culture | 23 may 2017

 photographer ch'lita collins asked these young men an open question: "What do you want to see change?" 

 

photographs & interview: ch'lita collins

 

Caleb Turnbull, 17

I want to see more people embracing their culture. I think anyone should be comfortable in their own skin and with their cultural identity. I know too many bi-racial people who feel uncomfortable with their background. They see themselves as too ‘white’ or too disconnected to view their roots as a valuable part of their identity. So many people fail to acknowledge the beauty of their dual heritage and culture. But if you’re cool with who you are, I’m not saying feel the need to change. When my parents grew up, children were brought being ashamed of who they were. Being a person of colour meant you were a subject of daily ridicule and humiliation. People felt forced to minimise any part of their identity that didn’t fit the mould of what being a New Zealander was. However, these days people don’t have to bottle up who they are, we can be open and proud of our cultural diversity! But I don’t think everyone’s realised this yet.  My grandparents sacrificed everything they knew to move to New Zealand with the dream of their children and grandchildren excelling here. But I think they always wanted us to take them and Samoa with us and our successes in life. I think New Zealand still has a lot of issues with racial stereotypes and inequality. It is my opinion that the first step to diminishing these issues is through more people welcoming and accepting their backgrounds, to help break down these perceptions that society holds of us.

 

Pako Dunn-Seomeng, 18

I want white kids to stop saying nigga, especially on the internet.

 

Calvin Corner, 19

I'd like to see more experimental or alternative music brought to the scene. I think wellington and New Zealand as a whole has a great music scene, but id love to see it expand a bit more, for people to really get the noises in their head out into the world. I think this kind of honest expression would encourage more and more people to create not just music but art and culture.

 

Jackson Straugheir, 18

I hate marriage. How can people love something that was just used to oppress women, homosexuals and now the poor? It's a total load of shit and I wish people would get over it

 

Joseph Aldridge, 15

I'd like to see a shift in culture at wellington college and other wellington boys high schools. I hope the offhand misogynistic comments to be a thing of the past. As well as a stronger grasp of the concept of feminism among students and certain members of staff.

 

Cody Berkhan, 19

I think that the mainstream media has an underlying but highly significant influence over the majority of societies thought processes. This needs to change, question more, don't believe everything that is told to you, develop your own opinions. This change would allow for a far more independent, individual and creative society.

 

Mahdhi Osman, 19

I think it's more important for people to be politically aware and educated, young people have this awesome opportunity to impact the way our nation is governed with innovative and new ideas, but so often we either don't show up at the polls because we feel alienated by party politics, or just end up feeling apathetic and voting blindly and that sucks

 

Alex Birkett, 18

I don't know that's way too open ended! food that makes your mouth different colours is fun, I'm a fan, some more food like that is a change I'd want to see. probably just changes with me though maybe like if could get into the habit of setting some time and just doing work, being a little more productive would be nice. something boring like that I'm in a happy wee funk at the moment and change is exciting but also scary will have to wait and see.

 

Links:

ch'lita collins: website

 

Grams:

ch'lita collins: @ch'lita

 

Hashies:

#somethingsoon #portraits #streetportraits #chlitacollins #photographer #interview #youth #boys #youngmen #changes #politicallyaware #race #culture #identity #education #marriage #feminism #opinions #future #misogyny #difference #music #musicscene #wellington #newzealand #loandbehold #loandbeholdnz #newmediafromthenewworld

 

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