Tali Caspi

Expert Writer. Creative Producer. Innovative Communicator. Inescapable Idealist.

Springtime Symphony

imageAfter dark and dreary winter, Melbourne seems to have awoken from its slumber to welcome in a blossoming spring. Or so it seemed on Sunday. The last day of winter shone brightly at the Hurstbridge Wattle Festival with multitudes of trees flowering on cue. You could literally feel the joy of the crowds that survived the gloom to arrive at long last into the sunshine.

Admittedly since then Melbourne’s three days of spring have regressed slightly. However, this doesn’t hide the fact that we all know warmer days are ahead and it seems hope. Whatever gets buried under the doona in winter emerges seemingly unscathed and ready for action in spring. Relationships. Fitness routines. Travel plans. That pot plant that seemed to be well past its used by date but has now rather miraculously returned from the dead. What is it about warmer weather that makes you feel that everything will be OK?

Weekend Wonder

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One often forgets how lucky they are to live in a beautiful, peaceful country with wide open spaces and bountiful fresh air. This weekend I was reminded after a Sunday road trip to Hanging Rock and Mount Macedon, just one hour out of Melbourne. Good reminder to be #grateful and let nature work its magic on your heart and soul.

The War in My Newsfeed

Over the last few weeks my Facebook and Twitter feeds were inundated with horrific images of conflict in the Middle East, airplane disaster in the Ukraine and various awful things that are occurring around the world and in our own backyard. I have begun to wonder if I am indeed getting news out of my friends and people that I follow alike, or if I am just getting one-sided snippets of information that are clouding my judgement or indeed pulling me into complicated news stories that I have very little collaborated information about.

Though we to an extent edit the news we receive through the people that we wish to associate with on social media, what is my right as an individual to not view traumatic imagery or information that I feel is having a negative affect on my emotional well-being?

Should I just toughen up or unfriend/unfollow those with opposing views to mine? Shutdown the most vocal? Get the hell off Facebook?

Or do social media sites have a duty of care to its users to not inflict emotional harm that may be caused by individuals sharing graphic imagery and questionable commentary? Though sites such as Facebook and Twitter offer users the ability to flag content that is inappropriate, you still must view the offensive content in order to get rid of it.

Am I a bad human if I want only positive, happy news in my social media feed? Has social media become anti-social? Can I bury my head in the sand?

(ed. Great article about the data of war may be found here.)

IMG_9244.jpg on Flickr.
Photo taken at Melbourne’s March in March protest against the policies of the Abbott government. Where do you stand on issues such the environment, asylum seekers and the economy? Full photo set here. 

IMG_9244.jpg on Flickr.

Photo taken at Melbourne’s March in March protest against the policies of the Abbott government. Where do you stand on issues such the environment, asylum seekers and the economy?

Full photo set here

Arts + Community = Change?

If you combine creative arts practices with communities can you create real and lasting change?

This is a question I have asked myself as I explore methods and means for cultural community development through a Graduate Certificate in Arts & Community Engagement at Victoria College of the Arts (VCA), Melbourne University.

The intensive 5-week course is taking us through the theoretical and practical elements of creating community-based arts projects that can have a positive impact on society.

Some interesting community arts projects that I have come across so far include the Before I die… project, which focuses on the creation of a massive blackboard in a local community and asks the question ‘what do you want to do before you die?’.

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The artist Candy Chung created the project to help her deal with personal grief and has spread to communities around the world to cover 400 walls in 60 countries in over 25 languages. The beauty of the project is in its simplicity, with a stencil kit now available on the Before I die… website.

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Is the Art of the (Im)possible - possible?

On Friday I attended an unconference about the Art of the (Im)possible, linking artists, activists and social entrepreneurs together to create ‘good’ as part of the Changemaker Festival. The day consisted of informal peer-led discussions about relevant topics.

The unconference #openspace format is interesting in trying to democratise the traditional expert led conference into one where people participate across the board. Though I do appreciate the concept, after attending a number of similar events, I feel that a hybrid model would work better. Something that incorporates some of the structure of a ‘regular’ conference with the informality of the open space structure.

