ColourDujour Freeze Flash Mob & World Press Photo 2011 (2nd July 2011)

Ow, ow, whole body woke up today in aches after last night's salsa dancing at Vivaz. Can't believe my body ain't coping with 2 hours of dancing despite me working out at the gym regularly. Obviously working different muscles plus the fact I've not been out dancing this hard for a while. Haha, I'm not the only one that's complaining of muscle aches this morning - Ken feels the same! I guess that just means we'll have to go dancing more often so our bodies will get used to dancing for hours again :)

After having breakfast at home and around 11am, Ken and I headed out to Darling Harbour where me and other flash mob participants had to meet Natalie, director of online ladies fashion store ColourDujour, for our briefing on the promotional stunt we were carrying for her company this afternoon. This was an unpaid job I found on StarNow and the 'freeze' stunt sounded like good fun so I applied to participant in the event. I was one of about 20 volunteers who gathered outside Sydney Exhibition Centre around 12.30pm for the briefing on how and where the stunt would occur. The stunt required everyone to have at least 2 layers of clothes on, taking the top layer off and stripping down to singlet and shorts, swimwear or undies, and then 'freeze' in a pose of our desire for 90 seconds. Yes, I knew about the stripping part as we were all informed prior to the event though several last minute volunteers had no idea what they were getting themselves into. No nudity allowed since we were performing the stunt in a public place and participants were also given the choice to opt out from being featured in the promotional video.

To be honest, stripping to my bra and undies is not something I feel too comfortable doing in public (strangely, bikini is ok and my Brazilian bikini probably covers less than my bra and undies) which gives me even more reason to partake in this stunt where I get to push my own boundaries but within a 'safe' environment ('safe' environment because I'm not doing it alone). As it got closer to our 1pm 'show-time', I could feel myself feeling nervous and a voice in my head going "this is for real - I am stripping in public!". Gulp!

Everyone headed towards the Spiral Fountain by the harbour where the stunt was to take place. Volunteers were chatting away animately about their poses and once we arrived at our destination, we spread ourselves about a metre apart and waited for the signal to begin. Natalie and her crew started off by taking their top layers off and the rest of us followed suit. I did my cute burlesque 'oh-o' look with my butt stuck out :P Part of me wondered if the others too stripped down to my level or if I was the only one in bra and undies. Well, too late to back out now!

Why is it taking so long to end? My jaw and hands were beginning to tremble as the seconds ticked by and it felt as if I have been 'freezing' for a long time. Fortunately the weather was sunny and warm which made the 'freeze' pleasant. We certainly caught attention of people passing by, some stopping to take photos and wondering what on earth we were doing. When the 90 seconds was up, we put our clothes back on and dispersed. And that was it - job well done!

Ken was invited to participate but he much preferred to keep an eye on me from afar. Photos he took of the stunt:

Here's the YouTube promotional video:

It was great fun and I'm glad I did it - now I can say I've stripped in public! ;P

Ken and I then made our way to the Circular Quay, making a pit stop at New Zealand Natural near Town Hall train station to pick up smoothies and sushi for lunch. Yum, fruit smoothie - just what my body needed (oh damn, brain freeze!)...We were headed to the State Library of New South Wales on Macquarie Street for the World Press Photo 2011 exhibition that begins today. I have been to the World Press Photo exhibitions in Wellington for the past two years and it is an exhibition not to be missed. Pity Jono's away and won't be back in time to see the exhibition (the exhibition is on from 2nd - 24th July) - he would have enjoyed coming along to see the photos.

The exhibition is free of charge and held on the 1st floor of the library. We took the entrance that led us to the Sydney Morning Herald Photos 1440 exhibition so had a look around at the interesting prints taken by the newspaper's photographers from 2010 till present. Most of the photos captures a particular moment in time and thus the name 1440 which signifies the 1440 minutes in a day. We continued on to the World Press Photo 2011 exhibition and as usual, many of the press photos will shock and stir you. The winning photos this year was a portrait shot of Bibi Aisha, an 18-year-old Afghan girl who was mutilated (ears and nose sliced off) as punishment for fleeing her abusive husband. How horrific is must have been for her, to be severely punished for her husband's wrongdoings in such cruel and inhumane methods! There were also many photos of disaster-hit countries such as the earthquakes in Haiti and China, where dead bodies were thrown in a pile like broken dolls. I always feel thankful my life is nothing like the lives of the people in the photos whenever I attend this annual exhibition. A series of photos that brought a smile to my face was of two Bolivian ladies who were best friends in life but best enemies in the freestyle wrestling ring aka lucha libre - it was interesting to learn that they fight wearing traditional skirts and bowler hats of the indigenous tribes and fight in WWF-like.

We left the library around 3pm for home. I think we've had quite a productive day though I really would like to put my legs up for the rest of the day...


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