Ep. 9: Matt Miwa, Sumayya Mayet and Nesta Charles

Episode 9 May 01, 2023 01:06:46
Ep. 9: Matt Miwa, Sumayya Mayet and Nesta Charles
To Be Continued: Troubling the Archive
Ep. 9: Matt Miwa, Sumayya Mayet and Nesta Charles

May 01 2023 | 01:06:46


Hosted By

Anna Shah Hoque

Show Notes

In this episode, we begin at a local flower shop: Scrim's Florist on Elgin. Guest producer Matt Miwa and his invited guests Sumayya Mayet and Nesta Charles have all worked there and have each incorporated floral design into their art and creative practice. 

Flower shops are unusual retail spaces; they invite artistic engagement and collaboration more than most other retail realms. Scrim's was also the first employment opportunity for both Sumayya and Nesta upon arriving in Ottawa from Johannesburg and St. Lucia (via Toronto), respectively.  

This episode traces a day in the life at the flower shop and expands outward as the guests contemplate their queer identities, where they came from and how they navigate Ottawa and Canada's larger queer communities.   

Refreshingly, we learn how Sumayya and Nesta walk with an energized sense of hope through the streets of Ottawa.  

Credits: Season 3 graphic created by Hunter Dewache. Custom intro / outro sounds created by Bucko aka Chris Binkowski. Podcast editing is by fin-xuan, with post-production audio work by Nicole Bedford. This season of To Be Continued: Troubling the Archive is generously funded by a Digital Now grant from the Canada Council for the Arts.   


Matt Miwa 

Matt Miwa (he/him) hails from Aurora, Ontario. He moved to Ottawa in 2000 to attend theatre school. Matt maintains a theatre creation and performance art practice.  Prior to the pandemic, Matt toured his theatre piece “The Tashme Project: The Living Archives” across Canada (with co-creator Julie Tamiko Manning). This play traces the oral histories of twenty Japanese Canadian elders. Matt and Julie hope to perform this play for the rest of their lives.  Matt's dedication to this play is indicative of his broader love and appreciation for the Japanese Canadian community with whom he frequently works.  Most recently, Matt produced the event “Tomoni/Go Together” with CUAG.  Tomoni unites Japanese cultural practitioners with local non-Japanese artists in unique and surprising artistic collaborations.  @miwa.light.house    

Nesta Charles 

Nesta Charles (he/him) was born in Brampton, Ontario. He spent his childhood and adolescence in St. Lucia. As a young adult, Nesta moved back to Toronto, where he pursued studies in interior design, while balancing jobs in construction and landscaping.  

Landscaping led to work in flower shops, where Nesta's creativity sparked. Moving to Ottawa, Nesta joined the Scrim's Florist team and worked for years in the floral industry, running his own shop, Fine's Flowers.  Nesta now works professionally as a wine consultant and actively cultivates an extensive plant care practice.  He is currently pursuing his yoga teacher training and looks forward to contributing to and reaching out to the BIPOC community through his yoga teaching. @adio_charles 

Sumayya Mayet 

Sumayya Mayet (she/they) was born in Johannesburg, South Africa.  A painter by training, Sumayya likes to paint "the natural world."  She uses bright and vibrant colours and moves between landscape and intricate still life.  Her practice also encompasses ink drawing, watercolour and needlepoint. 

In 2020, Sumayya decided to move to Canada to accompany her partner, who is pursuing a PhD in Philosophy.  Living first in Hull, Symayya moved to downtown Ottawa and has become an integral member of the Scrim's Florist team, where she works in administration and floral design.  @rhag.art 

