A Talk with a Diplomat’s Daughter
Interviewed by: Benin Lee
Where are you from, and do you speak another language?
I am from Gauteng, Pretoria in the country of South Africa. I can speak German, and a little bit of my mother tongue, Sesotho.
Your father is a South African diplomat, can you explain a little about what that life is like?
He is an ambassador, so he represents South Africa in different countries. Right now, he’s in Guinea- Bissau, which is in west Africa. Before that we were in Indonesia and Prague, so yeah, we have moved around a lot.
What is one of the most interesting places that being a diplomat’s daughter has taken you?
I think I would say Indonesia. It’s definitely a different culture from South Africa and other places mainly because I felt it was “homogeneous” population which definitely led to some culture shock as a foreigner. However, my time there overall was great.
Have the different places you have lived affected you as photography major?
Oh, for sure, I think one of the things I’m going to focus on is food. I mean I love food, and a lot of the food I eat isn’t country based. I like mixing my foods, styles and seasonings. So, a lot of the stylings and the food I put in my pictures will come from different countries. There could be something like a South African dish, styled with an European technique. I enjoy anything that is not so “one-cultured,” I enjoy taking things that I’ve learned from the places I’ve lived and kind of just putting it in my arsenal, and not just in this case but in fashion as well.
How long have you been interested in photography?
I would say eight or nine years, but at first, I wasn’t allowed to take photography as a major. My parents were worried about me finding a job in the future, and were concerned with my financial security. After a long time of convincing them and showing them what I could do, they allowed me to become a photo major. I also had to promise them that I would work hard and be able to do things on my own and provide for myself.
Is there any specific style that your work has?
My work is generally very minimalistic. A lot of people like to make it conceptual, using their past or their history and putting it into their artwork. Most of my art I would say is simplistic and appealing to me and those who see it. I like things that look nice, the aesthetics.
Do you think that living abroad has affected the way you see things here on such a diverse campus? Is there any advice you would give to someone going abroad?
I’d say that it really taught me how to appreciate and be open to other cultures. Some people I know are often closed off and not willing to try new foods or experiences. So, I think living abroad has helped me talk to people who I may not have otherwise. As well to have conversations and share ideas. It has definitely made me more open to accepting, and sharing cultures between people. My advice to people going abroad would be, just do it! Also, don’t be afraid to talk, and learn from locals and try your local food.