a year. His name was Tyler and he broke up with me suddenly. I went away for two weeks and missed his birthday and a recital and then when I came back, he broke up with me. It took a long time to get over him.” Sam › 14 “I grew my first moustache about two years ago. I shave once every month. It’s not very big yet.” Alyssa › 9 “Bella is my first dog. The best thing about having a puppy is playing with her, but she’s not allowed to sleep in my bed.”

When I was quite young, my parents got a puppy. A man was travelling around the neighbourhood with a litter of muts and in a rare moment of weakness, they gave in to the pleas of their four young children. He was an unwieldly looking dog: all legs and tongue, tripping over himself as he eagerly ran amongst us. We called him Borris. He grew up without much discipline. We had agreed to take care of him, walk him, and train him but we didn’t really have any experience and he grew up wild. He used to chew on the outside corner of our wooden house. He spent whole afternoons caroling in the garden, ripping up newly planted vegetable plots. He always looked so sorry, his tail between his leg and his eyes lowered as our parents attempted to discipline him. We didn’t have the heart to. We would sneak him late night snacks to make up for these injustices. It wasn’t his fault. He was particularly fond of one of my brothers. He would catch sight of him walking home from school, break free of his leash and run out to meet him. He would jump up on him, and lick his face all over, Borris on hind legs standing taller than my brother did. They were close friends. Eventually we had to give him away. His greatest sport was to chase the postman- he would chase him for blocks and blocks. Rows of houses on our street were left with undelivered mail. We soon received a handwritten complaint from the postman saying that either the dog went or our neighbourhood stopped getting mail. It was a sad day when we gave Borris away.

A few days after Christmas, a cat started hanging out in our front garden. He was a beautiful guy; long slender legs, orange stripes like a tiger, with a very self important air about himself. He would spend hours delicately cleaning himself next to our bird pond. He was obviously a stray but such a pretty and clean cat. My brother and I tried to coax him to us but he was too cool to give us the time of day. Each year my grandfather bought a big leg of Christmas ham to our house, which would sit in our fridge for what seemed like months. We were none of us overly fond of it so my brother and I started cutting long slices off it to tame our new feline friend ‘Striker.’ Striker slowly started to trust us and if our hands smelled clean enough, he would permit us to stroke him and even possibly hold him a little. A great privilege. He was a natural born fighter and we would hear crazy cat fights during the night. We would wake up to see the neighbour’s cat Scruffy limping past the house, great tufts of hair missing from his back. Out would stretch Striker, a delicate paw catching the sun as he made his way toward us for some Christmas ham. He also had a weakness for custard and we would pour out a little saucer which he would eagerly lick. Our supply dried up so we decided to try our hand at mixing custard powder with water. Striker took one look at it before regarding us with disdain and padding off. Our friendship continued thus for a few weeks before our neighbours and their weakling cats began to complain. Although we were reluctant, we had sadly to resign him to a friend who lived in another town. Word was that he, in turn, passed him to a vet who refused to put him down because he was so pretty. Striker eventually ended up in the hands of a great cat-lover with a big yard that he could stretch his wellgroomed shiny legs in.

When I opened my eyes, it was too late: my front wheel was already about to hit the fence. My arms were still up in the air, stupidly apathetic, unable to reach the brakes. I just had enough time to say “noooo,” hoping for slow motion like in the movies, and then my head hit the fence, followed by my chest and my feet, and I fell to the ground, dirt all in my mouth. I did a complete upside-down on that fucking fence. The blood started to pour out and I could do nothing but lay there, a failure, in front of Chloé and Solène. They both looked at me for a few seconds from Solène’s bedroom window and then they disappeared. My parents were away for the day so I had to go to Arnaud’s house. Arnaud and Solène were two of my closest neighbours. Their parents were there, with a bunch of their friends, celebrating something under the big oak. I was crying like a seven year old boy, which made sense because I was seven years old. Everybody stared at me, and a random guy with a red nose made a joke to me that I didn’t understand. I went to the bathroom with Arnaud’s mom and she put something on my wounds. She did not kiss them like my mom usually did. It was some kind of alcohol-based disinfectant and it was too strong, I bit my lips to not scream but I still made a little “aaeuuah.” After she was finished I went outdoors to drink orange juice and Arnaud asked me if I wanted to stay until my parents got back. But I had endured enough humiliations for one day so I said no and started walking in the direction of my house. My bike was still hooked on the fence with the front wheel broken. Arnaud ran in my direction and asked “What happened exactly?” and I lied “My father did not repair my brakes, I said to him soooo many times but he did not listen, that’s his fault, yeah, I asked him like a thousand times to do something about those brakes, that sucks sooooo much”. I was sad and dirty because of the blood and the lie. I looked at the ground all the way home, hoping Chloé would forget all that and still love me, at least one day, before the end of the summer.

