‘Today is the first page of a new book. Make sure you write a good one!‘ These were my first words of 2016, and since 1 January, a lot happened. Term two’s gone and there have been lots of good things: new friendships, some great projects, some thinking, little bits and pieces of life, good work, amazing opportunities, unforgettable moments, sweet nothings, and above all the first few months of 2016 have been marked by a piece of art, a simple story that gave birth to a fresh start, a new beginning…
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To start the new year and the new term, I couldn’t help but unearth a quote by genius French writer, Victor Hugo, to get inspired and to inspire: “That I may carry on what I have begun, that I may do good, that I may be one day a grand and encouraging example that it may be said that there was finally some little happiness resulting from this suffering which I have undergone and this virtue to which I have returned!” (from “Les Misérables”).
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Uni-wise, term two was pretty intense but no less amazing. For my Critical Perspectives Unit, I wrote an essay about the blurry line between both the artistic and the journalistic practices, read and analysed Molly Crabapple’s memoir, Drawing Blood, to use it as a case study. ‘Molly writes like she draws’, Joss Whedon writes and this memoir is a token of creative and artistic journalism.
“Art can’t save you from pain, but the discipline of hard work can drag you through it.” – Molly Crabapple
As part of my Multimedia Journalism course, I undertook two quite substantial projects… The first one was a travel piece about the South Bank, and the second one was a piece about the indie subculture and featured the example of a London-based band named Balcony.
This is ecstasy in a musical form. 🙊
Both of these projects required a lot of research, long hours of work, and a lot from my own self, but they were also projects I loved carrying out and which brought me a lot of happiness.
There is magic even in the most unexpected places
“A picture is a secret about a secret, the more it tells you the less you know.” – Diane Arbus
“Art is about emotion; if art needs to be explained it is no longer art.” – Pierre Auguste Renoir
“It was as simple as that – they met. As simple as only beautiful things can be beautiful, as only life-changing things, turning-point things, can be simple.” – Cornell Woolrich
Courtney E. Martin once wrote: “While my oldest friends know who I’ve been, my new friends help me understand who I’m becoming.” This second term has also been the nest of a few new people entering my life. A few people I’m slowly letting in. A few new friends in short.
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Most of them came along at the same time MAYA did.
It pretty much all started at the London Short Film Festival in Hackney on 16 January…
‘Slightly before the café closed, we were joined by Arran, Maya’s director of photography. He possessed as much magic and kindness in his eyes and his whole being as the three others. I think that’s what amazed me most. These guys are gigantic dreamers, but also doers, and they are inhabited by this endless optimism, always looking at life on the bright side, which reminded me of the person I was before I lost my dad. And for some reason, that day spent with them rekindled this part of me… And for the first time in a long time, it felt like everything was finally going to be ok.’ (extracted from London Short Film Festival Day).
As I grew closer to the crew, I wanted to help them more concretely and I started doing so by making a little contribution to Chyanti, Veemsen Lama‘s next short film…
“What do you get from discouraging an artist? Nothing. Absolutely fucking nothing. Discouraging artists, you never get anything. Nothing good ever comes from it. You encourage an artist?! Countless fucking good things can happen. (…) They can pass it on to somebody else, or they can create that song that saves your fucking life, or that blog that fucking makes you understand something for the first time, or that fucking movie…” – Kevin Smith
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(Photo by @olympeofficiel)
At the heart of term two, there was also Valentine’s week, which inspired me this year and led me to create a VALENTINE’S WEEK PROJECT I called it Spread the Love.
‘In this world where hate is way too often present, I like to praise the importance of celebrating the love in our lives. Family, friends, lover. All of these people bring a shy little something in our everyday existence through what they say or do for us, with us, to us. This small word but gigantic feeling is none but love itself. The idea behind Spread the Love is that somewhere, someone’s waiting for a few words from you or just for a lovely little thought that’ll brighten up their day, week, even month! Who knows?’