Nevertheless, it was a fantastic opportunity to meet like-minded arts activist types as well those working in government and NGOs. True change can only come through cross-disciplinary brainstorming and action. Do you know of any inspiring organisations working in this space?

Last week I was lucky enough to shoot a series of photos for Barre Body's Teacher Training Manual. The light was lovely and Barre Body teacher Teresa was a pleasure to work with. Lots of fun too. I also highly recommend taking some classes.
Barre Body combines yoga, pilates and barre ballet to give you quite a workout. They have Melbourne studios and have just recently opened at Sydney’s Bondi Junction. More details on their website: www.barrebody.com.au.

Last week I was lucky enough to shoot a series of photos for Barre Body's Teacher Training Manual. The light was lovely and Barre Body teacher Teresa was a pleasure to work with. Lots of fun too. I also highly recommend taking some classes.

Barre Body combines yoga, pilates and barre ballet to give you quite a workout. They have Melbourne studios and have just recently opened at Sydney’s Bondi Junction. More details on their website: www.barrebody.com.au.

Jill Meagher_Peace March-8655 on Flickr.
This photo was taken at a memorial peace rally for Jill Meagher on the anniversary of her senseless murder and in protest of all violence against women. The following Dr. Martin Luther King Jr quote was read at the start of the rally by Artist Philip Werner, “Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”
Full photo set here.

Jill Meagher_Peace March-8655 on Flickr.

This photo was taken at a memorial peace rally for Jill Meagher on the anniversary of her senseless murder and in protest of all violence against women.

The following Dr. Martin Luther King Jr quote was read at the start of the rally by Artist Philip Werner, “Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”

Full photo set here.

IMG_8456.jpg on Flickr.
Exercising my photojournalism chops at a weekend pro-refugee rally. Full set is available here. 

IMG_8456.jpg on Flickr.

Exercising my photojournalism chops at a weekend pro-refugee rally.

Full set is available here

Model Shoot - Streets of Melbourne on Flickr.
On Saturday, I thought I would get out of my comfort zone and take part in a photography club model shoot through the streets of Melbourne. It was the first time I photographed models as I usually prefer photojournalism-type work. However, it was really great to try something new. Practice across all different genres makes you a better artist, or at least a more well-rounded one I hope! The full set is available here.

Model Shoot - Streets of Melbourne on Flickr.

On Saturday, I thought I would get out of my comfort zone and take part in a photography club model shoot through the streets of Melbourne. It was the first time I photographed models as I usually prefer photojournalism-type work. However, it was really great to try something new. Practice across all different genres makes you a better artist, or at least a more well-rounded one I hope!

The full set is available here.

On the Narcism Highway to Nowhere?

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I have to make a difference. I have to be better. Smarter. Richer. Prettier. 

Each day we are be bombarded by social media messages, inundated with advertising and told by whatever content is displayed on our multiple screens that what we are doing, no matter how hard we try, is simply not good enough.  

Why settle for single, when you can be married with 2-kids, a dog and a mortgage? Why be satisfied with simply having a job when you can be the CEO of a multi-national corporation? Why should you contest local council when you could be Prime Minister?

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Walk Together, Refugee Week, Melbourne on Flickr.
On Saturday, I attended the Walk Together event run by Mission Australia to end Refugee Week. The Australia-wide event aimed to lay down the welcome matt for refugees and raise awareness for asylum seeker rights. The man in the photo sums it up best!
More photos from the event can be found here.

Walk Together, Refugee Week, Melbourne on Flickr.

On Saturday, I attended the Walk Together event run by Mission Australia to end Refugee Week. The Australia-wide event aimed to lay down the welcome matt for refugees and raise awareness for asylum seeker rights. The man in the photo sums it up best!

More photos from the event can be found here.

Good morning glory #Melbourne!! (at Hub Melbourne)

Good morning glory #Melbourne!! (at Hub Melbourne)

Project: MSF.tv (Producer)

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At the end of 2012 I was lucky enough to be a producer on an innovative online and social media project for the largest medical humanitarian organisation in the world - Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders).

Working directly for production company @radical.media (Sydney) and in conjunction with ethical advertising agency Republic of Everyone and web agency Heckler, we created content for a month-long campaign to raise awareness of the organisation in Australia.

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