coffees with interesting people
04 JAMES HOPKINS
(the Wall Street BANKER TURNED BUDDHIST philanthropist)
Coffees : several masala CHAI teas in a village outisde BOUDHANATH, KATHMANDU.
“It started in kind of a cynical way, because, well, you know, I worked for 23 years on Wall Street, so I was ‘business guy’ and I came over here completely sceptical, completely sarcastic,” James tells me as we sit on the cement floor of a tiny, smokey room, tucked in the slums on the outskirts of Kathmandu. “… And that’s when I thought, ‘oh wow, this is really something. I’m talking about actually helping people, here are the people, you know. Now what are you going to do?’“ James opens up in an incredibly candid interview, from what generosity really means, the difficulties of start-ups in a foreign country and the biggest life lessons he’s learnt as we celebrate 10 years of non-profit Quilts for Kids Nepal.
03 Fatima falfouli & karin reinders
(the movers and shakers)
Coffees : Three sweeetned teas in village outisde azrou, morocco.
Some people you cross paths with in life are undeniably movers and shakers. As the sun begins to flick hot pink streaks into the sky, Karin and I are greeted warmly by a short woman in a colourful headscarf as our van rolls to a stop on a rocky, dusty road in the remote Atlas Mountains of Morocco. For someone who grew up a world away from the vocal feminism that defined my youth, Fatima is a feminist heroine entirely of her own making - one that’s equal parts stoic and beautiful, brave and savvy. Fatima and Karin make a formidable team that truly defy all the odds.
02 SARAH MASSIh
(the soulful one)
Coffees : TWO REGULAR long blackS in CURL CURL, sydney.
When someone knows a lot about life, and they know they know a lot, it takes a special kind of personality for them not to rub people the wrong way. Sarah Massih is one of those people that truly embodies the age-old ‘peeling the onion’ adage, as likely to reveal a completely unknown fact about herself years after you’ve met, as she is to break out a story about a far away place you never knew she’d been to. We meet for a sunrise photoshoot at a beautiful natural rockpool at Curl Curl in Sydney, and through the lens, I immediately see exactly what I’ve always been fascinated by - her grounded nature and easy body confidence. After a chance meeting several years ago, Massif has become one of my spiritual gurus, of sorts, always grounded and learning, sharing her introspective cognisance in a uniquely subtle, generous way.
01 Kaitlyn bosnjak
(the considered creative bringing back film photography)
Coffees : a large latte and a regular long black in paddington, sydney.
It can be rare for creatives to have an intuitive sense for the ‘business side’ of things, but walking in to a Paddington cafe in sunny Sydney, film photographer Kaitlyn Bosnjak seems all business. Hair pulled back and in a black button-up shirt, it quickly becomes apparent that her natural creative eye is matched by a savvy knowledge of the needs of the people she’s photographing for. “Every time I’m looking through the lens, I ask myself ‘Is this the story I want to tell? What’s the bigger picture?’ before I take the shot”. There’s been much written about the ethics of the commerciality of art, it seems like Bosnjak is striking a welcome balance.