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Episode Transcript

Speaker 0 00:00:00 As you join us for another episode, we'd really appreciate it. If you could subscribe, leave us a rating and a review. It helps our podcast get a little bit more visibility. Welcome to season three of to Be Continued Troubling the Archive. In today's episode, guest producer Matt Muah is going to be in conversation with Nesta Charles and Samaya Mayeth. They're gonna talk about common roots, specifically talking about scrims florist, where each of them have worked at one point or another, incorporating floral design into their broader art and creative practices. Speaker 1 00:00:36 <laugh>, here we go. Welcome everyone. Uh, my name is Matt Mik, and I'm the guest host for this episode of Troubling the Archive. I'm so happy to welcome Sumaya Mayette and Nesta Charles, my two wonderful guests today. But before we start, I just wanna start with a land acknowledgement, which is what we do, uh, in these times. And I've been really getting into them, um, over the past year and a half that I've been doing it, uh, a lot for Japanese Canadian audiences because of my work with the Japanese Canadian community. And so I say that, uh, today we are gathered on the unseated territory of the Quin Anishinabe peoples who have, um, occupied this, uh, land since time immemorial and taking care of it on, uh, the land that we now call Ottawa Hall Gao. Um, and when I, when I do the land acknowledgement for Japanese Canadian audiences, I link it to the concept of generations because, uh, land acknowledgements are about respecting, uh, loving, appreciating the people who have taken care of, uh, the land. Speaker 1 00:01:46 And that's all about memory. And, um, for the Japanese Canadian people, you know, uh, in their first communities on the west coast of Canada, oh, and the US as well. But, uh, you know, they drew their first prosperities from the, the Sea. There is Fisher Pull from the land is farmers, and that was the, the majority of, of where their work and prosperity came from. Uh, so anyways, to acknowledge, uh, that this is indigenous, um, uh, that the indigenous people have been caretakers since time in Memorial, it's really to link to your own concept of generation. And I think that we'll talk about that today. Um, you know, you both come from families that are, are spread around the world. Um, and, you know, we'll, we'll get into that. I've already rambled for this first bit of the podcast, but let me introduce you again, and if you could just provide, um, of background details about yourself, where you're from, where you grew up, where you're born, what you're doing now, what brought you here, uh, so, um, sume, you, why don't we start with you. Speaker 2 00:02:55 Um, hey, thank you so much for having me. I really appreciate being included on this podcast, and that was a beautiful land acknowledgement, Matt. Um, so I don't think you rambled <laugh>. Yeah, so I am originally from Johannesburg in South Africa. I lived there my whole life. I never really moved around much. I studied there, went school there, and I met my partner there, and they are currently here studying, um, a PhD in philosophy at Ottawa U. And so I timed along because I didn't really have much going on. Um, and also I wanted to experience Canada. You know, I think there's just so much, uh, space for artists and young artists in Canada that there isn't really back home. Um, you know, there's, it's just the nature of, of first world versus third world. And, um, yeah. So right now I work at Scrims Florist, which is awesome. And that's my kind of permanent job. And then, um, in my free time, I do as much art as I can, try to explore Ottawa, um, get to know Canadian culture a bit better, so I'm less of a so than, and yeah, <laugh>, that's me. Speaker 1 00:04:25 Okay, well, there's so much more to tease out from that, but that's a fantastic intro. And before Nesta, before I get to you, I'm such a bad host. I forgot to mention what brought us together and why I immediately thought of both of you for this podcast is because we all have a connection to Scrims florist, um, where we all have worked and where we all have been artists in our right through flowers as well as our own artistic practices. But, uh, Nesta, why don't you just take it away from the beginning. <laugh>, before we get into that, Speaker 3 00:04:55 Thank you for having me. This is a privilege to be able to, uh, Sharon had the conversations around art, around lifestyle. Um, I, uh, grew up in the Caribbean. I grew up in St. Lucia. I was born in Brampton, first of all. And, uh, at the age of two, my parents migrated to Dominica, uh, in the Caribbean. I stayed in Dominica for two years, and then St. Lucia become out, became our permanent home. So between the age of four and 18, this is kind of my foundation. So, uh, you know, it's, it's, it's pretty much my roots. My my mom still was, uh, used to live there, passed away. My dad is still there right now. But, uh, when I came to Canada, it was an opportunity for me to, uh, be myself. You know, it's not very easy to be the young queer person in the Caribbean. Speaker 3 00:05:45 So, you know, realizing that there was a whole world and then a whole opportunity and family to be able to branch out and be myself, Canada gave that opportunity and be it, it's one of those things that I am forever grateful for. Uh, amidst all the politics and everything that people could complain about. I have, have always maintained a sense of gratitude to what this country has offered to me. And, um, it continues to grow. You know, I, uh, I worked in Toronto for a demolition company, and so I developed for gardening, for doing landscaping. And I had applied to a little flower shop downtown Toronto, call Adelaide, nor just taking care of the plants, you know, it was this, I was just there to maintain the plants, take care of the plants, thinking it was a nice little job outside of my demolition work. Speaker 3 00:06:32 And I already had a sense of gardening and take care of plants. And, um, one, I think Mother's Day, they need, they needed a lot of help processing their flowers. So I got into playing with flowers and I was just like, this is actually really neat. Like something sparked. So when I moved to Ottawa, I applied to every single flower shop I could find, and scrims was the person to hire me, and I couldn't believe it. And so this is where we met <laugh>. Oh my God. Yeah. I was hired by, sorry, Donovan, good old Terry <laugh>. Speaker 1 00:07:03 This is a lot of inside stuff for, for the listeners. But yeah, Terry, you know, Terry is now an Arian retired florist, and, uh, he was, uh, ized boss. And, uh, Terry still comes in, uh, to hang out with, with Usme. Speaker 3 00:07:17 Oh, yes. And go further, further, but well, not further, further back. But I mean, back in those days, this is when Mr. Chandler, Paul Chandler used the present in the store, and he was the previous owner, uh, who inherited the company DA from the original Bris family. And Mr. Chandler used to work for the Scream family, but he was always very present in the store. You know, you could see as he deteriorated with age, he was, you know, his vision was kind of going, but, um, what a beautiful man and beautiful soul. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And he encouraged me like, as, as much as, you know, you could tell that he was, you know, kind of above there terms age wise, but he had a sense of encouraging. Like, he, he pushed me and I was just a young little black boy, trust me. Like where, where I'm like, okay, you know, I could tell it's a different environment. Speaker 3 00:08:06 Scrims is very high end. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, it's a certain aesthetic, you know what I mean? And I was given a chance, and I, I often thought to myself, I don't fit into that aesthetic, you know? And I think it, it was, it was something where I was like, you know, do I fit this, this company or not? And I very much wanted to, because I wanted to develop those skills, and I wanted to develop that essence of luxury and that essence of, um, beauty. And I like that. And it was maybe tapping into more feminine side of myself in terms of like the beauty of florals and, and, and the history of florals and, and, and, and what they do and what they bring to people and what they mean. And so, um, that became a, a, a, a, a passion out of nowhere. And, you know, we worked in the industry for about six, maybe seven years until I moved over into the <inaudible>. Yeah. But even then, um, I did a lot of, uh, plant work for the chattel lure. I did a lot of gardening for the chattel lure. Speaker 1 00:09:05 Yeah. And you still, like, you know, you keep that your plants, uh, your plant work and you know, your love of plants going to this day. And, uh, Sumay, can I ask you, like, when you said that for me, uh, uh, I don't, I don't, uh, necessarily myself, uh, feel that it's, uh, masculine or feminine, uh, working, you know, in, in, uh, floral designer or anything like that. Uh, not that to your opinion is right or wrong or anything, but, uh, what do you think about? Yeah, Speaker 2 00:09:32 That was a really cool point because I think, um, when I got to Canada, I was in a place where I was really struggling with my gender. I had a lot of dysphoria. Um, I was really trying to present as mask. And, um, it was, um, just, it's been a transitional period, you know? