Aaaaahhh, I’m finally home from Central America!! How weird to be in cold, wintery England after two months of heat, but thank God for the traditional, non overly-electric, magical Christmas build up we have here (um, in Guatemala I saw a flashing sign advertising the local beer on top of a puke-inducing neon tree)!! I’m in a weird mental limbo land of feeling excited for this time of year and seeing people I love and have missed, and being so sad to be leaving behind new friends and places I’ve met and experienced. I have a feeling I’ll be on the road again very very soon and certainly have a few gallavants up my sleeve for 2012… 🙂
Anyway, I never know what to do with myself after long flights. The jet lag always re-jiggles my priorities and bounces up my brain (in a slow, befuddled, way) and, suddenly, adding to this FestX blog seems the most important thing in the world. Those of you who follow my modelling blog at www.ellarosestory.blogspot.com (blatant advertising… mwahahaha!!) will know that when it comes to writing I often have trouble shutting up; my blogging addiction is in need of serious catching up and outlet!
Soooo… What can I say about my first ever experience of a Zoe Fest? I travelled all the way from England, by myself in the end due to my fellow English buddy needing to drop out the day before, feeling like a bit of a crazy person. What the hell was I doing flying into Mexico City by myself, arriving late at night, and navigating the country to and from various airports before zig-zagging with my backpack south through six countries all the way down to Costa Rica? Why don’t I just have a normal job like my friends – be a physiotherapist or be ‘in sales’, get a mortgage… etc. etc.? Well, truth is I wanted an adventure, and I wanted to meet and be photographed by the people whose work I’d admired, across the long distance of oceans and the short, tiny distance of online networking, for the two-and-a-half-ish years I’ve been modelling for. During the week, I met some incredible people who genuinely inspired me, but also I want to say how much I enjoyed the slide shows. Sometimes I feel like I don’t really know what I’m doing in life – I absolutely love modelling, inspiring people to create things, performing, dancing, manifesting different emotions and versions of myself for a lens, travelling… being free… but there is also the aspect of uncertainty I frequently feel when someone asks me the simple question ‘what do you do?’ I will make a confession: sometimes I feel a little sheepish. Is modelling a worthy activity? Is it vain, ephemeral, obscure, difficult to understand? Am I just floundering, indulging myself in an indefinite ‘gap year’ when I should really be using my (expensive, extensive, successful) education and be a ‘real’ person in the ‘real’ world? Should I do something more productive with my time for income – be a doctor (admittedly unlikely; too squeamish), help people, make a difference in the world which goes beyond prancing about for ‘pretty pictures’?
What I felt at FestX was a sense of validation. Watching the slide shows in the evenings made what we do feel important. During the day, we had fun, chatting, laughing and playing about with cameras… and in the evenings we saw the results of what those times can achieve; set against music chosen by the creator with an intent to move their audience in the way they choose, simple frame after frame of beauty and interest, creativity and visual stimulation. Watching my own slideshow, put together by Michael Marlborough was one of the proudest moments I’ve experienced for a looong time.
I want to say a biiiig thank you to everyone who booked me during the week, was interested in making art with me (and thus helped make my presence retrospectively possible by helping towards my jaw-droppingly expensive flight…seriously, WTF?!) and a biiig thank you to Zoe, who is obviously very wonderful and clever to think of organising such things. I had fun! Can I come again?
Here are my snapshots…