My First KISS photos + artwork by caroline mauxion 路

My First CRUSH photos by ANDREAS SUNDGREN · models jennifer + sylvain / thanks to l’apogée GYM

My First Crush by Julien Gregoire › It was the eighties and anything could happen but I was too young to know about that. I was six or seven, I didn’t know about pop music, didn’t speak English and was a little too sensitive for my own good. It was all in place. There was that band Culture Club that sang songs that went directly to my little unformed and confused heart. What was a Karma Chameleon I couldn’t tell but if it was as marvelous as the song it must have been great. I didn’t care about the meaning anyway, I was sucked into the music, into that enchanted world of cheap synthesizers and beat boxes. And that voice, that soothing voice as full of pain and sadness as I was. A feminine yet deep voice, one that I could listen to for hours, as I slowly fell for the singer who, in my head, was a seven year old blonde girl that felt just the same apprehension about life as I did. I didn’t know what Boy meant, or George for that matter. And all I had was a pirated cassette so I never really saw the cover of the album. That Boy George that was singing could have been anyone. I couldn’t know; I didn’t know and I didn’t want to know and I should never have known. But then one day my mother showed me the newspaper. There was a big headline: Boy George Arrested for Possession of Cocaine. Underneath it there was a picture of him that is still engraved in my memory. There was make-up and a hat and things on his head that looked like hair but really wasn’t. And these clothes! They were not women’s clothes, not men’s clothes... they were not human clothes! That was the girl I was in love with? A colourblind cocaine addict transvestite? That was the angel I was listening to every night? I couldn’t believe it, the pain was intolerable. And the only thing I could do to ease that pain was to listen to those same treacherous songs, shaking my head and repeating: why, why, why? It was the eighties, that’s why. Those sad, crazy, deceitful, tasteless and desperate eighties. It was not a decade to be a kid, or to fall in love.

by Sara McCulloch › Doogie Howser was my first crush. I was six years old and he was a sixteenyear-old trauma surgery fellow just trying to lead a normal, fulfilling life. I blame Steven Bochco and David E. Kelley for carefully crafting a character that could handle ER chaos while still maintaining an endearing social awkwardness. Doogie was so willing to please his coworkers, the poor thing. I remember defending his social ineptitude all the time, saying something along the lines of “He is just a whiz kid who wants to be accepted by his older counterparts, okay?” I found it so cool that he practically skipped high-school and if I ever forgot this fact, well the opening credits were always there to remind me of his brilliance: “Whiz Kid Breezed Thru High School in 9 Weeks.” That’s something any kid could appreciate. I thought that things could not get any better than this, that Doogie was the ultimate, the greatest boy I could imagine. That was until Season 4, Episode 10, where Doogie Howser coaxes his friend Vinnie to sleep by singing “Mr. Sandman.” My mind slammed on the breaks: ‘hold on, Doogie Howser, crooner?’ I mean, what the hell couldn’t he do? It was after much reflection (the commercial break) that I decided then and there to leave this relationship on a high note, so to speak. I picked up the remote control and changed the channel. I didn’t watch the rest of the episode because there was no further need for me to idealize Doogie; he was now the ideal. Today, I know I did the right thing that windy Sunday afternoon, because sometimes, when Neil Patrick Harris performs a Broadway number, or even worse, recreates his Doogie Howser years in order to satirize himself, I swoon. That was too much love too young.

