Marie Fonbah is an observant, moon-spirited black girl born in 2000. She is located in California, and she is the founder of Adolescent Creatures zine. She refers to her work as “exploring and documenting human nature in bold detail, raw yet unresolved emotion, and nature-centered”. In her free time she is either creating music playlists that define her every mood, finding herself in the deep wonders of the mysterious web, or feeding her knowledge through films, books, and long essays about sisterhood, black empowerment, mental illness, environmental justice, and more. You can find her photo blog here, she tweets at @marief473.
"The inspiration towards my photography usually comes from the rawness of human nature, adventure, and of course nature itself, and how they intersect. I have an appreciation for documented memories, and within that, bold details and realness, and in these photos I hoped to capture the joy and solace felt in adventure, plus the beauty in black boy joy."
"The project of a summer began with the notion of freezing different objects and photographing the results under different lighting conditions to attempt to preserve the purity of colors as they may be seen in nature. I was restricted to a very small area of land, and had to use found objects in my proximity. After collecting flowers in the garden and freezing them, obtaining better results than I expected I began to add found objects, such as three abandoned and broken windows, old books, as well as different utensils. The purpose of the study was to observe the interaction of all these objects in different situations, under diverse lighting conditions, in the studio, and in the case of the images here, mostly natural light. "Church," is a photograph which I took at Salisbury cathedral in England, printed, then placed into water and subsequently froze. "Later," "Staining the View," and "Window Pain," use one of the windows at different stages of the study, as I later painted it with a number of found paints. The project thus began with a simple idea, and because of the restrictions of space, allowed me in fact,\ to further explore possibilities by including a number of other objects."
"Overall, I would describe my work as 'tongue-in-cheek environmentalism', where I pair the clear beauty of nature with the less appealing effect humans have on their environment. I'm not trying to take a stance of an educated environmentalist, but merely a person observing how we leave a mark on the world. In my most recent work, such as 'Artificial Habitat', I make more of a conscious attempt to place these elements into one image, while my other projects are meant to be viewed as a series. 'Artificial Habitat' is an ongoing body of work, documenting the world around me through the lens of a 21-year-old mentally ill college woman on the verge of graduation, and her entrance into the 'real world'."
what is girl plus ___?
"girl plus ___ is a project that aims to explore spaces & the women that live there. i started this photo series as a way to share my girl gang with the world. all of my friends were doing really incredible things, spreading light in their own way and fulfilling creative endeavors that spoke to them, and it felt like someone outside of our circle should know. it’s a cool thing to create a little corner of the internet for “your kind of people,” and then make connections beyond that. definitely something i had not taken advantage of prior to this project!
i really hope that with these photos and interviews, readers/viewers can visit the world of each person, make connections, bridge the gap, and hopefully see a little bit more of their own potential in the process. what started as a fun side project has become much more purposeful, and i’d love to keep moving in that direction. as always, i’m super thankful for each visitor and whatever impact (if any) these stories have on their lives. my beginning statement has always been the most important truth of this project and i think it’s the best way to give you the gist: we embrace both the mundane & the extraordinary. each person is a tiny, incredible star in the universe. "
excerpts from girl + brooklyn
head over to http://girl--plus.com/ for more photos and interviews from brooklyn, austin, manhattan, dallas and san luis obispo.
at the whitney museum of art, meatpacking district, manhattan
i spent my first month in new york roaming around the city aimlessly, totally solo and without a clue. enter christina: the saving grace i met one sunday after church who heaved me out of my solitude and into the frenzy that is her nyc social life.
christina is currently in grad school at colombia studying arts administration, & she'll probably be running coachella and acl one day so keep an eye out for this one...she's rad.
"After working as a fashion/lifestyle publicist for a couple of years, I decided I needed a change. So I went back to school. It has been amazing. I feel like I'm exploring new interests and possibilities I had never considered. I am excited about the future. However, having to do homework after thinking I was done with that part of my life can be annoying, but it's only for a short time. I'll deal."
where are you from? I spent my formative years in Cincinnati, OH, but I also claim Houston, TX and Richmond, VA. It depends on who I'm talking to.
what do you do? I am a graduate student at Columbia University studying Arts Administration, which is basically a nonprofit business management degree with a focus on the arts. I'm hoping to work in music festival planning and programming one day, but recently I've been obsessed with idea of working at the Brooklyn Museum or BAM.
style is...mixed prints, bright colors, funky African prints.
i start every morning…by checking my horoscope. If it's positive, it's like a pep talk. If not, I'm like these are all lies! Haha
one thing i couldn't live without...my planner. I'm a Virgo...