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And, um, when I got to scrims, it's just been this interesting thing of working with flowers and somehow not feeling like I'm being turned into like the feminine, but at the same time feeling a bit more connected with myself. Like, like accepting that there are so many different parts of me that can be soft, that can be tough, that can be, you know, whatever. And it all mixes into one. And I think when you're going through this, well, at least when I was going through this period of trying to be more masculine, I was in some sense maybe rejecting the soft in some ways. Speaker 2 00:10:36 And I think, you know, you're just in this place that always smells good. It smells like flowers and yes, um, <laugh>, it's just, you know, but it's also, it's a really hard work. It's not for the fainthearted, it is hard stuff. No. In sot you're on your feet all the time. You're getting stabbed by thorns. You're, you know, you are always inevitably going to like cut yourself accidentally. Absolutely. It's just absolutely, you know, it's, um, you're like, he like picking up these buckets. Yeah. So I think it's just been really cool to work with a group that is like really different. But yeah, like in terms of the masculine, like the gender dynamics, I think Susan, for example, like, she's very tough. She's very, Speaker 1 00:11:23 Yes. Who is the owner Speaker 2 00:11:24 For the listener. Um, she's very tough, but she's also just such a warm person. Speaker 3 00:11:30 Absolutely. Yeah. For me, it was an interesting transition going directly from the construction side to flower shop. I think that's what it was. Like, I did put on persona at the construction site of being very overly masculine, kind of just kind of doing it to myself, not feeling comfortable in living my authentic self. So I, I'll be honest, yesterday, you know, when you're amongst a bunch of toxic mic committee around Anika Sato said, there was a sense of of of, okay, I have to be, you know, that as well. And I have to be. So leaving that and going to the flower shop, all of a sudden, you're right. Something about that just allowed me to be myself and allowed me to just be in the moment. And I realized that there's a mush softer side of me that I really liked expressing and I liked coming to the surface, you know what I mean? Speaker 3 00:12:22 And it is, might not necessarily be, like you said, more masculine, feminine thing, but it's just like anoth more authentic set of myself started surfacing when I was around flowers and when I was around color and understanding, you know, how color affected my mood and all of these things I learned back in, uh, school and interior design for color theory. But I mean, all these little things, these things, little aspects of, of, of, of, or these little moments in life, they all connect and they all all have some sort of connection and you'll lead up until, you know. So it's interesting to see, uh, my journey and how everything has taken me up. Flower shop through the flower shop outside of the flower shop, but I'm still involved in plants and taking care of plants, and I still can back, go back to floral design periodically. But, um, it's quite nice. Speaker 1 00:13:11 Well, you know, I, you, you both are so impressive in that you just have a natural talent, well, just with aesthetics, but it comes through very easily and sculpturally with, uh, flowers and floral design. I was g gonna save this till the end, but since we're on the subject, uh, why don't we just dive right in. Um, you know, uh, flower shops are like, they're different from any other retail experience or shop because it's like an interactive creative experience for the people that are, that are working it as well as the clients or customers. It's so different from, you know, just shopping for a thing or going to buy some clothes. Like there's a, there is an artistic, uh, encouragement for everyone that's involved, uh, sometimes too much with some customers that you're dealing with. You know, you just, uh, they overtake or whatever because everyone's very excited about flowers. Speaker 1 00:14:04 Well, not everyone, but you know, lots of people. Yeah. But can we just go into, uh, what your mindset is or what you, uh, because it's so easy for both of you to put a hand tie or a VAs arrangement together. Can you, each of you just kind of walk us through what your experience of it is, including maybe the anxiety, which I certainly have when it comes to putting something together, but also just the ease and how you see beauty and how it just comes together so easily for both of you. Um, any, anyone wanna take it away? Speaker 2 00:14:37 Yeah. So, uh, I don't know. You know, um, Speaker 1 00:14:42 Well, first of all, Samia, you do know that you have, you are naturally gifted at that, right? <laugh> <laugh>. Okay, great. Because I was there that you just like, you were just like, okay, we have to make these sanitized because it was just so busy and then you just did it and it was incredibly beautiful. No, Speaker 3 00:14:57 I just said, I just said ladies first, but I didn't ask what you identify as. I do apologize. Speaker 2 00:15:01 Oh, I can't even hear you say ladies first. I hate being called a lady. Speaker 3 00:15:05 Okay, Speaker 2 00:15:06 <laugh>. There you go. I'm a she. They, but I don't really know what that means in practical terms. Okay. Um, yeah, you can say she, I don't mind it. Yes. Sweet <laugh>, um, Speaker 3 00:15:23 <laugh>. Speaker 1 00:15:24 And you are, he, you're, he, he, uh, him, Speaker 3 00:15:27 She, they, you call me anything you want. I'm good, <laugh>. Speaker 2 00:15:31 I love that. Yeah. Speaker 1 00:15:32 But anyways, back to the, back to the topic at hand. Uh, sume you were saying about, uh, ties or just Speaker 2 00:15:38 Flower ranching. Um, you know, it was, it was really exciting to work with flowers. I didn't expect to work with flowers. I thought I was coming on for plants. Um, and it was suddenly Mother's Day and, you know, we had this, uh, there was this designer that started around the same time as me, and she was just really excited to teach me things, you know, I guess cuz we started at the same time. And it was awesome in the sense that I just got like, taken under her wing and she just showed me like, how to put stuff together. Sculpture's never been my strongest, um, suit. So, you know, I was tentative, but definitely like flowers, flowers are somewhere in between sculpture and, and, you know, there's something else. So yeah, I think it was just really cool because you go into the case, um, which is where we keep the flowers, um, and you just see all these colors and you see all these flowers and you just try and like make the shape that works together. Speaker 2 00:16:45 And I think a lot of people don't realize the amount of art skills, like traditional fine art skills at transfer to, uh, making a bouquet or revis arrangement. Yes. You know, shape is important, symmetry is important. Um, you have to have some sort of composition. So even if it's not symmetrical, there has to be an idea of composition. It can't just be like a, um, you know, whatever. And I think a lot of people think art and floral design is so eclectic and out there, but it's, in some sense it's, it's quite, um, methodical and you can lose yourself in it because it's just, you know, you kind of get so used to those, um, steps and routines and rituals that then you are able to build in your creativity. Um, and so yeah, that's kind of been my experience. I find it really stressful to be in the case and have a customer, like watching me pick flowers, <laugh>, because I'm, I'm like, I don't know if they like what I'm picking. And sometimes Right. I can see their face kind of, right. <laugh>. Yeah. Yeah. Um, you know, and sometimes you're just not in the mood. Sometimes they pick a flower, like a starting flower and you're like, oh my God, that's that flower. Like, why would you pick that flower? But once you start, once you get going, it usually gets better. Speaker 1 00:18:10 Ah, usually, well, usually, eh, <laugh> not all the Speaker 2 00:18:13 Time. You have nervous moments. Yeah. <laugh>. Um, yeah, that's, I mean, I don't know, it was such a whirlwind, you know, I started at a flower shop, um, in the Mother's Day period. And, you know, it was actually, it was wild by fire, Kyle by fire. Yeah. Yeah. So, yes, I just had to learn it really quick and then it was, it's not something I'd ever expected to get into in my life, and it's been so wonderful that I have Speaker 3 00:18:41 Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Speaker 1 00:18:42 That's