by Katie Kotler › It was 1989 and I was five when I developed a crush on Eric Raymond, the Misfits’ manager from the children’s cartoon Jem and the Hollograms. I was attracted to his mean-looking eyebrows. My life at the time consisted mainly of kindergarten, TV and playing make believe. I would watch the show right before going to xylophone lessons, where one of the teachers also had thick eyebrows. There was something very appealing about how they could make a person look evil, and it made me feel funny, in a good way. Meanwhile, I also had my eye on Don Hertzman, my carpool buddy’s dad. Don also had bushy eyebrows, somewhat akin to Tom Cruise’s. Tanned and in his early thirties, Don the young DILF, drove a convertible and listened to Billy Joel’s, “In The Middle of the Night” album. Don played the drums and spent his weekends skidooing with his wife and three kids at their country house in the Laurentians. His son Jeremy would frequently use the word ‘penis’ in the car, causing me to blush. Jeremy would also try to take off my clothes, while under the guise of playing ‘doctor’. I remember pacing around my kitchen, staring at the tiles, preparing to confess my crush to my mother. I made her promise she wouldn’t tell anyone. She agreed and I was relieved. But to my dismay, on the following Wednesday morning at 7:45 a.m., Don and his convertible were replaced by his wife Linda, and her minivan. Her grin let me know it was all over. To this day, I am still a bit mortified about the situation.

by hannah byrne › I’d always had a bit of a thing for Prince William but it wasn’t until the death of Lady Di that this developed more. My parents subscribed to several newspapers and around the time of her death, whole spreads were dedicated to Wills and Harry. I couldn’t openly admit to this affectation with the Prince but when a good friend admitted to her own feelings for William, I came out as well. I cut all the pictures I had of him out and put them in a clear plastic binder and gave them to her. I was too embarrassed to keep the folder myself. What would my brothers think? I was also in love with my father’s friend’s son at that same time. We were regular pen pals and started our letters with ‘Dear...’ I expected to marry him one day. He was born in England, 100km away from where William was born, and on the day after him. This proximity of birth cemented something in my heart. I figured if anything bad were to happen to my first love, my pen pal, then surely I would end up with Wills instead. I planned to send the Prince a letter, and to put it in an envelope decorated brightly in Australian colours. I had no doubt that William, sorting through his mail, would pluck out my letter, amazed by its colourful beauty. Thus would begin our romance, first with innocent correspondences, and then undoubtedly these would develop into something more serious, letters beginning with ‘Dear...’ My first love is now married and Wills is well on his way yet I harbour a few lingering feelings for both. Who knows what divorces the future holds...

one morning, going to the bathroom, I was faced with the evidence: I was on my first period. I was confused and kind of horrified. For some reason, I didn’t want to tell anybody, not my father and especially not my brothers. Of course, I was dying to tell my mother but she wasn’t there and I couldn’t think of a good excuse to call her without arousing suspicion. Nor could I find a good enough excuse to go to the store on my own and buy pads. So I had to resort to toilet paper, which proved to be much less effective than other modern day solutions. I remember a particularly horrible trip to the

aquarium during which I spent more time in the bathroom making sure everything was in place than in the aquarium. I think there were a few whales there, maybe a seal or two... My temporary solution didn’t last long though, because on the second or third day of my period, everyone wanted to go to the water park. I was pretty sure toilet paper and wave pool wasn’t a very good combination so I reluctantly told my father. Given my strange behaviour during the last few days, he had already pretty much guessed what was going on and was, of course, very understanding. He was also nice

enough to volunteer to go to the store and get me pads. The only problem was the store had sold out of pads, so he had to buy me tampons. Most girls, I think, would agree that your first period is not the greatest time to be forced to use tampons. Also, given the choice, I would recommend getting mentored by a mother an aunt or a friend, rather than by your father when it comes to the subject of tampon usage. But I guess it’s at least better than toilet paper. And I got to go to the water park...

