September, 2016

Shilo Shiv Suleman // Bangalore

Shilo Shiv Suleman // Bangalore

    27-year-old Shilo is Indian artist and TED fellow who primarily use public spaces to create collaborative artworks in various spaces across the world. While travelling to Delhi in 2012, Shilo witnessed and participated in the massive protests that occurred after the unfortunate Delhi Gang Rape incident. While the media projected India to be an unsafe environment for women, Shilo refused to accept the fear that came along being an Indian woman, and after months of travelling in the MahaKumbh and Varanasi with the Naga community, she grew more aware of the highly patriarchal space around her. Absorbing, while being aware of the space, Shilo drew her first wall of strength in Varanasi, allowing strangers to join her in making a wall that boasted ‘Fearless’ and thus ‘Fearless Collective’ was born. The fearless Collective grew as Shilo empowered the young and old, to hold onto trust over fear, and with the collective, Shilo travelled to numerous cities and music festivals around the world, to interact with diverse communities with her art and talks, to grow the message. Her most recent works include installations for Burning Man Festival, and walls in various cities of Pakistan, Indonesia, Africa, Brazil, and USA. In Rawalpindi, she involved the Hijra (Eunuch) community in to produce one of the Fearless walls, thus creating the first public installation in the world to be painted primarily by Transgenders, and was one of a kind in Pakistan. Raised by a single mother, Shilo has travelled to Europe, South America, and South East Asia. Her next chapter with the Fearless Collective is called ‘Belonging’ and will create walls in Lebanon, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Shilo’s idea of home is anywhere with abundance of love, and her favourite food is Sushi.  

Adriana Marcela Peña Cruz // Brindaban

Adriana Marcela Peña Cruz // Brindaban

Adriana was born in Bogota, Colombia and ever since her childhood, has always felt an immense desire to protect people who suffer injustice from the ones in power. Her existential questions grew deeper as she grew, and after a series of life changing events; that included traumatic relationships, and a phase of alcohol and drug abuse, Adriana felt a need for a necessary change to find her ‘life meaning’. She studied psychology at The National University of Colombia, and was deeply inspired by the ideas and theories of dissident French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan. She further researched upon ancient practices adapted by people of Maya Civilization of Central America, and the Vaishnava tradition of India. Inspired by the eastern traditions, she followed strict vegetarianism and complete abstinence from alcohol or substances. Her search for existential meaning led her to travel to Bangladesh, Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela, Brazil, Germany, Poland, Czech Republic, Argentina, Austria, Hungary, Bulgaria, Italy, and India. She is currently living in an Ashram in Brindaban for some months and is the researcher and editor of the book about Perennial Psychology. It’s an alternative psychology that discusses the metaphysical and spiritual outcomes of various human life alternatives and gives prominence to ancient wisdom. The book further reveals various mystical traditions that have accompanied humanity and have promoted coherence between our thoughts, desires and actions to promote a life of purity, gratitude and compassion; as described by Adriana. How did travel, or an idea from another, far away land move you? My travels have been a long pilgrimage to sacred spots throughout the world, and also make a way to share the journey and knowledge with others. I like to voyage to see new places, societies and people. Every place has different customs and traditions, so I think it’s very important to…

MATTER Editorial // Emiel Gerardu // Amsterdam City

MATTER Editorial // Emiel Gerardu // Amsterdam City

  Inspired by the precision of the classic technique, blended with modern minimalism, Emiel Gerardu loves to find a story in every object, and aspect of life. He works as a Head Retail Manager at a sustainable water & cosmetic company in Amsterdam City, where he gets to interact with a various stories of diverse individuals everyday. He loves Denims, because of its complex production process and easy nature of use, and runs a popular denim/bicycle club called ‘The Denim Run’, that rides to various spaces across Holland and beyond, simply for the love of creating a community of inspired, nature loving individuals who share passions and thus touch lives with creative journeys, personal experiences and sharing a memory.   His favorite spot on the globe is Cape Town, since he does not have to choose between its grounded mountains, and the wild sea, he loves journalizing stories of its locals for pleasure. He prefers to live with a local AirBnb to a hotel. Emiel’s evening was documented in his apartment in Amsterdam.

Raul Ojamaa // Tartu, Estonia

Raul Ojamaa // Tartu, Estonia

“I love the vibe of my small town Tartu where I grew but as a musician, I think there isn’t much to do. I felt really stuck in Estonia, since there is too little competition and one gets too comfortable, everybody knows everybody so its like a majestic family of kinfolks every time you walk out of home.” Life changed dramatically when I moved to Berlin for 8 months to study Electronic Music Production, it was like another world! It was freeing to be in a multicultural place with people from all parts of the world, and where your identity is in this massive cosmos of creativity, another kind of freedom. Because there are so many opportunities, so many things to do and so many people, that one can never get bored. This sense of magnificent city, gives you an appreciation for being alone. You make time and space to be alone enough to focus on things that make you happy, and grow, and that’s what I learnt while I lived in Berlin. Inspired by Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Raul wanted to explore all new things that weren’t possible in Tartu, and the sense of anonymity was liberating. “Travelling gives this feeling of freshness. When I did a gig last week in Milan, this one day in a new space gave me a whole new perspective and of ideas, and people. I thus want to travel more, to get wider perspectives and horizons. One can explore various alternatives of life and tailor their individuality for their own happiness identity instead of simply fitting in with people, simply because you grew up with them. Dream travel: Los Angeles, for its history and culture with music, and I think it’d provide me a wider perspective to the kind of work I do….

