Tag Archives: Photography by Photogiraffe

Female Force – Exhibition Opening Day

14 Apr

Female Force is the title given to a selection of photographs taken of statues by Najma Hush. These images been manipulated by the process of multi-layering, to modernise and re-present, a few and various neoclassical and classical sculptures, from the fresh perspective of a digital age. Currently exhibiting at Urban Coffee Company (Church Street,  Birmingham, B3 2NP.  UK. ), from April 6th – May 3rd 2014). 

 

 

Urban Coffee Company is a rather sophisticated cafe in the metropolis of Birmingham.  Not only do they boast great coffee, good enough to sate any coffee snobs passion, but they also hold many different live events.  Furthermore, their cosy upstairs arena , consistently rotates fine art and photography by artist from the city, which is organised by Alexandria Art, who provide exhibiting platforms for emerging  artist in various location around the city.   weblink - exhibition details

With the exhibition open day for Female Force, held last Saturday (12th April’ 14), Najma Hush hosted her very own launch event, having invited Poets and Musicians to also platform their own skills and celebrate her latest solo exhibition. Here is a short review, recording the events proceedings, including photographs of the poets and musicians who came to support this event with further links to their works, to make it easier for you to find them.

Guests at Female Force by Najma Hush

As the guests gathered.

The event started off with a small crowd and moved at a slow pace, fairly early for any Saturday morning,  but as the event proceeded more and more people joined to contribute a buzz to the initial relaxed atmosphere.  The show commenced, with a brief introduction from the artist about herself and the concept behind the exhibition, before she passed over the duty of hosting to Andrea Shorrick, a local poet and performer herself, who introduced the first public speaker, Kathryn Day from Women’s Networking Hub.  This organisation had shown much support for Hush’s exhibition open day, by promoting it through a lot of their internal sources, due to the close work they do with all kind of women in enterprise, connecting women with other women and essentially building a strong network of associations.    They also work closely with Malala Yousafzai to gain funds for her projects to eradicate social/gender inequality and so  Hush invited them to  invite the women present, to join their network.

Najma Hush

Poet and Photographer, Najma Hush at the exhibition opening of Female Force.

 

The first poet to perform was Dani Papamaximou from Greece,  who recited her own touching poems, translated from her native tongue to English.  With some dark overtones, her work was mainly refreshing and  light sharing personal experiences as a women.

Next up, a very talented poet and artist from Walsall, Neth Brown who shared a melancholy poem about her mother and experiences on the theme of gender traditions and female sexuality from the point of view of a young lesbian.

Nina Lewis,  was the following act, a Worcestershire poet who had actually written poems especially to go with Hush’s images.  Her poems were as impressive as usual as showed her dexterous skill with language. 

Next up was Sammy Joe, who humorously insisted on taking her coffee on stage, swigging and spilling it in a sleepy haze. But even before she had finished reciting her very short, blunt and feisty poem, in a fashion that was no less than fierce, she had trotted off again, sleepily leaving the audience wide awake and hungry for more.

The crowd was then greeted by the colourful personality of Saleha Begum, a poet and artist decisively stating that she would be reading her most intense works, from her book, Raptures and Fragments, which she did!

As the crowd deserved ‘A Pick Me Up’ after such intensity, that’s exactly what they got with Aysha Begum’s poem, ‘Just a Little Pick Me Up’, a poem which is also an entry in this years round two of Pangaea Poetry Slam.  

And just before the interval, Andrea Shorrick  left the crowd holding their breath during her performance, when she began to undress, stripping away her clothes solemnly, wrapping herself up in a street no entry banners and smearing her face with yellow paint as she recited her poem on domestic abuse.   

Open day of Exhibition Female Force

Najma Hush – Meeting and Greeting Guests

During the interval it seemed that a lot more people had woken up and the place became more alive with people.  The atmosphere was buzzing as the crowd was led back into the second half, where Najma Hush opened the show, reciting her own epic poem on social equality for women, just before she introduced the musical act for the event a very talented young singer song writer,  Jane James.  Her voice is emotive and she can switch her pitch going from smooth to boom!   

