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kiss your friends faces more

It’s become a yearly pilgrimage we take. In May, we visit these roses and dance, literally, in the abundance of petals and scent and beauty, in the middle of a city park like lunatics.
Or maybe just like women who have found themselves in one another.

We create and encourage and cackle and stare at the moon and push our faces in the dirt and really the best way I can find to describe it is… we’re free.

Being able to hold on to this kind of space during a global pandemic (this was the start of May, and the revolution hadn’t begun yet) has honestly kept me sane. An anchoring to self, to creativity, to friendship, to joy. That shit can sometimes feel tricky when there are other people and obligations and just general life to attend to, but it’s such a privilege that how could we not? and it’s also so deeply what I believe life should be about; I can’t imagine not making this space and inhaling every second into every cell of my body until it’s vibrating with life.

As @heatherhav says and the words I recount as a devotion - this is the luscious life 🙏🏽 These images are a prayer of gratitude and recognition. I see you. We see each other.

My feelings about these spaces we make for each other and the roles my friendships play in my life are summed up perfectly in these words from Lori Mathis:

Kiss your friends’ face more

Destroy the belief that

Intimacy must be reserved for

Monogamous relationships

Be more loving

Embrace platonic intimacy

Embrace vulnerability

Use emotionality as a

Radical tactic against a

Society which teaches you

That emotions

Are a sign of weakness

Tell more people

You care about them

Hold their hands

Tell others you

Are proud of them

Offer support readily

Take care of the

People around you

all there, in black and white

In the midst of lockdown, after ploughing through the endless groundhog days which were weirdly (for the UK) punctuated by endless sunshine, I needed to see things differently.

I ordered a few rolls of black and white film and spent some time with an altered view. Shooting in black and white does that for me, I have to see and feel everything that comes in to focus through the viewfinder differently. I seek out different things too - there’s an emphasis on tone and texture, graphic lines and harsh light. A simplicity emerges.

So here is May on film, a combination of KODAK TMAX400 35mm and ILFORD XP2 120 🖤