My first period Words by Christine Speckhart

The first summer after my parents separated, my father decided it was a good idea to bring my brothers and I to Walt Disney World. Being the youngest, I was particularly excited and at 12, I still had fond memories of all the Disney movies. So that summer, my brothers, my father and I set out for Florida with a childlike sense of adventure. The first couple of days were great. The rides were fun and the mood festive. Yet I was inexplicably grumpy and irritable. Even when the cramps started, it never entered my mind that I would soon ‘enter womanhood.’ But

My First period photo by raphaËl ouellet ·

My First Older Man Words by Pascale Georgiev

Convinced I would marry my cousin by the time I was three years old, my tendancy to fall for boys left right and center came to a halt when Nick Edgeman held my hand. I was in kindergarden, he was in third. I played with his little sister Carrie, but he always stuck around. Blond and tan, he was funny and sweet. He would wait for me in the hallways, ignoring all the girls his own age. For the following few years, unlike my TV crushes and the boys in my class, he was mine. I believe he is in Tennesse now doing tequila shots and standup comedy, still tan but no longer blond.

My First Bra

Words by Sara McCulloch

As a child fast approaching my adolescence, I would tell my mother “I don’t want to grow up.” In my mind, adolescence meant the end of childhood, and I equated this with the end of fun and youthful carelessness. The week my anxiety about aging hit its peak, I was gifted with two new additions to the top part of my school uniform. I of course had noticed nothing, but my mother detected them right at the dinner table. She took me aside and pointed out the metamorphosis (hardly) my body was undergoing, and told me that I was going to need a bra. I couldn’t really understand the significance of a bra; was it to remedy these new changes, or emphasize them? Either way, my stomach was twisted in knots, and I started asking questions any rational eleven-yearold would think of: Why me? What did I do to deserve this? Why now? Is my life over? Before I had a chance to answer any of these questions, I was in a car with my mother, on the way to some department store, on the search for a what she called a “training bra.” My induction into womanhood would take place at the hands of a kindly old salesclerk, who gave me a sympathetic smile before rushing me into a fitting room to measure my chest. All that measuring was crammed into something resembling a library book call number, something she called a “bra size.” ‘What is this ridiculous sizing system?’ I protested. It made no sense: why was the smallest size a 32? What the hell was the letter for? The salesclerk politely smiled, and pushed me into different rows of bras until I matched my size with a bra I liked. I was soon back in the fitting room learning how to hook the bra clasps of a simple plain white bra. After this ordeal, I decided to do some research. I consulted Margaret Simon’s first bra experience in Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret, but I couldn’t relate to her eagerness. Then again I wasn’t really looking into my bra cups for answers like she was- I was eleven. Eventually, wearing a bra became a part of an everyday routine, and now I barely notice it.

My First Kiss Words by Roxane Hudon

I remember my first almost kiss. For a certain period of my youth I spent more time mocking boys and throwing their soccer balls in the opposite direction when they pathetically rolled towards me than I would making any attempt at some kind of awkward teenage romance. I had more important things to do, like reading fantasy books and listening to Robbie Williams. Also, I was so much smarter than them all, so I figured why bother? But eventually I gave in. I was around the age of 15, and it was mainly because a fellow dweeb who was into karate and anime expressed interest. Our main activity together was talking on the phone for hours. Once, we went to see a movie and indulged in some passionate elbow rubbing. Afterwards, we stood at the entrance of the cinema; while I stared at the floor in awkward horror, he commented on how he knew he should kiss me right now, but had no idea how. It was horrible. I mumbled that I should probably go home and got the hell out of there. Our phone conversations eventually dwindled and I decided that it was a good enough reason to end this relationship. A good year passed by before I met my second suitor. He was the boy I had ridiculed since the beginning of high school, making fun of him for everything from his dumb jokes to his stupid haircut. He, of course, was instantly charmed by all of this and I, obviously, fell in love. One night, my crazy girlfriend and I had one of our adventurous sleepovers where we listened to Warren G, curled our hair and watched Ginger Snaps for the twentieth time. We decided it was an exciting prospect to invite my suitor and his friend over to her house in the boonies of St-Lazare. We brought them to the giant St-Lazare sand pit, a stomping ground for the local teenage elite, smoking dope and fornicating. We ran around, jumping down the pit and giggling like toddlers. At one point, my friend and his walked away, leaving me and my chosen alone at last. He stepped confidently towards me. This time, it was for real. He breathed heavily on my face. I stood up straight: scared, disgusted and curious. In the pitch dark, I almost made out with his nose, slobbering all over his cheek, trying to find his mouth. Pheromones exploded; I had nothing to make fun of anymore. Smoking dope and fornicating; it was the first kiss that was the beginning of a series of ongoing disasters.

