Close

What hate burns, love rebuilds…

musclebeach10-2010-_0002

As we get ready to wave our American flags this weekend, I feel extra proud of our country because of the recent human rights accomplishments we have made with the Supreme Court ruling in support of gay marriage.

162684_481357324756_5538630_n

Now I want us to take our celebration of love and human rights to the black communities of America and put an end to racism, starting with rebuilding the black churches that have been attacked in the South.

daughters-2webWe can not stand back and let their churches burn to the ground as the Confederate Flag flies over their heads.

40170013I was born and raised in South Carolina, so I know how essential churches are to these communities and it breaks my heart that these acts of terrorism, committed by our own citizens, still happen and that we, as a country, are not doing more to prevent them.

belton-07-01webI want to do something to let these communities know that we will not tolerate this kind of violence in our country and that we will help them through this tragedy.

fire-911-07-07web

So I looked for an organization that is raising money to help the black communities rebuild their churches and I found a website created by the Christ Church Cathedral (Episcopal) and I have made a donation.daughters-webBecause when I wave my American flag this weekend, I want to wave it with pride. Pride in the belief that we are a country that stands up for love and human rights for all of its citizens.arannmississippiIf you would like to join me in standing up for love and human rights this Fourth of July, please click here: “What hate burns, Love rebuilds.”

11261802_10153287217550020_5731177427677169330_nThank you for your support and Happy Fourth of July, from my family to yours.

In my perfect world…

…I would live on a street where all of my best friends lived in the houses around me…

…and we would get to do all of this…

… all of the time.

But until my wish comes true…

…I am so grateful for airplanes that bring me to my favorite people who live too far away…


…And guess I’ll settle for a perfect vacation instead.

Thank you Nici, Andy, Margot, Ruby, Alice, Olive and my favorite black cat, Sam. We had an amazing adventure and we can not wait to do it again soon.

It’s All About the Family…

Last week I received this email:

I am looking for someone to take photos of my extended family (13 people ages 3 mos-75 yrs) in Bolinas. We are renting a house there for the weekend for my mom’s birthday. I think we would want some photos of everyone and some of the four nuclear families that make up the 13 people. Your photos are beautiful. I didn’t look at all of them but they seemed to be mostly one person. Do you have any examples of larger groups?

Thanks,
Deborah

So, inspired, I decided to dig through the archives and share some of my favorite Rolleiflex “family”photos…

To see what digital group photos look like click here.

 

Artists & Farmers… October 3rd… Come!

When you visit a new town, what is the best way to get to know that new town and community? We think the best way to get to know a community is through the food and the art.

So we want to celebrate the Artists and Farmers who make our community unique by sharing their faces and stories. I am working on this project with a very talented team of people, including Beau Bouverat who made this film:

ARTISTS & FARMERS: *the SHEPHERD & the DOLLMAKER…,

We are just now getting started with the documentation of Sonoma County, and we still have a long way to go to tell the story of this one county. But we want to share what we have so far with other people who are interested in celebrating community through our Artists and Farmers.

So we are throwing a free Artists & Farmers event at Cornerstone Gardens on October 3rd from 11-4 pm. There will be:

Live music by Arann Harris and the Farm Band, The Easy Leaves and David Luning.

Food to taste and buy from some of our local farmers.

Art demonstrations, as well as finished art pieces to admire, made by some of our local artists.

A photo booth for you to take your own artist and farmer portraits.

And some of the portraits that we have taken so far will be on display.

So if you like food and art. Or if you grow food or make art… then please come and celebrate with us on October 3rd.

If you are an artist or farmer in Sonoma County and you would like to be a part of this project then please leave a comment or send me an email.

Dallas: their words with my photographs…

I was hired by Re:Vision to go to Dallas and find people to tell the story of Dallas. Re:vision is hosting an architectural contest to build a community in one city block of downtown Dallas. Their premise is, “building community one city block at a time.” So Re:Vision wanted to show the architects a multimedia piece that would help them design a community that will fit the wants and needs of the people of Dallas… and they hired me (insert huge smile here) to do so.

Just in case you don’t know me… this is exactly the kind of documentary work I want to do in life!

