A Catholic in Little India

July 13, 2009

A Catholic in Little India
My experiences in a Sikh gurdwara

BY ALEXANDRA FLAMINI 

Southall reminded me of Belfast. A layer of grime seemed to have descended over the London suburb. A gray train station met gray damp streets that met gray buildings under a hazy gray sky. Home to the largest Sikh community outside India, Southall had earned the nickname Little India.

The people looked tired and subdued. Shop owners silently watched as people walked by. The older members of the community cast their eyes upon us, skeptical of the 11 pale American students as we walked down the street with cameras and notepads in hand. Read the rest of this entry »


Soho: London’s Gay Community

July 2, 2009

BY ALEXANDRA FLAMINI

I accompanied Sarah Whitmire to document with my camera London’s Soho community. We explored the neighborhood that is home to St. Gregory’s, a church that hosts gay Catholic masses the first and third Sunday evenings every month.

My slideshow provides a visual portrait of the community to the Indigo Twin’s song Power of Two.

Click here for Sarah Whitmire’s print story.


Reports from Home

July 1, 2009

BY ALEXANDRA FLAMINI

Our final stories weren’t due until we returned stateside. Along with the much appreciated extended deadline came some difficulties. When I came home after being overseas for a month, all I really wanted to do was relax and catch up on life back home. I was tired, jet-lagged, and unfocused. Not to mention, the European inspiration had vanished. 

I was thankful all my drafts were done when I went back to post them. A few final edits were all everything needed. I cannot imagine how difficult it would have been to come back here and try to write about the Gurudwara or capture the colors of SOHO. International last minute calls to sources would have been near impossible for me. Something about being immersed in a culture and writing about it makes you much more successful at doing so.

But with all that said, I am glad to be home lying in my own bed-bug-less sheets in the warm (or should I say boiling?) Arizona sun.


Reevaluated Skepticism

June 18, 2009

BY ALEXANDRA FLAMINI

To an American, the turban carries a bold yet subliminal message. Images of airplanes, tall towers, ash and debris are stark in my mind. CNN gave our country a new enemy the day Osama bin-Laden’s face appeared on TV sets. His recognizable turban, beard and tanned complexion became a rallying cry for American patriotism. So when I met Suhkpreet Singh, something within me was startled by his warm smile and overwhelmingly friendly demeanor. Read the rest of this entry »


Full Court Peace

June 15, 2009

Basketball brings Catholic and Protestant teens together in a city that was once a conflict zone of petrol bombs and bricks.

BY ALEXANDRA FLAMINI

BELFAST, Northern Ireland—Teenage boys in red-and-black jerseys sprint down the basketball court, jostling each other for the ball. The swoosh of a two-point dunk generates an encouraging outcry from the coaches.

These teens are Catholic and Protestant high school students playing together in a city steeped in sectarian violence. A volunteer organization called Full Court Peace has brought them together. Read the rest of this entry »


Il était une fois…

June 9, 2009

BY ALEXANDRA FLAMINI

Today, I played photojournalist. I met Michael Sawyer, a British photographer living in France and working for the Associated Press, and we journeyed out into Le Marais, the gay and Jewish neighborhood of Paris. Read the rest of this entry »


Au Revoir, Dublin! Bonjour, Paris!

June 8, 2009

BY ALEXANDRA FLAMINI

Completion.

As Derek explained in a previous post, nothing makes me more confident that I love journalism than stepping back and having a completed piece in front of me. The challenges with sources, word choice and harsh deadlines make the end product that much more rewarding.

Forgive me for being clichéd, but writing a news story is like piecing together a puzzle…scavenger hunt style. The pieces aren’t boxed together. You have to search them out and then begin to assemble the chunks. Read the rest of this entry »