I stumbled across Miriam and her project in a remote place in south Iceland. (Probably it wasn't so, but that was the sensation). After a few weeks, when I was sadly rambling in Keflavik airport on the way home, accidentally I met her again! I think you should do so as well. (S.)
a) Name: Miriam.
b) Where are you from? Canada.
c) How old are you? Just turned 27.
d) Your sphere of interests: Writing, photography, music, travel.
e) Studies: Integrated Media at OCAD University in Toronto.
f) Please tell us a bit about your project. What is it about? How did it start? I've just started a website called Ouididi: stories and photos from some of the interesting people that I've met while living abroad. It's about people's dreams and adventures, the roads they've travelled, what they create. I would love to get it to the point where people regularly send in contributions from their own journeys.Ouididi started while doing an artist residency in Iceland (July) but I came up with the idea two years ago when I moved to New Zealand and took sailing lessons from an old fisherman, a great sailor who had done a lot of brave and unusual things in his life. I wanted a place to keep stories like his so they didn't disappear into my journals.
g) How do you think your geographical origin affect your perception of other countries? My family has affected my worldview the most. When I was eight, we spent nine months travelling, mostly camping, in the South Pacific. My mum taught us correspondence school. That was my first travel experience and it taught me that there are so many places to explore: different cultures, creatures, landscapes, political situations, levels of poverty; things I wouldn't have known if we hadn't left our backyard. Because of that I feel strongly that every corner of the earth is worth learning about if you can create the opportunity.
h) Three masters: Ragnar Axelsson, Malik Bendjelloul, my mother.
i) 1 inspiring place/city: Berlin. Australian outback.
l) A place you'd love to visit soon: I've just become fascinated with the Icelandic documentary photographer Ragnar Axelsson, who's done a lot of portraits of hunters and fisherman in the arctic. His work has left me aching to explore northern Canada and Greenland.
m) 1 recommended web-site: Smith Journal.
n) Favorite ice cream flavor: Oh gosh! Ice cream bar: coconut. Ice cream popsicle: honeydew melon. Ice cream cone: dark chocolate. Frozen yoghurt! Raspberry. Gelato, depends on the day.
o) Last book you have read: State of Wonder, by Ann Patchett. About a pharmaceutical researcher who works in the Amazon jungle.
p) What is the main difficulty for a young creative today? I think a lot of people struggle with confidence. It's so important to have faith in your vision even when you're struggling to pay rent. Someone who I admire enormously once said to me that when she started her business, she could have been turned down by 200 people, but she would still wait for one person to say yes. I always have to remind myself of the line from the 80s baseball movie, Field of Dreams: "If you build it, they will come."
q) What are you looking for? I always want to have the opportunity to learn from and be inspired by people in other parts of the world. I've also always wanted to work for myself. Ideally spend some parts of the year working in remote wilderness and other times based in the city.
r) What do you like to study when you'll be old? When I'm ancient I want to have a biodynamic apple orchard. Sell fresh juice and cider.
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Photo credits: Photo of me is by Olivier Moly. Durian fruit by Jessica Chen. Baby kangaroo, emu chicks by Anne Lukis. Fire on a cattle ranch and saying goodbye to a cow before the abbatoir, by Kalian Lo. / Second page, screen shot photo credits: Magma chamber, by Amy Purcell. Canoe in the Kimberley, by C. Jack Gillies. Kangaroo, Anne Lukis. Self portrait of Kalian Lo.
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