It is the greatest time of year to be in Australia. December hits and suddenly everyone seems to relax a little, the skies are clear, the beach is calling and you can wear next to nothing and feel comfortable. Whether you spend time simply enjoying the beautiful weather lying beneath a big ol’ tree or partying like crazy at the plethora of festivals on offer this year, it is about good, good times.
The silly season does have heavier overtones this year though, the current financial upheaval continues to filter through to Australia’s economy and homes. People are watching their dollars and are concerned about job security. The ever-increasing cost of living and ongoing environmental battles – water, waste, greenhouse. Do you ever feel overwhelmed by it all?
Well, we could focus on the positives and the wonders of this crazy world! Firstly, congratulations to our outstanding YEN Young Woman of the Year Awards winners, an amazing group of women and well done to talented journalist Sophie McNeill, our Young Woman of the Year! From the tender age of 15 McNeill has been reporting on social, political and human rights issues – an extraordinary young woman.
And in the realm of universally good news – for the first momentous time the United States have an African American President, even though it is not our political backyard there is no doubting the US leadership affects world politics dramatically. It is an incredible and beautiful thing, a country that has been dominated by racial segregation and tensions for hundreds of years, (segregation was only abolished 40 years ago) is to be led by Barack Obama. He is a man literally taking the weight of the world on his shoulders – the financial crash, two wars and pressing global warming issues. Obama is only human but his self-composure and policies (domestic and foreign) have people at least hopeful.
Off world politics and back onto home soil, we have a delicious mix of features and fashion for your perusal. This issue we take a look at those who like to do things differently, some a little and some – A LOT! There are so many amazing Australians making waves in creative fields around the world, we introduce you to just a few of these talented individuals who are taking the road less travelled… For most of us the Aboriginal history we were taught in schools was, well, lacking. We heard very little about the Aboriginal warriors who fought for the rights of Australia’s first inhabitants and so we thought we would share the stories of Aboriginal heroes Pemulwuy and Windradyne. From colonial Australia to the Papua highlands; in a wonderful twist of events scientists have made some thrilling discoveries in the virtually untouched paradise of the Foja Mountains – new species of flora and fauna, very David Attenborough. I share with you a little trip I took to Paris and Lucerne, Switzerland and we check out the lifestyle that is rockabilly. Australia has a thriving rockabilly scene – the dress, the hair, the car and music – Coolio Daddy-o.
This issue we also tell the stories of two very different women, one an observer of those on the fringe and the other a participant. Jessica Dimmock is a NY photographer who spent four years living with and photographing heroin addicts, the other, a woman who worked as a sex phone operator. Two intense tales for very different reasons… There are those who stick to the fringes of society and those who are attracted to an extreme alternative lifestyle… the HBO series Big Love has given many people a peak into the world of Fundamental Mormonism and a polygamous life, we investigate the religion and look at the effects such beliefs have on women’s and children’s rights.
Check out our retrospective on Jim Henson and his amazing puppetry legacy, meet our gorgeous cover girl chanteuse Soko and along with two incredible shoots by the YEN fashion team and Random shoot starring ’80s pop queen Wendy James, we have an awesome eight page Levi’s editorial starring some of this year’s “cool as a cat” Laneway acts.
We hope you enjoy the issue!