SUE JACKSON Therapist | Writer | Photographer | Activist

An avid blogger for the last fifteen years, I believe in the power of the word to change the world. I have participated in, and reported on, a range of protests during this period, including the successful East-West Link campaign and, more recently, our wonderful, home-grown Extinction Rebellion (XR). If you believe, like I do, that it is time for ordinary people to rise up in defence of the planet, I encourage you to explore this blog, share it with your networks, and – of course – take action.

Thursday, November 29, 2012


Ploughing in beautiful Vinales Valley
I'm delighted to report that the picture above is now adorning the cover of Earth Garden magazine Number 162 December 2012 - February 2013. (Look out for it at your newsagents or contact Earth Garden direct for a copy). I also have a photojournalism piece in the magazine about some wonderful sustainable farming practices in rural Cuba.
I am thrilled because this is my first ever cover. And the icing on the cake is that my hero, Bob Brown, also features in the issue. He has written an inspiring article about the struggle to save the mighty humpback whales of Walmadan from the depredations of Woodside, which plans to build a huge gas factory on the Kimberley coastline.
Emboldened by this photographic coup, I decided to spend Thursday, my writing day, practising photographing moving subjects. And I lucked on the perfect occasion - the Dance Sports extravaganza at Hisense arena.

Ballroom peacocks
For the uninitiated, Dance Sports is an incredibly popular event, attracting numerous competitors to the vastly different areas of Ballroom and Latin dancing over a marathon 4 days and nights.
I had never attended the event before but the advice of our dance teacher, Hooman, prepared me perfectly. He suggested that if I simply imagined the delightful Strictly Ballroom was a documentary rather than a fictional story, I would be primed for Dance Sports. 
And he was spot on. I have never seen so many sequins (or more correctly, Swarovski stones) and 'support teams' (often obviously mothers) hand-sticking sequins onto clothing, shoes and headbands in the breaks between cheering on their stars.
I witnessed plenty of ruffled feathers, fouls, and one dramatic spill on the dance floor, and even the occasional dancer having a good time. I watched fascinated as a mother spent two full hours laboriously oiling and arranging her charge's hair, with precise corn rows decorated with - you guessed it - sequins, so that not a hair moved the whole time her daughter danced.
It's obviously all about perfection. I have never seen so many scrulpted bodies and sculped hair both on head and face, and fake tan is de rigeur. I watched as female partners painstakingly applied make-up to their partners' exposed chests and the backs of their hands. The sheer volume of make-up adorning competitors left Ab Fab's Patsy looking au naturel.
During the 6 hours I waited to see Hooman and Dalena perform in their first set I had ample opportunity to experiment with action photography, as you can see.

Spinning, spinning

Hooman and Dalena - worth every minute of the wait


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