Category Archives: Affiliates

Tatiana Lathion: The Man, The Basement

Photography by Tatiana Lathion, Copyright 2020

 

Photography, Video and Text by Tatiana Lathion, Copyright 2020

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The Man, The Basement

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In this series, the artist chose to shoot in a basement. Why a basement? Well, in many ways, the basement symbolizes a sort of dark unfinished place, a place where our emotions dwell, where we experience the raw affect of feeling. In reality, many use the basement to store unwanted or unneeded items. It is often a place in a house that remains in a constant need of repair and disorder or casual place of gathering. It is never the first room to be shown to guests and is often times never shown to guests. In horror movies, it is the place where a character meets their death and is often associated with uneasy feelings. A finished basement is never the norm and is often met with surprise as people expect its rough edges. In this series, it symbolizes the place where we hide away our emotions. It represents the darkest and innermost sense of self, where we are allowed to express ourselves.

The subject of this series is a young black male, dressed in all black clothing. In this series of images, he expresses four emotions: sadness, despair, happiness, and love. In the hyper masculine society that we dwell within, there exists a societal standard that inhibits a free, uncritical expression of emotion from the male population. In many ways this is only intensified by the subjects blackness. In our society, the black population in the United States cannot afford to express emotions freely for being fearful of being viewed as weak, irrational, or unhinged by the ruling state. Instead, a burden is enforced in many minority households of this population to uphold and withhold their emotional state from others. Emotional expression is thus rejected two-fold for the subject of this series. However, in this darkened place, the subject is encouraged to express an emotional state. This symbolizes the inner emotional conflict of the subject, which is often never revealed to the general public.

In short, this series of images constitutes a small glimpse into the soul of the subject. It symbolizes the raw emotional state of the self and the continuous growth of human emotion. The subject and the setting are juxtaposed against shinny silver garland that is hung on the exposed pipes of the basement. For me, the reflective material represents an attempt to dress the dark unfinished parts of the human soul. It reflects the light and seems unnatural in the space and yet it adds to a concept of improving the self and allowing for emotional expression. I feel as though self-care and self-love has become this very surface level movement that attempts to improve years of trauma and emotional suppression with a face mask or some trivial material fix. However, to really heal and fix the human soul, it takes work and emotional upheaval of that suppression.

This series, attempts to create a visual representation of an abstracted construction of the holding place for the subjects emotions. It touches on the suppression of emotion by the subject and an expanded identity as well as attempts to reconstruct the artificial attempts to heal emotional trauma.

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About The Author: Tatiana Lathion is a senior enrolled at Haverford College majoring Political Science and Government.

 

Also posted in Blog, Cameras, Documentary, Environment, Film, Friends of TWS, Haverford College, lifestyle, Men, Photography, Popular Culture, Portraiture, Student Life, Video, Women

Huiping Tina Zhong: The Stories We Tell

Photography by Huiping Tina Zhong, Copyright 2020

 

Photography and Text by Huiping Tina Zhong, Copyright 2020

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THE STORIES WE TELL

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The Construction of Narratives Through Performativity of Emotions

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This is the first time for me to use an analog camera, hence every aspect of each strip of film fascinates me. The shape of the film reminds me of comic strips, which inherently signify the progress of a narrative, usually chronologically. I set the shooting space to be a space with arches, while each emotion is performed in a different arch, as if the arches are the frame of a stage or a painting, or a hole through which people peek through to view early forms of motion pictures. Different emotions are signified through different pieces of accessories on the same body, and sometimes even only through accessories, in other words, the absence of a body. In the schema, time proceeds both horizontally and vertically, and hopefully creating various storylines for each inspector.

In the first arch is sadness. The signifier of sadness is a pilot helmet. In my understanding, a pilot is isolated in the plane, and the helmet reminds me of war. In the first scene, the pilot is sitting by herself, and in the second round, she is embracing herself with sorrow. What happened? Maybe she has lost her fellow soldiers.

