Moni and Power

‘I feel most powerful when I’m learning and able to communicate effectively. After all, knowledge is power, and learning and listening, in whatever form that may be, makes me feel like a more connected and understanding person. And I feel like true power and compassion comes from these forms. In order to be a good artist, writer, or have an informed opinion on anything, you need to listen first, understand experiences and then speak. And I honestly feel truly powerful when I’m in that cycle of listening and producing as when I’m making art or writing essays is when I feel like I am able to be my most expressive.’

‘Feeling like I have a voice (when that happens) makes me feel quite powerful and listened to. But also, learning about other people and connecting with other people… as their stories fill me with passion and allow me to broaden my perspective, making me feel more connected to different humans. I guess just understanding people and listening to people, but also being heard through that sense of communication.’

‘I think as a WOC [Womn Of Colour] in Australia, we are not really represented at all in the political landscape or the media so we really have no visible power, which is really unfortunate because migrants and POC [People of Colour] are the backbone of Australia’s economy (in particular paying taxes).’

‘I don’t really feel as though I have a voice outside of an artistic community as many people question and invalidate concerns and issues that POC [People of Colour] deal with (mainly white cis females funnily enough) or have to make every issue about them when they just need to listen. But funnily enough in the art community (or in my work) I struggle to make work that is political and speaks without being to outwardly preachy because when you’re preachy, people don’t take your concerns seriously as you get lumped in with a group of extremities. However, I for sure have a much louder and more represented voice than those in the LGBTQI+, indigenous and disabled communities.'

‘Having the privilege and opportunity to dress how I please without any restriction makes me feel powerful as I feel like that’s the one form of expression that we all must partake in every day and I love being able to explore my identity through how I represent myself. I feel like it’s one of the only ways I’m able to express myself and others have to listen (if they look) without being controlled (at least not as much as other places in the world). But of course, the way I dress is still controlled and shaped by my context.’

// Moni's portraits were taken with a PentaxK1000 and Portra 400 film. No edits.

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