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Global Citizenship

Looking out of my project window

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Looking out of my project window

When I stumble upon government housing projects in different countries, I’m reminded of how similar the structures of our communities can be. 

Izzy stares up at the Fitzroy flats © Sid Naidu

Izzy stares up at the Fitzroy flats © Sid Naidu

Last Christmas during my tour in Australia I met Izzy, a young South Sudanese filmmaker who is aspiring to create positive change for his community. Tucked within the popular Fitzroy neighbourhood of Melbourne you will find the Atherton Gardens government housing flats. It was here we had a conversation about life.

“It was a very long journey to get to where we are. My community, my family, the whole country was suffering from the civil war, so we had to escape.”

Izzy tells me about his journey to Australia from Sudan, before the north & south split.

Izzy hanging with his boy Bangz© Sid Naidu

Izzy hanging with his boy Bangz© Sid Naidu

He met his boy Bangz at language school here in Australia, where they learned english and started using hip hop as a way to tell their story. They also both shared the common experience of having to live around Egypt before getting a visa into Australia.

People thought that when we went to Egypt, we were taking their jobs, taking their apartments and claiming their street. The Egyptian government started sending people back to Sudan. We were lucky to get to Australia.

The Sudanese community is still considered to be one of the largest refugee populations in Egypt today.

Izzy tells me that when his family got accepted to migrate to Australia, they didn’t have enough money for the plane tickets. He gave his mother money that he saved, which helped them to buy the tickets.

Izzy and his boy Bangz hanging © Sid Naidu

Izzy and his boy Bangz hanging © Sid Naidu

Izzy shares that when he was growing up, he didn’t understand the racial tension they would experience as he tried to adapt to the new culture.

We didn’t know racial issues existed back then. The language barrier, our colour, it felt like the police was against us because we were out late at night in big groups. We were just trying to find the light.

As first generation migrants transition into new countries, many end up feeling marginalized within the environments they live in. South Sudanese youth have been polarized by the Australian media as being involved in gangs. There is often little trust between the police and the south sudanese youth. 

Izzy looks out of the project housing window © Sid Naidu

Izzy looks out of the project housing window © Sid Naidu

Looking out of his project windows, Izzy tells me that he’s glad to see that there are more opportunities for young people to get involved than there was when he first arrived in Melbourne in 2004.

If you love what you do, you should share it with the world. We need to develop more care to love. 

Izzy is currently involved in supporting his community by contributing his time by making films and building dialogue that support initiatives like Be A Brother; a creative health promotion campaign driven by young African males who are looking for solution to better their life.  

Looking out at Melbourne from the Fitzroy Flats in Australia. (c) Sid Naidu

Looking out at Melbourne from the Fitzroy Flats in Australia. (c) Sid Naidu

I shared the common struggles I experienced when I was transitioning into Canada as a first generation migrant. There was so much about our stories that felt similar.

Hanging out in housing projects

 

Hanging out in these housing projects, I saw a neighbourhood that looked and felt a lot like where I’m from. It reminded me that even though we may be different in the way we look and speak, we are all the same when we look out of our windows.

After all when we look out project windows, most of us are just dreaming about a beautiful life.

A photo essay by (C) Sid Naidu 2016 | Images created in part with the HKL Creative Change Making Residency

A photo essay by (C) Sid Naidu 2016 | Images created in part with the HKL Creative Change Making Residency


Capture your story with Sid Naidu | SIDNAIDU.com

Capture your story with Sid Naidu | SIDNAIDU.com

Follow me on instagram @thekidsid for my creative work 

Follow me on instagram @thekidsid for my creative work 

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Comeback Season: The Americas

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Comeback Season: The Americas

Comeback Season: The Americas | 2017 

Comeback Season: The Americas | 2017 

A year ago today with bags packed, I boarded a flight to continue onto what was becoming a two year journey of learning, creating and building within the Americas, Asia & Australia. 

I do no justice by trying to explain in a few sentences what these two years of being based on the road independently, has given me personally.

What I will say however, is that from the highs & lows of each journey we are given the tools to find clarity and focus, so that we may write and shape the most authentic chapter of our next story. 

After a comeback to the beautiful city that raised me, today I return back from a seasonal pause in creating to continue journeying into my life vision as a creator, changemaker & aspiring humanitarian.  


The last two years of my work has been based between the Americas, Asia & Australia to focus on the building work geared towards international experience and exposure. The 2017 comeback season is a return to creating within the Americas.

Have an important and compelling cause or story that you want to share with the world?

Drop us a line, connect and build with us.

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My World In Transit

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My World In Transit

Sydney Hustle by Sid Naidu @thekidsid on instagram

Sydney Hustle by Sid Naidu @thekidsid on instagram

This year I've been taking trips between Melbourne & Sydney like it's a casual drive from Toronto to Montreal with the major difference in comparison being the sheer distance between the two Australian cities 

Each time I cross between Melbourne & Sydney, it's an 11.5 hour overnight journey over 900 km versus the 500 km and 5–6 hours driven between Toronto and Montreal.

By the time this post is published it will be my third return trip from Sydney and you can bet that it won’t be my last for the year as I continue to navigate and move between different destinations during my artist residency here in Australia.

Since the start of the year I’ve calculated close to 10 long distance journeys with an estimated 4000 km in distance traveled. All of this being done with the personal goal of keeping my transits in Australia strictly overland by either train, bus or car.