In the second arch is love. Looking out, she seems to be waiting for someone, and she seems to be enjoying her time. I chose a colorful skirt to represent the passion and the exuberance of young love. And when the lover arrives, she joyfully jumps in the air.

In the third arch, despair is represented through index, a trace of a body that was once here: gloves, shoes, a big coat, and a hat. It can be interpreted in various ways, but it can signify the loss of a life, which resonates with war, and even with love. Perhaps it is the lover that was lost to the pilot. The two scenes of despair is the same, because an absent body remains absent.

The last arch is happiness. She wears a pair of extravagant sunglasses with a golden frame, in the first scene she seems to be greeting someone happily, but in the second scene she is gone. Where is she? Is happiness now lost? It is open to the readers’ interpretations.

But let us return to the notion of the construction of a narrative. Although the inherent nature of an analog film strip is that it is indexical and chronological, life often does not have a clear plot line, and our memory of life gets entangled together to form our perception of the world, of our existence. This messy mixture of emotions and anachronistic events becomes the narrative that we construct for ourselves, while the difference between reality and performed memory becomes imperceptible.

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Portrait of Huiping Tina Zhong by Joy Bao, Copyright 2020.

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About The Author:  Huiping Tina Zhong is a senior majoring in Art History at Bryn Mawr College.

Also posted in Architecture, Art, Blog, Cameras, Current Events, Environment, Film, Friends of TWS, Haverford College, lifestyle, Popular Culture, Portraiture, Student Life, Women

Bob Shell: Finally Something Good to Report

Prison. Photo: Julie Chu Cheong, Copyright 2020

 

Text by Bob Shell, Copyright 2020

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Finally Something Good to Report

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Finally something good to report! In early January, I was transferred to the GLU (Good Living Unit, pronounced like ‘glue’). It’s for people who don’t cause trouble, and there are 88 of us out of a population of a thousand. You have to be charge-free for a year to get in, and I’ve been charge-free for almost three years.  Nobody will steal from me here, and I won’t be attacked. It’s great to be able to relax for a change.

We get incentives to be good. Once a month we get a pastry, cookie, etc., we have a small library of books we can read, we go to chow first every day, and every weekend we see recent movies on one of our big HD TVs. Recently, we saw Once Upon A Time: In Hollywood, which I found very slow-paced and way too long. The whole mood of this pod is radically different from others I’ve been in.

I take Celebrex twice a day for arthritis, and have to stand outdoors in a long line to get it, regardless of the weather. All my other pills are ‘self med,’ which means they give me a thirty day supply to keep in my cell and take every day. In the year and a half that I was at River North, I had Celebrex as self med, but here at Pocahontas they won’t let me have it that way. Pocahontas is security level 2/3, while River North is 4/5. So it makes no sense that I can’t have my Celebrex as self med here.

Recently, I stood in line for more than forty-five minutes to get my morning pill, the temperature below freezing, in a mix of rain and snow. I complained about having to do this for a single pill, and took my complaint all the way to the VDOC head office in Richmond, who said my complaint was ‘unfounded.’ Standing out in the weather aggravates my arthritis, the very thing the pill is for.

But, that’s typical of the VDOC. When I first came into the system back in 2008, I was complaining to a Sergeant about some policy. He said, “Mr. Shell, your problem is that you expect things to make sense. This is the DOC. NOTHING MAKES SENSE! Get that through your head and you’ll do just fine.” He was right, nothing in the system makes sense.

I read recently in Prison Legal News magazine (www.prisonlegalnews.org) about a man in another state who was given a belt by prison staff, and later given a charge for having it. Reminded me of the time I wrote a letter to a lawyer on a prison law library typewriter, and was given a charge for doing it, even though that’s one of the stated purposes of the typewriters. I was kicked out of the law library for six months over that! I appealed, of course, but my appeals were denied at every level. So that ridiculous charge is still on my record, and I was set back six months in my legal work to get my false convictions overturned.

