We are almost coming to the end of a challenging yet reflective year. As we close this chapter, the Grryo Team would like to present some of our last features of the year. Here are some of our favourites including a short note from us at the end.
Artist : @koi_no_yohan Congratulations @koi_no_yohan! You beautifully capture the sensitivity of the human body and soul and your edits are very inspiring!
“Moving forward Together”
Artist : @elle_byg Congratulations @elle_byg! Thank you for sharing your art with us. Your photograph has expressed a beautiful moment of “togetherness” captured within intricate perspective detail.
With these features, it is with a heavy heart, we at Grryo bid farewell to you. It was not an easy decision to make for us. But, sooner or later we had to take this step. However, we will not say Goodbye instead “Till we Meet Again”. As this chapter ends, let us move forward together to a new chapter in our lives.
Dear Grryo friends, thanks for being part of this journey, our journey! It’s been a year full of wonderful stories, great photos, a lot of sharing and connecting with people all over the world through photography.
During this holiday season, it’s time to celebrate with family, friends and all your loved ones, to get that much-needed rest and inspiration and start the New Year full of energy and new projects. Grryo is also getting ready for a new beginning, but there is one thing that will never change: we are what we are thanks to you!
We’ve been captivated by your way of looking at the life around us behind your camera objective and we are looking forward to seeing what the new year will bring us all! Let’s do this together in 2019! Join us, with your camera, your stories, your comments, your visits… let’s continue making the Grryo family bigger and bigger!
There’s no other way to end a journey
than being consumed by the journey,
One way or another.
It’s a bittersweet mix of grief and relief;
A sense of being unmade
As much as being finally unconstrained.
So now I rest
My body on the emerald green grass,
Under the clear sky, breathing
As deeply as I can.
I see parts of me
Being carried away, swirling in the wind
Like old petals and leaves.
I’m alive and I dream
I have love and I’m grateful.
– L (Leandro Leme)
New beginnings are in the tiniest things.
– Antonia Baedt
Across the world are millions of selfless people who give without expectation, extend helping hands to strangers, who are kind and spread good humor.
Thank you to the people who devote their lives to improving the world. Those who use their skills in saving the environment, science, teaching, medicine, humanities, sharing information, speaking out against injustice, being brave, protecting the vulnerable… the list of unsung heroes is endless.
Sometimes too, it’s just a little act that has a big impact. The ones people do every day, that make people smile and feel whole.
To all of you wonderful people, a great big Thank You for making the world go around!
– Alexandra Preston
As Nagore beautifully expressed “We are what we are thanks to you” indeed we are truly grateful to all of you who have supported us throughout the years to make Grryo what it is today. During this end of year season, we also end our Grryo journey and prepare for a new fresh start to next year.
We turn over a new leaf with new beginnings, and articles for all of you. It has been quite an amazing journey for me after joining Grryo and helping to lead it. Seeing it stabilize and grow with the current team we have, makes me positive once again that we can take steps forward towards a brighter future for Grryo.
For three years now, I have been interviewing people, taking pictures and writing down some of my thoughts and experiences about Tottenham, the place I grew up in. To state that Tottenham is undergoing major changes would be an understatement. Last year I was writing about why campaigners are trying to halt proposed plans to demolish and rebuild large parts of the borough. The project is referred to as the Haringey Development Vehicle (HDV) – a 50/50 partnership between the Council and a private developer. But this is not another story about my perceptions of developments in the northeast London area. This is about my project, marigoldroadblog.
Ward’s Corner is home to London’s oldest Latin American community market.
Holcombe Road Market, Dec 2014
Initially I think I was motivated to practice different mediums for storytelling, and I liked blogging. It was a way to document my emotions, small joys, discoveries and, at times, disappointments. In the process of writing about random projects in Tottenham, trying to be funny (and failing), and working with different groups, I created a journal of sorts in the form of interviews, recordings, blog posts and images. Before I knew it, I had plenty of content and I had no idea what to do with it all. It was presented as a long list, in chronological order, on a WordPress site. It was no design marvel. Yet I cared about the change that had taken place in the area in a very short time – and a change had also taken place in me.
