Wombmen: Nai Vasha Interview (Exclusive)

womben

Over the Edge Books in association with SMG | Books is proud to present Art and Video Director Nai-Vasha’s newest creative brainchild– a book called Wombmen. Check it. Imagine a tomboy mystic turned self-made sociologist, who photo-journals influential wombmen she encounters on her journey in the industry. Then splash some raw personal poetry about cramps, losing fear, and connecting with like-minded feminine energy, and you have Wombmen. It’s a celebration of  girl power building collectively in the 21st century. Nai-Vasha’s eye and taste has influenced clients such as Puma, Miguel, Estelle, J*Davey, Stussy, and Chromat. Naturally, Wombmen is rich in Nai-Vasha’s gift to visually captivate the reader and transport them to the intimate and strong places of wombmenhood. If anyone is to curate the network of powerful talent listed in this book, Nai-Vasha is the wombmen with the vision.

Over the Edge chatted with Nai-Vasha about her new book and discussed it’s origins, tomboy-vibe, and spiritualness.

“Wombmen” is a collection of your journal entries and photographs from 2004-2013. What inspired you to document wombmen you encountered for almost a decade?

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I was just documenting people for a while. It sounds crazy, but I used people as case studies in order to study myself. I like to interview and get familiar with people via photography and learn their stories. It’s all just trying to find information and play. I’m a huge advocate of playing. There’s no rules there’s only just things to discover. It’s my discovery how I choose to understand people and in return understand myself.

Why choose to spell “wombmen” with a “b”? Is it a political statement or geared more towards the divine feminine energy motif in “Wombmen”?

I’m a very spiritual person. If we want to break it down, the purpose for the “b” is to celebrate the inept ability to give birth. Our gift as womben is to give birth, to give life. Honestly, I’m a real tomboy and I didn’t hang out with girls until I found inspiring wombmen who had a common understanding. We are all conscious of our ability to create life. We understand the politics of catty drama between females but the gift of life, which is in the womb, is in all of us. It connects us. It’s a divine, it can’t be masked.

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How did you find and select the wombmen featured in your book?
I’m really into divine connections and exploring a stranger something. I’m that girl who starts conversations with cab drivers and anyone at a coffee shop. If I’m producing a shoot, I have to find out more about people. For example, asking a model 500 questions and being really committed to the moment and learn her story. It was never a survey or anything. I just happen to come across wombmen who push me in my wombmenhood. Then there are those who I just didn’t journal about.
 I noticed a diverse group of strong females featured, from DJ/TV Host Jasmine Solano to ultra-marathon runner Robin Arzon. Your crew of wombmen are game-changers from different fields. Was there a distinct characteristic that all the wombmen shared?  
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Determination. These wombmen understand their purpose and they just have the ability to take control of what they know. Every female served a different purpose in inspiring me. Some are creative and deep in the industry and others are former industry people and tell me like it is, when I need to hear it. All have watered some part of me.

There was a line that struck me, “I think my brain is far more interesting than my body.”. Can you please expand on this brilliance? 
The most dynamic thing about me is what I create in my mind. What I create is all thanks to my parents. They are the ones who have given me look so I can revel in compliments for something that I did not create. What’s more beautiful is, I haven’t even began to create what is inside of my head.
Hmmm.. so what creative projects can we expect in addition to “Womben”? 
I have a magazine coming out this summer that involves fashion, fitness and art. I’m all about exploring every muscle in your body, in your heart. Plus a few other projects lined up.
Click below to watch the trailer for Womben and get them juices flowing, or order your book here via Over the Edge.