World in Transit Sydney by Sid Naidu @thekidsid on instagram

World in Transit Sydney by Sid Naidu @thekidsid on instagram

Why so much time spent in transit you may wonder?

From my first solo journey to Europe in 2005 I began taking the over land transits between countries and found that it was one of the most down to earth ways to let the world passing by. I then continued to do shorter rail journeys within Canada & long haul ones through out India & China.

I’ve done road trips & bus journeys through Central America, where my fondest memories would be waking up to a new world of wanders from cloud mountains making the road disappear to spots of secluded communities living in their humbling homes along the highway routes.

If movement has become my life then transit has become my way to pause and breathe in this life momentarily.

World in Transit Melbourne by Sid Naidu @thekidsid on instagram

During these transits my life would begin to slow down for just a moment until reached my final destination, giving me enough time for reflection on what I was hoping to accomplish while on the road.

Often I would meet people from different walks of life & exchange stories that has built to my understanding of the world. Each transit has allowed me to see humanity better & find clarity in my own mission to improve the conditions of the world we live in.

By journeying this way I’ve learnt to appreciate the vast wonders of the countries I travel to by taking a path that is less taken by most. By no means have these journey's ever been luxurious ones. I consider them to be more of a mental and physical feat which allows me to test my own limits of comfort as someone who is trying to build a life around the world.

As our journey continues so will our transits between destinations but if we pause & look closely we may notice that our world is in transit too.

Melbourne Groove by Sid Naidu @thekidsid on instagram

Note from the Author: During this year I’ve been taking more moments to appreciate my ability to move through this world freely as I know that is privilege I had to work hard for. We are living in the time where so many people in this world are forced to make transits based on life or death circumstances. I am forever thankful for each journey that I make which is not forced from conflict. As I continue on my journey overseas, I can’t help by start to focus more of my energy back on those questions of how we can improve our current state as humanity if we truly want to move together as people.

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If you like the photography you can also follow my storytelling journey in miniature via instagram @thekidsid

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The Journey Must Continue..

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The Journey Must Continue..

Captured at the Summit of Mt. Kosciouzko, Australia's tallest peak by Sid Naidu @thekidsid

Captured at the Summit of Mt. Kosciouzko, Australia's tallest peak by Sid Naidu @thekidsid

After being on the constant move around the world for close to two years, one would think I would now be used to living a life on the road with never ending uncertainty & the consistent need to adapt for survival.

By now I personally have felt like I’ve packed & unpacked over 100 times through my journeys. My mind is attuned to the never ending process of prepping & planning while on the go, to make sense of the different goals I need to accomplish in each destination.

By now the long distance journeys from country to country & city to city has become a normal part of my life. I’ve covered more grounds in the last two years than some people have been able to cover in a decade or even a lifetime. I’ve given up on the idea of being comfortable with the countless lack of sleeps along the bumpy roads, winding train tracks & turbulent skies.

Is this the life I chose?
Captured from the summit of Mt Kosciouzko by Enosh Kennedy  

Captured from the summit of Mt Kosciouzko by Enosh Kennedy  

The honest truth is that sometimes even I question the sense of this journey more than I want to admit.

I question whether I’m cut out to keep on doing this and if I’m actually able to accomplish these dreams of being internationally based as a creative change maker.

More and more often, I question if can actually make this dream of mine work as my resources run low & my idea of not making money an obstacle no longer feels relevant.

I get drained and overwhelmed by not being able to make sense of it all.

Then somewhere along another 11.5 hour overnight train transit, I look out the window and see the stars closer than I’ve seen before.

I pause.. and realize how far this journey has already taken me. At that moment all the self doubt and fears disappear. I stop questioning if I’m actually accomplishing anything & start asking myself again,

how can I serve others through the work I do?
Stay Posted by Sid Naidu @thekidsid 

Stay Posted by Sid Naidu @thekidsid 

When I left the security of full time career in 2014, it was to focus on my own growth & development so I could continue to be a light for others around me.

Since then I’ve been able to live between Canada, India, South East Asia & Australia.

Since then I’ve been able to complete over 25 unique journeys over land & sea between different destinations, meeting people with some the most humbling stories.

In this moment I’ve gained the most amount of real life experience and learning from a global environment than I would have ever been able to gain from the search of stability.

It took me a while to realize that even when I’ve felt defeated by not having a clear sense of direction in my journey, I’ve always found a way to keep on moving.

And during the times I’ve got caught up in the noise of the world and lost sight of the reason I was chasing my personal legend, I’ve always found a way to keep on dreaming.

Now the frustration from my packing rituals have became a constant test to figure out different strategies for the types of kits that would work on the road. The sleepless nights in transit have become sacred hours that I use to focus on writing, reading & reflection.

I understand now that my journey will only unfold as far as I’m willing to grow & for this very reason, I must stay on the go because the journey must continue..

Is this the life that I chose?

“No, this is the life that chose me.”

Have faith in your journey & road ahead!

#1love the kid

Summit of Mt Kosciouzko. Shot by Enosh Kennedy

Summit of Mt Kosciouzko. Shot by Enosh Kennedy

If you like what you’ve read then hit the recommend button & share your thoughts in the comments

Follow the Hard Knock Leadership Publication on medium for more about the unconventional leadership journeys

If you like the photography you can also follow my storytelling journey in miniature via instagram @thekidsid

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