'Shared Emotions' - a creative collab at Werribee Gorge, by Yakub Ogunsina and Sean Nabos
“I wouldn’t call myself political, but I’m aware, and I get frustrated… and use poetry to express.” - Yakub Ogunsina, poet and creative director of series, ‘Shared Emotions’, a series that ‘aims to express and reflect on shared struggles and pains of ethnic minorities.’
An experiment with friends recently at Werribee Gorge resulted in this set of images and words, created by Yakub Ogunsina (words / creative direction) and Sean Nabos (photographer). Fresh out of high school, Yakub’s concepts and poetry began unfolding in collaborations this year, partly out of wanting space for creative expression,
“There was a really heavy push to do Science etc. at school, and at the end of year 12 I was thinking about what I could do, and you know, everyone has a creative side. I met some people in Melbourne and I just fell in love with the vibe after meeting other creatives, like singer Price Johnson, so I guess that’s how it all formed, honestly, a bunch of mates.”
Yakub and Sean’s approach in this series, is to parallel threads of concepts in the poetry, to the feeling and vibe of the models and locations. Playing with the themes of identity and belonging, the series brings together the shared emotions of friends through a process that is also spontaneous and random -
“ ..we went to Werribee Gorge, everyone was running late.. the weather was dodgy… but we captured what was there.”
Excerpts from ‘Shared Emotions’, below:
Sadness and Gloom
We felt gloom when Trayvon Martin was shot in the back of the head.
All because a neighbourhood watch captain, viewed him as a threat.
We felt sadness when we were young..
And.. we would play with our friends blissfully.
And then.. we would see their mothers call them and whisper into their ears.
Immediately after, our friend would then say…
“My mum says I have to go now”
And we all know the reason why…
And at one point we went through that same struggle
When… in our ignorance we attempted to soften their hearts.
Show them that the few that misbehave do not represent us.
That… “they” are not “us”.
It does not matter than aI am of noble Yoruba lineage.
Or if my ancestors were the great sailors of the Ga-Adangbe tribe.
Or if I was beautifully melanated like the Nuer tribesmen.
Certain people will still have percepions about all who share our blessing.
Our Black skin…
They simply cannot and will not see the beauty of our blessing.
Happiness and Cheer
When Usain Bolt became the worlds fastest man, we felt that.
The “To Di World” pose was well-abused by the little brothers.
The future men.
The small pikin.
When the French national football team won the world’s most prestigious tournament …
With a 53% Black team, we felt that.
Despite the fear of a “Black France”, we proved them wrong.
Despite the humiliation of our brothers and sisters around the world, we proved them wrong.
When our brothers and sisters do great, we share the same Joy.
When our brothers and sisters are vindicated in the biased courts, we share the same cheer.