Hello and welcome to Session QueenS.
My name is Rachel Main and I am the lead artist and producer of this project (you can see more of my work here). I firstly want to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which I work, practice and live, the Boon Wurrung and Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. I pay my respects to their Elders past, present and future.
Always was, always will be.
Session Queens is a multi-faceted project that aims to highlight and celebrate the women and girls of the Australian and Aotearoa (New Zealand) Krump communities. Ideas associated with identity, expression, movement and gender are explored through a range of documentary, participatory and collaborative methodologies. These have culminated in the development of this website, an exhibition and photo publication.
My own journey into the Krump scene began in 2007 in Melbourne (Burncity), where I started out as a dancer before becoming the ‘community documenter’. Being part of this community has allowed me to connect and build relationships with a wide range of people who all share a love for this dance. Developing Session Queens has therefore been a natural extension and has enabled me to consider and draw on my own lived experience as a woman krumper and someone who has been embedded in the community for 15 years. It has also allowed me to research associated theory and create a platform for self-reflective practice while developing new ways of working with community.
I want to give a big thank you to all those who have been involved in this project (see below) and to those who have helped me along the way. This project has been the focus of my Master of Art, Photography degree, so thank you to my peers and the staff at Photography Studies College: Dr Kristian Häggblom (1st supervisor), Daniel Boetker-Smith (2nd supervisor), Gemma-Rose Turnbull, Dr Hoda Afshar, Brie Trenerry, Clare Rae, Dan Rule, Stephanie Rose Wood and Dr David Rosetzky. Thank you to my mentors: Edith Amituanai, Anthony Luvera, Linsey Gosper and George Georgiou. And thank you to PHOTO 2022 for giving me the opportunity to launch my project as part of the 'New Photographers' program. Finally, thank you to my family who continually support all my endeavours!
You can read my exegesis here
A huge, heartfelt thank you goes to all the women and girls who have been involved in Session Queens, this project would not exist without you: Alana Corlett, Aleena Panagopoulos, Annikki Chand, Bia Lupiga, Carys Edwards, Cassidy Makiha-King, Coco Saito, Ennaolla Paea, Giulia Ballerin, Hanon Taira, Huda Fadlelmawla, Jackie Tan, Jannie Nguyen, Kat Angelidis, Kayla Hamilton, Lerato Masiyane, Lesley Huang, Mali Ho, Mele Tapueluelu, Melissa Devisser, Mosiana Webster, Nadiah Biddle, Ranea Dennison, Sellyna Lee, Shanice Nagy, Shiona Oosha Raj, Stacy Peke, Suisse Lacerna, Te Rongopouri Tipene, Troi-Saraih Ilsley and Zahra Zainal.
Australian and Aotearoa krumpers at the War in Paradise event, Sydney, 2019.
This website is comprised of work I created and produced alongside content contributed by the dancers or other photographers/ videographers who have documented them. In this way, the website was the most participatory and collaborative phase of the project. Inviting the krumpers to supply their own videos, photos and writing allowed the community to be more involved as creators and have further control over the material they featured in. The website also acts as a resource for both the community and those outside of it; a digital archive that can be expanded over time and a tool for learning and sharing information and experiences.