January 2019–January 2020, Black with Plants will publish q and a on mental health + community building with botanists, college dropouts, horticulturalists, plant care specialists, natural hair experts, social justice advocates, sound therapists, etc. across the thirteen hardiness zones in the United States and African diaspora.
What do you want readers to know about District Photography? Or a creative project that you are working on? and the role of community building, and its impact on mental health?
I want readers to know that District Photography is a partnership between two artists, whom take precedence in capturing the world. We are currently working on a private art show with a law firm in DC. The role of community building is key, my business partner, Stephen Miller, aims at bringing people together via his co-working space. Mental health is absolutely important and is a product of the communities we live in and how people within those communities deal with their outlook on life.
What about the opportunity to display foliage, etc. online (specifically via IG) first interested you in committing your time and energy to plant care-taking?
I believe plant care-taking comes naturally to me, as I always remembered visiting my Aunt and she’d have new seeds and new flowers blooming even in the dead of winter. I believe the social presence of plant care-taking on instagram is vital as it gives me knowledge that there are millennials being connected to this earth, as I am.
What do you think are the five key characteristics of a successful place?
- Balanced Feng Shui,
- Lots of Foliage,
- Some sign of Wabi Sabi,
- and Peace.
Community engagement is a significant obligation of direct service. With that in mind, can you tell us about your experience in engaging with your contacts day-to-day? Do you notice services rendered positively affecting your contact’s psychological well-being?
Community engagement does involve direct service. Whenever I am with clients, I am always aware of my presence and being. I do believe having the self knowledge and awareness creates a positive relationship and positive psychological well-being.
Would you be willing to share a memorable moment from 2018?
Memorable moment from 2018…So many. One day I took a bike ride early in the morning before the sun rose and as I was riding by the Potomac, the sun began to rise. I went to the edge of the water, recorded the sun rising and basked in the morning light. I was so down prior to that moment, but being surrounded by nature brought clarity.
Your perspective is invaluable. Thank you for distilling your talents, sharing your time, and a contributing to the local economy. Can you tell readers a little bit about your perspective on securing space for psychological healing and/or wellness?
Securing space for psychological healing and well being is so important. My grandfather would wake up every morning at 6am and either swim laps or do Thai chi on the back patio. I always remember his words, “your wellness is dependent upon how well you take care of yourself, physically, psychologically, spiritually, emotionally, mentally and so on. we become what we are surrounded by.” In other words, surround yourself with nature because it is our birthright to be connected to Mother Earth.
Yasmeen Enahora (@yasmeenenahora):