Three cultures in one week.

Living in three different worlds, three cultures, all separated by nothing but half an hour of walking, three bus stops, a trainride to the other side of the city. European mainstream culture. Church. Capoeira.

Body image – objectification, purification, celebration. Make-up and diets, prudery and hiding, samba de roda and rejoicing in movement for its own sake.

Music – sex and money, worship and encouragement, community and fuelling the game.

Clothing – fashion, modesty, convenience.

So many other points, like cultural behaviour, that I can’t even begin to describe with just a few words. Language. Forming relationships. The view on history, politics, and globalisation. Sense of self.

I step in and out of cultures, I dress their way (more or less), I try to mold my ways of communicating to what is comfortable and acceptable for the people surrounding me at a given time. But in my heart, all three are present all the time. I’m more than the sum of the cultures and subcultures I’m part of. I’m still growing and learning to navigate this inner maze, deciding which paths to add to my map and which landmarks to reject for being misleading.




Monthly make-up use review: May

Another month is over – another month without any make-up use to report!

I went to a wedding without wearing any make-up, I didn’t put anything besides coconut oil on my face when spending a night out with friends partying … nobody cared, in the fun pictures from the wedding I don’t even look that bad despite a few red spots, and after the party most of us looked pretty tired and sweaty anyway (samba de roda in a small, stuffy dance bar, anyone?).

The “project”



My favourite pair of jeans broke …

A few days ago my favourite pair of jeans just decided to rip apart. At first I thought I had only managed to tear off one of the belt loops, but when I wanted to fix this today I discovered there was a whole lot of damage I can’t fix with some simple stitches.

Sure, I had bought that shabby old pair of grey stretchy skinny jeans for €4 in a thrift shop last year, but it was so comfortable and made me happy every time I wore it that I’m very sad to have let it go already.

Most of my clothes are rather old, many of them starting to come apart these days. I hope I’ll manage to find some worthy replacements – on the long run I want nothing but comfortable, flattering, versatile pieces in my wardrobe.

Lead me …

I still don’t have the results for my master’s thesis. I don’t even know whether I passed or not. Honestly, I don’t know if I even care anymore.

For the moment I’ll have to focus on my work (still have to work through a backlog of several hours) and then …

The last few years everything fell into place in some unexpected ways. Maybe it’s time I learn to trust again in being lead, in being guided to the next step. It’s just so frustrating to see others’ careers take of, people living their dreams, while to me it looks like I’ll never find a way to get paid for doing the things I really love. Sometimes I don’t even know what my dreams are. But photography is at least part of it. Writing my PhD about African languages/cultures would enable me to combine my love for research and photography. Cultural documentation in more than one way would be awesome. So would be science, art, and many other things. Capoeira, theology, growing vegetables.

I want to dream big again. I just don’t know where to start.

Capoeira Photographs

If you like capoeira (and I know at least some of my followers do!) you might want to take a look at my photo blog these days and check out my new capoeira portfolio section as well ;)

In other words, I spent half my weekend lying on my stomach in a gym hall (cue the awkward moments of Mestres almost tripping over me) and crouching between the legs of people standing in the roda to capture some cool workshop moments. Well, okay, sometimes I was standing on a bench as well.

I’m quite happy with the results. I had a lot of fun tinkering with the pictures and discovered how well capoeira and black-and-white photography go together.

A preview of what you’ll find on my photo blog these days. Please do not modify or re-upload on other pages and only share with proper credits (= link to my photo blog and adding a note like “by Starfishskies Photography”).

Confused moments of the week

A few days ago the weather seemed to be fine and sunny. I started walking over to the mall a few streets away, when suddenly a rain drop fell on my forehead. I looked up – and just that moment a lightning bolt flashed right above me. It was a somewhat confusing experience. On I went shaking my head, when suddenly a heavy torrent of rain and moments later also hail came pouring down, accompanied by a rather stormy breeze. When I tried to hold the hood of my anorak (waterproof, luckily) in front of my face to protect my eyes from flying hailstones the cold rain poured into my sleeve. Wait, so the hail is blown in one direction and the rain in the other?

All the sudden changes in the weather tend to give me a headache. Today I decided to get a pain killer from the kitchen and ended up opening the fridge instead of the medicine cabinet.

Confused Starfish is being confused.