My first boobs words by sylvain martet

I'm pretty sure her name was Celine. Or Cecile. She was not in the yearbook because she arrived at the beginning of spring. She was not really pretty, she was short, dressed like hell and had this bad habit of putting two kilos of green and blue makeup on her eyes, but she had a little something, something special, something called boobs. At this time, my kind-of-girlfriend was called Christelle. She was funny and really strange, in the good way of the word, but she had bad breath and no breasts. I was not in love with Celine or Cecile, but I started to spend more and more time with her. I used to do detours with my Vespa to bring her home after school. Back in those days, I was clearly convinced that one day she would thank me by showing me her tits. Why? Because I was full of hormones and stupidity. One day, I subtly removed a piece of the air filter from the engine right after we left school, and we had to stop after a few minutes because the Vespa was making strange noises. She was living on a lonely road in the country and my strategy was to be with her in the middle of nowhere. I said “I have to check that” and “hum hum...the motor has to cool for a while, we can wait here.” It was uncomfortable and nothing happened so after ten minutes of empty conversation I started the engine again and brought her home. The only long term result of that incident was that my Vespa would never work properly again. Then, two days before the end of school for the year, I saw Celine or Cecile talking with my friend Remy, and for the first time I found her beautiful. I was aware that my desire led my judgment, but during our teenage years we can do nothing to fight it. At that moment I was on the other side of the schoolyard, thinking that I had almost no more time to make a move. Summer holidays meant three months without seeing her, and three months means so much when you are 15. I was thinking of a new strategy, maybe asking for her phone number from one of her friends, when Remy suddenly put his hand on her left boob. She gave him a slap, he laughed, she laughed and they continued to talk as if nothing big had happened. My blood boiled instantly. I ran across the yard, faced her, made a quick joke to Remy and then touched one of her boobs. She slapped me, I laughed, Remy laughed, she laughed and we talked about insignificant things while I tried to memorize this incredible sensation forever.

My First Time photo by sandrine castellan 路 / styling by pascale georgiev model kasia malinowska

“We share a world and even those closest and dearest to us cannot ever enter it. Our souls are pre-destined to live together, to be the complement of one another.”

My First PARTNER photo by RICHMOND LAM · FEATURING Erick + Alexandre Faulkner

My First, My Last photos by clara palardy 路 styling + hair + make-up by Rosie Desjardins Models Marine Reed-Brissonnet + Zacharie-Jos Montpetit


Photos by Clara Palardy

Art Direction by Vanda Daftari Fashion Direction by Pascale Georgiev

Featuring Sarah, Guillaume + Spencer Concept + Creative Direction by Shayl Prisk Marketing by Hannah Byrne Styling by Rosie Desjardins

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My first year


“When I was little I spent all my time constructing worlds with my lego blocks. It would take me years to become as good a painter as I was once an ‘architect’. ”

My First MUSE artwork by Nicolas Grenier ·

“Viveka is my baby sister. I got to know her through the pictures I took. Before sharing this, we were just two siblings, fighting about stupid things. Now we have a special link,

we have these exalting moments when we are creating something together. She is my blood, she is fascinating, and I want to photograph her a trillion times again.”

photo by karin demeyer ·

If you think you’re free, there is no escape possible

My First escape photo by sandrine castellan · / illustration by Aurore chauve · styling by cedric kulezycki / assisted by GaËl le kalvez / hair by shai elgrichi at tony & guy / make-up by virginie rascle model olga dyachenko at / dress by jay arh

My First MASTERPIECE photo by Michael Heilgemeir · FEATURING ARTIST ANNIE HÉmond hotte ·

following story › Title Page + first spread › dress by Anastasia Monolova / bracelet by Harakiri second spread › Dress by Ying Gao for Post Vernissage / gloves + boots by Chanel