3 women i admire: Erykah Badu, Solange Knowles, and Cipriana Quann of Urban Bush Babes on the basis of their style.
i am most well-known for...being the social coordinator for my friends. I really enjoy bringing people together.
vintage is...for mixing with new pieces.
i like it when girls...can accept a compliment without feeling the need to reciprocate or deny it. It really is an art.
i like it when guys...are feminists.
lipstick...should be bold/make you feel bold.
the best outfit i ever wore...navy loose top with white polka dots tucked into my favorite high-waisted paisley pants with black booties. I wore it to the BK Museum Artist Ball recently, and I got compliments all night long. I felt like the belle of the ball.
everyday…is a new day.
the best thing about Brooklyn is...diversity. Diverse neighborhoods, diverse people, and diverse things to do. I can't get enough.
currently reading: White Teeth by Zadie Smith
currently listening to: Mean Lady, Tei Shi, and Tennis
favorite phrase or quotation: "You are who you think you can't be."
i'll never forget...the day I moved to Brooklyn. August 16, 2012.
i'll always...have my nose ring. I'd feel naked without it.
at her home in greenpoint, brooklyn
joy is defined as "a source or cause of keen pleasure or delight; something or someone greatly valued or appreciated; elation." i think it's safe to say that, for anyone that knows her, joy is so far living up to her name. no small feat!
truly, i've never met anyone that is so full of life and laughter. it's easy to photograph someone with so much gusto and i couldn't have enjoyed my visit to her home more. thanks for having me!
"I have filled my room with things that make me happy. I like to call it my Tacky Nightclub. I have weird things everywhere, pink flamingos, SNL prints, a 7’ inflatable shark, a disco ball and a whole ton of color everywhere in between. You can find wigs and costume pieces under my bed just in case there is a parade outside that I need to run out and join.
It feels pretty good to wake up every morning under a disco ball. I don't want my main environment to be serious. I want to laugh and for it to feel like it’s truly me, so a jumbled mess of crazy things that somehow maybe work together. It helps me feel more creative. I like how bright it is. My mood lifts when I’m in it. My whole apartment is like that though, bright. I don't have a closet and I used to not love that all my clothes are hanging on a rack in my room, but now I love it. It’s like art, but I get to wear it everyday. My favorite thing about my place though, is the amount of people that are in it. I feel like it is a great place for friends to come and hang and laugh. I always wanted to have a place that friends want to come to and now I think I do. So come over anytime!"
where are you from? Germantown Hills, Illinois.
what do you do? Wardrobe for film/ tell dumb jokes.
style is...whatever you feel like so that you are no longer naked
i start every morning…telling myself to freakin get out of bed already Joy!!
one thing i couldn't live without...deodorant (being honest here).
3 women i admire: My mom, Tina Fey, My past professor Dr. Brunson.
i am most well-known for my...very loud voice…and laugh.
vintage is for...everything but underwear.
i like it when girls...are unafraid to tell risky jokes.
i like it when guys...laugh at those jokes.
lipstick...I start with it on, but somehow it never stays.
the best outfit i ever wore...I have one of those very large t-shirts with a bikini painted on it, whenever I wear that and roller blades, I feel pretty damn good.
everyday…I watch something that will make me laugh, most likely an SNL clip.
the best thing about greenpoint is...the amount of old polish men always drinking on their stoops.
currently reading: Yes Please by Amy Poehler.
currently listening to: Killin the Vibe by Ducktails.
favorite phrase or quotation: “Life’s short. Stunt it.” –Rod Kimble aka Hot Rod (and every other line in that movie).
i’ll never...say no to ice-cream.
i'll always...stop for ice-cream.
in greenpoint, brooklyn
tiffany: one part production coordinator, one part editor, one part creator, all parts texan. she's a fellow austin ex-pat turned new yorker, incredibly busy 24/7, and has a funny obsession with this chris isaak music video (it's fantastic, if you were wondering).
she's also the creator/editor of voyeur, a personal project that takes a look at the daily lives of people via disposable cameras, so she's no stranger to the film game. lucky us...
name: Tiffany Diane Tso
where are you from? Texas!
what do you do? I work in production for PHHHOTO and am the Features Director for LADYGUNN Magazine.
style is...better than fashion.
i start every morning...by trying to bargain with my alarm clock for more sleep.
one thing i couldn't live without...laughter.
3 women i admire: My grandmother, for raising six children of her own and still having the generosity to take two more in. My mother, for coming to this country without much and making a career for herself. Women writers.
i am most well-known for my...disgusting humor and tiny hands.
i like it when girls...are chillers.
i like it when guys...are Southern.
the best outfit i ever wore...was probably patterned.
everyday...is the worst/best.
currently reading: I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings.
currently listening: to a lot of Wiz Khalifa.
favorite phrase or quotation: "From my rotting body, flowers will grow, and I am in them, and that is eternity." - Edvard Munch
i’ll never...smoke cigarettes.
emma is a writer & photographer currently living in new york city.
you can see more of her work here: www.emmacbanks.com or say hi on instagram, @emmacbanks.
MRCZ (Marcos) is a Brazilian artist born in 1991. He was born into a small town of ~3000 people and lived for years in a countryside house with his parents, which he believes to have changed him forever. He currently lives in the large city of Porto Alegre where he works in publicity. He started his artistic work in 2015, creating daily between college design courses and work. His main objective was to make something he could pour his entire heart into - to immerse himself completely. His productions are a way of expressing the challenges that come with the responsibilities of adulthood in a grand city. His inspirations include comics, music, the human mind and its gimmicks, philosophy, fiction and science. You can find more of his work here.