great. Thanks man. Um, Nesta, can you, uh, tell us, talk about the same thing, but, uh, you know, you also ran fines, uh, uh, shop at fines for a while, Speaker 3 00:18:54 For a few years, Speaker 1 00:18:57 And what was that like? And like, you know, like, like using, how was your creativity channeled slash challenged, uh, for that? Speaker 3 00:19:03 It was interesting because, um, a lot of my training or the foundation to floral design, I learned at Springs. I worked with, uh, Terry and I worked with Sharon and they both were, uh, amazing, outstanding teachers and gave me all the tools and the, the understanding when it came to choosing flowers. Um, height, um, color theory mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Um, so you have your 12 flowers, your short players, your focal points so that your main flowers are your main blooms. Um, even the value of the blooms, you know, certain blooms in terms of, I mean, not to be pretentious, but I mean, you wouldn't do like a bouquet of like high end roses and have carnations in there. You know what I <laugh>. So even though it is a thing, it is a thing in terms of like choosing the value of your flowers and being able to highlight certain, the value of certain flowers, uh, in a, in a very artistic way. Speaker 3 00:19:57 Um, understanding the height of your vows or the base of your VAs to, so the ratio of the height of the bouquet to the base of the VA itself. And I mean, if you're artistic enough, you're able to sort of like bend and con and bend and break some of the rules to create more floral art, which is what happened when I went over fines. So once I started managing fines, I was able to really explore a lot more floral art. We started getting into Iana at a little bit of okay. And I was experiment. I with a lot more texture and I had, um, more control over doing these designs. And, um, I love doing display. I mean, I, I always had the store as a theme and every theme told a story. And what I liked about where we were in mental building was we had a big massive class window, uh, display that <unk>. So there was a display stage that I could use and utilize to just highlight anything or any theme using plants and using flowers and being able to just like, showcase my designs. Um, I really, really took pride in a lot of the designs that I did. And, um, I really enjoyed, uh, every moment of it and being able to share it. And, um, yeah, that was quite a lovely experience. Speaker 1 00:21:18 <laugh> more inside stuff. But yes, Speaker 3 00:21:20 <laugh> Speaker 1 00:21:21 For Speaker 3 00:21:21 The listeners, they all know each other. There's all like one community, uh, absolutely amazing designers. And, um, you know, I was, I was very happy to be able to work with these people and to gain all the knowledge that I, that I gained over the years. Yeah. Speaker 1 00:21:35 That's fantastic. So, um, staying on the subject of creativity, can we talk about ourselves as, uh, artistic souls and where that, where, where the creativity comes and where the artistic, um, sensibility, vision, you know, just need comes for from both of you? Um, I wonder if you can, if you know, maybe you can't identify, uh, what drives you artistically creatively, creatively, creatively, that's the word. Um, and we know what from your, you know, lot your lives you, you draw from. And, uh, you know, if you wanna stay with flowers, stay with flowers, and if you wanna move on to, you know, more your broader art practice, and, um, please talk about that. So, uh, Samaya, can you take it away ladies Speaker 4 00:22:24 First? There? Absolutely. <laugh> <laugh>. I'm in trouble for this one. <laugh> Speaker 1 00:22:40 And Nesta, like, uh, now, you know, because I, I know you and young know your mother is a, is is an artist, is a big influence on you. You know, it's a, it's a nice time to talk about that if you want. Absolutely. Speaker 3 00:22:51 Well, yeah, no, of course. So it was a good time to talk about Mom <laugh>. Um, my mother passed away four years ago, but I mean, growing up in the Caribbean, um, my mother, she did her schooling hair in Toronto. Um, she was an architect, and so that was her profession by trade. And once she moved back to the Caribbean, it was her and my dad, my brother and I, um, I know, and she's told me the stories, how hard it was for her as a young black female architect working in the Caribbean to get work and to, to have the accolades and to be recognized, you know what I mean? Even with all the scholars and even with everything, this was like back in the 1980s, um, you didn't see that that wasn't a thing. What I mean, so she university at home mom, but she leaned heavily into her art. Speaker 3 00:23:39 Art became her thing. I mean, you named it. She would build it, she would paint it. And my father, his a carpenter, and so same name it, he would build it, he would paint it. Uh, my dad also did a lot of, uh, woodwork, a lot of wooden art, a lot of, um, we were surrounded by wooden sculptures and a lot of wooden art, a lot of woodwork, a lot of very, um, I mean, a household was very colorful and very, you know, unique and different. And I knew, so just when I used to go over to other people's houses, I was just like, your house doesn't look like mine. And so I was surrounded by pin brushes and canvases and paints and color swatches. And my mom, she would dress and she would dress up in the most extravagant, colorful dresses. And I always used to eat it. Speaker 3 00:24:24 Why, why, why these things where I'm just like, mommy, you were like, you're too much, you're too extra, too <laugh>. No <laugh>. And so I, I love the fact that she was much too extra. I mean, I think back then, you know, this is what people wanted to do to her. This is what people wanted to, to do, was like tame her, you know what I mean? You're too much, you're too extra. And she was a very, very strong woman. Oh my God, <laugh>, um, very independent, very strong. And I think it drew, my parents got a divorce. Um, it was bit much in the end for, for both of them. And you know, it's like my mom moved on and she did her own thing and she thrived and she survived in her own skin doing what she loved, uh, very much in the Caribbean. Speaker 3 00:25:07 And she loved doing her art. She still dabbled back and forth with, I mean, she built a few houses, so she have a few, a few house building projects here and there. But art was what really thrusted her onto, uh, St. Lucia stage if you want to cover that. She was recognized and she won awards. And, um, I started peak sing a little bit later in life, like in my late teens out like dabble with, um, canvases and pin brushes and mixing paints and mixing colors. And then, um, you know, it's one of those things where I feel my, my take on, on, on on art is like just the beauty in life. You know, there's so much color and there's so much beauty all around us. And so I can't help but just look around and see, you know, a sense of poetry everywhere. Speaker 3 00:25:52 It's like visual poetry and everything. I'm a bit of a, I'm a bit of a, a daydreamer, if you wanna call it that. I always look around and I'm always saying, I'm always constantly looking for the beauty in life versus looking for the ugly in life. So everything I, I see I see from a colorful standpoint, or I try to see it from a colorful standpoint, or I try to see beauty in the simple things. If I see if there's chaos. I mean, there's things that you can't avoid. It is what it is. But, um, if I have an option, uh, to choose to see live through a beautiful lens, I, I like doing that. And that kind of drives my passion for creativity and or, uh, sharing that, you know what I mean? Whether it be through, I do yoga, whether it be through yoga, whether it be through, um, my plants, whether it be through floral design. Speaker 3 00:26:34 Um, all of these things are creative things that kind of stimulate those juices and my senses. I love stimulate my senses, you know, when something gets my, you know, visually when I, whether I be listen to it, whether it be I'm tasting it, I'm smelling it, I'm touching it when my senses are electrified, you know, art flows, however that might be, you know, it could be through singing it, it could be through painting, it could be through just your body movements. It could be through just something very simple and delicate, whatever that may be. But I mean, there's no definition of what art is. It's through several lenses and let's say someone who chooses to look at life through a dark lens. You see art through their lens and you see a dark version of art. You know, what it like, you know, it's an interesting, interesting way of an encompassing what life is and what life is through different eyes, through different people's eyes. <laugh>, Speaker 1 00:27:29 It was very well put. Speaker 2 00:27:30 It was amazing. <laugh> Speaker 1 00:27:36 And Sam. Speaker 2 00:27:39 Oh, it's my now. Yeah. Um, Speaker 1 00:27:42 No, no, no. But of course you have your own perspective and you know, Speaker 2 00:27:45 No, no, no, of course. No, Nesta. I