Loving the birds and thinking about ‘Imitation of Life’


A Kingfisher…….. (c) June Perkins all rights reserved

So a typical conversation with two of my friends will cover what we have been up to with our cameras.

‘I was out trying to take a bird picture today but they were so skittish, must learn to sit for a while in the same spot until they get used to me, ‘ my friend sighs.
I offer this: ‘Yes, the way to go I station myself on my porch and it’s a good level for bird pictures. I’d like a bird hide though.’
‘Argh changing lens can be a pain.  I really must get up earlier.’ My friend really wants a good bird picture.
‘Yeah I have telescopic days and days with my other lens’

This is then followed at some stage by us switching to discuss representations of race in movies, like Imitation of Life. The other evening I started watching this movie about an African lady who is thrown out on the streets with her daughter, and is taken in by a budding actress, blonde eyes and hairs, (Lana Turner).  They both have daughters.  The movie then explores a whole range of issues, race, sexism, perils and challenges for the child who has multiple backgrounds and rejects their ‘blackness.’ It was frustrating because today it is not really going far enough, but in its time  (1959) what a RADICAL FILM!

Then today I found out that a friend, who is Torres Strait background, was made to watch it by her mum.  She remembers weeping through it at the girl who is African American mixed with ‘white’ rejecting her mum and not really accepting her until the end when she was DEAD! We talked about the learnings of the film, and the majesty of the African American friend, Annie, who is like a queen in death, with so many people touched by her life,  all unknown by her blondie friend who doesn’t remember her ‘having any friends.’

I will talk about this film again at some depth, but it really had me both intrigued and frustrated, and screams REMAKE!  Although such films are also interesting documentations of where we were then and where we are now.

I love some of the conversations I have with my closest friends.  We then spoke a little about the scene where the little girl of multiple backgrounds doesn’t like the black doll! She rejects it and wants the blondie doll.

Anyway typically such deep conversations are followed with a return to a discussion of lighter things, and the latest issues with our art, not to mention leaking rooves.

I really love being with my friends and discussing life, art and representation! They really do inspire me!

I have to end this post with one of my favourite recent bird pictures, a really fat and happy spring bird!

(c) June Perkins, all rights reserved.

fat bird
A cute and fat bird, full of the bounty of spring! I have to find out what kind of bird- hmm time to search for my bird guide!

(c) all rights reserved June Perkins


9 thoughts on “Loving the birds and thinking about ‘Imitation of Life’

  1. I never did see Imitation of Life but it certainly sounds like a remake is needed. Mmm, wonder if I can rent the original through Netflix…must try.

    Want to see more of your bird pictures. They make such interesting subjects.


  2. Great post, June! I haven’t watched the movie either. I need to add it to my list. It definitely sounds intriguing. I love your photographs. They are always so beautiful.

  3. This is a very thoughtful discussion. I grew up in an almost all-white community in Middle America (we had one black boy who passed through our elementary school and a Native American girl who accidentally knocked out my front tooth.) Then we moved here to the Upper Peninsula and live within the boundaries of an Ojibway reservation. When I opened spiritually through the natives I remember looking at my hand and wishing it was darker..

    One of our kids is dating a South Korean woman; our other one dates a Muslim Egyptian fellow (who does not practice his religion.) I think the mixture of races, colors, religions and ideas is very wonderful. It saddens to think that our society/cultures do not embrace this fully.

    I also try to keep watching carefully when hidden prejudices may come forth in me. The movie seems like it would be a good one to watch.

    1. One of my favourite writers ia Baha’i Nathan Rutstein- who writes about the delicate balance for all of us to identity prejudices and undo them. All of us have them and must work on them, no matter how we hope we do not, and strive to be freer of them.

      Yet connection, beyond something greater than superficial likeness, also is vital and I remember a medical doctor talk once about the bones- and skeleton, all the same under many coloured skins.

      Another friend was talking about the garment or mantle of culture rather than the prison of culture- and it reminds me of that doctor speaking of the bones beneath the skin.

      Thanks for visiting the new blog, and the thoughtful comment. Interesting how life has such large ripples, and thanks for sharing the story of your wonderful family.

  4. I really wonder how you are able to take these types of bird photos. I have not seen this film but would like to and am impressed that it was created so long ago. These are very relevant issues that we should still be discussing.

    1. wonders of a telephoto lens Tammy- I am finding all sorts of new things about my lens! Went to a cemetry today and tried some things out taking photos of statues and the atmosphere, it was day time and curlews were running all over the graves. Well a post I think – when I can upload some pics.

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