Category Archives: Writing

Chuck Grant Shoots for Kodak and her sister, Lana Del Rey for New York Times

Chuck Grant, 29, is a photographer who often shoots pop stars, including her sister, Lana Del Rey.CreditJoyce Kim for The New York Times

Name Chuck Grant

Age 29

Hometown Lake Placid, N.Y.

Now Lives She splits her time between a one-bedroom apartment on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, and a one-bedroom apartment in East Los Angeles.

Claim to Fame Ms. Grant is a rising young photographer who has found a niche shooting fashionable pop music stars, including her sister, who goes by the stage name Lana Del Rey. (Ms. Grant is officially Caroline but has been called Chuck her entire life.) Her first magazine cover came in 2015 when she photographed Charli XCX for Galore magazine. Later that year, she photographed the rapper YG for Fader Magazine. For Ms. Del Rey’s 2015 album “Honeymoon,” Ms. Grant photographed her on a Hollywood sightseeing bus. “I had a dream about shooting her in a Starline tour bus, and a week later she called me saying she had rented a Starline bus,” Ms. Grant said. “It was serendipitous.”

Big Break As a senior at Parsons School of Design majoring in photography, Ms. Grant submitted a series of portraits called “Alpha Females” for her thesis project, which followed the lives of the blogger Leandra Medine, Tina Flaherty, a businesswoman and philanthropist, and Ms. Del Rey. “I’ve always been attracted to strong female personalities and wanted to capture them in their natural environments,” Ms. Grant said. One of the judges was be Jody Quon, the photography director of New York magazine. Ms. Quon apparently liked the work, for after Ms. Grant graduated she sent her to Salt Lake City to photograph a community of Mormon women for the magazine. Ms. Grant has been shooting ever since.

Latest Project Kodak recently tapped Ms. Grant for a series of projects using its new Super 8 camera. “I shoot primarily 120millimeter film, and have used Kodak film for almost 10 years,” she said. “I’ll be representing the brand, and I’m just trying to keep the love for film alive.”

Next Thing She hopes to publish her first photography book about she calls the modern-day myth of Persephone. “I’ve become more ingrained in the L.A. lifestyle, and have been documenting and exploring its gravitational moon energy, glamour and the darkness that consumes this city,” she said. “I plan to express that in this book.”

Sister Act Ms. Grant remains close to her sister, both personally and creatively. “We inspire each other to keep reaching for new artistic places to go, but we also remind each other of what our roots are in our individual crafts,” said Ms. Grant, who shot the cover art for Ms. Del Rey’s next album, “Lust For Life.”

Read the article at The New York Times.

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Filed under Art, Culture, Fashion, film, Interviews, Media, New York City, New York Times, NYC, NYFW, NYT, Theatre, Writing

The New York Times: Sunday Routine

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New York Times/ Women In The World: Guatemala’s Brutal War Crimes

Lady law

Meet the brave woman who convicted Guatemala’s former dictator of brutal war crimes

A new documentary, “Burden Of Peace,” chronicles Claudia Paz y Paz, Guatemala’s extraordinary first female attorney general

The surname Paz y Paz translates to “Peace and Peace,” which appropriately suits trailblazer Claudia Paz y Paz, Guatemala’s first female attorney general and the subject of the new documentary Burden Of Peace. The film was screened at the Human Rights Watch Film Festival in New York City on Thursday night. Paz y Paz effectively led the Public Prosecutor’s Office of Guatemala from 2010-2014, until her term was controversially cut short by seven months.

 

Read the article at Women In The World.

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New York Times/ Women In The World: International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda

Weapon of war

Filmmaker documents historic trial that made rape a war crime

Michele Mitchell talks about her new film “The Uncondemned,” about a landmark case that successfully prosecuted rape as a crime against humanity

Photo courtesy Michele Mitchell

PHOTO COURTESY MICHELE MITCHELL

“Mankind better stand back up on that issue if we are going to survive as a species,” a rape psychologist in the Democratic Republic of the Congo told filmmaker Michele Mitchell in an interview about her new documentary, The Uncondemned, which explores the successful prosecution by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) of rape as a war crime for the first time in history.

