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Meet the Australian model whose Sudanese heritage instilled a passion for advocacy and community

PHOTOGRAPHER – KAITLYN BOSNJAK
STYLIST – SOPHIE WHITMORE
MAKEUP – GHADA NOUH
MODEL – AJOK MARIAL AT CHIC MANAGEMENT

“Being Sudanese our culture is based on working as a collective to achieve a common goal.”

No one has just one job these days, and creatives certainly don’t. We’re a generation of multi-hyphenates and freelancers, just trying to make our way in the gig economy. Photographer Kaitlyn Bosnjak captures emerging models who are doing just that, breaking into the fashion industry and learning more about the world. While she had them, we thought we’d ask a couple of questions about the people behind the faces. And finally, what they would tell our audience if given the chance to say just one thing.

How old are you?

I am 21 years old.

Where do you live?

I live in Sydney, Australia.

Other than modelling, what do you do with your time?

I like to spend my time with my family and close friends. I enjoy exploring Sydney scenery, learning new things and doing mini creative projects.

Tell us about your heritage.

My background is South Sudanese, but I was born in Khartoum, North Sudan. My family then fled to Egypt, when I was two years old. This was due to the civil war that was occurring in Sudan. My family then migrated to Australia when I was five years old. South Sudan is still a developing young country, but it has a lot of talented and beautiful people. I’m excited for the future of the young nation once we reach peace tribally and overall.

What do you do to switch off?

I do several things depending on how I’m feeling on the day to switch off. But two things I gravitate to are dancing and drawing. Dancing allows me to feel free and just evokes any emotion I’m feeling through any movement without speaking, while drawing allows me to really explore my imagination and just be in my own world.

There’s a lot to care about in the world. What are you most passionate about?

That is indeed right, there is a lot to care about in this crumbling world we live in right now. I’m passionate about a lot of things, but advocacy and giving back to the community are things that hold a special place in my heart. Advocacy, in regard to self-determination, is something I’ve known my whole entire life. Being Sudanese our culture is based on working as a collective to achieve a common goal. For example, when raising a child in our culture the child is raised by everyone in the community. From that experience, the child develops various interactions and is influenced by several individuals that shape them. With current events happening around the world and with the fashion industry, I believe if a seat at the table can not be offered, we as a collective will return back to self-determination.

What are you doing to fix it?

I use myself as a prime example to challenge myself every day by educating myself and keeping an open mind. I talk to several individuals and we have healthy discussions and possible solutions.

What do you think Australia needs right now?

Australia right now needs a common ground that would benefit the generations to come. No government is perfect and every country has its issues. I believe, if an open dialogue was created from all levels of the government to discuss matters that citizens experience every day and that also invites young people to the table, it would be very beneficial.

You can say anything to our FJ community. Go.

Thank you for featuring me, I appreciate it. I admire platforms like Fashion Journal which share and educate the readers about different stories.

Read other interviews in the Just One Thing series here


Styling credits

LOOK ONE
SENER BESIM HELIX RING, WYNN HAMLYN MOON GOWN, SENSO BOOTS
LOOK TWO
SENER BESIM ACCENT HOOP LARGE AND HELIX RING, WYNN HAMLYN RIBBED KNIT KEY HOLE DRESS, ALICE MCCALL CONSTANCE CARDIGAN
LOOK THREE
SENER BESIM TUBE FULL HOOPS SMALL, HELIX RING AND HELIX ROUND BANGLE, THURLEY COMPACT KNIT TUXEDO JACKET, AJE SHADOW TOP, COS BLACK PANTS, RELIQUIA ST MALO BRACELET, SENSO SANDALS
LOOK FOUR
SENER BESIM TUBE FULL HOOPS SMALL, HELIX RING AND HELIX ROUND BANGLE, IRO AT ORDER OF STYLE MALONIA PANTS, SUBOO EDEN ONE SHOULDER TOP, COS CREAM VEST TOP
LOOK FIVE
SENER BESIM HELIX CHOKER AND RING, HANSEN AND GRETEL DRESS AND BRALET, H BRAND JACKET, COOP LONG SHOT COAT
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