Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Feminism and famous people

So, feminism has become a real talking point among female celebrities lately. Popstars and TV and movie stars have been coming out in droves to associate themselves with the gender politics, and clearly stating what feminism means to them. Sometimes I find the way this appears like a trend a bit uncomfortable, and sometimes it becomes a little simplified into soundbites. But I can't deny how pleased I am that it's encouraged conversations about what feminism is, what its political goals are, and enabling the kinds of highly publicised activism that they have the pull to get media coverage for. While some of these seem like self promotion (I'm not linking to these), others are a reflection of personal beliefs. Angelina Jolie's participation in the 'Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict' is a good example of this, as is Emma Watson's recent speech to the UN. 

Mostly, I'm just stoked that so many women are owning their feminist politics. I mean, seriously, sequinned leotard and all, check out Beyonce.

Pretty amazing.

Lena Dunham has been really explicit and engaged in these issues in her TV show Girls, and these little clips promoting her book are pretty clever and funny.

Also, I know I've mentioned this before, but this interview between Tavi Gevinson and Lorde is excellent.

There is no real point to this today, except to say... Yes.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Roxy Pro France 2014

So it seems like Roxy was paying attention after all! This year's trailer for the Roxy Pro in France is a world away from last year's controversial offering:

There are still a bunch of butts, but it focuses on featuring the women as surfers and athletes - wetsuits and all - which is awesome.

Good work, Roxy! :)

Monday, September 15, 2014

Surfing is not only for the sea

In 1998, I lived just south of Munich for a couple of months leading into winter. It's a really, really gorgeous area and I loved my time there, but I never saw this on any of my trips into the city.

River Surfing in Munich Germany from James Kamo on Vimeo.

River Surfing in Munich's English Garden from Snehal Patel on Vimeo.

You can read a good article about it here.

P.S. Form a queue!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

She and the Sea

Over the years, I've talked to a lot of women who surf. Like, a lot. I've learned a lot. Like, a lot. But most of my knowledge is of women who surf in places where is pretty warm and where you can easily get into the sea year round. As in, you just need a 3/2 and you're set.

I've made no secret over the years that I'm in equal parts intrigued and confused by those who manage to surf all year in places where it's cold, where you really have to love surfing in order to keep getting suited up and into the sea over the winter, and sometimes in the summer too!

One of the things that has come up in my conversations with many women who surf, is that they are not so into the cold. They tend to drop off their surfing in the winter, or they didn't bother to learn until they moved to a warmer place. They just weren't interested in the cold. Maybe it's just us wimpy, summer-loving Australians who are so adverse? And of course, I'm sure there are a bunch of men whose surfing is equally as negotiated by the cold, but I haven't asked them that question as much, so I can't really talk about that. But it's meant that I've always really admired the women who stick it out when it's cold. It's also a capacity I'm proud to discover in myself here in NZ. (Although, it's actually pretty mild where I am. Really.)

For a whole bunch of reasons when we think about surfing in cold places, women don't tend to feature. I think that possibly they're less interested? That there are fewer surfers and thus fewer female surfers in colder places. I mean, I'd be less likely to learn if it was cold! The lack of a bikini might have something to do with it to - women and girls who live in warm places are getting more and more photos, but outside of comp photos, images of women surfing in wetsuits remain less common. It might be that cold places remain less photographed and filmed as well! Like I said, there are a bunch of reasons.

So this film project, She and the Sea, is a step to exploring the experiences of women who do step up to surfing when it's cold - when it's cold and windy and snowing!!

The project is currently running a Kickstarter campaign to gather funds to help with filming costs. I know that the crew are about to head off on their trip up the coast, so this need for money is pressing.

What I like especially like about this project is that part of the process of filming and production is to give back to the communities they encounter. To develop relationships with people and places by spending time with them, teaching and learning from them, and being creative with them. This way it will produce a number of things - not just a film - that will be able to give many different perspectives on the project, and tell different aspects of the story.

If you would like to contribute, you can go to the She and the Sea page and donate. Like all Kickstarter projects, you get a little back for your donation, so have a look through the options.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Frankie Harrer and Teahupo'o

Gill just sent me another great link, this one by Morgan Massen of 16 year old Frankie Harrer surfing at Teahupo'o back in May this year.

Frankie from Morgan Maassen on Vimeo.

Great clip, huh. You can see how with more opportunities to surf breaks like this more often, women are going to be gain the experience needed to compete at these breaks more comfortably and with more confidence. Like Frankie is clearly doing, they will get to know the waves better and better and be able to ride them with more familiarity.

Seeing as she's only 16, I did feel a bit icky about the lingering shots across her body. I feel like her surfing (and her obvious gorgeousness) totally speaks for itself, without needing to be driven home. But like so many of the photos he takes of women who surf, Massen's shots highlight what a skillful and flowing surfer Frankie is - he really is good at what he does, huh. I reckon he totally admires and respects the abilities of the women he photographs and for me, that comes across in his work.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Onwards Upwards

This is the film clip for the track, 'Onwards Upwards', by North Arm. Both the song and the clip are really, really lovely.

You can read more from the artist, Rod Smith, talking production and motivation here at Lost at E Minor.

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Hmmmm... What to wear?

So, this has to be the shortest and most adorable surf short I've ever seen.