DIVE in Athens New Renaissance Magazine

Athens New Ren Magazine published two editorials I did in the Issue 8. Check out the story in the link. When I found one of the locations I died a little and went to heaven- hope you like. Stylist Jona Ottesen MakeUp&Hair Ástrós Erla Benediktsdóttir Model Anna Rakel Glad Róbertsdóttir Assistant María Ása Audunsdóttir.  With Designs from Float. Helicopter. Eygló. Twinwithin.

Editorials.

I like seeing what people wear. What makes them at ease. What makes them shy or maybe awkward. I like confusing things. What items they should wear. What character trait I want magnified. What kind of story I wanna tell. Today. Are they in heat? Does the outfit imply so? Are they about to kill someone? Will that outfit give it away. Give the victim a chance to run. Are they nurturing someone. I put them in a foreign location and say. "Play".  I know some of the answers. Not that it goes by plan ever. Good. Why do it if you know how it will turn out? I wonder what outfit will fit. The stylist wonders too. What lipstick to choose. The make up artist wonders too. What lenses to use. What music to play. What light to set up. The model is ready. Everything is ready. Nothing is ready. We're doing it anyway. Thank god for fashion (editorials). 

6 new editorials shot, art directed and produced in Iceland by yours truly coming soon...

Here are my wonderful collaborators and talents that I worked with-

Designers and Wardrobe: Another Creation (Ýr Þrastardóttir). Helicopter. JÖR. Float. Eygló. Twin Within. ZARA. Gyllti kötturinn. Spútnik. Topshop.

Models: Sunna Margrét. Anna Rakel Glad. Urður Bergsteins. Alexandra Kristjáns. Jón Albert. Anna Ólafs. Eyjólfur Júlíus. Hekla Nína. Najmo Cool. Tara Líf. Kristín Lilja.

Stylists: Anna Clausen. Júlía Tómas. Jóna Ottesen. Salvör Thorlacious.

Hair and MuARTISTS: Ástrós Erla Benediktsdóttir. Ásta Haraldsdóttir

Make it Personal

Sometimes I lie awake at night. I have this guilt. This guilt while I and my circle of friends and family can sleep in our comfy beds and indulge in our first world problem worries. "Do I make enough money. Will he call. Will my boss like the last edit. What should I wear. Should I go vegan. How many calories in a glass of wine. I wonder if the teacher really likes Jacob. Who am I? What do I really want." And in the midst of these privilege worries. There is a world of people. Just like me. Just like my circle. A world of SHE's. She might look like me. She might have my nieces eyes. Or my best friends walk. She might have my weird laugh or my nervous habit of biting my nails. She probably at some point had a dream. Or a fantasy. Maybe her dream was simpler than mine. Perhaps it wasn't at all. Maybe it was even bigger than I can ever imagine. But tonight or any other night she won´t be getting lost in her daydream or have the freedom or means to indulge in random mundane first world problems. Tonight her focus is survival. That is if she isn't just praying for it to be all over. Tonight she isn't sleeping at all. She is in some house. In some apartment. In some warehouse. On some boat. In some motel room. In some car. In some slum. In some palace. In some garage. In some strip club. In some hotel. In some cell. In some fancy condo. And she is a slave. And tonight she will be raped. If she is lucky. Only once. But if she is not.... and then tomorrow morning when I wake up and worry about what to wear and complain about the MTA and upset that I have to cancel my date because of work, upset my paycheck wasn't in the mail. Worrying about seeing Mali at lunch and why the reception on my phone isn't working fully. She will still be in some house. In some apartment. In some warehouse. On some boat. In some motel room. In some car. In some slum. In some palace. In some garage. In some strip club. In some hotel. In some cell. In some fancy condo. Hoping and praying that today nothing will happen. That today the door won't open. That today she won't have to be in pain. That maybe she can daydream about this freedom she heard about through the grapvine. That her body will get a chance to heal the soarness, the burn, the rawness the pain. But just then the door opens. And today she will be raped. If she is lucky only once. But if she is not....