Jaden Larker, otherwise known as   Seasick Fist, who was also a speaker for TEDxBrum on International Women’s day (2014), was the only man who had been brave enough to perform his views on women, with his confident delivery,  he certainly knows how to keep the crowds attention.

With a hard act to follow, next up was Andrea Shorrick, only this time as her ultra ego,  Swingerella, with stories from her bed, which included chocolate hearts, pink bunnies, vodka in a tea pot and box of sugar puffs, to name…just  a few things.  It was meant to be funny, but again, the audience were holding their breath…

It was also a great pleasure to see and hear, Jasmin Gardosi perform her poem sultry poem on lesbian love and love bites. Gardosi is also a TEDxBrum speaker (2014) and she runs the official Poets Place.

And to close the show in class one of the final special guest was, Charlie JordanBirmingham Poet Laureate (2007 ) – representing our city –  with some groping poetry, in a style, solely unique to her.  The event then came to a close with the first ever Female poet laureate of Birmingham, Julie Boden and current Poet in residence at Symphony Hall who wowed the crowed with 10 minutes of such beautiful poetic magic.

Here are the photographs of all the above performers:

 

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Some Kind of Blue Exhibition Soiree

15 Oct
Opening of Exhibition evening, with Art, Poetry and Music

Opening of Exhibition evening, with Art, Poetry and Music

We have some exciting news!   Najma Hush is currently Artist in Residence at Fine Art Gallery, Arts 4 Art Sake at the Custard Factory in Birmingham.   Recently she opened her first exhibition called, Some kind of Blue,  a collection of fine art photography;

‘…concerned with the manifest content of our dreams (or to put it simply, elements of our dreams that we remember upon awakening).  Inspired by the work of psychoanalyst, Sigmund Freud, who in his book, The Interpretation of Dreams, suggests that the content of our dreams are related to wish fulfillment; as he believed that the manifest content of a dream, or the actual imagery and events of the dream, serve to disguise the latent content (or the unconscious wishes) of the dreamer.  Thus, the photography presented in Some Kind of Blue, is directly symbolic of the thoughts, desires and images which may manifest from (your own subconscious) within your own dreams, with the poetic emphasis  ingrained in every metaphoric title for each individual piece.’  ~ Najma Hush

For the open evening of the exhibition, Hush curated a night of art, poetry and music by hosting performances in line with the theme of ‘Dreams’,  in keeping with her exhibited collection.  In a nut shell, here is what happened:

Maqsood Qazi , the director of Arts 4 Art Sake, fine art gallery, sponsored the opening exhibition of,  Some Kind of Blue by this emerging artist. Held at their premises, Arts 4 Art Sake provided all the food and drink. There was enough time to admire Hush’s exhibited collection of Photography, Some Kind of Blue and view all of the other art work at the gallery (such as Jinxy Art, Javed Qamar, Tahir Bin-Qalandar and more), as the crowd gathered and mingled.   Unexpectedly, Mike Bongo, a local singer, song writer  requested he open the soiree with his songs written for Mental Health Awareness, although not fitting with our theme, it was allowed on an exceptional and friendly basis (because everybody deserves a chance to be heard).  It also gave us more time to welcome new guests, just before some wonderful live performances were given by a diverse amalgamation of urban voices, who put on such an entertaining show.

The real show opener was local Rapper Ali Mardi- aka- Da Wonderin Dragon, who got the crowd going with his passionate and humorous poem describing his, ‘Dream Girl’.  Following on, was a rather musical performance of poetry, by Walsall poet and performer, Al Barz who had composed his own music to crescendo his poetry. Usually and popularly known to be on keyboard,  Barz was upon this night, accompanied by an amp and his ipad.  Next up was poet, Gary Carr, who had come all the way from Burton-Upon-Trent to share some dreamy poetry from his very own, next collection of Dream poems that he had been working on.  Then there was local artist and writer, Shirley P Cooper, who came and shared her, ‘I have a Dream’ poems as well as some of her sweet, home baked cupcakes.  We were also proud to host the charismatic poet Laureate of Walsall, Ian Henery also graced the event with his presence and read some blooming great poetry too.  Next to follow was local poet,  James Walpole, who performed three brilliant poems he had written just for our ‘Dream’ themed event.   Then there was a very young and talented, Ester Turner, who sang songs from her debut album, ‘Dreams’ and blew the crowd away with her amazing voice, whilst a nice, handsome crowd, waved in and out throughout the evening to watch and support the event, which made the atmosphere very relaxed, friendly and inviting.  A special appearance from Marcia Calame added a great positive energy to the whole event – the same strong presence, that she carried into her enticing poetry performance on stage.  It was also great to introduce and announce, popular storyteller, Kate Walton had been nominated for outstanding newcomer at the BASE Awards (British Award for Storytelling Excellence), just before she shared some of her own profound poetic works.  Artist and poet, Kristina Vere-Gankaku Griffiths, came all the way from West Bromwhich to read her dreamy poems, from her debut poetry book, No Strings Attached.  Just before the final closing acts of the event which were, non other than two of Birmingham’s very own,  former poet laureates, the enigmatic  Roy Mcfarlen and the infamous  Giovanni Spoz Esposito, who closed the evenings event charmingly.   

You can see the pictures here and look out for the video promo by Pat the Bull Productions. And of-course, stay tuned to hear about more events like Some Kind of Blue when they come up again as hopefully, we look forward to exhibiting our next collection soon!
But in the meantime you can pop into Arts4ArtSake, fine art gallery at the custard factory anytime you like and check out our Art.

Women in Video Games? Never has there been a fiercer time than now!

16 Dec

Never has there been a fiercer time than now!

Contrary to historical belief, according to a recent article published on icould.com “… latest research suggests that the number of women working in the games industry has increased to 15% worldwide and even higher in some UK studios.”  As an example, they extend to the EA team behind the The Sims 3 game which they claim had more female than male developers, “so the tide is changing and there has never been a better time for women to break into the industry.” Oct, 2011.

Furthermore, as a positive career choice for women, icould.com state that “women who do work in the games industry are often more successful than their male colleagues.”  With figures taken from a recent survey by MCV, icould.com revealed that the average salary for women working in the games industry is “higher than an average male salary working in the same industry.

“I needed the experience to understand the world better. Although I love Poland, I don’t believe that the entire world can exist only in my own country. However, I have come back to Poland because I feel that this is where I belong and this is where I want to develop my career. I also love the way my country is changing and what it has become.” Beata Dudzic on working in Poland.

Nevertheless, PhotoGiarffe Live Arts wanted to find out how the Gaming industry weathers for real women – first hand – who are currently in it, in our present age.  So we sent our New Media correspondence, Najma Hush to speak to the marketing and PR representative, Beata Dudzic from Nintendo, Poland.   After having spent seven years living and studying in the multicultural, cosmopolitan city of London, Beata Dudzic, went back to live in Warsaw, Poland and pursued her presently flourishing career as a women in ‘Video Games’.

Read on to find out more, about exactly what young women should expect from the gaming industry, tips on how to break into a similar career successfully, and possible pitfalls to watch out for along the way.  Also read more to see how much further hot news and inside gossip PhotoGiraffe Live Arts was able to squeeze from the PR and Marketing woman, Beata Dudzic, at Nintendo, Poland.

So Beata, what do you do exactly?

After working in the arts and further studying arts management, I have become the marketing and PR representative in the video games industry. The industry I work for is very identifiable, as I work for Nintendo. Fans of the brand take it very seriously and emotionally. Imagine as if I was working for your favourite band…This means that I am very often dealing with the emotions of young people, whilst at the same time, still trying to balance these sensitive issues with very specific company politics.”

