A Jew in the Trump Era

I need to get something off my chest related to the Jewish community, this administration, and immigration. I've been listening to a range of perspectives, but the most shocking, and hardest for me to digest, are the ones from my own community, justifying Trump's actions (and inactions). 

Nothing will ever compare to the Holocaust. And prior to Hitler's Holocaust, there were many others, and after as well. Nothing will ever compare, because it is it's own horror. But we cannot forget how the Holocaust became THE HOLOCAUST. There were many egregious steps along the way, that made it TOLERABLE for a modern nation to create a systematic destruction of a people. 

I just want to gently remind everyone that the Holocaust didn't happen over night. And it didn't even start with outright slaughter or violence. It started with making an "US" verses "THEM". It began with hostile verbiage from those in power, alienating the Jewish people as "the other", and therefore everyone else as "the good citizens". It started with attacking the media. It started with attacking political opponents. It started with weakening checks and balances. It started with forcing people to self-police each other. It began with fear of not having enough. It started with classifying people. It started with blame. 

And by the time it was too late, by the time our people were put in Ghetto's, and concentration camps, the world already was turning us away when we were getting on boats to escape. By the time it was too late, it was "illegal" to help any of us get out, or stand up for us. By the time it was too late, no one was speaking on our behalf, or representing us in a government, seeking to alienate and dehumanize us. By the time it was too late, it was no longer considered inhumane to starve us, detain us, torture, or kill us. 

I don't forget history. I have a whole family I never met, because they died in Treblinka. I have family members who fought in the war, and never spoke of the horror they saw, too traumatized to share. I've obviously never lived through it myself, but I feel the ripple of it. I feel the trauma from generation to generation, how it never left: how the world at one point saw you as "vermin", as "trouble", as "stealing the good jobs", as "untrustworthy". Because you were a Jew. 

And now, I can't believe hearing and seeing some of you reasoning with this administrations verbiage and actions of a people coming to seek asylum and a better life, just as we did in the 1940's. Hearing this president call for a shut down of Muslims entering this country, and that Mexican's are rapists, and animals, that they are coming to "infest us". This is the language Hitler used, to a T, to dehumanize our people, which then led to the ease of crafting what became The Holocaust. 

I implore you, whatever your stance is on immigration, and your party affiliation, please step into these people’s shoes, and know that that was your grand or great grandfather just 70 years ago. Consider, we’re not that different. Consider that there is a more humane way, that we simply haven’t implemented yet. Consider that compassion is more powerful then division. 

I implore you to reflect on your life, how lucky you are right now to be here, because someone finally stood up for you, and saw you as a human.

I'm A Self-Proclaimed Catcall Vigilante

I’m a self proclaimed catcall vigilante. I walk the streets at night and take public transit and have no fear of whom I may encounter. I don’t carry mace. Though, I’d love to learn how to wield a samurai sword- or maybe archery too! I’m of the opinion that to survive as a woman in the public world, one simply ought to be crazier then the crazies you may encounter. When I’m approached, with a jest or blown kiss, instead of hiding my head down, and pretending not to notice, I respond. And sometimes with ferocity.  

... Yep. That's me. Meow. 

... Yep. That's me. Meow. 

But I wasn’t always this way. Like all great superhero’s, I too have an origin story. 

I was walking my dog one hot summer afternoon, in the congested metropolis of an LA neighborhood. I was in my own world, enjoying my own thoughts, with my pup searching for a grassy knoll. Minding my own damn business. And then a shitty red utility vehicle pulls up to my curb, with four men sitting inside staring at me. I kept my head down, as years of training has taught me to do, when encountering these situations. CARRY MACE! HOLD YOUR KEYS OUT! PRETEND TO BE ON THE PHONE! IGNORE IT. Ignore it. Ignore it. 

They slow down, undress me with their eyes. I feel their presence and it’s unescapable. I feel gross, thinking I’m somehow dressed too sexy, as if I’m asking for this attention, even though I’m just in a T-shirt and flip flops. They  say things - to me, and to themselves. THEY CATCALL ME. 

And then I snap- this complicated twist of raw emotion- both of shame and anger consume my minds eye, and all I can think is - "What would Catwoman do?”

They zoom off and around the corner, but get stuck in the bumper to bumper traffic. "I bet Catwoman would fuck them up” I think to myself. 