Bruce Grove, November 2016
Inside the Latin American Market
The speed of developments in the last three years triggered something that I found hard to articulate. There were, on the one hand, what I call the visible ‘signs’ of change in the form of new openings plus funding for some community groups. But on the other hand, there were still many, if not the majority, who could not afford to be part of the visible changes and whose homes were now under threat. It was difficult not to question some of the plans when I realised that, in reality, many of the new schemes were not for existing residents. Many of the proposals were not addressing the needs of the locals who needed it most.
Tottenham High Road
Tottenham and Edmonton Dispensary, December 2014
The plans to regenerate Tottenham felt like a drive not to enhance the lives of existing locals but rather to push them out, and I took it personally because, despite the good and the bad, Tottenham will always be home. Three years ago, I was enthusiastically interviewing start-ups and creative managers. My project captures that, along with the shift in my morale. I saw this shift in a local mother, who went from her community work to resident meetings, to running a weekly cook-up for local people. She’s now part of a community resistance group campaigning for homes in the area. But it was after I photographed a borough-wide demonstration against the proposed HDV to ‘regenerate’ that I found a place to stop, and it was then that I started to see a story emerge on my blog.
H Glickman, December 2014
River Lea Boats, Tottenham Marshes, April 2017
Some of the buildings I took pictures of have already disappeared, some of the shops have closed down and some of the buildings and spaces are in council plans to be redeveloped. I realised then that marigoldroadblog was a snapshot of this moment and an account of my journey. This project brought me to a place of clarity: I believe that if regeneration doesn’t reach, affect and stimulate existing residents, if it doesn’t provide more for working-class groups who already live in the area, then it’s wrong. Developers should be made to prove how they can achieve that before any plans are approved.
Camouflage at Downhills Park, November 2016
Turquoise at Yarmouth Crescent, January 2015
In 2016, I embarked on a postgraduate degree that focused on contemporary culture. It was in the process of a focused time researching that I discovered a way to explore many difficult questions surrounding social issues, my identity and class. Photography as a medium to document social change has been a valuable tool for me, although I still have a lot to learn. It has led me to sensitively consider and re-evaluate redevelopment plans in the area I grew up in.
Places in Tottenham
A selection of images from this project is on show at Bruce Castle Museum until the end of March 2018. Following the run, the images will be included in the permanent archive collection.
Other venues to see the exhibition:
Coombes Croft Library, Tottenham (site-specific images)
Loven Presents, Restaurant/Art Space N15 & N17
What does a Grryo Christmas look like? We asked each member of the Grryo Lead team to share their heartfelt experiences…
For me, so much about the Christmas season is about the sacredness of time. As soon as December arrives, I am hit with an avalanche of farewell dinners, end-of-year concerts and school functions, all while manically trying to buy gifts for family and friends. Time speeds up, it would seem, and I often feel breathless from the sheer momentum of it all.
As I say goodbye to colleagues, watch my children graduate to a new school year and write cards to loved ones, I subconsciously whisper my thanks and farewell to the year that’s passed and to everything that has been.
And then, finally, time slows down again, as the rush draws to a close. I savour the gifts of cooking, chatting and laughing with family and friends before I turn my eyes to the time that lays ahead: a brand new beginning brimming with possibility.
Christmas means time spent with the family. We sleep longer, close our laptops and phones, bake gingerbread cookies, play board games and relish traditional Christmas food. My kids, especially the younger one, are looking forward to meeting Father Christmas again on the 24th, Christmas Eve. Father Christmas lives in Northern Finland, in Lapland, in a place called Korvatunturi (Ear Fell in English), where he has his secret toy and gift workshop.
In December my world is dark with city lights and rain. Christmas means too much office coffee and the sound of the city’s traffic on wet streets. It’s the time of the year when I am all caught up in my job while days are short and daylight is sparse. It produces a feeling of abstraction, like being a detached island in a sea of hectic gift buying, baking, cooking, traveling and doing all things Christmassy. I enjoy watching the circus and love to dip a toe in when I join the merry masses at Christmas markets and dinners with friends and colleagues.
When daylight is the city lights, and tires on wet concrete is the soundtrack. @tonivisual
Out there we fight the darkness with lights and sugar. The cities wear their Christmas markets like a scratchy, favorite winter garment. Renditions of jingle bells fill the air and the smell of Glühwein (hot spiced wine), anise, roasted almonds and melted chocolate lingers wherever you go.