The defendant in question was Jean-Paul Akayesu, a former teacher who served as the mayor of Taba, Rwanda during the 1994 genocide in that country. On his watch, and with his direct involvement, Tutsi men, women and children there were systematically hounded and murdered by the Interahamwe Hutu militias. Akayesu was arrested in Zambia in 1995 and extradited to stand trial before the ICTR for crimes ranging from genocide to violations of the Geneva Convention. And, on June 17, 1997, the indictment against him was amended to include the unprecedented charge of rape as a crime of genocide and as a crime against humanity. In celebration of that historic moment, filmmakers Michele Mitchell and Nick Louvel will be holding a filmmakers’ screening exactly 16 years later in Rwanda.

The tenacious team of prosecutors, activists and scholars who joined forces to win the case—Akayesuwas sentenced to life imprisonment in 1998—had help from pivotal witnesses who took the stand to recount their rapes during the genocide. After being identified with codenames during the trial, these women reveal their names in the film for the first time. The screening will be held for everyone who was a part of the ICTR: Rwandan government officials, the U.S. ambassador, and many others from the diplomatic community. Women In the World spoke with co-director Michele Mitchell about The Uncondemned, rape as a war crime, and the use of terror by Boko Haram and ISIS.

WITW: What made you want to focus on rape as a weapon of war?

Michele Mitchell: There is no ambiguity about rape as a weapon of war. It is an act of deadly intent. The victims are women and men, children and elderly. So it’s not about “sex.” It’s about power, humiliation and torture. We wanted to tell a story of what to do about it.

WITW: Can you talk about Boko Haram and ISIS using rape as a weapon of war today?

MM: Both groups have openly bragged that they are using it as a weapon of terror. And those are the two examples that we know of. We need to take rape as seriously as we do other war crimes, and we — as a society, our government — aren’t doing that.

 

Read the article at Women In The World.

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New York Times/ Women In The World: An Interview With Katie Ford

Freedom for all

“Eight years ago, I did not know that slavery existed today”

The former CEO of Ford Models wants to end modern day slavery

JOHAN ORDONEZ/AFP/Getty Images

JOHAN ORDONEZ/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

Despite abundant evidence that it still persists in modern times, many people relegate slavery to the past. But human trafficking could be found in your neighbor’s house, anywhere from downtown Manhattan to Brazil. The human trafficking trade is the second most profitable criminal enterprise after drug trafficking, affecting more than 2.45 million people daily with a total market value of $31.6 billion, according to the United Nations.

Globally, the majority of trafficking victims are women and girls — about 75 percent according to the same study. The victims’ fates range from forced labour to sex slavery. They are often brought to unfamiliar environments where they don’t know anyone or even the language, further isolating them.

Many stories make the news; ISIS has abducted thousands of women and girls, Boko Haram infamously kidnapped 276 Chibok schoolgirls, threatening to traffic them and hundreds of other girls and women they have abducted. But many stories do not make the news.

Katie Ford, a giant in the modeling world, has been working to end modern day slavery. The former CEO of Ford Models will host an annual benefit for her foundation Freedom For All on May 13 where three survivors of human trafficking from the Philippines will share their stories.

 

Read more at The New York Times.

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The Daily Beast- ‘The Hunting Ground’ Sheds New Light On Campus Rape Epidemic

SURVIVORS

02.26.15

‘The Hunting Ground’ Sheds New Light On Campus Rape Epidemic

A new documentary follows two activists around the country as they talk to fellow survivors about the trauma of rape and the triumph of survival.
Rape has always been a taboo topic in our society, but lately that seems to be changing thanks to activists like Annie Clark and Andrea Pino.Clark and Pino are leading the crusade for Title IX—a federal legislation most famous for sports equality, but which prohibits all discrimination (including sexual harassment and violence) on the basis of sex in any education program or activity that receives federal funding—and the Clery Act, which grants protections for sexual assault victims on college campuses. They recently made their film debut as activists in the new documentary “The Hunting Ground,” by Oscar-nominated filmmakers Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering.Pino graduated valedictorian of her high school and was the first of her family to leave her home state of Florida to go to college at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Clark, a North Carolina native and high school athlete, wanted to stay in state for college and chose Chapel Hill as well. Having both survived rape while college students, they eventually created End Rape On Campus, a survivor advocacy organization dedicated to ending sexual violence.

