“Nature allows us to voice our concerns, our doubts and just put it all out there, which helps us to feel better.”
Judith Kasiama, Outdoor Enthusiast, Activist, Photographer, Business Woman, Model.
“My creativity comes from everything that is around me. I’m exploring the context of what it means to be a Black woman; a Black woman in Canada, and especially a Black woman in Vancouver.
We’re all scattered, we’re all doing our own thing; where do I fit in?
“I love photography, I love visual arts, I love fashion. I love doing all these things and it’s just meeting people who are also creative. In Vancouver, it’s really hard to find those creative folks and then do things that aren’t in the mainstream.
For me, I want to be in that space, but also a space that’s a true representation of me so that makes me kinda stand out, makes me feel empowered.”
A few of her most recent projects with her partner, photographer Pavel Boiko, include Womxn In Suits and Unmasking The Diaspora.
Womxn In Suits celebrating women in power suits. “There’s just something powerful when you put a suit on. People do a double take, and it takes a new level of confidence.”
Unmasking The Diaspora is a project that continues to explore and understand Judith’s place in the world.
“I was born in Congo but I haven’t lived there in over 20 years. Even in my own family they don’t see me as Congolese, they see me as a Westerner. I’m trying to keep my identity, but there are pressures from both sides. This project is a way for me to discover that story through masks. I love African masks, I find them super fascinating and beautiful and I find that not a lot of people really appreciate them.”
A creative that enjoys the combination of being in front of the camera, as well as behind the camera.
“I like to tell others how I’m feeling through fashion, through a creative idea, and I’m discovering the kind of story I want to tell, from behind the camera.
Behind the camera, I get nervous, I’m still learning in my photography journey.”
“I enjoy the aspect of storytelling without using words.”
Founding Colour The Trails, a group for POC & allies interested in outdoor activities, and watching it grow and transform to a community of like-minded people, stemmed from a love of the outdoors.
“The first 10 minutes of a hike, there’s lots of small talk, ‘Hi, how are you? What do you do?’ and 15 minutes later, I know so much about that person. We go deep, and so personal. You’re creating a bond that is expedited so fast because of the nature as there’s nothing else you can do. You can only talk about the weather for two minutes and then you realise you still have to climb on this mountain for another five hours!”
A group that provided an opportunity for Judith to create space, in a space that bought her joy, but lacked representation. “There aren’t a lot of people that look like me in this space.”
“I’m inspired by being out in nature, being one with nature and the joy of brining others out into nature and have them experience wither it’s kayaking, mountain biking or just going for a hike. We don’t access the nature that’s available to us.”
“Nature is cheaper than therapy – I need to make that a t-shirt!”
“There’s so much opportunity, but we either limit ourselves by continuously upholding stereotypes that Black people don’t do X, Y or Z and so we limit the possibility of what we can achieve.”