Elif Shafak on ‘The Politics of Fiction’

It has been difficult to find time to sit down and write on here. The past few weeks have been charged with tasks, appointments, classes, and projects which I am completely dedicated to and thankful for. Yet, I have neglected a few of the things which truly keep me ticking on the inside! It’s time to refocus, gather my energy and start re-funnelling it into the more personal and intimate areas of my life. Hence, my first post in a while!

Late last year, I followed my good friend to a hidden bookshop at our university, in which we got talking about books and authors we enjoy. He told me about an author who he admires immensely – Elif Shafak. After watching her TED talk on ‘The Politics of Fiction’, I couldn’t keep it to myself. If you have a few minutes, please watch, and enjoy.

Sensing Spaces: Architecture Reimagined

Much of the charm of a building lies in the way that it makes you feel; the different spaces in which we find ourselves evoke different reactions within us that go unnoticed or which we do not attribute to the space around us. However, our relationship with buildings is a symbiotic one in which materials and bodies constantly interact with and transform one another.

This notion lies at the heart of the current ‘Sensing Spaces: Architecture Reimagined’ exhibition, at the RA in London until April 6th. It explores the importance of the spaces around us: how natural elements such as light, wind, and sight engage our senses and emotions, how buildings affect our thoughts, and engage all parts of us both internally and externally. Body and soul.

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Right from the start of the exhibition (independent of the direction in which you choose to begin) I felt compelled to interact with the space around me. I immediately felt self-conscious in amongst the structure, materials, colours, heights, and even sounds of each section. Each space seemed so radically different from the last, and completely unexpected.

Each room was modelled to different degrees upon the architectural styles of each designer, all 6 of which hail from different parts of the world including Japan, Burkina Faso and Ireland. Each had a different sensory appeal and inspirations.

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(Unfortunately, my camera decided to delete a few pictures, but was kind enough to let some remain.)

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I wish that a space such as this exhibition would be permanently available to the general  public – I enjoyed the whimsical and playful nature of the straw tunnel, especially the way  in which it encouraged people to interact with and build it – to leave their mark.

Overall, the exhibition was shorter than I expected, but I left feeling inspired and pensive.  The everyday, mundane aspects of each day that we take for granted, such as buildings  and the spaces which we inhabit, affect in ways greater than we realise. If only we took  the time to observe the architectural detail and beauty around us, and be inspired by it….

I hope you enjoyed the short video I made just for you 🙂

Influencers Film

I will forever be in love with this film! It covers everything from our interest in pop culture, to the importance of family, the rise of social media platforms and new ways of communicating with each other. Not to mention, a little bit of style. The visuals are so appealing; it is a beautifully edited piece of work! It has been a long-time source of inspiration: anytime I lose focus, I turn my eyes to this and it never fails to remind me of my dreams and ambitions (maybe that sounds a bit weird). Nonetheless, I hope it can do the same for you :).

Get Creative

Whenever I spend long periods of time away from the routinised flow of uni life, I feel as though I uncover new things about myself. Most recently, I became conscious of the fact that anytime I do something creative, in any capacity, I feel a complete buzz and excitement. I’ve mentioned this before, but the increasing importance that writing holds for me is something that I try to cherish and nurture everyday. The ability for us to creatively express ourselves is infinitely available, it is simply up to us to tap into it. Whatever you produce does not need to be measured or judged, but it just has to be a manifestation of what you’re feeling or who you are, and unashamedly so.

I truly believe in the innate nature of creativity within each person: we are continuously being creative, even in circumstances which we would not conventionally define as such. It’s just that it takes on a different significance for some. I guess what i’m getting at here, is the importance of finding or realising that creativity should not be automatically relegated to artists professional creatives, whose work can oftentimes be constrained if it is dependent on a market. Rather, you must see that we all nurture a degree of creative ‘talent’, which, if tapped into, can release us into a dimension of inner freedom, fulfillment and exploration.