Photography and Text by Rachel Grand, Copyright 2021
Jewish in the Bi-Co
Jewishness is not an easily defined term. It surely has something to do with Judaism as a religion, but it also suggests a cultural identity and even an ethnicity. The experience of centuries of persecution, isolation and resilience by the Jewish people has contributed to a distinctive Jewish identity that remains intact today. There is great diversity in how Jewishness is defined and expressed, both everywhere and here in the Bi-Co. Using portrait photography, I wanted to use this microcosm to explore what it means to identify and express one’s Jewishness.
The Bi-College community of Bryn Mawr and Haverford is a complicated place to be Jewish. There is a long, troubled history at both schools of blatant and covert forms of antisemitism. From the quotas for Jewish students and the existence of Nazi sympathizer groups, to contemporary political discourse, the Bi-Co is not always a safe and welcoming place to be Jewish. Yet, students continue to form community with one another and maintain a proud Jewish identity.
This exhibition displays photographs that I created for a photography class. I reached out to Jewish individuals and groups on campus, asking for volunteers to sit for a portrait. The volunteers were encouraged to wear what made them feel both the most “Jewish” and like themselves. These subjects may or may not come from Jewish households or backgrounds. Some keep kosher, some are in the process of converting, and some are still figuring out what it means to be Jewish.
As you look at these portraits, ask yourself:
What does it mean to look Jewish? Do these photographs deconstruct or construct this appearance?
Photography and Text by Leah Haidar, Copyright 2021
This body of work includes portraits of my closest friends.I am titling it “Friendly Faces” because I have truly found my place with them.We all live in the same hall and live our daily lives together.We are all remarkably different, yet find common ground in valuing the safe space we have built together.I wanted to convey my friends as their authentic selves.In order to do so, I let them choose their own outfits to accurately express themselves.Besides the occasional brush of one’s hair, or posture adjustment, their presentation was their own.I decided to capture photographs of my friends at the end of our senior year because it is a very nostalgic time for us all.I am happy they will be able to hold onto these memories of themselves at Bryn Mawr for one of the last times.
These photographs were taken outside at some of our favorite spots on Bryn Mawr’s campus including Taft Garden and Rhoads Beach.Luckily for us, Bryn Mawr has such a beautiful campus that almost every spot would have been perfect for a portrait.I focused mainly on searching for spots that would best frame my subjects.I found myself intrigued by bushes and flowers, vines on stone arches, benches, and window reflections.These interests helped me frame my friends so their backdrop would be as pleasing to look at, as the subjects themselves.I wanted their background to be bold, but not outshine them.And because all of my photographs took place outside, I found the best light for my subjects to be right before sunset.
I really enjoyed learning how to take proper photographs of my friends.I enjoyed making them laugh and scowl at the camera.They were really good sports throughout this experience and I hope that their effervescent presence is captured through these photographs.
About The Author: Leah Haidar graduated Cum Laude from Bryn Mawr College BA in Sociology. Class of 2021
Photography and Text by Abby Harris, Copyright 2021
When I first looked at the syllabus for this class the assignment that I was the most afraid of was the individual project. I am not a confident person, I struggle with coming up with ideas and executing them, and overall it is very hard for me to be creative. It was only after I turned in my second assignment “ Get Vaccinated!” that I had a shred of an idea of what I would do for my individual project.
Professor Ward pointed out that even though I was highlighting the importance of getting vaccinated there was also an unintended theme of fashion in these photographs. This helped inspire and encourage my interest in fashion photography. Once I made the decision that I was going to shoot fashion for my individual project I went looking for inspiration in everything.
My girlfriend had recently purchased a sunset lamp from amazon and I saw the beautiful lighting it cast on her wall and I knew I wanted to include it in my project somehow. I made the decision that floral print clothing items would look best under this light and then I went about recruiting my friends to be models. For the shoot I picked everyone’s outfits, hair style, and makeup to keep it as uniform and professional as possible. Within every photo in this portfolio I wanted to highlight the floral clothing item as best as possible and have the sunset lamp add depth and intensity to each photo. One of the most difficult tasks of this photoshoot was directing and posing my friends but overall it was a good learning experience for me because after this project I now know I want to pursue fashion photography in the future.