The film notes that 16 to 20 percent of undergraduate women are sexually assaulted in college, and 88 percent of women raped on campus do not report.

The documentary follows the two women as they drive cross-country to meet with other sexual assault survivors on college campuses who wish to file complaints against their schools. Clark, who became a campus administrator at the University of Oregon after graduation, reflects in the film, “I basically had to make a choice if I wanted to continue to support survivors or have my actual administrative job at a university. I figured I could do more good this way, so I resigned.”

The film notes that 16 to 20 percent of undergraduate women are sexually assaulted in college, and 88 percent of women raped on campus do not report. Pino details her violent assault as a second year student. She says, “It all happened really quickly. I was actually a virgin, so that adds a bit to it. He just started pulling me towards the bathroom. He grabbed my head by the side of my ear and slammed it against the bathroom tile and it didn’t stop.”

Pino’s traumatic memory has yet to subside. “When you’re scared and you don’t know what’s happening to you, you just stay there and hope that you don’t die. And that’s when I was hoping, that I had more than just 20 years to live.”

Clark mentions receiving many death and rape threats for going public with her assault. A resolute Clark says, “Here is the experience of several hundred survivors. Unless something happens, it’s not going to change.”

Filmmaker Kirby Dick discussed the obstacles of making this film with The Daily Beast. “This is a problem at all of the thousands of colleges and universities in the United States. We wanted to make a film that didn’t just focus on three or four campuses and people would walk away saying that those were the rape campuses. We wanted people to walk away knowing that this is a prolific problem within higher education.”

“I was actually a virgin…He grabbed my head by the side of my ear and slammed it against the bathroom tile and it didn’t stop.”

In order for the filmmakers to accomplish that, they were in contact with hundreds of survivors and did extensive research for many months. Producer Amy Ziering added, “The complexities and the nuances of this issue were also a challenge, and the fact that power in these institutions is not hierarchically ordered is another problem.”

Revisiting UNC, Chapel Hill reignited the feelings of terror and shame Andrea Pino experienced after her assault. She later found out that multiple other women were raped that same weekend. “The worst part for me has been to relive the experiences of everyone else,” Pino recounts.

Through tears, survivors from Florida State, Notre Dame, USC, Yale, and Harvard describe their horrific sexual assaults. Yet in the face of these stories, Pino and Clark are unafraid. “It’s the only way I get up in the morning. I would have given anything to have someone who believed me, someone who supported me,” Pino says.

In the film, an ABC news reporter in Berkeley, California says, “These students went from sexual assault victims to survivors and now activists.” Words could not ring more true for these two heroic women.

The film hits theaters this Friday, February 27th.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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Into The Gloss- Neesha Arter, Writer

Neesha Arter, Writer

neesha-arter-writer-1

 

“I grew up in Albuquerque and went to college in California, where I studied creative writing and ended up writing a book. While I was in LA for school, I started writing for Angeleno Magazine, which is how I began working in journalism, too. Eventually I moved out to New York to get a book deal, which just happened two weeks ago! It’s called Controlled and it’s a memoir about sexual assault. I really couldn’t be happier that it’s getting published. It’s a really exciting time for me. [Ed note: Controlled (Heliotrope Books) will be available fall 2015.]