So I chase after them, with my dog doddling behind on her leash. I meet them at their window and stare at them, as they did to me. I ask “HEY! DID YOU HAVE SOMETHING TO SAY TO ME?!”. They stare back at me perplexed. I’m loving it. “WHAT?! WHAT DID YOU WANT TO TELL ME? I”M HERE! SAY SOMETHING!”. I smack their window with my hand, and wait for the response. My heart bursting out of my chest. This is delicious. This is power. This is what it feels like to not be afraid of being a woman walking her damn dog, in her own damn neighborhood. 

The second they can, they zoom out of traffic. 

I know that this is a radical story. I know your thinking this is stupid and potentially dangerous. I get it- they might hurt wittle tiny whiny me. I know I’m not preaching to the choir here. Most woman I know are catcalled regularly during the week, sometimes daily. It’s been accepted as part of the norm in what we as a society say is harmless, typical, and annoying. But it’s more then that, isnt it? The mace, the school campuses, the buddy system… It’s a psychological burden that keeps me from experiencing freedom in public spaces. 

And in this moment, I realized that maybe they do what they do, and say what they say, because no one has ever said anything to them before. That possibly, by breaking the behavior of acceptance and solitude. Maybe, just maybe - they will think about that crazy girl who nearly broke their window. Maybe they’ll think twice, because someone may stand up to them. 

And Maybe it’s our responsibility to own the streets, because they were always ours to have. 

 So now, I'm some weird mashup of a Catwoman and Amy Schumer love child. I confront catcallers in different ways depending. Sometimes I stop and have a conversation and genuinly tell them “Hey man, that aint cool. Not my jam. Do you have any idea how annoying it is for strangers to bug you everyday? blah blah blah.” Sometime’s I offer mommy-like tough love with “I know your a nice guy and want a healthy relationship, but this isn’t the way to start." I love it! I get off on walking around as I see fit. In the words of Walter White “I’m not in danger. I am the danger.” Catwoman would agree. 

Try it sometime! I have had wild and very interesting conversations with men. I have learned this - they are as scared of us, as we are of them, and our silence is taken as a license to continue catcalling and harassing women on streets. It’s ignorance, not boogeymen, who are out there, and all it takes is a conversation, or smacking a window.

I'm in Voyage LA Magazine!

I am thrilled to announce that my long awaited interview with Voyage LA Magazine has finally been published. It showcases my tale of love, lust, and woe... of photography and more. Please share with your loved one's and friends. I want the inspiration to keep on moving and motivating. A ripple effect of love and art making. 

 

 

 

VOYAGE LA MAGAZINE

 

 

 

 

KICKStarter alert! Help me get to RAW!

Me, happiest exploring on photo treks. 

Me, happiest exploring on photo treks. 

As you know, I am jazzed and gearing up for RAW LA. But super nervous because It's expensive to have your work displayed. So, I've started a kickstarter to raise $500, all to go into the set up of my booth, printing costs, and display materials. Every little bit helps!

The event is @ The Globe Theatre in Downtown LA. This is the first Broadway theatre (before Broadway in NYC). Charlie Chaplin pranced around here watching all his favorite shows in this venue. 

WHY IS THIS SO IMPORTANT: 

It's the beginning of the future I want, not only for myself, but for the community, for my friends and family. The core of my work is dedicated to truth, social change, storytelling, and observing the unobserved. Dreams come true when community is present. I'm so thrilled to be a citizen of this planet, and cannot wait for this stepping stone to allow me to connect ever so deeper with humanity. 

For more information, or to donate: CLICK HERE

 

PLEASE JOIN ME AT RAW MOTIF LA!

I AM SO EXCITED! 

I have been curated to be apart of RAW Artists LA Exhibition on Nov 10th. This is a really important event for me to be apart of because it's an arts organization that is dedicated to supporting and launching new and emerging artists. They provide resources, information, connection, marketing, and avenues for my work to be seen, published, and discussed. It's a platform I've never had in starting my career as a serious photographer. 

The one and only stipulation, is that I am required to gather 20 guests (thats 20 tickets) to support me on my behalf. Right now, I only have 2. 

It would mean THE WORLD TO ME if you came and supported me for this event. Life changing, forever grateful, WORLD TO ME. 

MUCH LOVE!

Please, get your tickets as soon as possible, I have 35 days and counting from this moment. Tickets are $20, and they go up if you get them at the door.