Headshot Session with Kapisanan

Headshot Session with Kapisanan

Date of shoot:
March 7th, 2017

Photographer:
Fonna Seidu

Models:
Alexandra Baluyot, Amenah Abusara, Carol Ann Apilado, Czarina Campo, Darryll Magboo, Diana Mae Putting, Genesis Giocada, Lorenzo Colcado, Samantha Moya, and Shari Sivayogarajah

Social Media Workshop & Portrait Session at UrbanArts Community Arts Council

Social Media Workshop & Portrait Session at UrbanArts Community Arts Council

Workshop Description:
GAIN MORE VISIBILITY FOR YOUR BRAND ONLINE! Learn tips and strategies to optimize your social media profiles so that you can increase your followers and your social media engagement.
Facilitated by: Tanya Turton
Headshots by: Fonna Seidu

Portrait Session for Black Queer Youth at Supporting Our Youth in Sherbourne Health Centre

Portrait Session for Black Queer Youth at Supporting Our Youth in Sherbourne Health Centre

Date: February 22nd, 2017
Location: Sherbourne Health Centre
Photos by: Fonna Seidu
Youth Group: Black Queer Youth (BQY) is a weekly drop-in group where we celebrate Black queer and trans spectrum people’s trials and accomplishments.

Portrait Session with Slimthick Monroe at Allen Gardens and Graffiti Alley

Portrait Session with Slimthick Monroe at Allen Gardens and Graffiti Alley

Date: February 18, 2017
Photographer: Fonna Seidu
Model: Slimthick Monroe

Youth Biography Workshop

I've been socialized to not boast about myself and this sometimes hinders my writing and networking processes. I still haven't finished my biography…but an artist statement is in the process!

Slowly but surely I will be able to talk freely about myself without feeling fake or false.

 

“Celebrate yourself. No one will know you’re awesome unless you tell them.” That’s what award-winning multidisciplinary artist and educator, Kim Katrin Crosby, said to more than 30 young artists in a free workshop series at the Daniels Spectrum cultural centre. Youth across the Greater Toronto Area, came out to the workshop to learn how to write their unique artistic biographies and mission statements.

More at SNAP North York

Sept to Nov in 3 minutes & 5 Seconds

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My first video recapping September - November 2013; there are a lot of things that need to be worked on, but I'm still pretty proud of my video!

SONG CREDITS

Morsa - erotic post-ironic ft. Ella morsa

Dd2 remixx - legend da beatslaya

Blank kytt  - sgt frog

Handbook - been a while since you spoke bad panda

Unknown - Flying until the end

Happy Birthday Body Fat! Happy Birthday.

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Asian Arts Freedom School hosted a 3-part workshop series with Catherine Hernandez.

In the first workshop Catherine created a circle of safe vulnerability where we had to connect with our muse (or intuition) by making eye contact with other participants then breaking into a body movement. We then split into small groups to re-create a reading of a eulogy. Following the reading Catherine invited us to write a creative eulogy; some people wrote about their past selves and others spoke of abstract concepts. Here's mine, talking about the death of expectations:

Goodnight sweet expectations. Born before the birth of your mother; plans, hopes, and dreams. You were supposed to bring Fonna the American Dream - husband, some kids, a nice house, with a pleasant job - regurgitating norms.

Fondest farewell as a reclamation is in process. Expectations, you've held back many dreams, disappointed many parents, and shattered countless relationships. We now collectively make space for you in the ground in order to allow creativity, uniqueness, inhibition, and pure joy.

Expectations, ever since your passing you've allowed people to finally be happy and carefree 
(It will be interesting to lose you).

Yesterday Alvis and I were the only participants… and the creation process was choppy but hella connected.

Again, Catherine led us through writing and performing the death and life of something/someone. While performing we played with levels, smudged one another, and re-created ourselves with objects. Below is my eulogy celebrating the death of mislabeling self-care:

We mark the end of a significant time period in which doing nothing all day is seen as lazy and unproductive.