Marine Karbowski // Sapa, Vietnam

Marine Karbowski // Sapa, Vietnam

Marine’s grandfather, who served the French Army, was killed in the Indo-China war by Vietnamese troupes. It was since then, that there is a sense of tension about Vietnam for Marine’s family, an interest that grew for Marine as she grew old in contemporary France and became an artist. She finally made her mind years ago to travel to Vietnam, and her visit in little mountain town of Sapa in northern Vietnam, was beyond magical. She kept Sapa as an inspiration for a long time when she returned to Paris. One night, she decided to hear her calling, sold everything she had, took a few clothes, and left to build a new life in Vietnam and started living with the shamanic Hmong tribes since over 6 years now. She paints everyday life of contemporary Hmongs and raises money by selling her art in galleries across France. Why Sapa? “Call me a French romantic, but I honestly don’t know why, it was a calling I could not ignore, and I’ve honestly never felt more in place. When I see Hmongs tribes from my window, within the majestic mountains, with green fields and this sense of mystic energy, it’s a very good feeling. I love Hmong people and their traditions, their sense of connection with nature and strength to survive anything with happiness. That’s the mood of Sapa and I wish to live and create works around it.” What’s your big purpose in Vietnam? When I came to Vietnam, I observed there is zero painting or art education imparted to kids in high schools. As an artist, I really know how art can open minds and make people happy, and I decided to share my knowledge. Fortunately, I got huge funding for the cause from France, and I did some great workshops…

Nany, c // São Paulo

Nany, c // São Paulo

Nany first came to Paris 18 months ago from Sao Paulo to study The Louvre Museum for her school project. She considers various universal signals as the signs from the universe of something grand that was meant to happen in her life. She loved the Parisian youth, the voice, and the rebellion of romance in the city, that made her buy a guitar and ended up extending her visa. For Nany; coming alone to Paris and being away from the first time gave her ‘this incomprehensible sense of liberty and essence’, something she was unfamiliar with in São Paulo. ‘I considers my life to be just like my favorite genre of music; heavy metal rock. There have been dramatic ups and downs, but mostly leading to a pristine up. I know I’ll be the voice of subways, and Parisian streets very soon. This is my biggest dream.’

Maya Ben David // Jerusalem

Maya Ben David // Jerusalem

Born in Israel, Maya has been brought up in a left wing mindset, and her father served the army. Maya’s biggest fear as a child was to hold a gun in her hand; she always wanted to go into an art school, but at the age of 16 she chose psychology instead of art education. All Israeli citizens are mandatorily obliged to serve the Israel Military Service for over 2 years after reaching the age of 18. At the time of her Military admission and with her psychological background, Maya convinced the committee that she was mentally challenged and unfit to join the army; thus bypassing the rule to stick to her adamant belief in peace. While her friends served the army for two years, Maya worked as a volunteer to impart art education to orphans across the country through various NGO’s. Maya believes that art and peace are two interrelated forces, and is exactly what the modern world truly needs over more weapons and politics. She is now travelling in South East Asia with her friends. She was a survivor of the April 2015 earthquake in Nepal. She was trekking into Himalayas and was rescued by the local villagers at a very critical point. She has only grown stronger after the experience.  

Livio Carrieri // Bogota, Columbia

Livio Carrieri // Bogota, Columbia

Livio grew up in the port town of Monopoli, Italy and then moved to Belgium. Raised by single mother, Livio found integral life lessons while travelling alone, across entire Asia, Europe and Australia, and with a series of rare coincidences, life pushed him to discover South America where as he describes, he found an ‘immediate urge to start a new life‘. In Colombia, Livio met Hare Krishna’s devotees, and the continuous interaction with them began a sense of curiosity to find a bigger meaning in life. With life changes and incidents that nomadism provided him, Livio ended up moving permanently from Europe to Bogota for the rest of his life. He is currently working on building an integral ecological conservatory in Columbia and is married to a Columbian wife. Why Colombia? There is this unexplainable deep connection with Colombia that one can know only if they’ve been here. The entire country has this sense of home and belonging, which I’ve never felt in Europe or in all my travels to Asia, and Australia. Besides being the most welcoming people on the planet, Colombia is the home of few of the purest native people – like the Arhuacos, Koguis, Wiwa etc; and there are way too many life lessons to learn from them.  Why and how must one travel? Travel is essential; there is no running away. But to most, I’d say, to find spots around the globe to volunteer. It’d get them a chance to interact with the local space and people like no other way. Give your full energy, to receive the same. Spend time in nature; learn new things, meditate upon your life goal, and truly FIND IT! Don’t return back home until you’ve found it. It’s a very small life to not know what your purpose is here. What do you truly believe…