Showing posts from September, 2017

Memorialise this! - Politics of inclusion in surfing history

My home town, Byron Bay, is renowned for the number of women who surf there. It’s a point of pride that at some breaks it’s not unusual for women to outnumber men, and women also shape the aesthetic associated with Byron – nonchalance, femininity, grace, colour, and an unashamed preference for smaller peelers. You will have seen this in the many, many, many images and videos and stories of women surfing there, and the many, many, many Instagram posts by women of them on the beach, with familiar lines north coast hinterland acting as a backdrop across the bay.

Women’s surfing in Byron is a robust and highly visible affair, and this has meant opportunities for women to start out here in the surf industry, taking roles or building businesses of their own as surfers, social media celebrities, photographers, surf wear producers, writers, and even researchers! If you took women away from lineups today, all you’d have left is a 1980s issue of a Tracks magazine shoot, and a lot of confused an…

Fragments of surfing bodies

As someone who is interested in the ways people, experiences, ideas, relationships and places are represented - in how we come to know them - social media fascinates me. What we're all willing to share, to repost, to like, comment on, and talk about offline, gives lots of insight into other aspects of our lives and thoughts and relationships.

Each social media - e.g. Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, LinkedIn, Twitter - is different and allows us to do different things. For example, one that I use and study (a little), Instagram, claims to offer a behind the scenes look into people's lives, allowing us to share fragments of our days with each other. And for me, that's certainly the best of it. When I was living in New Zealand, Instagram let me remain a part of my friend's daily lives in a mundane way. Yes, it's all selected and filtered and cropped and edited and reframed to be as pretty as possible, but when it comes to people I know, I could read through all that, s…