My book COSMIC DANCE has received many positive reviews. If you haven’t read it yet, please buy and read it. It’s on Amazon under my name, also available from www. odalysllc.com, the company that did the grunt work on it and got it published.

I’m in good company. Amazon recently signed Dean Koontz and Patricia Cornwell to write books directly for them, bypassing traditional publishers. This move has publishers terrified, and for good reason. Amazon can get a book into its distribution channels faster than regular publishers. Unfortunately, it’s another nail in the coffin of independent bookstores, who won’t have access to these books. I love the bookstore experience. Browsing online just can’t touch it. When I was in college at Virginia Tech, I worked in an independent bookstore, and have fond memories.

I go up for geriatric parole again in March. So far I’ve gone up before the parole board eight times, and been turned down eight times. I’m a perfect candidate for parole, and was dismayed by all these turndowns, until I figured it out. Someone is sabotaging my parole attempts. I don’t know who it is, but I have my suspicions. Probably the same person who kept going onto my Wikipedia bio page and putting lies on there. Research has indicated that this was Marion’s aunt, who still must believe the nonsense spouted at my trial by the medical examiner. I’ve had proof that his testimony was nonsense, to use a polite word for it, for some time in the form of statements from prominent pathologist Dr. Cyril Wecht and Dr. William T. Gormley, Chief Medical Examiner for Virginia. Anyone who hasn’t read it should go to my website, www.bobshelltruth.com and read Dr. Gormley’s interview. I’ve sent this to the Parole Board several times, but they choose to ignore it.

Dr. Gormley did tests that proved conclusively that Marion was never dead in my presence, disproving the prosecutor’s idiotic theory that she was dead the last time we had sex. I’ve never had sex with any woman who was not a fully aware consenting adult in my entire long life. I’m 73 as of last December, and my reputation on that score was unblemished until the Radford cops and prosecutors set out to destroy me. Their reasons were political, having absolutely nothing to do with any alleged crimes.

Many of you continue to ask about and wish me well in my quest to get my precious forest back. The case is still in court, but a lawyer suggested a new tactic to me, and I’m pursuing it. I’m going after the two lawyers involved in the sale, whose actions were certainly unethical, possibly illegal. I will pursue this to the end, no matter how long it takes or how much it costs.

On another topic, most of the contents of my photography studio are in a rented storage unit. Some of you have already helped me keep the monthly rent paid, but any who haven’t and are willing to help, please let me know and I’ll let you know how to help. All my contact info is on my website, www. bobshelltruth.com , the website friends built for me

Until next time, my friends, you have all my best wishes.

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About The Author: Bob Shell is a professional photographer, author and former editor in chief of Shutterbug Magazine. He is currently serving a 35 year sentence for involuntary manslaughter for the death of Marion Franklin, one of his former models.  He is serving the 11th year of his sentence at Pocahontas State Correctional Facility, Virginia. To read more letters from prison by Bob Shell, click here: https://tonywardstudio.com/blog/photography/

Editor’s Note: If you like Bob Shell’s blog posts, you’re sure to like his new book, COSMIC DANCE by Bob Shell (ISBN: 9781799224747, $ 12.95 book, $ 5.99 eBook) available now on Amazon.com . The book, his 26th, is a collection of essays written over the last twelve years in prison, none published anywhere before. It is subtitled, “A biologist’s reflections on space, time, reality, evolution, and the nature of consciousness,” which describes it pretty well. You can read a sample section and reviews on Amazon.com.

 

 

Also posted in Architecture, Blog, Documentary, Environment, Friends of TWS, Men, Politics

Katie Kerl: Valentine’s Self Care & Cocktails

 

Text and Photos by Katie Kerl, Copyright 2020

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Valentine’s Self Care & Cocktails

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Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching! It smacks you in the face at every turn. This year I urge you to put the phone down and stop swiping in dating apps. I was doing a little research and downloaded everyone I could find. Be very careful when on them. It seems as though at least 50% of men are on dating, hookup, and seeking arrangement apps. That is not my idea of a good time. Cross reference your picks that way. If not you could end up with a disease meeting a sex addict who is using all of the apps.