mean, honestly, that was, that was really, that was beautiful. That was just so like perfectly succinctly put. Um, I, yeah, so, you know, I really, I really resonated with a lot of what Nesta said. Um, and yeah, I mean I obviously, I had a very different childhood. Um, my parents, my dad at least is very in tune with the kind of more odd stuff, which is odd because he's a science guy, or maybe it's not odd at all, um, <laugh>. But, you know, so he would, he would make sure we went to like the free art gallery shows. And, um, he always used to journal and he used to buy me a journal and encourage me to write and, um, encourage me to pursue my creative, um, outputs, which was really not common back home. Um, you know, creative fields aren't seen as careers. Speaker 2 00:28:46 They aren't seen as things you should encourage your kids to do, or maybe you can, but just as like a side hobby. Um, but dad, you know, he genuinely could see that I loved something there, you know, and that was really, really special for me. You know, both my parents, my mom too, like, they just, um, they gave me the space to be creative and they, they could, you know, they sent me to those kinds of schools and uh, made sure I had, uh, uh, I was able to access stuff that they wouldn't have been able to as kids. Um, and that most parents in their bracket, like, you know, brown parents in South Africa in the early nineties, two thousands, they wouldn't have really wanted that. Um, so yeah. And then, you know, I took, um, I, I took an art program when I was in high school and I had this dream of being an artist. Speaker 2 00:29:47 And I guess like how Nesta says, like, I was really a daydreamer. I was always drawing or writing or singing to myself or, you know, that's just what it was. And then I took this odd program and it kind of, um, it crushed me. <laugh>. Yeah, it really, you know, it was really about high art, like fine art, and it was really tough. It was very critical, very, um, brutal, I think on students. Like, I think art is so personal and emotional that you have to have some sort of sensitivity when you're giving people feedback or criticism or any sort of, you know, you need to say, you need to balance what was done well with what wasn't done so well. I think that's an educational tool that wasn't used well. And, um, so for ages, I didn't pick up a pencil or a paintbrush for Yeah, I didn't, um, until like 2019 and that, I dunno how many years that was, like 10 years, I dunno. Speaker 2 00:30:55 And um, yeah, so I did a degree in history and that surprisingly got me back into my art because the history program I was part of, it was just amazing. It was these, um, you know, uh, local historians in Johannesburg and Johannesburg, it's a really grungy city. It's not beautiful. It's, uh, it was built on mines. So it's dusty, it's, it's, it's a hard city. And the people who kind of had this history workshop group that I was part of, they were doing a lot of grassroots work with the communities in Johannesburg and trying to tell local history from the community. So trying to get, um, people in communities to tell their own stories, not this like high academia, um, history of whatever. So it was called History from Below. And, um, its focus was on the everyday and the ordinary and looking at just people's everyday lives and how that changes the world. Speaker 2 00:32:07 Um, and you, you realize like these small things, and I think, you know, Nesta was talking about how stuff you breathe, stuff you taste stuff you smell. It's like these amazing, um, experiences and, you know, you're, you're talking about, you know, I was writing papers on men who go to taverns, um, and the kind of freedom they experience in the tavern, the queer experiences that, you know, whatever. It's just, it's these tiny spaces that you wouldn't normally look at in a big scheme of things, but it's part of people's everyday lives. So just like going to a pub, like after work and it's just a social event, it's just like people just meeting up, but somehow it's, it's the space of creative energy and it's not something that you would normally study in an academic space. And so I think I, it's Speaker 3 00:33:00 Just a way it was, you know, it's a, it's literally a way of Speaker 2 00:33:02 Life. Yeah, exactly. And I think I kind of ended up comparing that to my, um, love for art and creating stuff. And I really tried to look for the every day and the beauty in the every day. Speaker 1 00:33:25 Can we move into, uh, you know, a conversation about being queer and what's it like to be queer in Ottawa? What is your queer identity and how comfortable, how great it might be to, to live here as a, as a queer person, or how not great it might be here to live in the queer person, <laugh>, uh, samme. You wanna, you wanna take that to, to, Speaker 2 00:33:49 And OWA has been a huge culture shock for me. I think I've spoken to Matt about this before, but just, I sometimes feel like I'm on a different plane to people I'm speaking to, um, in Johannesburg, I knew where the queer scene was. I knew, you know, how to navigate it. Speaker 1 00:34:10 Well, wait, could you, could you talk elaborate on how, how you navigate the queer scene in Johannesburg for our curious listeners and myself? Speaker 2 00:34:18 Yeah, I I guess like, I don't really know what, like, how you would explain that. Um, Speaker 3 00:34:24 Here's a question. Would you say that it is a navigation in terms of like, okay, you can't just like, walk down the street, but you literally have to navigate your way through the scene to get to the scene? Yeah, Speaker 2 00:34:35 I think that's a really cool question. Cuz I think there is a, there is a kind of navigation in the sense of, you know, I could, you can walk down the street and you can spot who's queer and um, right. Speaker 3 00:34:47 Okay, okay. That's nice. Speaker 2 00:34:48 And here I don't necessarily know Speaker 1 00:34:50 And that's, there's no, there's Speaker 2 00:34:52 No problem. Oh, ho I mean, yeah, obviously no, there's definitely, okay. There is definitely homophobia, <laugh>, and there is definitely, and homophobia and gender-based violence is appalling in South Africa. Um, you know, Brett, I think Johannesburg is really sheltered because it is a big city and, uh, big cities tend to have, um, a lot more money. They tend to have a lot more, um, foreign influence. And so if you have these bubbles of safe spaces throughout the city, and when you are the kind of person who frequents, uh, queer bars, queer odd scenes, you can kind of tell, you know, um, I don't know that anybody could tell that, that could tell that someone is queer. I don't think that any, just any person could tell that that person is queer. But, Speaker 3 00:35:44 Um, it's unspoken communication. We, we learn, we get community, we get that <laugh>. Speaker 2 00:35:50 Yeah, right, exactly. Speaker 3 00:35:52 It's, um, hidden language. Yeah. Speaker 2 00:35:54 And then there are obviously, there are certain spaces where you can flaunt it, you know? Yes. You could, you know, we, it, we started having balls in, um, johnsburg like a few years ago and yeah, like, uh, <laugh>, so, you know, and, and it's be, it's this really amazing scene because it is, it is predominantly people of color and, you know, um, I just, there's something so safe about it because it's just these spaces where, you know, so Okay, so one of my favorite parties, um, was called The Secret Garden. And, um, basically you could go there and, and they would have bounces and they wouldn't let you in if you looked like a toxic, um, cis person. Um, okay. But not in like a really, like, that sounds really terrible, but, um, Speaker 3 00:36:51 Yeah, <laugh>, Speaker 2 00:36:54 But yeah, I don't know. It was just a place for, uh, Korea bodies, queer people to just dance and like, let loose and not feel like you were gonna be groped or harassed or anything like that. But it was this party that was advertised all over Instagram, all over everything. And it was, you know, um, and there were so many spaces, especially like we had an event called, um, for black Girls only, and so it was just women of color, no men, like, and it's just, it was just a social event, just, you know, like that kind of stuff was happening all the time and it was just something I got so used to, and I haven't really managed to find that here. Speaker 3 00:37:39 Well, yeah, it sounds like there's way, a way better scene in South Africa than not a lot. You talking about like, there's a ballroom scene and I was like, what? Oh, I discover the bedroom scene, I think about like four or five years ago. And not even, I knew nothing as a black person. I knew nothing about the ballroom scene and I was blown away that there's this whole industry and what Ballroom meant and the, his show ballroom. And I mean, I've been loving it ever since. And I was just like, we won't even find this in Ottawa. Speaker 1 00:38:12 Maybe not, or yet, Speaker 3 00:38:13 Yet. <laugh>. Speaker 1 00:38:15 Um, well great. That was, so that