I therefore suggested people use each and every day of Valentine’s week to send a few lovely words, a short message, or even just a heart emoticon or something similar to let some of the people in their life know they care about them, think they’re amazing and beautiful, etc.
This project was not about writing a 9-page love letter, a poem, or making a work of art out of what these people mean to you. It was about sending these ‘good morning’ and ‘good night’ texts, it was about saying ‘you’re beautiful’, ‘I hope you’re feeling better’, or ‘you’ve just made my day’. It was about saying all of these little things we never take the time and courage to say. Spread the Love was about speaking from the heart in the most straightforward way possible.
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As always, each and everyday alive is another opportunity to read, to listen, to see and to be inspired…
‘The ones who love us never really leave us, you can always find them in here.’ – J.K. Rowling /// White roses to remember the one who’ll always be the most important man in my life. Hope heaven’s treating you well, dad
‘In the joy of others, lies our own.’ – Pramukh Swami Maharaj
“Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.” – William Wordsworth
Life is tough! Never apologise for chocolate!
“I have too much heart, to a flaw. In my friendships, I care so incredibly. When I love, I fall completely, fully, fearlessly. And when my heart is broken, I forgive, let go, and continue loving because that is who I am. Who I’ll always be. It is not out of weakness. In fact, sometimes I feel that my ability to love is my greatest strength. It is not because I’m love-sick or fragile or terrified to lose the people and memories in my life. But it is because I cannot be one of those people who turns off the faucet, who can just stop caring with the click of a button. (…) I’m strong in my own ways, but I’m also sensitive. I think about what other people feel, because I feel everything so deeply. But sometimes I wish I didn’t. Sometimes I wish I could say I’m done and turn around, turn away, cut people off, be flippant, be free. But that’s just not me. So I’ll choose my words intentionally. I’ll speak my honesty carefully. And I’ll love, even foolishly. Because that’s the type of girl I am. I will always give a f*ck.” – Marisa Donnelly
‘It doesn’t matter how much money might be in our pockets or whether we are thin or well fed: what matters is our hearts, and what is in them.’ – Susan Fletcher
“She had studied the universe all her life, but had overlooked its clearest message: for small creatures such as we, the vastness is bearable only through love.” – Carl Sagan
‘I would rather die of passion than of boredom.’ – Vincent Van Gogh
Don’t wait for the perfect moment. Take the moment and make it perfect. #wordsofmyheart
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Each and everyday spent on Earth is a new possibility to breathe, to create, to love, to live… Because what is it all about after all? Photographs? Words? Films? They’re here to remind us of the tiny pieces of our life, of the simple joys and happy tears. They’re here to remind us where the greatest works of art draw their inspiration… in the beautifully simple everyday.
Off to wonderland A little magic has never hurt anyone, has it?! #wordsofmyheart
My friend Tom (@tomcullingham) is selling his amazing photos!!! Get in touch with him: – Facebook: fb.com/TomCullingham – Twitter: twitter.com/tomcullingham
My heart is beating so fast, It feels like it’s gonna break down my ribcage, Pierce my skin, And go find peace to the place it’s beating for. #wordsofmyheart
I woke up to a new day. You woke up to a new land. #wordsofmyheart
A new day. A new page to write. Let’s make it a good one. #wordsofmyheart
I believe change lies in people’s hearts – not in politics, not in war – but in bigger and more caring hearts. #StayStrongHumanity #wordsofmyheart #AllUnitedAgainstHatred * (C) Artwork by Sophie de la Rochefordiere (“22 March 2016 // Beautiful Brussels, be brave. You’ll see… love eventually always wins. Signed: Paris”) *
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After three weeks spent in Burgundy, I’m back in London, the one I’ve always liked to call the the city of my heart. Term two was intense but oh so amazing. I am so thankful for all the overwhelming kindness and beauty! I can’t wait to see what term three has in store…
What lesson could I draw from the beginning of 2016?! Well, in Carl Bard’s words: ‘Although no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.’
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PS: Life is too hard not to have a cat 😂🐈!