My First DESTINATION Words by Deiter Stal

It was small, and only the lip of the stone was showing from under the tangle of wildflowers that covered it. The headstone was a marker for one long since gone, a pilgrim who had lived out his last day in the very terrain I was now passing through. I had read in books that pilgrims were drawn to this area: the peircing air, the echoes from the sheer cliff faces that towered like gods above all the life across the plains beneath. The dirt under my bruised and sinewy feet was dark. To my left the earth was packed hard. It led up to a natural wall of stone, high and continuous. This wall had been my wayfinder since this morning when I had begun my descent from the camp. To my right, only steps from the humble grave I had found, the earth dropped away, revealing an expanse 15 feet beneath. Where I stood, I seemed encased in the environment, physically framed by the wall of one of the immense stone cliffs. I felt as an immortal, surveying the exact and visible limitations of my domain. I knew I was alone; the air was as still as the grave beside me. I had not seen another person in more than six days. I understood now what Jirgin had described to me all those months ago. Finally, “the splendour of silence” was paring down the tougher layers of my soul. For a moment I felt planted to the place. The reflective capacity of my brain could not be dispersed, even as I was

now, fully immersed in the moment, in the natural world everywhere around me. My internal philosopher spoke of impermanence: this very breath, cold in your lungs, this view, this whole journey, all will soon be over. The sun was slowly draining from the sky, and the first chills of night wrapped around me possessively. My body slowly folded in on itself, prolonging my station by asking for rest. I knelt in place and as I pressed my hands into the ground a sharp stone cut into a wound that had half closed on my palm. Wracked with exhaustion but warm and elated by it, I stared at the pink biology of my flesh. My hands were dirty but soft, and instinctively I pressed my hand back against the cool ground. I could feel the pilgrim beneath me. He had long dissipated into the surrounding earth and as I roughly traced my hand over it I felt the impulse that we might be blended, whether through this dirt and my blood, or through this landscape that we were both interred in, him for eternity, and me for this sunset. After a time, I saw the smoke. It was wiry and light, but it might as well have been an open flame: it called to me. I left the resting place, drawn to my next stop, the small cottage below the crest. I was hungry and I felt excited to be nearing human contact. As I crossed the grass beside the cabin it looked blue under the moonlight. The windows glowed with light. I had finally reached my destination.

My First Day On Earth Photos by John LondoÑo · / Styling by Yso at Folio / assisted by Duc C. Nguyên Hair + Make-Up by Maïna-Militza using Shu Uemura · / Model jo at folio

My First BREAKDOWN photos by SPG Le Pigeon · / assisted by Jérôme Nadeau / styling by Melissa Matos · / assisted by Vé Goguen hair + make-up by Maïna-Militza using MAC + Shu Uemura · / model Melina at Montage

title page › coat by vivienne westwood / shoes by jeffrey campbell this page › top by zara / skirt by trusst / shoes by miu miu / bracelet, stylist’s own opposite page › blazer + dress by escada / striped jacket + shirt, stylist’s own / scarf by chanel / brooch by PowerHaus Following page › body suit by francine frolichz

My First Concert by Marcin Wisniewski › It was 1986 or 1987. The exact year seems to escape me now; I was just a little boy then. I stood in an open field facing the stage, surrounded by hundreds of young punks who were jumping to the rhythms of high-octane guitars, furiously handled by the young and barechested band members in front of me. My brother, Tomasz, was one of the musicians up on the stage playing guitar and thrusting his body. His black curls were cut short on the sides and glistened with a mixture of rain and sweat; his muscles were tense underneath the tenderness of his flesh. It was a grey and cloudy afternoon; the rain drizzled onto the hordes of people taking part in the Jarocin Music Festival; they were there to listen to officially unrecognized music, to express their discontent with the system, and to fuck around. My guardians that day were a couple of people designated by my brother, but they soon disappeared and I was left alone among the crowd of half naked, drunk and possibly high (I was too little to know the difference) Polish punks. They were young, dismayed, and energetic: individually sweet and caring, collectively aggressive and capable of great damage. Poland in the eighties was full of disillusionment and anxiety; rebellion and laced-up Doc Martens fueled the passions of the younger generation. The air was filled with political and social alienation, with sex and violence. This was not some chilled out hipster festival but a pit of dissatisfied and potent malcontents. And yet, alone in the crowd of these young men and women, I felt a strange sense of security; here was a community before I even understood the meaning of the term. They made sure not to stomp over me with their boots, not to drown me with