The multimedia piece is still under construction, but because it has been such a long time since my last post,  I wanted to at least share something from my amazing journey. And because the Rolleiflex photos don’t work as well in the multimedia piece, I thought I would let them shine on their own here.

So, below you will find a series of photographs and quotes from many different Dallas residents. The photographs do not necessarily line up with the quotes, meaning the faces might not match the voices. This is just an experiment, so please feel free to leave your critiques in the comments below.

I hope you enjoy getting to know Dallas as much as I did.

00890005

“How does the rest of The World see Dallas? Nobody knows how The World sees Dallas.”

00890003

“We’re going from a typical American 1950’s city, where people went to work and everyone lived out and around. We are trying hard to create a downtown area where people can live, work, and play… a dense, urban, vibrant, fun downtown.”

paigegreen-00820010

“Having a place around which the community meets is enormously important and you don’t realize it until you get to a place where it doesn’t happen.”

00880001

“Nobody walks here, so you don’t meet people and share a sense of space and community.”

00890008

“That is why community is around church, high school football and The Cowboys.”

00950002

“You’ve got all that space. You can take any one of a number of thoroughfares and it’s amazing how far out the Dallas Area Metroplex goes. And then when you finally get out there and it is The West in the movies.”

00950012

“Community in suburbs is tough because the architecture creates islands. You close your door at the back and you don’t see each other. You come and you go, and it’s just classic.”

00860003

“It’s just a big old sprawling, sunbelt, southern, western, nutty, consumer, crazy… it’s just classic. It’s the best of the best and the worst of the worst in this genre of community.”

paigegreen-00880002

“The question is, do you need a core anymore? Does the core matter? I think it should. For density. We’re supposed to get 5 million people over the next 25 years, where are you going to put them?”

lechleitner-twins

“Dallas has the largest amount of open land. To be efficient and good stewards of the environment, we have to work on density. We can’t move people up the highway further and further.”

00820002

“Today there is the economic segregation that was brought about by racial segregation. Now the Black middle class is gone.”

singleton-family

“This city will not be successful until it talks about education. Over 90% of kids in the Dallas Independent School District qualify for free or reduced lunches.”00930004

“So, the number one problem facing Dallas, is reducing poverty.”

stan-gardner

“I think a lot of people have a good life here and are real happy about it. Happy to take their kids out of Dallas schools and put them in private schools or suburban schools.”

madison-martin

“Other people who aren’t doing so well, they find joy in their lives, but they would find more joy with better opportunities. If we could get together, we could create a community that would work better for everyone.”

eric-centraldallasministies

“This project could be the rallying point. By saying, “This is what it means to be community. This is what it means to come together, and to have access to the tools we need, and define our own values and goals, to execute this as a group and a neighborhood.””

catherine-cuellar

“Dallas is a minority majority city with one third Black, one third White, one third Latino… and the Latino population is growing. We’ll be more than 50% Latino in 20 years.”

00840006

“Most people here aren’t from here. A lot of the ideas here came from other places, but it’s still Texas. It has that real quality.”

robert-romano1

“It’s a lot more cosmopolitan than people give it credit for. When I travel everyone thinks it’s a backwards hick town because of that stupid show in the 70’s. People get past that and its an OK place.”

00910004

“Dallas is playing catch up. It’s a vibrant city that doesn’t know it is vibrant. So much culture, but so little comes to the surface, you have to find it.”

00820004

“Downtown Dallas made a mistake when it decided to bury its pedestrian life. We have underground tunnels with businesses, as a result you don’t see people, they are all moles underground.”

00920011

“I fight The Underground everyday of my life. You can spend the whole day in the air-conditioning without ever going outside. My opinion is that it’s the downfall of downtown. But slowly people coming up to the street level.”

00900001

“We all sort of live in a bubble and we don’t see the rest of the world. We certainly don’t see it through the eyes of people that live there, or work there, or pray there.  Sometimes we don’t even know it exists and we make a lot of judgements thinking we know the world, when we don’t.”

congostreet

“I think 80% of Dallas cares; there has just never been a way to get involved to bring it together.”

tremeese-andrews

“Because of the cost of fuel, people are coming back downtown, so we have an opportunity to plan development and new pockets of life. It will be interesting to see what happens downtown.”

