Hello hello. We are currently in Dahab, Egypt, about to head back around the Red Sea and up to the white city. This trip has been one of the highest highs and down low lows. Yesterday we climbed Mt.Sinai, where that Moses dude lurked a long time ago and got messages from god. On the way back we saw this German couple on a fancy schmancy BMW motorsickle, riding it from Europe to South Africa for the World Cup of soccer. We were very jealous. But then we remembered we were having the time of our lives. Highlights include going to the White Desert, which is amazing and sort of like being on the moon, and seeing a performance of Sudanese musicians playing traditional Zar music (subcultural set of songs and instruments used for healing and living etc). I don’t know, it’s all blurring together, but I’ll be posting up photos soon. Until then, take a look at the wonderful illustration below by Lori D. It makes me a wee bit homesick.
away over a month and one post!? well, i’m now in the southern hemisphere and it is something else. the atmosphere, climate and people are just what we needed after a cold (albeit sunny) stay in the UK. after way too much overpriced pub food, delicious hummous will be coming out of my ears by the time we leave here. and there should be many photos to come. until then, i need to get some of these scotland ones up. as i write this someone is apparently trying to learn the saxophone on an adjacent balcony. gotta start somewhere, right?
my mom and brother navigating the spring thaw.
i think that’s the isle of arran in the background, but that’s another story for a later day.
this is one of my favourite places in the world, one of those inexplicable things you just feel.
A WALK TO THE SHEEPY HILL, LARGS, SCOTLAND
obviously teenagers party here and proceed to break their bottles. think of the sheep!
it was cold, yeah, but also sort of like being in a fairytale.
On our first day in London we fended off jetlag by going to the Burroughs market and buying some very fine foods. We then proceeded to chat about archaeology and photography and books and travels and everything at my cousin’s place. The craziest thing about London, which you notice immediately, is that everyone is stylish! A far cry from the sweatpants with ‘UBC’ prominent across the ass or lulu lemon everything. But if the world weren’t different we wouldn’t feel inclined to travel about, right?
i’ve left the continent, i’m in scotland right now and will likely be over in europe for some time. i realized it might be nice to post some images and words from my travels. i am finding it hard to write anything because there is currently a very large tv in my mom’s living room playing some distracting quiz show. we are heading out to a pub quiz in an hour. anyways, inaugural travel post! with completely unrelated images! these are of the bloedel conservatory in vancouver, my home always. i had a very wonderful day there, it’s quite a place, and i wish there were late night live jazz and booze at bloedel, but that’s my only criticism… (i guess the same thing could be said of a lot of places though…) *rhianon
I’m currently putting together an application for a grad school program in Amsterdam on global environmental governance. It’s a really fascinating field that covers all kinds of issues, from climate change to pollution to genetically modified crops. I wrote a paper on the latter during my last year at UBC that was published in 2008 University of British Columbia Journal of Political Studies and I thought I’d put it up if anyone was interested. The paper focuses on Africa but the issue of genetically engineered crops is something that is increasingly affecting us all.
“Since the mid-1990s, numerous actors, including NGOs, states, regional bodies and international organizations, have recognized the need for regional if not continental consensus on biosafety regulations, especially due to the ability of GEOs to cross boundaries and borders. While acknowledging that it is important for sub-Saharan Africa to remain open to technological breakthroughs that can increase agricultural production and food security, there are a number of challenges that affect the region’s ability to explore this possibility in the precautionary and comprehensive manner that is required.”
I’ve been letting this slip because I’ve been busy, busy, busy.
I’m currently doing a temporary contract internship with local non-profit The Community Access Program (CAP). It gives funding for public computers/internet access to other non-profits around the Lower Mainland, such as centres for women, seniors and youth, and well as libraries and education centres. I’ve created the CAPYI Magazine Online for their Youth Internship program and have been documenting the people and places involved with CAP, many of which are located in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.
Also, I did an essay-style article for Canadian Biker, this time on the Canadian Army Veterans motorcycle unit for the Oct/Nov issue. The article is called “Blood, Sweat and Tires” and you can still find the issue on news stands but eventually I will post it here.
My most recent article for Color Magazine, entitled “We Are Not Style Icons,” is featured on the cover of the newest issue. The cover photo is a portrait of Jason Dill (taken by Mike Piscitelli), who was one of a handful interviewed for the article. There’s loads of other interesting stuff within those pages too. The issue is hitting news stands on September 25th.
I studied in the south of France for a semester in 2006. While there I took any chance I got to travel around with my skateboard, camera and some friends. The editor at Color Magazine mentioned that he’d heard rumours that Barcelona as the skateboard mecca was “over” and wondered if I felt this was true. I got to thinking about how traveling – whether it involves a two hour drive or a voyage around the world – has been so important to skateboarders. There something quite amazing about the flexibility of the act of skateboarding and its ongoing interaction with architecture and cities. The innumerable ways in which this interaction can play out with a given place, time, and individual is the really fascinating bit. Here’s a short piece that I wrote and co-photographed for Color while I was overseas.
EUROPE OR BUST
Out of the Bloom (Color 4.1 – Winter/Spring 2006)
by rhianon bader
What is it that makes us constantly search for the untouched, for the treasure chest that holds everything we could’ve ever imagined? The thing with skateboarding is that, like any passion, it cannot provide us with the same feelings of excitement, reward and adrenalin, always and forever. Skateboarding can continue to be the cause of some of the most enjoyable moments in our lives, but the longer we skate and the older we get the harder it is to thoroughly feel the same attachment that we felt in the beginning. I read in a National Geographic about how the ecstatic feelings we get from “being in love” with someone must end after a certain number of months simply because the chemicals our brain releases to give us that feeling will eventually diminish, basically for the sake of maintaining our sanity. The brain would be overloaded if it felt that good all the time. In the same way, the passions we have in life cannot keep the same hold on us as they did in the beginning. But if we are truly dedicated we find ways to make it work, to create “special moments” that reacquaint us with those initial butterflies… perhaps by simply reserving Sunday afternoons for beer/bowl sessions, using long-weekends to take short roadtrips to somewhere new, or skating around downtown solo late at night while the common folk of the world are sleeping. By circumstance and choice, some of us go further, less like lovers trying to keep the magic and more like an addict trying to relive that first high.
Selector Magazine is a brand new large-format, Vancouver-based, and internationally-focused publication to be put out periodically (once or twice a year) by some of the people involved with the Lifetime Collective. The first issue came out in early 2009 and has work from John Copeland, Radio Silence, Michael Jager, Vincent Skoglund, Jody Rogac, Taro Hirano and more. I was asked to interview Main St. (Vancouver) artist Paul Wong, who has created visual works in the video medium for over three decades. See interview below.
PAUL WONG: VIDEO & YOUTH
(Selector Magazine Issue 1 – Spring/Summer 2009)
by rhianon bader
RB: You got into video at a pretty young age, when you were still in high school. What was it about that medium that drew you to it?
PW: Two things: video and youth. One, video was the new young medium, this new generation of technology that had become available and it was really through the need to embrace this as a young person… It made it really spontaneous, with sound and picture, you could record and have instant playback… Really DIY, figure it out yourself, and the medium allows that. Also the fact that had nothing whatsoever to do with any of the other arts, television, or film – it was kind of out there on its own, so I was left to my own devices, free of all those conventions, traditions and rules. There were no rules.
And I’m sure it was much more affordable and accessible than working with film.
Well, yeah. I was never interested in film, I’m not even that interested in film now. I found that whole filmmaking milieu boring as shit, I find most of those people odious, conventional, career-orientated… I was the bastard child, the weirdo, I was the outsider, but I’m still here.