their bodies, not to suffocate me with their own ferociousness. Kogut, my brother’s friend, appeared out of nowhere, grabbed my arm, and took me to the side entrance. I could see my brother and his band mates; they were dripping with sweat and were still full of the energy of their performance. They exuded happiness. Tomasz tousled my short hair and asked if I had liked it; intimidated and shy I moved my head in a gesture of ‘yes.’ He smiled and repeated the familiar phrase, “When you grow up I’ll give you more.” Some years later, dissatisfied with life, its contents and its options, Tomasz passed away, leaving me wanting and asking for more. by Alex Chinien › This is an old story. I will leave it up to each reader to decide whether it has aged like a fine wine or a rotten cadaver. I did not find out about my first concert through a friend, a website or a Facebook event. It was haphazardly plastered onto the side of my grade 8 English teacher’s Buick. The rumour was that some squeegee kids hanging around 7-Eleven had done the deed sometime during third period, but that mystery was never solved. This clever marketing stunt was enough to get me to show up to a remote community center in a sketchy part of town on a Friday night. After learning my first lesson in concerts (never show up on time), I waited around the parking lot watching the bands drink malt liquor as they unloaded several mini-vans. After some underage drinking on my part (courtesey of one of the acts), the show began and I heard ska music for the first time. It was goofy but entertaining, I told myself. When the handful of people who showed up began flailing around like freaks, I was amazed to learn that this was actually a dance called skanking. After a few more beers be-

tween bands and some basic coaching, I too began dancing like a freak. I was one of them. by Ben Pobjoy › My first concert was New Kids on the Block – on their 1990 Summer Magic Tour in Toronto. Look, when I was a kid I was a loser. I was the eldest so I didn’t have an older sibling to introduce me to cool things, which is why I got into New Kids on the Block... and became momentarily obsessed with them. Deep down (in like a Freudian way), I think I wanted them all as big brothers so I really looked up to them. My parents were divorced so let’s blame it all on my sense of vulnerability. NKOTB sang Hangin’ Tough so I was like, “These motherfuckers are tough” because they were singing about how tough they were. I later learnt that singing you’re tough is like proving you’re strong by hoisting up a Louis Vuitton man purse – it’s bullshit. However, kids are gullible retards; I was a gullible retard. In reality, NKOTB were just about the un-toughest group of waxed-eyebrow men-women. Nevertheless, I was like, “DAMN!” and would rap-dance in my bedroom to them like I was Michael Flatley in Lord of the Dance – except that in my version I was Lord of the Losers. A few months later, my Dad came home one evening all excited. He ran into the house with this #1 Dad in the World exuberance, and was like, ‘Guess what? I got you tickets for New Kids on the Block at Exhibition Stadium!’ The problem was that by then I had already segued into my wigger stage and thought I was all thug life, even though I was getting my leads on hot new rap music from YTV’s Tarzan Dan! Anyway, my cousin had cut me a rat’s tail during my NKOTB phase and my parents flipped out so I knew I had to go to the concert to make amends for

My First FIGHT

David after his first fight with then roomate, Fall 2008 photoS by mathieu fortin ·

my previous crime against humanity. I went with my Dad, who is British and ex-military, and you can just imagine what he thought of me, and the music we were being subjected to. There were something like 10 million screaming girls there, and I was so embarrassed since, I swear, I was the only boy there. As NKOTB stormed the stage singing ‘Ohhhh Baybee,’ it became crystal clear just how fucking lame they were, and how fucking lame I had been for liking them. Thankfully punk saved my life years later and the only lame thing I’ve liked since then was the first season of The Hills. I initially thought Lauren Conrad was hot until I noticed how repeatedly greasy her hair was- which is why I couldn’t get into following seasons of the show.