00850003

“Dallas needs to start to figure out what we can do as a city to make life better for everyone… easier, less expensive with green building and mass transit. Dream bigger.”

paul-wetbrook

“Things change. Maybe they will revert back to being more compact, to where people exercise more, save energy, start walking, and say, “hello,” to people.”

00890010

“We are on the cutting edge of some things, and we are behind the times on some things, but we are going to get there.”

00930002

“Dallas knows where it needs to go.”

00890001

“It’s one of the World’s great cities. It is only going to get better because the people I know who are involved are all working on it. There is not a person here that doesn’t want to work on it. There’s lots to be done and it’s promising.”

project HERE… with John Crowley

This is John Crowley, he is the definition of community in Petaluma.

About 7 years ago, this Irishman decided he was tired of sitting alone in his Petaluma home, watching TV on Saturday nights… and he realized he was probably not the only one who felt that way, so he decided to make a change. He started with a simple pub-crawl with a theme: bring a book that changed your life and share it with people you meet. And as people started emerging from their homes and back into the community, the pub-crawls turned into conversation cafes, drum circles, open-mic nights, movie nights and more. Now Crowley has his own cafe where he can hold as many different kinds of community events as he wants and the people of Petaluma don’t have any excuses to sit at home alone anymore.

The reason I photographed John Crowley is for. Project HERE.

Project HERE is a cool community project started by Tyler Young. He is trying to pump up the community spirit in Petaluma by profiling inspiring people like John Crowley. The goal is to create a poster of each person with quotes about why it is so great to live HERE in Petaluma. And when we have enough posters at the end of the summer, we will have a show.

So, me, the photographer obsessed with the concept of community, I was psyched when Tyler called and asked me to help out. I am working on editing my interview with John Crowley now, but first I wanted to share my portrait of him.

I had a vision of John in the street with thousands of people behind him… but my vision came to me on Friday and the notice was posted on Saturday… so the fact that we got 30 people to come on a random Monday night, with only two days notice and without offering anything free… makes me pretty happy.

And in conclusion, I like my portrait of John Crowley and I am super grateful to the people who came out and I really hope it will work for the campaign.

Cabaret on The Bay 2008 – sneak peek in black and white

When I moved to California in 2001, I learned about the concept of ‘community’ with these people.

That concept has shaped my life ever since, so it is only fitting that I now apply my theme of documenting communities to my own community.

So, welcome to my community. My community of characters, who I met one-way-or-another through Walker Creek Ranch, Marin County’s Outdoor Education School, celebrated life together last week with a Cabaret on the Bay Party.

I celebrated our celebration by taking portraits. A lot of portraits, and because my scanner is not the best, my color scans need a lot of work just so they look normal. But the glorious black and white, of which I may have fallen in love with all over again, is close to perfect, no tweaking necessary.

Enjoy.

Not in Reidville….but not that far away…..

I was driving to see some Reidville ladies in a nursing home and I came across this brightly colored building that did not seem to match the others in the neighborhood…..and then I saw the Buddha Statue and the monks and thought of my friend Claudia in Bhutan so I had to stop.

It is a Buddhist community originally from Laos. They are building a new temple “for everyone,” they tell me…like a church.

They have three monks and hope to get six more. The monks don’t speak English and I don’t speak Laotian so we just smiled and nodded and took each other’s pictures.

And then I was invited to eat……wow, it was so good. I didn’t know it was possible to make such authentic Asian cuisine in South Carolina…..”it is healthy too,” they tell me, “it won’t make you fat, like American food.”

While I was pleased to find this culturally different pocket in rural South Carolina, an area that is not used to change, I was not so sure that the neighbors would be as pleased. But, I was assured that everyone in the neighborhood had been really friendly and many have stopped by to see what they are doing.

Later that night, I was sharing my experience with some teachers at the Elementary School in Reidville and it turns out one of the teachers lives near the first temple they built. She told me soon after they moved into the neighborhood dogs started disappearing and one day a neighbor asked if she had seen the new cookbook, “101 Ways to Wok Your Dog.”

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 187 other followers

%d bloggers like this: