Thursday, July 7, 2011

Adventures: Life, Cameras, Friendships!! <3

The South African Student life: What better way is there to find your footing in the world…? No no, that was rhetorical, I’ve said it all. No need to contest it.

The past 3 years have been the most amazing learning and loving experience I have ever had. I left high school for the fun and unpredictable adventure that is the college lifestyle. Not only that, I jumped head-first into the craziest mixing pot of young, talented, eccentric journalist types SA has to offer. It’s in their fashion senses, their choice in music, the shows they watch – or hate to admit to watching. They are the Varsity College class of 2009/’10/’11 (what, sometimes it takes some of us a little longer) Diploma in Journalism students. Otherwise known as “DJ2.2” by friends and fellow students on campus, these guys are the reason I wanted to be at college every day; or at least most days haha.

The lessons learned in discovering about the world and its basic interactions through differences in culture fused with an optimistic hope for the futurethat is what defines this phase in my life. There was much looking back at the histories of our country and the histories that had formed us – forged our experiences and our personal biases, there was also exploration of good music, loud fashion and insane laughter. Did I mention the obsession with photography and creating still moments that can last forever? No, well then throw that in there.

Apartheid Museum Visit, November 2010.

When you see a small group of people every day for just about 3 years, you tend to get a little attached – especially if by some miracle they all seem to “gel” pretty well with each other, for such different personalities. Meet Cameron, Thandi, Roxanne, Thuli, Amanda, Mick, Schalk, Christo, Sne, Jo, Tshepo, Thomas and of course me, Aurora. And f you didn’t make the list, ain’t nothing personal yo, just remembering the stand out moments on this one. What is to follow is an onslaught of nostalgic overindulgence in the form of a photojournalistic blog entry.

Primedia 702 Talk Radio Internship, September 2010

This trip into the world of the radio broadcasting industry in SA was every bit as exciting as I had expected it would be – and a few other overwhelming emotions that added a certain measure of growth and maturity to the journey. I was walking into my first newsroom environment and I loved every moment of it. To work with and learn from the likes of 702 reporters J.P Duplesis and Steven Groetes, as well as the multi award winning sports journalist ‘Lelo Mza’ was certainly a string of moments to worth remembering. And with the loudest, craziest Zulu friend I have ever had by my side – it does not get any better.

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Me and Sne at the News Café outside the Primedia studios, Sandton.

My love for radio news and entertainment has been strengthened and solidified. Watch this space! ;)

But that is just one of the big moments that shaped my current state of being as a student, a writer and essentially a journalist – gatekeeper, analyst, and activist. The people I have met on this journey have very much been the defining factor in how I live and saw and experienced every day. From the philosophically funny lectures prepared by the most passionate teacher alive, Peter Bayer to the most frustrating, boredom filled theory lessons in our Communication Science classes, there was never a dull moment when these guys were around. The adventures were endless and the conversations were at all times spontaneous both in timing and on topics.

“Life is a rollercoaster – just gotta ride it!”

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Cameron St. Claire Lang – my best friend over the past 2+ years. Nuff said! J

The new school of Bohemians is here: Truth. Beauty. Freedom. Love.

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Schalk Myburg: Fashion Journalist extraordinaire. Always Fierce ;) love him!

Cocktails in a secluded posh little café in Sandton…do you feel it starting…? “La Dolce Vita”

On the day I took this photograph of Schalk, we (me, him and Sne) had travelled from Pretoria to Randburg to accompany him to a Top Billing nationwide audition. When the most loved magazine television show in SA come calling, all aspiring broadcast media personalities must come out to play.

Didn’t think I would forget it, did you?

World Cup Fever South Africa 2010!!!

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Opening match at Hatfield Square, Pretoria’s student central.

Going to watch a SA match at one of the nearby official Fan Parks with Sne, my high school best friend ‘Moose’ and his lil sister MG

June / July of the year 2010 was the craziest show of just how enthusiastic, hyper and fun-loving the South African people are. If the national upset that took over SA the day we received feedback that we had not won the bid for the 2006 Soccer World Cup was not proof enough of just how badly we wanted it, then the world surely saw its full force in the passionate delivery of arguably one of the best hosting events in World Cup Soccer history. 2010 the world saw what we can do and rediscovered the diversely coloured rainbow that has earned this country its beloved nickname.

Thandi * Appletree Buttons* (centre)

Description: C:\Documents and Settings\Aurora\My Documents\My Pictures\FUN! FUN! FUN!\IMG_0385.jpgOur very own small-town nomad…nicknamed Buttons for her use of the clothing item in every fashion savvy way she could think of over the past 2+ years.

Gotta love uniqueness and creativity – this girl is all that and more all crammed into the friendliest, bubbliest personality with the craziest knack for bad luck ‘all-in-one’ package.

Gonna miss the deep, twisted late night conversations about life’s funny little tricks and wonders that came with your short nomadic stay over at my place in 2010. Crazy times, lol.

Then of course, there is my ever-growing love and passion for Photography. I love that I can take a moment and freeze it in place for all of eternity, while the world around me swiftly moves forward, with no patience for the past. The strongest lens I have with me 90% of the time is the small limited view of my Blackberry handheld cell phone; you think I let that stop me – not likely. The fact that I was in the company of some of the most beautiful people I have ever met just sweetened the deal for me. I have captured hundreds of moments that give perfect allusion to the real life presence and personalities of these eccentric cosmopolitan youths. Their individual fashions boast the finest in international influences, uniquely styled by the creative experimental South African hand. Towards the end of my course I finally stopped thinking about doing a series of Black/White portrait series, actually changed my camera settings to black/white and started snapping. I love these photographs. The theme they create. The idea that we could have been any group of young intellectuals in the world during any era of this Earth’s many years. To me they are Timeless…

Girls’ night in: Slumber Party (old school style)

…or at least, it was supposed to be any way. Most of the girl’s had to cancel and it just turned into a late night chill session with some new guy friends who were kind enough to bring Thuli. LoL!

Thuli if you ever read this: “that mission was epic and will go down in history alongside the glorified deeds of all the heroes known to mankind!”

Lmfao, yes I had to go get all dramatic there!

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Ehm, ok enough with the inside jokes – love how this has such an ‘old school RnB/Soul’ music video vibe J

Recycling the Antique / Retro fashion style

Thuli in one of her soulful, old school ensembles. The jersey-dress, the long thin barely-there scarf, the hair and the glasses. Always classy, always feminine. Fashion is proof that history does repeat itself, although maybe not in a circle but in a winding loop, as once suggested by Author Terry Pratchett.

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It is late autumn in SA, and we are sitting outside on campus, just before class and a few days before we write our final exams. As always, an early morning and a little chilly weather is no excuse – conversation is interesting as always and passion is never lacking.

Roxanne: Mother. Friend. Soulchild. *Baker*

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“When did you take this?! How is that you always catch me laughing?” –Roxy, June 2011

The strongest, most mature and balanced 20 year old I know – and yes that is considering everything else; for all those of you out there who may judge… this is one of my absolute favourite pictures of you I’ve ever taken.

Mick: The Prodigal Son returned…;)

Love, love, love Mick and his chilled vibes. The relaxed, almost lazy happy go lucky that follows you around boy, is awesome. Can never be down or ‘depro’ for too long around such lol. And oh, how I love the hair! Missed having you on campus in 2011, but hey eventually the real world beckons…

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Totally lookin’ like the COOLEST guy on campus in this one hahaha!

Mandy: The Socialite-Academic

This girl is driven, motivated and dedicated. No doubt she makes it big someday – success is soon to follow.

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Mandy with Brooklyn, Roxy’s son and DJ2.2’s favourite little fame monster in the world.

Down Time: Regular chill sessions… before, during and after class…

…What can I say? The reality is that students don’t really spend all their time confined within the restrictive bounds of those 4 walls we call classrooms. A lot of the time, we make sure life happens elsewhere too. How else are we supposed to form meaningfully life-long friendships the world so often credits college with?

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Afternoon session by the poolside at Thuli and Mandy’s new place (commune).

I miss those days already. School is out and apparently it’s time to move on. Most of us will never see each other again; some I have already gone a full 8 to nine months without even a facebook post. Hence, my a-fore mentioned love for photography. I’ll always have some physical evidence of this time… for a day when my mind is fuzzy and I can’t quite remember how I got here. Because now a new journey begins and I can’t wait to live what’s next.

“Just a girl, just an Ordinary Girl…”

I am Aurora Abel; this has been my journey so far…enjoy the rest of the ride.

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