was, uh, johannesburg's. But um, uh, just to continue on, what is your, like, um, what is your impression of just walking the streets of Ottawa? Are youth, do you feel hopeful at all here in terms of your, the expression of your queer identity or the, with the cultivation of your queer identity? Or is it something that's you have to put aside? Lots of people, I feel, have to put something aside in terms of their queerness when they're walking through Ottawa, myself included. Speaker 2 00:38:45 Yeah, I definitely think there's a bit of both. You know, it's always different no matter where you go, it's never gonna be the same flavor. Um, and, um, I think the sense of community, I don't feel that as much here. I don't, maybe that's just because I haven't tapped into it, but I don't have this, um, immediate like yeah. Welcoming. I guess that's it. Yeah, Speaker 3 00:39:07 No, you're totally Speaker 2 00:39:08 Right on that. But I do, I love that the flags are everywhere, you know, I think that's just, it's such a beautiful sense of pride. I think maybe it gets really over politicized, um, and just it gets brought to the front Yes. Of like, things that are completely unrelated. Very good point. Which to me, very good. It's like, why is it there? Um, so like in the con why is that the issue? Um, but at the same time, you know, I've made all these friends, um, and it's been this quiet thing where I've made these friends and we haven't said anything. And then a few weeks in, I suddenly realized everyone in that circle is queer. And it's like, you know, my friends are from Russia, from Kazakhstan, from, you know, there's just this international, um, community in, in Ottawa that I had access to. And so, um, queer is just spoken in so many different languages and, um, it's been really, it's been really special to meet people who understand their queerness so differently and express it so differently through, you know, gaming. Like, gaming's not a big thing back home. Um, and so the gaming scene, oh, like, um, I'm like, whoa. Like that's, it's led me this really interesting scene that I kind of wanna get into, but I've never touched a video game in my life. Um, <laugh> ah, yeah, <laugh>. Um, Speaker 1 00:40:38 You neither, but I hear they're fantastic. Speaker 2 00:40:41 <laugh>, um, fan odd pop culture, you know, like the, there are these, there are these things, there are so many more, um, avenues for people who like different things. So it's not just, we're all queer, so we're all together. It's also like, I like video games or I like comic books. I like art, I, you know, and Speaker 3 00:41:02 Yeah, culture's a beautiful thing. Culture is a beautiful thing. And there's so, you know, there's so many different cultures that it encompasses so many different aspects of life. And, you know, when you look at Western culture, obviously gaming is a big thing that goes with it. And it's visually, like when I said earlier on about like, visually stimulating your senses, your senses are stimulated, you know what I mean? So there's that. It's interesting to see how the technology has built this when you're looking at the games and they make it look like real human beings and this, you know, and you're engaged that I think, you know, there's overusing but there's also embracing and using to the point of like, just like creating those, those electrical, uh, channels in the brain, you know, stimulating those electrical channels. So those electrical pulses in the brain. Um, yeah, it's a, it's, it's, it's quite, quite a fascinating thing. I look at that as another form of art, being able to build software, you know, and I know you say that your data is a, uh, worse science. I bet you there's art and science as well. I bet you there's art and, and whether it, it's like looking at molecules, whether it be looking at like how, you know, molecules are formed or looking at these things on microscopes. There's a certain beauty scene, these things as well. I Speaker 2 00:42:06 Think it's the sense of like wonder. I think that's what my art, and maybe I think what Nesta is getting into. It's just this taking, drinking in the beauty of the world and like really just being blown away by it and letting yourself be blown away by it. Like, not trying to have the answers. Speaker 1 00:42:23 Okay. But, but okay. So when you say that, and I'm, uh, I'm gonna ask this question pessimistically, do you feel walking down the, like in the place you are now, the place you've both chosen to be, to live and be for the moment, uh, that the, the world is blowing you away here in this city nest, let's take you, you take that away. Speaker 3 00:42:46 Well, first of all, walking down the street, I, coming from St. Lu, St. Louis, it's, I mean, back then it, it was very homophobic. I think they've come a long way. Uh, St. Louis ship now has a pride committee. They're, they're now a little bit more liberated in terms of, um, people being themselves. Back then, when I was growing up, you couldn't do that. So I was very, very much like, you know, had to stay closeted, be closeted, whatever you wanna call it. And when I, the moment I moved to Ottawa, that lifted. So I feel moving her, it allowed me to just again, get rid of that baggage and be myself. And I, you know, had my little rough back and forth with like, you know, trying to fit into a community where I'm not really represented. I didn't see that very much in Ottawa, there you'll find a little bit more in Toronto. Speaker 3 00:43:34 I lived in Toronto for four years. Um, and then you'd see, oh, there's a bigger queer black community in Toronto where I'm like, oh, okay. And then this being from the Caribbean, there's a low, huge Caribbean community in Toronto. Um, at the same time, Toronto was very fast paced. Toronto's a little bit overwhelming for me. I moved back to Ottawa and I just found battles in terms of the right amount of green space. I was still, uh, the right amount of city space. I was still able to be myself, walk down the street, being myself, and feel comfortable and confident in being myself. So, yes, I have to admit, Ottawa has given me that Canada has given me that the ability to, to really thrive and to just be who I am. And not even like second guessed. You know, it's funny cuz I had a cu a customer compliment me at work the other day, and she gave me a compliment in front of a whole bunch of other people, a whole bunch of strangers. Speaker 3 00:44:25 And then she came back and she was just like, just so you know, I just wanted to let you know that I'm married and I have a husband. And I said to her, I was like, in a heartbeat. I was like, just so you know, I'm gay. And everyone just started laughing. But I mean, it was me having that con, not even like second guess, you know, saying it out loud in front of just a bunch of strangers and everyone laughed and it was just like a nice lighthearted kind of thing that was just like, I could take a compliment, you know, no, no fence, no nothing. But I don't, I think at some point I was, I wouldn't be able to, to have done that, to just come back and just like spit it out. I'm gay without even second guessing. Um, and I could do that now and I could do that. Speaker 3 00:45:01 Um, I, you know, I do feel hopeful. I do feel confident, I do feel comfortable. I do feel that we're, um, we're here. We're being hurt. Um, actually there's an interesting question that I want to ask you guys in regards to us being here and being heard, because the community is grow now more than ever. And we're, we're present now more than ever. We're not going anywhere. And you can see how interesting how, uh, the community is being capitalized off. So I wanted to ask you guys what you think about the queer community being capitalized off of by big corporations? A k a when you see Pride parades going down, that you see everything from C I B C, TD and all those big banks floating down the street. And, you know, the only reason that is happening is because there's a market to tap into. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm happy, but, you know, is it that you're really there for us? Or is it that you're just trying to tap into that, uh, or to just write upon our box? What are you guys think? Speaker 1 00:45:57 Well, it just feels cold to me. It feels very cold and impersonal. That's how it, you know, and like, you know, it's not like I, I not like, I'm not gonna use your bank cuz my bank account is there. I have to <laugh>. Well, Speaker 2 00:46:07 It's that thing of that real Pepsi ad for Black Lives Matter. Like why, like why Speaker 1 00:46:13 Oh Speaker 2 00:46:14 Yeah, that thing. Um, it just, it just seems to miss the point of, um, where pride began Yeah. Of what it meant to walk down the streets without fear, despite being very afraid and just saying like, we're here, you know, we, we, we exist. And, um, I think that's so powerful. Like when you go back to that, it's so emotional. Speaker 1 00:46:41 Yeah. Yeah. That's exactly it, Sam, me, I think it takes the emotion, it takes all the emotion out of when, when pride, when pride flag is commercialized, when pride is commercialized, it just takes all of our most cherished and like, you know, vulnerable emotions out of it. And it just makes it into a ugh, ugh, Speaker 2 00:47:00 <laugh>. Yeah. And it, and it kind of takes risk on the people who genuinely, um, had to fight to be here. You know? So Nesta coming from St. Lucia, um, you know, I I I don't know, I, I had the experience where for a lot of people who were safe to proclaim that they were queer, it became more of a declaration of, um, being alternative and being, you know, then, you know, then the, so solidarity, then risk, then risk. No, I, I didn't wanna put words in your no solidarity. And I think that's what, uh, you know, banks capitalizing on it is it's taking away from the genuine, um, you know, the, the, the, the, the trial of trying to, um, come out to your family trying to, um, tell people around you that you are still who you are no matter what, you know? Um mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Yeah, yeah, Speaker 3 00:48:07 Yeah, yeah. Yes, yes, yes. Anyway, it was, it's something I didn't want. I wanted to, uh, we were talking, it's something I, I've been thinking about and I, I think of it periodically because, um, you do want to see us being represented and you do want to see us being acknowledged. And so it's a fine line again, like I said, between, um, having businesses, uh, have our flags up and flying our flags and letting us know that we support you. Yes, yes, yes. We support you. We heard for you. And then you have us up there for the month, and then the moment of the month is done, like those slides have disappeared, they've gone down and it's just, uh, you know, you look around, you're like, oh, okay. You know? Speaker 2 00:48:43 Well, I guess that kind of speaks to Matt's question about feeling hopeful in the streets. And I think, um, I like, I think there is representation, but there also isn't, you know, it's always the case that it knows we represent what, um, we know is trending at the moment. And what's not trending is, you know, queer people who look a certain way. Yeah. So there are these queer people who look this way and they're great for marketing, and then there are the other ones that we just like, um, try to hide away. Um, yeah. So I think there's always, there's always someone who is being left out and not being represented and not being heard. And I, I feel that sometimes in the streets, I think, um, I might have a skewed perception because I've never lived in a place with so many white folks. Yeah. Um, so I'm just like, <laugh>, why is Christ so white? Um, <laugh>, Speaker 3 00:49:45 Fuck you, <laugh>. Speaker 2 00:49:49 Um, you know, like why is, why does the identity of queer look so white? Um, and, you know, when you think about something like Instagram and, and how it shadow bans certain accounts that are, you know, exploring sexuality in a different way, really that just doesn't mix with the kind of thing that the capitalist, um, commercialized image once, you know. So, um, Speaker 3 00:50:20 I think I, I think I slipped, I think when I first came in, I slipped into that idea of trying to fit into Speaker 3 00:50:27 A type of a category in within the gay community, but I long let go of that, and I just realized that, you know, when I looked around, um, again, I didn't seem not to see a looking well, you kind of look, but I always thought of myself as a unique individual in the sense that, you know, I don't see myself around in, in very many communities. You know, it is, it's, it's unique in a sense that, um, I've always thrived in my own or tried to find my own identity. Uh, not necessarily looking to latch onto, oh, I'm not too feminine or not too masculine, or, I'm not this, or I'm not that. Realizing that, um, there's a lot more to myself don't identifying as gay, but who am I as a human being? You know? Um, I think society, we, we, we are always trying to fit into a category or into a box or into a system or into a label system. Speaker 3 00:51:21 And so it's interesting to see that, um, you know, how say gender, uh, terminology, how has that also shifted from gehi to they them, um, which also creates a form of category. And when you think of it, you know, when someone does, doesn't identify as, uh, which anyone is identifi able to identify as whatever they want to, all that's happen is that more categories have been created. And so, which is great, but now I, hopefully these categories don't divide the gay community even more so now where everyone's kind of like thrown into these small little categories in within the gay committee or under the umbrella of the gay community, dividing people a little more, like you say already there's a certain type of gayness, a certain type of gay, and there's always been those two types of, or you're not, that you're another type of case. So now you have, okay, the gay community, which is now even further more divided, um, hopefully doesn't create more of a divide. That's the only thing I was thinking in terms of be hopeful. I love where we're going in terms of like owning our identity and figuring out who we are, but hopefully not get lost in society, creating these terminologies or creating these sectors thinking that we need to now fall into these sectors to, to be the per this person, you know, Speaker 1 00:52:38 Can I, can I, uh, uh, respond to that nesta? I I don't think that, um, I don't think that categorization like more categories or more identities, um, uh, that's not lead leading to isolation. Like, I, I, I don't know if it's true, I don't know if this has always been true, but, uh, you know, we're just becoming more and more roboticized not by, so like, fine by, but just I, Speaker 3 00:53:05 Don's solution is going on right before our eyes. Oh. What I love is how our youth are opening up our eyes. And a lot of people really tend to overshadow and overlook the youth. This is what's, this is our future. This is what happening right now. What they're going through is what's going to kind of like transition into what the future becomes. And you're seeing the youth now more than ever really identifying with who they are. And it's nice that, you know, the space has been allowed for that to happen for them to actually be and identify, okay, this is who I am as an individual, or this is why I am, um, in terms of my gender identity. Uh, and, and, um, and having those avenues to, to, to grow and to, and to be those individuals. Um, you know, it's, it's, it's, it's rather unfortunate that that wasn't offered to us growing up. Speaker 3 00:53:55 Um, you know, it was straightforward. Like, I mean, I couldn't even be gay. It was just like, no, you're a young black man. That's it. You know? And when, uh, you know, finally when area that I had had that opportunity to experience with that, I often thought to myself, well, is there more beyond just me being gay? And it's, and I haven't thought to myself, cause I've did it girls in the past before, um, I, I gay. You know what I mean? And then it's like, oh no, it's like, no, you're bi. It's like, well, no, I'm not really, and then again, fighting with myself try to fit into those categories of am I gay? Am I bi? And it's like, well, no, I'm just being, that just so happens to like socializing with other deans. Um, you know, I share interactions with individuals and I, I can't I, in my interactions based on energy exchanging and, um, you know, it's, it's one of those things where I try not to keep a close mind. I made beautiful individuals from all over the world and we interact and we socialize. It's not just sexually, it could be, uh, spiritually, mentally, and emotionally. Um, you know, it's different form of interactions with different types of beings and different types of people. And so the idea of of trying to throw myself into this is who I am. And even then, if I just say, well, I'm not bi, I'm not gay, well, society's gonna be like, well, what are you, so now I'm forced to put myself into a box, you know what I mean? Speaker 2 00:55:13 <laugh>, I think there's a lot of pressure on, on queer kids, especially to identify as something or to explain their non-identifying as anything, you know, I think, and to lead and to make a noise and to be proud, you know, we're like, you know, yeah. Speaker 3 00:55:33 It's, it's quite a fascinating thing because, you know, I know for sure that at, you know, at that time in my life, um, society, UNIP gave me that chance or opportunity to even, to be that way and to have that. So there is a example in terms of, um, how, you know, we're evolving, how the community is evolving, where are we going? And, um, I think, you know, we need to pay attention more to the youth and to what's going on in the world. Cuz their voices are loud and they're being, and you know, they're speaking up, they're speaking up now more than ever. More so louder than, you know, you and myself, um, for, for all kinds of human rights and injustice. Um, and it is, it's, it's, it's quite a nice thing to see an experience. Speaker 