What is Love?

A Kickstarter project by photographer Angela Fama.

Vancouver-based photographer Angela Fama is on a journey to answer the age-old question, “What is love?”, one that will have her zigzag on a road trip from Vancouver to Los Angeles, Memphis, New York, Montreal, Detroit, Winnipeg, and then back home. Along the way, she’ll stop in at least 10 different locations to set up her trademark pop-up photography studio and invite passersby to be part of the project, during which she’ll ask them questions about love and photograph their expressions as they respond.

Fama delights in this inquisitive photographic practice. “I learn through asking,” she says. “It helps me with my own understanding of things. In my personal healing, I’ve had to learn how to understand the word love. It’s been one of the biggest steps to go from a negative place to turning it into something beautiful.” It’s easy to take the word love at face value, “like a Hallmark card,” Fama adds. “But if you look at what it truly is for people, the definition of it, it has many more layers to it.” The project is a multi-faceted one as well—Fama’s portraits will be shown in online galleries and compiled into a book, set to be released November 2015 at Initial Gallery. It is also part of Fama’s umbrella project, Wabisabi Butterfly, which encompasses several initiatives aimed at unifying and supporting adult survivors of trauma and sexual abuse.

Fama is no stranger to adventures on the road—her trips through Nova Scotia, Salt Spring Island, and Maui have yielded beautiful results. For this one, Fama is fundraising via Kickstarter to help cover the costs of a trailer, as well as the various rewards for funders. She is also hosting a secret supper on Saturday, September 20 in collaboration with Swallow Tail Events and La Mezcaleria to celebrate the launch of the fundraiser. “I find supper clubs to be community-based within themselves,” she says. “I enjoy that when people go to them, they usually sit at communal tables. You end up conversing with your neighbours, and meeting people, so it’s kind of a similar collaborative experience, but with dining.”

Chef Ignacio Arrieta will serve up a five-course menu, and guests will also have the chance to participate in a pop-up Boler photo studio with Fama, allowing them to be the first hands-on collaborators of the project. Those who want a taste of both Arrieta’s superb Mexican cuisine and Fama’s wizardry behind the lens can purchase tickets ($79) by contacting info@swallowtail.ca, supporting the passionate photographer’s ongoing quest to cultivate social change through art.

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September 9, 2014