It even seeps down into the catacombs of the subway stations where commuters are joined by herds of shoppers and people dragging their live Christmas trees up the escalators.
On Christmas eve, I leave my island and join my family for cooking goose, the big Christmas tree with real wax candles and cozy nights with board games by the fire.
“lone man in the subway station” – the feeling when the season’s circus is all around but you’re not in it yet. @tonivisual
Every Christmas is different. Family changes. People grow older. Children grow up. A wedding takes place as two lives become one. A grandson will experience his first Christmas. My fourth Christmas with Grryo will be my last.
Every Christmas is the same. Family gathers. Friends share the joys of the past year while at the same time we always find something new to celebrate. We all experience some childlike wonder even though our hair starts to gray. And the richness of story, which is the core of Grryo’s purpose, stays with us always.
Around the Christmas table, I try to remember what have I lost and what have I gained during the past year. I tend to get extremely bored in family dinners and given the melancholy of the days I’m usually the one searching for excuses in order not to attend -the excuses always fail and I eventually attend the dinner. I avoid shooting photos with a camera or a smartphone and I only take instant photos with a Fuji Instax. The prints find their way straight into a box and I check them again after weeks or even months. There is a certain weight in religious celebrations that I am always unwilling to carry. The only fun thing is setting some goals for the coming year. There is usually an overload of goals and usually around February they vanish into thin air. I can’t give you any good advice regarding setting goals, but if I had to, I’d just say set a single goal for 2018 and try to achieve half of it; this seems already enough.
Try to spend some quality time with your beloved ones. Even in the most boring dinners, there might be a sentence that will change you a bit. Use it as a chance to remember a day that for some reason everybody seems to appreciate. And remember your last year’s dinner and compare who was around and who might be absent. I am usually more happy about past year’s dinners than the coming ones. I remember the faces, the family table, the food. Last year it was the last Christmas dinner with the grandma; she won’t attend any of the future ones. Drink some wine, appreciate the presence of people and their presents too. And get slightly bored: this seems to me as the last shelter of creativity.
The word ‘Christmas’ fills our minds with snow, winter, Christmas decorations, joyful carols and various savored baked goodies. As it isn’t very Christmassy spirit on my side of the world, I choose to count my blessings as the festive season approaches and the year ends. Every year brings its challenges but we make the choice of whether we want to complain or appreciate our moments. Gratitude allows us to live in the present moment and continue to see the light by moving forward.
It has been a good year for us at Grryo. We have started to grow slowly but surely with beautiful stories that keep us amazed at the huge talent that exists. As we share our Christmas stories at Grryo, where all of us live in various parts of the world, we celebrate it by making use of the digital world. It is remarkable what technology can do when used productively.
The connections and relationships we have weaved together at Grryo, have made us feel like a family even if we have never met one another. I truly appreciate and value each one of them. It has been a great pleasure building friendships with all of them. Let us cheer for the jolly season and be hopeful for the blessings in the coming year ahead!
The Grryo team would like to sincerely thank you for making 2017 a great year of stories shared! Whether you wrote stories or read them – or both! – a very big thank you for your continuous, amazing support. We wish you safe and happy holidays. Looking forward to more of your wonderful stories in 2018!
We feature a photo prompt each week in our Instagram account and ask our audience to share their stories to accompany the image.
We would love for you to join us and share what each photo says to you. In November we focused on wonderful photos by talented artists with stories that our followers contributed. So come and browse through this digest and let the stories move you to join us each week in December!
The staging area for the families was not supposed to look like the circus, or a street fair. But urgency won out over practicality as those still awaiting word of their loved ones fate needed a place away from the mayhem and the unceasing prying eyes of the press. Franklin Watson stood apart from the small groups made up of families talking in whispers to each other; quiet sobbing amongst the grandmothers. His grandchildren Evy and Martin had been in Sunday School.
This is it!! I am never, ever, doing e-harmony again! She’s not coming, I know it. And all these other people know what’s up too. Jeez, how mortifying and how stupid! But she seemed real. We both liked bamboo, both of us lived with our relatives. She said she was ‘biggish’ which was no problem for me. There was some chemistry, I could feel it! Or not. She’s not showing, so maybe not. Oh well, I’m outta here. Probably dodged a bullet anyway. And next time, I’m not wearing this stupid backpack! Correction, there won’t be a next time!