There are more slaves in the world today than ever before in History. Fear, Corruption and the hidden nature of modern day slavery makes it impossible to truly understand the enormity of the issue. An estimate 27 million people around the world are victims of human trafficking.

And every 30 seconds. EVERY 30 SECONDS another person becomes a silent victim. Sex trafficking can be a life sentence of no life but violence, torture and rape.

It's a topic I am consumed with. Here is a rough tease of my campaign 'Make it Personal'

 

More to come. Half the Sky or Human Trafficking around the world/Hidden in plain sight are great reads. I just like to think we can be better at being human beings than we are being.

 

The Apartment

I sat down one day to write. A short story I thought. Maybe a script. I had this idea. It was simple. It was about an apartment. A month later I stood up from the spot I had sat in and I had written a 160 page book. I was super proud. Put it away, feeling like there was nothing I couldn't do. And then a year later in January 2015 I dug it up again to read it. It was terrible. I had clearly been wrong. Plenty of things I couldn't do. Well the concept was pretty good. The basic thoughts were on point but my writing was all around and back. But somehow I wrote it so I must be able to fix it I thought. So I sat down and began to re-read. re-write. re-read. re-write. Until the concept and basic thoughts were no longer just a concept and basic thoughts but a story. A book with now 180 pages. It isn't Shakespeare or Faulkner. But simply a story I felt like writing so I wrote it.

Excerpt from The Apartment:

"I couldn't think about whether I had made a mistake or not. I would never be able to take any of it back. I let Sara's call go to voicemail.“Lisa, its me. Pick up. It's been a month. I need a little lifeline. Also call me. I found a place. For us. It's an apartment in Brooklyn, a brownstone, my friend Jane is moving to Vermont or some shit, so she offered me the place. She offered us the place. We have a few days to decide. Its thursday today. I know its soon, but it's a great spot, you'd love it! Think about it. Is it too soon? Talk to me. k. Bye. Love you.” Part of me wanted to say thank you but no thank you, I'm not ready. But I knew I couldn't hide on Caroline's couch forever and I knew that I couldn't go back to what had been. After a few hours of trying not to think about all theses random and frightening thoughts that were running through my brain. I picked up the phone. “Sara, it's me. I'm in.” 

Looking for an editor- so keep your ears and eyes open. All recommendation truly appreciated. (Who wouldn't want to be the editor of a best selling novel!)

White

How to tell a story. When the script is white. After talking to the designer noriko kikuchi, and listening to her thoughts on white and seeing it in her designs the little film, co-art directed with Anna Moller, almost created itself.  

 Image Anna Moller

Image Anna Moller

Here are noriko kikuchi's thoughts and link to video:

https://norikokikuchi.wordpress.com/projects-2/white/

Brothers Bond known as the Wolfpack

Bravo to the 2015 film The Wolfpack Directed by Crystal Moselle. 

Working one slow monday evening on the Lower East Side in New York, I was staring out the window when 6 men - who looked at first glance as if they'd just walked out of the Matrix trilogy - walked past. Their stunning almost enigmatic look captured my eye immediately. 'Someone must be shooting a film', I thought. I threw my wine key to my boss, said 'I'll be back in 5' and ran out after them. I lost them, they were gone. I stood for a good two minutes on the street, when I noticed a few people in front of me pointing and whispering. I turned around, and there they were. That is how I met the 6 Angulo Brothers: Jagadisa, age 12, Krsna, age 13, Mukunda, age 16, the twins Govinda and Naryana, age 18 and the oldest Bhagavan who was age 19.

