This project is an exercise in capturing the unique faces of Nimbin, and showing the vibrant identities of the people who live in and around the area. Participants can be regular visitors or long term residents. Nimbin has a diverse and vibrant history. It also has a strong media presence. Tourists are often in town snapping away. Add to this dynamic a strong police presence and street cameras and street photography can be difficult. As such the challenge for this project was to engage with people in the town and allow them to choose to be part of the project if they so felt inclined. Rather than chase people down. As a collective they will represent a unique picture of eyes and minds of a community, their stories told through a single gaze in a single moment of time. The concept links to the idea people and their faces are incredibly meaningful for humans. The blackness of loniless, and isolation is counteracted by the life and energy of the people we meet. Nimbin is an incredibly colourful town and while the buildings are interesting they tend to smother the colourful identities that live there. It becomes a big blur of colour. By isolating the individuals from their backgrounds one can truly focus on how colourful and interesting these people are. Nimbin as a town has a fascinating history. Originally a dairy town, the 1973 counter culture Aquarius Festival changed the town dramatically. It spearheaded a dramatic focus on alternate ways of living which has been embraced ever since. Media reporting on drug use in the town created an infamous image, but the town itself has worked hard to promote other positive elements including permaculture, farmer markets, art, fashion, community spirit as well continuing to educate about alternate ways of living. Through the Hemp Embassy and Michael Balderstone there has been a focus on ending the prohibition of marijuana and looking at the benefits of medical marijuana. There are many talks or conferences through the year at the town hall. Everyone who moves to Nimbin is looking for something different. Some stay for a few weeks while others settled after the 1973 festival. Many are well travelled and have been to all corners of the globe including India. Their stories are unique and their insights into the world and society are often unflinchingly honest and profound.
Marc Stapelberg has been a local photographer in the Lismore area for the past 11 years and primarily works as a press photographer. He has been a nine time finalist in the PANPAS, a Kennedy Award finalist and a two time PRODI finalist. He also had three images as part of the editors pick of the week in the National Geographic photo competition and two shortlisted images in the Australian Photographic Awards. He had three nominations in the Black and White Spider Awards 2017, and eight nominations and one honourable mention in the International Colour Awards. Was selected to be included in the Capture Magazine 2017 Annual. He was also been a semifinalist in the 2014 Moran prize. He was also selected for the 2012 Nikon-Walkley Slide Night.
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