This led me to wonder why we so desperate for acceptance and mediocre dates on a Hallmark holiday? It is filled with awful pre-fix menus, cheaply made jewelry, drug store boxes of candy, & flowers that DIE. Why have we let the media make us think we have to have a date, or do anything on this day?

When I am in a relationship I make it special by surprising the person I am with. I make dinner, buy cool gifts, and usually some fun sex gag gift to be used later; haha! Going out for a few drinks and dessert is a very nice alternative the whole over reserved pre-fixed meal. I think it is one of the worst days of the year to eat out.

This year I am completely single, and will be spending it with a few friends. I’ll probably get a manicure, make dinner, and we will go dance somewhere. That is what makes me happy. If you are single celebrate that! If you are involved do not let that day be the only one you get off your ass to show appreciation to your loved ones. Self care is love, for men and women. Take that $300 you were going to waste and invest in yourself. After all, you are worth it!

I have compiled a few lists of perfect self care services around the city, and places to have cocktails and small bites that I enjoy. I’m going to start off with the men, let’s face it ladies they feel like they get left out a lot on this holiday. If your man treats you well appreciate that too!!  

 Masculine self care Ideas:

The Blind Barber just opened in the Gayborhood. They have locations in Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, New York, and now Philadelphia. It will not be a place to miss. Get your hair cut, and have a drink in their restaurant/club and relax.

Sulimay’s Barber Shop in Fishtown specializes in haircuts and straight shaves. This barber shop has been around since 1922! If that does not give you an idea of the quality here I am not sure what will. After, check out Suraya for a few cocktails and great people watching.

Blokes Barber Shop & Gentlemen Emporium in Old City. This unique barber also has a slew of gifts that are perfect for a self care splurge. They carry cufflinks, books, shave sets, socks, flasks, jewelry, and funny gag gifts as well.

Ashton Cigar Bar in center city is a very nice place to relax if you love your smoke and whiskey. The servers are all pretty, and they have a wide variety of drinks and cigars to choose from.

Art in the Age located in, Old City is a liquor tasting boutique. It is a unique spot to gather a group of friends, and start day drinking. They offer tastings, cocktail classes, sell bar accessories, bitters, mixers, & recipe books for the at home bartender that likes to entertain.

Follow it up with some sushi around the corner at Tuna Bar.

Reserve a table at Rec & Royal, for their weekend brunch party, Saturday and Sunday from 11-5. There is a food buffet, mimosa bar, and cool arcade games to keep you fully entertained.  

Treat yourself to a pair of new shoes or sneakers at Lapstone & Hammer.

The Suit Supply Is also a great place for the trendy go getter to add to their wardrobe.

Noto will be having a weekend full of parties to go dance the night away at.

The Ritz Carlton Spa offers lovely massage packages.

You can follow it up with their smoked mescal drink in the beautiful marble lobby.

Finally, treat yourself to the concert, or sports game you have been dying to go to.

 For the men who say Valentine’s Day is a women’s day; I think my laundry list of things to do may challenge that statement. Sometimes it just takes a little more than last minute planning.

Some gender neutral ideas:

Treat yourself to the gym membership you have been putting off, and get sexy for summer!

Luxury: The Sporting club at The Bellevue is a full gym/spa club equipped with pool, massage, food, meeting rooms, and personal training. Follow up your work out with a drink at XIX and try the seafood platter. It is located in the top of the hotel.

Mid level: City Fitness has multiple locations throughout the city. I recently joined the Northern Liberties location. They offer a wide range of classes, sauna, tanning, personal training, and a juice bar.

When you are finished walk a few blocks down Second Street and pop into Spuntino Wood Fired Pizza, and grab a heart shaped pizza. Bring your favorite wine because they are a BYOB, they have private parties, and pizza making classes!!

Basic: Planet Fitness has all of the equipment you would need to get cut for summer. They also have a few locations around the city.

