Discrimination

Nazia

Nazia Mirza.jpg

I had the privilege of taking photos of Nazia Mirza and her awesome family a couple months ago. I, so luckily, came across Nazia when I was volunteering photography for Muslim families following Tr*mp's initial attempts at a Muslim travel ban. To me, photographing awesome, families that were targeted by his policies was a way of humanizing people that Tr*mp, and so many others, wanted to paint as dangerous and not sharing in what they believe are Judeo-Christian values. 

Nazia and hubby.jpg

Not only was Nazia’s family extremely warm, fun, and kind, but I later learned that Nazia is doing/has done incredible work to bring awareness to and combat female genital mutilation (FGM) in her former sect of Islam. She was featured in a New York Times article about the subject, describing her experiences as,"To me it's very much like a rape survivor. If you don't say anything, then how are you going to expose it and bring awareness." She continued, "It violates you as a human being and it shouldn't be done, end of story."

In the same way that the #MeToo social media movement has spread, speaking-out about the dangers, stigmas, and the loss of security that she felt as a victim in her sect is critical to helping others empathize, denounce, and move forward with their lives.

It's clear that Nazia has an enormous amount of strength and courage and I was so fortunate to photograph her!

Keep up the amazing work, Nazia!!!

Nazia and Family.jpg


The Blanton Museum - Soundspace

I love this work soooooo much. This wonderful neon sculpture was created by Taveres Strachan. His other awesome works can be found at https://www.facebook.com/TavaresStrachan/

I love this work soooooo much. This wonderful neon sculpture was created by Taveres Strachan. His other awesome works can be found at https://www.facebook.com/TavaresStrachan/

So well-behaved

So well-behaved

I had the privilege of working with The Blanton Museum to take photos of their AWESOME event, SoundSpace: Refugees. The event featured "works written by, performed by, or depicting the experience of refugees. These performances occur throughout the museum in galleries featuring art that touch on refugee themes." It was just gorgeous. People were wonderful, so much diversity in ages and people, and beautiful art in motion and sound on display.

For those that haven't been to The Blanton, it is this succulent jewel of a building on the fringes of the University of Texas at Austin's campus. After you pass through the arches that border the outside entry way, you proceed past the ticket desk (after buying your ticket, duh), and then you're enveloped by this spectacular main hall (you can see it in the background behind my two well-behaved kids). The tile is this rich, marbelized turquoise that reminds me of a flattened bowling ball. And above you hangs a massive ceramic chandelier that looks like a mixture of human organs, plants, and intestines (picture below). My description makes it sound awful and I'm not doing the Blanton or the artist any favors, but I promise it comes from a place of awe and happiness. It's spectacular!

One of the spectacular dancers with a full choir in the background

One of the spectacular dancers with a full choir in the background

So, imagine this exceptional space (so poorly described above) filled with all the vibrancy of artists, musicians, dancers, and singers who are posted-up throughout the Blanton's rooms with their performances bringing static art to life. If there's a better, more child-friendly way of getting kids and families into fine art museums I'd love to hear about it! You can find all of the Blanton's upcoming events here.

Brent Baldwin performing with the backing of a full choir

Brent Baldwin performing with the backing of a full choir

SoundSpace: Refugees is just one performance in a series that The Blanton puts on every couple months. The next SoundSpace event is happening in just two weeks (September September 24, 2017) reflecting on the life of Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitanda. I'll be there with my kids taking photos, so if you see us definitely say "hi"!

Enjoy!