This perspective has brought about many fears amongst people who are taking care of themselves, beautifully tangled bodies, and fabulous folks dealing with chronic illnesses.

Today, gathered in mourning are the capitalist fucktards that reinforce the idea of resting is a weak trait.

We wish to never look back at feelings of shame and hurt; instead looking forward to happier, healthier, healing individuals in this community.

Thank You.

Following death, we always look forward to birth - here is my birth announcement about body fat:

Happy Birthday Body Fat!

Born of brown skin, luscious rolls, curves, crevices, and waves. The world opens in acceptance, to growth, and fullness of your being and existence.

Parented by others with different names - baby fat, chubby, big boned, voluptuous - oh, it is a treat to see you today!

Siblings sausage fingers and chub rub rejoice, excited to see you grow into muffin tops and back boobies.

Today we celebrate the concluding stages of body positivity by gathering together in family feasts in order to see you flourish.

Happy Birthday Body Fat! Happy Birthday.

I hope you liked what I created.

- Fonna

P.S. I'm currently jamming' out to Elton John!

A Sunday with Catherine Hernandez

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Sundays are typically known to be resting days, but on the 17th I participated in a workshop facilitated by Catherine Hernandez (hosted by Asian Arts Freedom School). Right after check-in Catherine introduced us to the concept of muse and ego. With artists our muse is also known as our intuition - where we trust our instincts and create whatever is necessary in the moment. The ego often hinders the creative spirit of the muse by re-enforcing socialized norms and rules. The activity required us to be vulnerable, make eye-contact one at a time with other participants then bust out a movement we were feeling in that particular moment. We did this three times to three different songs and I realized my ego is hella dominant. Simply "going with the flow" and "trusting my intuition" was tough for me - I was afraid of embarrasing myself by making the wrong type of movement. Thankfully, we will be doing two more workshops in the upcoming weeks, so I can learn how to quiet my screaming ego.

Afterwards, I offered some videography services to Catherine for Operation Lifeboat by Sulong Theatre. It was a lucky opportunity because I had a camera on me - plus I haven't had money to donate relief funds to the Philippines, so shooting videos was my contribution at the time. We filmed Alvis Choi, Katie Sly, & Ill Nana Diverse City Dance Company. They all spoke about really relevant topics and I'm excited to see their videos.

So far here are some of the videos where my film clips were included:

Strange Sisters: The Insatiable Redux

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6 mixed-media images from The Femme Chronicles were showcased during Strange Sisters on October 25th. Kim Crosby & Gein Wong posted a final thank you notice on the blog.

8 performance artists

Catherine Hernandez, India Davis,Juliet November,Donna Michelle St. Bernard, Alvis Parsley, Yvonne Fly Onakeme Etaghene, cassy walker & Masti Khor 

2 visual artists

Francesca Nocera & Fonna Seidu

Fonna Seidu, ”would like to thank all the youth group participants who attended, Rufina Bernabe (mom!) & Drey Anozie (filmmaker) for supporting my artistic decisions, and my models Juli(a), Bridget, and Julian.”

I am grateful for the experience and got my life watching the performances - especially Yvonne Fly Onakeme Etaghene's femme empowerment piece and India Davis' hoop & pole performances.

Bridget
Julian
Julian
Juli(a)
Juli(a)
Bridget

I look forward to show more of my work in group exhibitions in the upcoming months!

Requiem for a Dream: The Drag Musical

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Drag Musical - Xem by Akriti Photo Credit: Akriti Jain

Requiem for a Dream: The Drag Musical

Performing is one heck of an experience.

Our team completed 12 weeks of workshops to create our final piece that was performed on Oct. 30th. The surprising calm I experienced before the performance was eerily awesome, but it made time for me to take pictures! Over 200 attendees cheered, wooed, and sung with the drag musical team. I am eternally grateful for the support behind my insecurities and vulnerabilities throughout this entire experience.  Now to have our final celebration party!