And how do you think you are benefiting others by what you are doing?

Making kids smile, because the whole gaming industry is so young and funky! And, particularly as a woman, I am playing an important part in an industry that is ordinarily a man’s world.  Also Nintendo has not been present in Poland for such a long time until now and I am part of building something new and fun. Of course it makes it easier that the brand is huge and well known.  My favourite part of the job is interacting with the fans. They all know me by my name and thanks to Facebook and Twitter I can be connected to them every day.”

So then when did Nintendo first get to Poland? 

“Nintendo is still not officially present in Poland. I represent their interests through the distributor. Beginning with my employment, Nintendo started investing money in marketing in Poland.”

Watch Beata Dudzic at Polygamia.pl (October, 2010)

Oh, I see!  So why do you think it’s taken Nintendo so long to reach out to that part of Europe?

“It’s hard to say really, but maybe by being very successful in America and Western Europe it was easier not to notice a big growing market like Poland but then again neither has it been needed until now.”


Does your job allow you to travel and work outside of Poland much?
Well yes, there is a fair amount of travel involved.  Nintendo of Europe is based in Frankfurt. Stadlbaue.  My direct employer and the distributor for Nintendo are based in Salzburg, Austria. That’s where I mostly travel to; usually for just a few meetings in a year. Apart from that, Expos in Koln, L.A, or for special conferences on the latest products in Europe; I was sent to Amsterdam last time (for example).”

What are you usually expected to do when you’re off location and on-site abroad?
“Oh you know, the usual; meetings, meetings and meetings…dinners, dinners…and dinners!”

Okay, so you said that the gaming industry is dominated by men, have you ever experienced any positive or negative discrimination because of your gender?

“Both!  It probably depends on the country, but I find it both rewarding and burdensome. As a woman I am constantly put in doubt about my competence and knowledge. At the same time as a woman I can lend myself in for more. But what generally matters at Nintendo is, my personality and communication skills – not my sex.”

But you are a very attractive woman; do you think that this has been to your advantage in becoming the public face of Nintendo Poland?

Well, thank you! Yes, I think it has, but it wasn’t the main advantage I hope.”

What advice would you give young women who want to get a career in the gaming industry?
“Really go for it! Perhaps start with playing some games first because they are really cool, but first you have to discover what is appropriate for you. There are many types of games to choose from, so look for out what is most interesting for you. Target your favourite gaming company, do all your research, share your knowledge and most importantly have passion.”

What’s your favourite Nintendo game?

Super Mario Galaxy II. I haven’t been playing it for a while as I’m
busy playing Zelda Skyward Sword at the moment, which is also amazing!!

What we want to see

Can you tell us any gossip about the next hottest thing coming out from Nintendo?
The new console is coming out in 2012, but this is not really gossip but only
official information as the rest is top secret and you will have to keep glued to our official worldwide Nintendo website for the hottest news.  Sorry!

Never mind, you cant say we didn’t try.  Although she is a tough cookie to crack, PhotoGiraffe Live Art would like to send a big warm thanks to Beata Dudzic for taking the time out to give us this exclusive  interview, as a Women in the Gaming Industry and we would also like to thank Nintendo, Poland  for lending her to us.

And so, if you are stuck on ideas  for Christmas presents, maybe Beata’s suggestions on her favourite games  could help you spread the Christmas cheer.  Check the following  link to the cheapest deal on a Nintendo 3DS that PhotoGiraffe Live Art found online or you could watch the lovely Beata in action at the PR launch of Nintendo 3DS in Poland, depending on how good your Polish is.

For further information about career opportunities for women in the Video Games industry check out:

http://icould.com/article/career-opportunities-for-women-in-the-video-gaming-industry/

https://www.facebook.com/icouldstories

We also recommend,

www.womeningames.com .

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