My scholarship application for Eric Kim street photography workshop

First and Last Name *

Leslie Dean Brown
Email address *
info@lesliedeanbrown.com
Phone number *
+612 8502-3048
Which workshop are you interested in attending? *
 Sydney, Australia – October 8-9th, 2016 – Conquer Your Fears of Shooting the Streets
Please tell us a little bit about what you expect to get out of the workshop *
I have learned not to expect anything, that way I am never disappointed. However, I would like to be more motivated to go out and shoot street photography more frequently than I do now. I have been chronically depressed now for 2 straight years and would also like to gain more optimism about life in general. I would also like to meet new photographers and interact with them. I would also like to have fun, that is the main thing.
How would you take the knowledge you’ve learned from the workshop to better serve your community? *

I have two main long-term goals with my photography. As I get older, I would like use street photography to shine a spotlight on two massive problems that are prevalent in many societies today:

1) MATERIAL WASTE: I previously studied materials science and I believe that there is way too much consumerism in the Western world. Way too much. Mining leads to environmental tradgedies, yet we need the environment in order to survive. So we are eventually going to have to overcome this addiction we have of unsustainable synthetic materials and manufacturing processes, literally for our own survival. Recycling in its current form is still not enough, we need to be able to recycle all the elements on the periodic table, not just a handful of them.

In nature, there is simply no such thing as ‘rubbish’. One organism’s waste is another’s food. There is a girl out there somewhere who only had only accumulated one jar of waste after a whole year. I believe that should be our collective future; our aim should be to create zero waste. I believe that one day in the future, the large rubbish bins we see now today will become obsolete. Perhaps it will take centuries, but that is the way it has to be.

I have been following Eric Kim’s blog for almost 3 years now and I know that he encourages projects, not just single photographs.

So I am trying very hard to photograph different sorts of rubbish bins as a series, to highlight not just our blatant consumerism but also the massive amount of waste that our society generates on a daily basis. I call this “the bin laden project”, because the bins I see are almost always either completely full or else overflowing.

There are two reasons that I think make this project ‘special’. Firstly, no one ever photographs rubbish because it is traditionally seen as ‘ugly’ [indeed, we try very hard not to photograph any sort of rubbish]. And secondly, every single rubbish bin I have seen to date is unique and I therefore find it interesting in a strange kind of way [and perhaps other people will too]

Photographing rubbish is kind of embarrassing though in the city, and that’s where some of the best rubbish bins are to be found!

2) GROSS INCOME INEQUALITY:
I have been living below the poverty line most of my life. I am now 39 years old. Australia used to be called “The lucky country”, because it seemingly escapes every single global recession/depression thrown at it. The last time, we had the mining boom just as the global recession kicked in.

One day I would like to make a book called “The lucky country”, which highlights just the *opposite* of this — the poverty that I see every single day in Australia. Delapidated shopfronts, signs and that sort of thing… this is a longer project that requires more travel all around Australia.

So I would take everything I learn from the street photography workshop and try to make our entire future civilisation a fairer and more sustainable place to live in.

Often times scholarships are based heavily on financial need. Please describe your current financial situation and why you would not be able to attend without a scholarship. *

In a word, ‘dire’. In 2011-2012, The poverty line (50% of median income) for a single adult in Australia was AUD$400 per week. In 2016, I get ~$310 from unemployment benefit. My father died two few years ago, my mother is also recently unemployed. She can barely pay the electricity bills, let alone do proper weekly shopping. I help where I can but the money that I do get doesn’t go very far, because the cost of living in Australia is so high. Apart from that, my net worth is not much above zero. So right now things like workshops, haircuts and new clothes are luxuries that I cannot really afford.

Any other additional information you would like to share with us that will assist with our decision.

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