Behind the Lens | 01
Author: Khary Khalfani | April 24TH, 2023 | Gainesville, Fl
I awoke that morning with an innate desire to examine the world around me. To take in each aspect of my existence and appreciate its beauty and meaning. After rising, I stepped outside and sat on the stoop of my porch. As I sat there pondering, I realized that I could be more intentional about documenting the journey that I’m on. Every human being has a unique existence and perspective. This train of thought brought me to a few realizations about How Bazar as a brand and how I want us to exist in this world:
Companies are Human.
We need to flip the preconceived notions about what a brand should be and how a company should function. A brand is not something to hide behind. It is not a mysterious cloak that obscures our humanity. The humans involved in this movement should be at the forefront of the brand. Working in unison with established branding principles to elevate humanity to the mainstream. It should be cool, hip, and trendy to be human.
Companies should communicate with with their community directly and frequently.
We are on a journey. This experience is something new for our entire team. As our brand continues to grow, the distance between us and our community seems to grow as well. We want to maintain the same intimacy that we had back in our first shoe in the wall storefront.
The relationship between a company and their community should be mutually beneficial.
Not only should we provide products that are valuable and useful. We should also provide experiences that foster greater connection and inspire creative cooperation. Beyond that it is also our duty to create greater infrastructure that has direct economic and cultural impact.
So, I whipped out my notes app and took action.
That day was to be our first international food festival in the streets of downtown Gainesville.This event presented the perfect opportunity to start documenting and discovering our communication style. So, I whipped out my notes app and took action.
Rise.Shower. Select fit. Breathe. Step outside for the first time. It’s Saturday. Beautiful blue sky. Windows 98 type beat. It’s hot tho. That summer is coming soon warning type heat. I can hear the birds shipping away. It’s 12:25. I sit on the stoop under the shade of the front porch. Abode 1015 is what we call it. *eye roll* *artistic mfers*
I got my camera ready. Just gonna keep it simple and easy with the auto kit lens. I want to shoot but don’t want to focus too much on it. I want to enjoy the event. Take it all in. Take notes. And craft a story. Today I take a step towards becoming more observant and journalistic. I’m on a special journey that should be documented from my lens. Otherwise I’m just a ghost.
Okay let’s pack our bag.
And grab our passport.
Because we're going around the world!
Folks are happy with a full tummy.
As I arrived around 1PM, the power of food to bring together community was ever apparent. Every tent already had a full line. The options were:
Palestine, Ethiopia, Haiti, China, Greece, Jamaica, Eritrea, Dominican Republic, & West Africa.
I could smell the spice in the air. The flavor. I got in line as quickly as possible and enjoyed a plate of palestinian lentils & rice with meatloaf.
I then took a flight to Haiti and enjoyed some delicious spicy mac & cheese. After, I sat on the curb...happy...content with life...knowing that everything was going to be okay.
Beyond the food, there were also community organizations and arts + crafts vendors.
This event was Organized by GGIC. A new non-profit organization focused on celebrating, elevating, and empowering Greater Gainesville’s international community).
Massive thank you the organizers: Lauren Poe, Laila Fakhoury, etc.
Special thanks to our DJ's making the event feel fun, flowing, and vibing.