This was in October 2010.  That evening as I ran after them I found them sitting in a cafe with girl who looked my age. The brothers looked so young. Much younger than from afar. Some had a smirk. They were pleased to be noticed but surprised too. Some just observed me. And then there was that girl/woman. I remember her blonde hair and her curious questions. I wasn't sure why she was so curious about my intentions. I thought the boys would be more curious than her.  I had no idea what my intentions were. I had just followed an impulse. An impulse that these 6 guys, who turned out to be brothers, had to be captured on film. They didn't say much- not surprising- they didn't know me from jack. I gave them my number and email and told them to reach out if they ever wanted to do a shoot and meet up. Govinda took my note. I remember him smiling at me. The young woman, Crystal Moselle  finally warmed up and then told me she was doing a documentary about them. 5 years later (6 when I am writing this) I was so very happy to hear that her documentary and their remarkable story The Wolfpack won the U.S. Documentary Grand Jury Prize. So well deserved!

In fall of 2013 I had a photography Exhibition in Brooklyn. With their portraits and the story from our afternoon together. The Angulo brothers captivated me then and they still do. Hopefully one day they will let me capture them on film again.

Brooklyn Looks East / B R O T H E R S  B O N D

The Angulos are six brothers that every now and then are seen roaming the streets of the Lower East Side. They hide their innocent eyes behind sunglasses. Their hair reaches down to the back of their thighs and is taken back by a hair tie and with movie star grace they wear their finest suits. Which are dashing and sophisticated, despite being a few sizes too big on some and second hand. I wasn't sure I would ever hear from them but then one day I got a phone call from Govinda and a few weeks after our first encounter on a sunday afternoon I became part of their little world for a few hours.

They live on The Lower East Side with their parents and one sister, and are as close as any brothers can be. They were open to my curious questions but private at the same time. I think they enjoyed having their photographs taken despite it being a fairly cold New York day. There was such a playfulness around them and I constantly felt like they could create a film scenario without any effort. Their similar looks, especially when they all wear their suits, makes one think they are one and the same, but I learned in those hours they each had their own strong personality and their own individual voice and opinions. Some were more vocal than others but they all felt very present, like I had their undivided attention and they mine.

They have been called vampires, mafia kids, killers, drug dealers and worse. It makes a few of them laugh. I see it fires some of them up. Walking the streets with them, you can feel the stares and you can understand how united they stand to hide from a world responding negatively to this image they uphold. However, these brothers are far from any cliche image. They might dress differently and have a unique look but it doesn't take away that Jagadisa, Krsna, Mukunda, Govinda, Naryana and Bhagavan share the same thoughts as other boys their age. They are friendly, polite, sincere, searching, curious and educated kids that talk about wanting to have more friends, to make movies, travel and maybe one day “have a girlfriend” as they say. The 6 brothers have been home schooled their whole life by their mother, something they say they don't really mind - apart from the fact that it does make it harder to meet new people and make friends with kids their own age and (of course) to meet cute girls.

They don't like taking the train unless it's “absolutely necessary”, and find that most things they need are in their hood - although there is a video shop on the Upper East Side they love to go to. Their parents gave them all Hindu names but they are not Indian. The eldest, Bhagavan, works at a yoga studio where he does his practice. And where I ran into him a couple of years after our shoot.  We pass a woman who sells clothes on Ludlow street, and they tell me that she sometimes has great stuff that she gives to them. I learn that their unique clothes are a collection of donations from various people in their Lower East Side hood, although sometimes they find a bargain in second hand stores that they can afford. “We can't afford new things but when we find good stuff or are given good stuff we make it work”. They all deeply love and admire films and the history of cinema, and say their look is inspired by films they love. “We aren't trying to be different, we just think it's a classy look and we love it”.

On this lovely sunday afternoon, these shy and kind brothers taught me more about compassion, empathy, family and love than any kids at their age had done before. I feel honored to have had a chance to meet and capture these 6 brothers and to share their images and story with the world.

Govinda called me a few weeks later and told me he was moving to pursue his dream of becoming a filmmaker. It will be the first time the brothers will be apart for this long, but I am very excited for him. New York 2010

 

 

Source: http://www.thewolfpackfilm.com/