This shoot taught me that I have a real passion for fashion photography and I have Professor Ward and his class to thank for pushing me to try this out.
After a year and two months, Philadelphia is about to lift all the restrictions put in place for COVID. I get my second Moderna Shot June 1st. I honestly am having a hard time wrapping my head around all of it to be honest. It was a Rainy Memorial Day weekend in the city. What better way to spend it than to inform people of some upcoming events, and other local small business re-openings.
We all have setbacks and I am healing from the entire year. I have no idea what the fuck I am doing now, but its working for me…
My lips and Botox…….. I wake up every day and am so happy I did it. because adulting Is hard, but we really do not have to look old anymore.
My idea of fun has changed so drastically, I think I am still discovering what new things make me happy.
Personally, I do not think I am ready to be in large crowds even after being vaccinated. While others slowly got to see more and more people, some never stopped what they were doing to begin with, and I am still getting used to being around 5-10 people again.
Be mindful that not all your friends will be running out the door to large events. That has nothing to do with you, and everything to do with their own comfort level, and their experience this year. more importantly feeling freedom again.
The beginning of summer always leads me to the pool..
I belong to a quiet & a party pool (balance).
Aronimink Swim Club
Address: 1180 Dermond Rd, Drexel hill Pa 19026
I am fortunate to belong to Aronimink Swim Club in Drexel Hill with my parents. A much more subdued non partying pool, but it is a perfect pool if you have children. There is a large main pool with a connected baby pool, diving board, and a slide. There is a smaller adult pool which is nothing but peaceful. Downstairs from the pool deck is basketball, tennis, volleyball, BBQ stations, food to order, and a playground for kids. My father’s family has been a member there for as long as I can remember. He coached the diving team when I was a kid, and I was a swimmer. Generational membership was a real thing there is the 1960s- 1990s. Families with their great grandchildren and everyone knew each other. It still has that vibe today. Sometimes I complain about things feeling like I am stuck in the 1950’s, but something about the pool never changing kind of reminds me of a scene from Dirty Dancing. That type of nostalgia I am completely ok with.
Vesper Day Club
Address: 1031 Germantown Ave, Philadelphia Pa, 19123
Located in Northern Liberties and a convenient 10 minute walk from my house . I have been a member here for a few years now. When I had a regular 9-5 job, I could not take advantage of how peaceful it is there during the week. I want to go when there is not a large crowd. It really satisfied my need for me time, and quite a few frozen Pina Coladas. The slushie drinks are lethal in the sun. Be sure to have many and stay hydrated. I do not remember a time walking out of there without being a shade darker, and a smile on my face.
The staff there this year is nice. Another reason I like going places when it is not crowded. There is nothing worse than a bad attitude.
The host Gia was informative about renting out the private cabanas with tv, seating, and your own private elevated pool. Perfect for birthdays and business events. There are two levels to the pool deck. If you want a quieter experience the upstairs lounges are nice as well. There is a DJ on the weekends and music playing around the pool daily. They also do networking and wellness events. Be sure to reserve your lounge, daybed, or cabana, and the time slot you wish to go on the website.
To receive 20% off your season membership please use my link on the website:
Fold Theory and their large group of like-minded friends held a live stream fundraiser totaling $5k to benefit Warehouse on Watts. Seeing communities of people coming together to save a venue is huge. After losing so many restaurants/clubs in the city; it would be nice to see more of this.
Friday 6/18 with Vicetone, Saturday 6/19 Dj Stevie J
Friday 6/25 Andrew Rayel, Saturday 6/26 Dj Spade
I have had some amazing nights here before the shutdown. One of my favorite nights at NOTO was Fisher; his parties never disappoint!
I highly suggest booking a table, so you have room to dance.
Olde City Tattoo
Hours open 11am -7pm
Address: 44 s 2nd St, Philadelphia, PA 19106
IG: oldecitytattoo, jag13badluck
They will soon be open later Saturday and Sunday.
I may not be ready for giant crowds, but I was however ready to finish my Alice in Wonderland half sleeve. Jason Goldberg is the owner and has been tattooing my whimsical dream since 2017. I finish my half sleeve in June, after starting it right before the pandemic hit. The funny thing is; when I was at Vesper Day Club two of the people had been tattooed there!. Jason has been in business for 20+ years Check them out if you are looking for ink.