2 00:56:15 But like on that, like in that sense, I think there is this hopefulness in that I think there is finally this kind of global community for, you know, people who are slightly different. Um, and I think there is this movement and, and the, there is this power of technology that it can be shared around the world. Yes. So before you were isolated, if you were in a small town, if you were in just a country that didn't have queer rights, you were isolated. You were just stuck with your own self-doubt. And what am I what? Like what am I doing? What, why do I think this way? And you can't Google, like, what is wrong with me? Why do I think about Speaker 3 00:57:04 Right. Speaker 2 00:57:04 These things, you know, <laugh>, there wasn't a Google, even if you No, no. And I, I find it so beautiful and, and exciting, you know, to see, uh, as a queer artist, the queer art spaces and the amount of support and loves that is there for, um, you know, all artists. I, I don't know. I've seen this, there's a trend now on Instagram, um, to, uh, you know, they'll have those challenges, like the draw what different drawing every day of the month. Right, right. And, um, one of the people I follow, she's this really awesome queer artist. Um, and her main thing is, uh, winners will be decided by how hard you gas up your fellow artists. Oh, I worry Carrie. Yeah. And I think that's so beautiful. Like, like you can you take part because we please take part, but also just be there for each other. Like, I just think that's so dope. Speaker 1 00:58:06 Do you participate? Some, some Do you, do you put, you submit? I'm Speaker 2 00:58:10 At keeping to those kind of deadlines. Speaker 1 00:58:12 We have to, we have to build it up. Okay. Here, well, on top of what already exists, Speaker 1 00:58:26 We're almost at the end. Can we do, um, and, uh, thank you very much for everything that you've said. It's been really fun. Can we do one, um, thought experiment? To end off, could you just each of us, um, describe an ideal, well, not ideal, just a flower design for us, just to give you an in, you know, take a little little minute to think about it and then, then we'll just give each of you some time to describe, uh, you know, a design that you're gonna make and what flowers you'll use and, you know, greenery or whatever. I know it's a kind of corny, but I think it could be a good extra. Speaker 3 00:59:04 So well also verbal descriptor of a floral design. Okay. My name is Nesta Charles, and this is my floral design. Um, I'm going for a tropical design, and so this will be done in a rather shallow base. Uh, preferably something in a rectangular shape, neutral color, uh, something not transparent, perhaps in black or in green. Uh, in the middle of my design I'll have strategically placed three birds of paradise. Uh, one will be about two and a half feet tall. The other will be slightly shorter. Third will be shortly slightly shorter than a second. So it'll be almost in a staggering effect. Um, I'll have some exotic greens going up the back. I love using texture. So we'll have some really interesting grass kind of loop to the front, to the right of the design. Um, I love using texture in terms of a unique flowers that are not really pronounced blooms. Speaker 3 01:00:02 So I'll be incorporating bur, uh, queen illa yellow queen illa to compliment the yellow in the orange birds of paradise, cuz they do tend to have specks of orange, yellow, and blue in the birds of paradise. Um, the birds of paradise, their heads will be faced in opposing directions, so in opposite direction, sorry. And, uh, the pink cri pink cushion cushion illa will be strategically placed at the base of the briza paradise. Um, being accented by lovely green ray. I like using tupo with tupo. It has a really nice kind of round texture. You could either get variegated or unica un unmitigated ppo. Um, and I think I'll keep it simple with the birth paradise, A queen cushion Fortilla, which are native to South Africa. I love them. They're long lasting and their coaches. And then, um, it definitely, they'll be incorporating greens for texture and for movement and for shape. Um, I'd like to keep kind of modern. Um, that would be my desire. Yes. Speaker 1 01:01:06 Netta, you are a technical, like wizard genius. Very beautiful design. I can't believe you just described it so scientifically and wonderful <laugh>. Speaker 2 01:01:16 It was so perfectly. Speaker 1 01:01:19 Are you ready, Simone? You own? Speaker 2 01:01:23 So, hey, um, my name is Samaya MayT and, um, my kind of, I wouldn't say ideal floral arrangement because it's not as organized as nesters. I think I have more of an impression of it rather than a, um, structured idea a bit. Um, you know, so I really love flowers from my home. Um, and they're very hard to come by here because they're just so expensive. And I love the idea of just mixing these really hardy, um, tough flowers that at the same time, so soft with these like, beautiful succulents and dry sobe banana grasses and stuff like that. So, um, the Protia was my first thought. And, Speaker 3 01:02:17 And South Africa, Speaker 2 01:02:18 Of course, it's from South Africa. Yeah. <laugh>. But it's beautiful. It's native, it's, um, it's, when you see it growing in nature, you are blown away by how beautiful it is. Um, as a cat flower, it can be a bit strange, but, um, just, yeah, the prot is really magnificent. It's actually the South African national flower, um, because it's just so beautiful. And then we have this plant called speck Boom. And that's been this, it's kind of like a succulent. It's got these beautiful little, uh, round leaves and it's very like, amazing for, uh, regenerating the, um, atmosphere and sort of like cleansing the air. And there's been a big push to plot more of these wherever you can. And I just really love the look of those with the kind of prot, I think like a shape that kind of, you know, the protia is quite round and solid where the spec boom is quite, um, you know, it's, it's, it's got more, it's got space, it's got negative space to play with mm-hmm. Speaker 2 01:03:21 <affirmative>, and you can kind of have it on the side. I think I like the idea of the grasses. Um, we have really strong but dry grasses because it's mostly Savannah where, where I am. And so, um, those kinds of things. And, um, you know, we have a lot of these invasive plants too, and I think of some that we have this tree called the Jacaranda, and it has these beautiful purple flowers. And if I could incorporate those in a way that would just be like, attach, so the protts still the kind of focal flower wall, uh, with these greens and these dried grasses, that would, that would be my image. And it's, it's kind of a lilac purple. It's really gentle, um, altogether. And it's, it's these plants and, um, four flora that are so good at surviving in such difficult, um, environments. But at the same time, when I picture that I picture something so gentle, Speaker 1 01:04:27 I think we need to, we need to see those, those, uh, arrangements come to life in real life one day, Speaker 2 01:04:35 <laugh>. Speaker 1 01:04:35 That's true. Okay. Well, somehow, some way. Anyways, I'm again conscious of our time, so I just, I just wanna say thank you so much for me, so generous and for your soul and your spirit and for all the listening. All the sharing, all the talking. And, uh, I, I really enjoyed myself. You both did as well. Yeah. This was awesome. This was soul. Yeah. Yeah. It's fantastic. And Speaker 2 01:05:03 I did too. It was, uh, it's a chat. We should continue it with some wine. What is it? Ette? Yeah, <laugh>. Speaker 1 01:05:13 All right. This has been Matt Mik, and, uh, I've been joined by, Speaker 2 01:05:16 Um, Samaya MayT, and I am so grateful to have been hosted on this show. Uh, thank you, Matt. Yep. Speaker 3 01:05:23 Please, you're most welcome. And I am Nesta tr And again, thank both of you for such an amazing conversation. Conversations like these are just almost like, um, a form of therapy. And so just being able to, to have conversations about the community, about us and the community, about our place in the community, it's, uh, it's, it's, you know, it's a sense of knowledge that I, I'm taken away, I'm walking away with, and I'm, I'm very grateful to have these conversations that yeah, Speaker 2 01:05:52 I'm so grateful to. Thank you. Thank you, <laugh>. Speaker 0 01:05:57 Thanks for joining us for another episode. Don't forget to subscribe. Leave us a rating and a review. It helps us get that much more of Speaker 2 01:06:05 A platform Speaker 0 01:06:09 To be continued troubling. The Archive is hosted and produced by Anna Shaw Hawk. Technical support for the show comes through from Fin Sun. A major thanks goes to Hunter Dewa for their wonderful work in creating the logo for the series. The Intro and Outdoor Commission works by artist Chris Buck Binowski. The show would not be possible without the support of Q Ag and the Can Council for the Arts Digital Now Grant.

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