When I’m not working on the book, I write for New York Magazineand the New York Observer. I’ve been fortunate enough to interview some of my favorite people in entertainment for stories I’ve worked on—people like David Lynch, Drew Barrymore, Orlando Bloom, Barbara Walters…My conversation with Barbara was definitely one of the most memorable. It was also kind of controversial on a personal level because it was Woody Allen’s opening night of Bullets Over Broadway—not too long after his open letter went out in the New York Times about his relationship with Dylan—and Barbara Walters publicly supports him. I feel very strongly about this kind of thing and I do a lot of activism when it comes to sexual assault awareness. My editor was like, ‘You’re covering this!’ and I just said ‘OK!’ I didn’t think she was going to do interviews, but I just kind of jumped in front of her and said, ‘I’m Neesha Arter from New York Magazine! Can I talk to you for a second?’ and we got to talk, so that was great. I’ve watched The View since I was little and even if we disagree, I still admire her so much.

I also guest write for Mariska Hargitay’s Joyful Heart Foundation about various issues dealing with sexual assault. And I did the social media for this documentary called Brave Miss Worldwhich was written and directed by Cecilia Peck, Gregory Peck’s daughter. It’s about Linor Abargil, an Israeli who won Miss World in 1998 and was raped six weeks before she won the crown, and then later in life speaks out about it and travels around the world to help other victims of sexual assault. It’s really gratifying to be involved with such creative people making a difference. Everyone knows someone that has been affected by these issues. Sexual assault happens every day. I wrote an article for Teen Vogue about this and I had people writing to me from Australia and everywhere else saying, ‘I was raped and I haven’t told anybody except for you…’ and it’s just like, wow, that is a heavy thing. Nobody talks about it, which only makes it more important that the media shines a light on the cause. And if I can help somebody and say, ‘You’re not alone,’ then that’s all I want to do.

For my job and my activism, I go to a lot of black tie events to interview subjects and support causes close to me. But because I’m usually there to work, I don’t worry about if my hair or eye makeup is really ‘working.’ It’s not about being a celebrity, it’s about blending in and finding the story. I’ll do a darker eye—just pencil and mascara though, never shadow—and blow dry my hair. And then I’ll use what I use every day. I found MAC Powder Blush in Breezy because the lady at the store was like, ‘Oh, this one is probably good,’ and I’ve used it ever since [laughs]. I like powder formulas over creams because I find them easier to apply. My favorite mascara is Maybelline The Colossal Volum’ Express. My suitemate used it in college, and she always had pretty eyelashes, so I used hers before eventually buying my own. And I love lip gloss. I have so many! Paul & Joe Lip Color in Pink Ballerina is a good one, Stila Lip Glaze in Grapefruit is always a winner, and MAC Tinted Lipglass in Pink Lemonade is just fun to put on. Anything pink! It gives me that extra boost of confidence when I’m doing red carpet interviews or a one-on-one with someone I admire in the industry, so it’s definitely a product I can’t live without.

When it comes to skincare, I stick to the classics. I’ve been using Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash in Pink Grapefruit for as long as I can remember. I follow that up with their Oil-Free Moisturizer for combination skin. I use it during the day and at night. My mom gave me Clinique All About Eyes Serum because I have a huge issue with insomnia. Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair is also good for calming my eyes when I can’t sleep.

I actually use my favorite lotion, Soap and Glory Butter Yourself Body Cream, in the shower. It’s really good for when the air is dry in the winter. Then I shampoo my hair with Alterna Caviar Clinical Daily Detoxifying Shampoo and their Daily Root & Scalp Stimulator. They’re super fancy products that my friend gave me and I love the way they make my hair smell. I haven’t used Alterna Caviar Working Hair Spray since, like, prom, but I always keep it around just in case I need a little bit of extra volume.

And after a painful trip of eyebrow threading and a few failed pedicures, I swear by eyebrow waxing and painting my own nails. I just couldn’t stop laughing during those foot massages. Am I the only one who’s ticklish? So overall, I’m pretty low maintenance. I don’t have a ton of products, but the ones I do use, I’m very loyal to. I’ve gotten the most guidance from my mom, partially because there aren’t a ton of Indian women in the media—though I think Freida Pinto and I would be great friends.”

—as told to ITG

Photographed by Tom Newton.

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Filed under CONTROLLED, Culture, Media, Memoirs, New York City, New York Magazine, New York Observer, Non Profit, NYC, Teen Vogue, Theatre, Writing

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