"I’ve been fascinated with light and the mechanics of photography for a long time. This collection of photos was about trying to capture the flow of natural light, using the southern coasts of Cape Town, South Africa, as a subject. I wanted to try and capture the mood of the environment in Cape Town in winter: cold, rainy, brooding and wet. The exposures were long enough that the ocean ended up looking almost like clouds, smoky and flowing, rather than the crispness that comes with regular exposures.
I prefer the process of taking landscapes on film and the texture that comes with the medium. Taking long exposures on film without any reference about the results is always a bit unnerving, but it’s also more exciting when you finally get back the images. Shooting with film also forces me to really slow down and carefully focus on the frame I want, as looking at the image I took and doing a quick correction of course isn’t possible. Every shot becomes more tangible. The way light moves is never really predictable, so getting back the negatives is, for me, a more interesting process than getting immediate feedback from a digital screen and then snapping off tons of pictures till you eventually get what you want. I’ve learnt to embrace the imperfections rather than dwell on them."
"I'm primarily a writer. With my writing, I am sometimes inspired and write what comes, but more often than not, I craft something -- I work it. I want to make it so and I work until I get it so.
Not so with my art. My art is about play. I don't know very much about what I'm doing, and I am all right with that. I'm also all right if viewers don't know either. Not knowing is all right.
My art starts out as a photograph. Most of what I photograph is found (I see a possibility within an object) or created (I mix some shit up and see what happens). I then play with the photographs -- manipulate them is probably the more technical term -- but I prefer play. I try, I play. Sometimes I like the result, but I always like the play.
Color is important to me, and so are shapes, particularly round ones. Round, colorful shapes really do it for me."
Christine Brandel is a writer and photographer. In 2013, she published the chapbook, Tell This To Girls: The Panic Annie Poems, which the IndieReader described as a "well-crafted, heartbreakingly vivid set of poems, well worth a read by anyone whose heart can bear it." To balance that, she also writes a column on comedy for PopMatters and rights the world's wrongs via her character Agatha Whitt-Wellington (Miss) at Everyone Needs An Algonquin.
1. Pick a photo you've taken that represents you best. Why did you choose it?
That's a very tough question. I'd like to think there is one photograph that instantly gives you an idea of what all my pictures will be like, but I take such a variety of photographs, so it's difficult to pick one that truly represents me. If I had to pick one, it would be the green camper van with the red scooter in the foreground (top row, far right). The reason being that it's instantly familiar, because everyone knows a vw camper van when they see it, but it's very unfamiliar at the same time; the road, pavement and trees that frame it all look very tropical. I suppose it's a bit of a metaphor for how it feels to arrive in a new country.
2. What are the two most influential experiences you've had while taking photos?
3. What's your favourite camera? Why?
My Canon AE-1. Firstly, it looks beautiful; it has a very classy design that I love and it’s weight gives it an extremely good quality feel. It has survived quite a few drops, bumps and bashes over the last couple of years and still works perfectly. There are a number of good quality lenses available for it, which makes it really versatile, so it's always my go-to camera. On top of all that, it can make some wonderful photographs. Even the bad ones sometimes have a bit of hidden magic in them that you don't get from other cameras. Oh, and the “CHICKA” it makes when you take a photograph is very satisfying.
4. Do you find that it's easier to find different perspectives while specializing in travel photography because you're constantly immersed in unfamiliar environments?
Most definitely. It's easy to get comfortable in a familiar environment and take the features around you for granted, no matter how astonishing they may be. I live in Edinburgh, one of the most picturesque cities in the world, but I often have to remind myself to actually take photographs when I'm here. Although when I visit a generic small town, I suddenly have the urge to capture everything in my sights. The moment your brain registers something for the first time is the best time to get creative with it.
5. Some of your photography is fairly abstract. Do you have an idea of what these images are going to look like while you're shooting them or is developing the roll just sort of a pleasant surprise?
I suppose the beauty of film photography is that you never really know exactly what you're going to get, whether you're searching for the abstract or not. I will plan some of the shots to a degree and the more I experiment, the more I learn what to expect.
Some of my favourite abstract pieces were entirely accidental and I have no recollection of taking them at all.
6. Lastly, why is photography important (both to you and as a general art form)?
Photography is important to me because it gives me an opportunity to capture my own perspective and share it with others, I also appreciate other people's photography as it gives me the chance to see their unique perspective. It is endlessly interesting to me that different people can capture the exact same thing in so many different ways. That's what it all boils down to for me.
Manuel is a photographer hailing from Edinburgh, Scotland. Favouring 35mm film, he takes his camera anywhere he thinks may be interesting and is recognized for his travel photography, particularly around South East Asia and Australia. His photographs are not always clear, crisp and easy to decipher; he chases the abstract by using bizarre development and exposure techniques, and has a love for expired film.
Manuel's photographs have been featured in two recent exhibitions:
Analogue Photography Exhibition (Scottish Fashion Creative Network) July 2015 @ The Biscuit Factory, Edinburgh
Life: only happening once, February 2016 @ Cabaret Voltaire, Edinburgh
Find Manuel on Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram.
Check out his photozine here!