COLLABORATION BY JONATHAN RANDALL GRANT
AND WILL JOHNSON
Culture Keeper is all about collaboration, and this whimsical impromptu photo shoot by Jonathan Randall Grant, Culture Keeper’s founder and creative director, and photographer Will Johnson embodies this Culture Keeper ethos.
For creatives, space to improvise and play is fertile ground for new projects! (For more creative projects that emerged from an artist’s playing, check out our MADE column.)
On a rainy April day, Jonathan Randall Grant and Will Johnson made a pot of tea, took out a new camera, and began pulling objects from around Jonathan's Chicago apartment. This spontaneous creativity is a normal process for each of them, but this April day was the first time they were able to collaborate and play with this particular canvas.
For both Jonathan and Will, creative play is a source of fun but also makes a solid basis for future paid projects. For this shoot they found inspiration in everyday objects, capturing the way patterns and details inform one another.
Jonathan Randall Grant, Culture Keeper's creative director and founder, is always exploring the intersection of aesthetics, culture, and theology, and he can’t stop traveling. He splits his time between South Bend and Paris. Jonathan paints for churches, writes books for children, advocates for his friends on the front lines of peace-building, directs photo shoots, and goes swimming every chance he gets. Diana Vreeland is his spirit-animal. He’s on Instagram here.
STORY BY HEATHER M. SURLS
Heather Surls introduces us to a young designer who has found unexpected inspiration back home in Jordan—both design inspiration and inspiration in terms of whom she employs.
STORY AND PHOTOS BY ARMON A. MEANS
The traditional ideal of community structure was rooted in individuals’ formation of living groups derived from families and built through doing apprenticeships, seeking education, and returning to or remaining near the area where one was raised (generally within a 20-mile radius). In contemporary modernized society this ideal has become a relic as individuals no longer feel the need to remain near their place of birth. In addition, every year immigration and social change lead influxes of people to move to or within North America. Armon A. Means delves into resulting questions of individual and societal identity through his latest road trip photographic project.
POEM BY E. AMATO. TRANSLATED TO FRENCH BY CATHERINE S. WEBSTER. IMAGES BY JOANNA WINOGRAD.
A poem by E. Amato from her book Will Travel. Inspiration found in Essaouira, Morocco.
STORY AND PHOTOS BY JOEL CARILLET
With this article from Joel Carillet, we wrap up a four-article series from contributors who have entered in various ways into the lives of the Rohingya people who have sought refuge in Bangladesh. In the height of their crisis last fall, Joel spent time photographing and listening to people living in several refugee camps in Bangladesh, specifically Jamtoli, Kutupalong, Shamlapur, Chakmarkul, and Balukhali. He shares with us one of the questions that has persisted for him since then.
With the photo essay this week from Nihab Rahman, you may begin to notice that we’re spending several weeks of our once-per-week publishing schedule on stories connected to the lives of Rohingya refugees from Myanmar (also called Burma) who have fled to Bangladesh, where they are living in refugee camps.
PHOTOS BY NIHAB RAHMAN
We were introduced to Nihab Rahman through our contributor Scott Will, whose Culture Keeper account of life as an aid worker in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. In his first article for Culture Keeper, we’re going photo essay style, letting his photos speak for themselves as he takes us along to view life in a refugee camp for the Rohingya refugees whose situation has received a sizable amount of media attention.
STORY BY SCOTT J. WILL
Physician assistant Scott Will recently spent a month providing medical care to Rohingya people from Myanmar living in a large refugee camp outside Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. This journal-style article from him offers a behind-the-scenes view of aid worker life as well as offering a small introduction to the Rohingya people. He previously wrote for Culture Keeper about the family he gained while living in South Sudan for five years.
STORY BY HOLLY WREN SPAULDING
We must give you fair warning: Upon reading this article, you are likely to find yourself checking directions to the tiny village in Michigan where Melanie Parke’s The Provincial resides. As in her other MADE columns, Holly Wren Spaulding has introduced us to another artistic gem, in so many senses of the word.
Illuminating tall ceilings, vast white walls, and shiny, painted wood floors that evoke the vintage of this place, natural light draws me through the doors of The Provincial. As my eyes adjust, a collection of paintings come into focus, by some of painter Melanie Parke’s favorite artists: this is her studio as well as a space for showing others’ work and fostering artist projects.
PHOTOS AND TEXT BY AMBER KIDNER
What do you think of when you imagine life in one of the world’s largest, pulsing cities? What markers of light and distinctiveness would you find there? Our contributor Amber Kidner describes what she’s come to love about her home du jour in Delhi, India. You’ll find her other From India with Love and Fire posts here.