My First FIGHT Words by EDMUND LAM

My family immigrated here from Hong Kong in January 1985, when I was six years old. The transition was difficult. Being a typical January in Montréal, it was deadly cold, and we were not prepared. It was miserable. School life was not any easier. Laws being what they are in Québec, we, like other immigrants, were put into a program called “welcome class.” The experience was confusing and hostile. All these poor kids were thrown together fresh off the boat, so to speak, no one could speak one another’s language, and it was terrifying. There were race-cliques, and conflicts ensued. On one particular day, I finally had enough of being mocked with Bruce Lee kung fu sounds, so when one unlucky kid walked up to me and began doing that very thing, I wound one up and made an example out of him. Bruce Lee kung fu kick, right in the balls.

Xanthia Ledger I like to think of myself as a bit of a tomboy. I played with the boys in Junior High - basketball and even a bit of touch rugby. I got down with the best of them. But when it comes to blood, I’m a goner! Just the sight of it makes me dizzy and even hearing people talk about it makes me feel queazy. I’m not proud and do my best to hide this fact but what can you do? My younger brother used to taunt me with cuts and scrapes and I nearly died when he explained, in detail, what it was like getting his wisdom teeth removed. When I was 14 I went through a crazy growth spurt. I shot up about 5 inches overnight. My limbs ached and I had no energy. Like every over-protective mother, mine wanted to get me to the doctors for a checkup. I wasn’t too excited about the idea but rallied my spirits, determined not to make a total ass of myself. Sitting in the waiting room, I started to feel ill- like I wasn’t feeling ill enough. My palms were sweaty, my brow clammy, and my breathing a little raspy. “Want me to come in with you?”

“Sure,” I said and my mum led the way. She did most of the talking and I did my best to follow the conversation and nod when needed. “Righto then. Let’s have a look at your blood,” and I felt like I was going to faint. “Want to lie back?” and I eagerly lay down and looked in the opposite direction. I’m not proud of what followed. The doctor extracted about 20 litres of my blood and I gallantly did my best to stay calm. After it was all over, I lay there for a while, just to compose myself, you know. When it was time to leave I slowly sat up before gingerly taking a step. I was surprised by my strength and bravely took another one. Up on both feet I stood tall and with surprising confidence, I looked around. That’s when I spied what looked more like 35 litres of my blood on the doctor’s tray. The rest is history, and my brother didn’t let me live it down for months. Apparently I fainted across the doorway and it took the required efforts of the doctor, my mum, and the receptionist to gather my limbs and get me in the blessed recovery position. I don’t remember a thing, and that’s probably for the best.

My First phobia Photo by leila stambouli · models Véronique Turgeon + Berson Augustin

My First JOb photo by jean Malek · / assisted by Fabrice Gaëtan + Julien Cloutier Labbé / production by Emilie Heckmann + La Cavalerie art direction by Susan MacQuarrie / assisted by Catherine White / Styling by marie-claude guay / hair + make-up by anicko bouchard

Featuring Mathieu Handfield, Sergio Penzera, Gustave Ouimet, Toni Zoppi, Marie-Claude Guay, Artur Gorishti, Leonardo Gentile, Sylvain Beauchamp shot at / Thanks to › Cold Blue · Video MTL ·

My First COIF photoS by mathieu fortin 路 Styling by Jay Forest / Grooming by Patrick Nadeau at orbite Model philippe ouellon

My First BIKE photo by MAXYME G. DELISLE · / assisted by Sara A. Tremblay + Émilie Gauthier / styling by jay forest / assisted by Rosie Desjardins hair + make-up by maïna-militza using Make-up-for-ever + pureology · model Celestine at Folio / shirt by shirt by flippa k, pants + belt by american apparel, shoes by aldo

My First skinny dip photos by jorge camarotti 路 Styling by Olivia Leblanc / model kelly at folio

My First fetish photo by Michael Heilgemeir 路 / Creative Direction by Pascale Georgiev shoes by christian louboutin

My First Vice photo by anouk lessard 路 / Styling by Dang Trinh 路 Cardigan by Filippa K / Scarf + vest, Vintage / pipe + jewelry, Vintage Gascon + Krukowski

My First FLASH photo by MAXYME G. DELISLE · / creative direction + styling by pascale georgiev models Gabrielle + denise, SNAP! interns extraordinaire gabrielle › dress by halston heritage at the bay / Denise › raincoat, vintage

SNAP! Magazine Issue 12