Heavy Metal Hair Salon
1604 E. Passyunk Ave. Philadelphia Pa, 19148
Hours: Mon- Fri: 10-6, Sat 9-6, Sun 10-5
Brittany Goldberg is married to Jason. They are quite the creative hustling couple. She opened her hair salon in the middle of the pandemic! I must give her credit for jumping through all the city’s hoops and restrictions. The rainbow of bold colors that come out of the salon are quite breathtaking. I walked out a perfect dark to light ombre pink. I had tried to get this color for a long time, and no one was able to do it in one shot, or as bold as Brittany did. I will be back there after the city re-opens fully.
Heavy Metal Hair is also Having an event on 6/6
The Sick66 Jewelry Pop-Up with special guest Necronomicharm
Independent Philly has been around for quite some time. They will be up and running again next week as well. I remember them running around the venues to get the perfect shots at all the shows. This was when you could go to three amazing events in one night in Philadelphia.
I think we were fortunate enough to live though the height of the Philly nightlife scene. I was chatting with Dave about it when I asked for this info. We have seen three cycles of venues here over the years. In each the dynamics were a bit different, but it is cool to see the change in the city.
The photographers working with him all take amazing photos. They have been recognized in one way or another for their creativity in capturing a moment.
Dave has also created an NFT Interactive gallery storefront.
Dave has taken some of his photos and put them onto the Ethereum blockchain network. Creating an NFT (non- fungible token) store front. Which simply means it cannot be replaced with something else. If more creatives got together to learn this forward-thinking way of dealing art; there may not be so many starving artists in the future.
NFT’s are new to me so I am going to leave this link with the basics:
I write about Revive every chance I get to support women run businesses.
Not to mention you leave there feeling and looking like a goddess. I have my Botox, and lip filler done there. Aubrey has yet to disappoint me, although the entire staff is the nicest! There are no stupid questions, no mean girl attitude, and all the information you would want to know about your service. That is absolutely something to celebrate
. Aubrey also balances being a working wife, mom, and has a cool little guy at home to raise. The more I write about the small businesses here you really get to know the people behind them. I think that it is a big factor people do not always investigate when starting a business. What is your mission, and what kind of vibe are you giving off to the community?
I have been friends with Kevin for quite some time now. I am always floored at his creative energy, and ability to pick fabrics that look amazing on everyone. He took the time to hustle out in the pandemic and did pop-up shops, designed masks to go with his scarves, and coordinated a spring photoshoot in Rittenhouse Square for his line. The thing about Kevin that I love is; he is always changing and onto the next thing.
There is never a dull moment, and he is well respected in the Philadelphia arts community. The launch of his new website & Instagram events posted through the week. My grandmother told me no outfit was complete without a scarf. She was not incorrect .
Looking back, I know some amazing business owners that were able to maintain their shops. A few opened new ones in the middle of a pandemic & a shut down!!
Resilience in the face of anarchy is what we need to survive. People who live Alternative lifestyles that have different careers seem to be the ones winning. Also, empathizing with people going through it this year. We seem to be much better with this drastic change. If you are used to life not being normal, why would this be any different?
We adapt, grow, soften with every tragedy, help others win, and support the people who have made an impact on your life.
It is the effort we put into our lives that will direct us from here.
Good luck to all the businesses in the city about to fully open.
Happy Memorial Day!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Katie Kerl was raised in Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania. She is currently living in Northern Liberties, Philadelphia. Katie has a background in Psychology from Drexel University. She is a manager in the commercial/residential design field . Katie can be reached on Instagram @kerlupwithkate
Through this series, I try to capture the different ways in which sunlight bounces off surfaces to create playful reflections. Paired with shadows, the light creates almost illusionary effects on surfaces such as windows and floors. The play between shadows and light, black and white, is delicate and easily missed in everyday life. By framing minimal scenes, my goal was to draw focus to these reflections of light. I also wanted to draw on the common trope of finding light in darkness, but rather than setting the two as opposites, I wanted to see them in harmony. I want to leave the viewer feeling light and more intrigued about the shadows in their own lives.
About The Author: Lipi Paladugu is a recent graduate of Bryn Mawr College, Class of 2021. Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science.