Treat yourself to the concert, or sports game you have been dying to go to.

Revive Med Philly Is located in Northern Liberties. They are a non surgical cosmetics boutique. Offering a wide variety of services: facials, Botox, fillers, laser hair removal, EMsculpt, skin care products, finally IVs for hangovers & to boost immunity. I have been there a few times, and you will not find a more welcoming staff in the city. They will not over do it and tell you NO if you are being ridiculous. That is important! Patient continuity of care! Stop in and check out their V-Day specials, and guess the number of hearts in the glass jar to win a free service. You must be present to enter.

Take a photo in front of their beautiful wall for the gram, after they get you glowing in the right direction! They just started a monthly membership call for inquires.

Now for a few Feminine self care options:

Lacquer Lounge in old City is so cute for a mani/pedi. They have all white interior, and pops of pink spread around. Sip a glass of wine and relax while they take care of you.

Rescue Spa is a very tranquil space that you immediately feel at ease upon walking in. Great for a girl’s day, this spa offers a wide variety of services that are sure to please anyone. Call and see what works best for you, and your budget.

The Dandelion in Rittenhouse offers a fantastic afternoon tea. I actually took my mother there and it was quite the experience. You get a tower of tea sandwiches, sweet treats, and a pot of tea. There is a mimosa add on option that is very reasonable. The interior makes you think you have left Philly, and are sipping high tea in England.

 KAWAII KITTY CAFÉ in Queen Village, order your favorite coffee or tea. Then you are taken into a room to play with adoptable kitties. It is very cute to do if you have children as well. All of the cats were very friendly.

The Smak Parlor, located in Old City is a cute clothing and accessory shop that has yet to disappoint me.  They have very trendy reasonably priced pieces.

Book a Photo shoot session. Grab a bunch of outfits, go to a cool spot, and have fun! There is no better self esteem boost than amazing photos taken of you.

Have a Galantines’ brunch! Grab some friends and decorate your place. Make cute heart themed food, Valentines’ notes as place settings, and pomegranate mimosas.  Toss in a berry or two for garnish.

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While love is not always in the air in a romantic sense; we absolutely can enjoy Valentine’s Day in our own way. Appreciate the people in your life. After all, when your relationships end your friends are still there for you.

If you are happily involved I wish that REAL DEEP LOVE for all of you.

These suggestions work if you are single, taken, or for any gender if you identify differently.

I wanted the singles out there to know;

IT IS OK TO BE SINGLE and LOVE YOURSELF FIRST!

I hope everyone has a fun Valentines’ day no matter how you choose to celebrate.

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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 

For collaboration e-mail: Kate.kerl32@gmail.com

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To access additional article by Katie Kerl, click herehttps://tonywardstudio.com/blog/katie-kerl-dating-guide-2020/

 

Also posted in Blog, Current Events, Friends of TWS, Health Care, Popular Culture, Student Life, Women

Vibe Rouvet: Opera News From France

Vibe Rouvet

 

STUDIO NEWS

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On the 18th of January, 2020 French opera singer Vibe Rouvet continues to impress audiences at the New Year’s concert she performed at Pau’s conservatory in Lescar’s Cathedral, located in Pau, France.  She sang Mein Herr Marquis from Strauss’s opera Die Fledemaus, and the Flower Duet from Leo Delibes’ opera Lakme’.

Vibe Rouvet at Pau’s Conservatory in France

Vibe is a 19 year old student in Pau’s conservatory. The orchestra Chief is Guy Brunschwig a renowned director at the conservatory who performed with the students. 

Vibe had another concert at the Chapelle conservatory and sung the same song but with a higher end note (contre sol) higher than in the air of the Queen of the Night!

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For additional articles about this rising star in Opera, click herehttps://tonywardstudio.com/blog/vibe-rouvet-the-latest-from-france/

 

Also posted in Accessories, Announcements, Art, Blog, Current Events, Documentary, Environment, Friends of TWS, Glamour, History, Popular Culture, Student Life, Travel, Women