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  1. 1. Rhonda ZP NICHOLL Exploring people, places, and products, From Lagos, to Monte Carlo
  2. 2. Rhonda I’mananthropologistwholikestopoke aroundpeople,places,andproducts Mybackgroundinanthropologyhelpsmeto‘translate’ consumerthinking,findingculturally-appropriateand commerciallyrelevantsolutionstostickysituations. fusingculturalinsights withmultidisciplinary methodologies,Itrytobe creativeinmyapproachto research. OriginallyfromIreland,but ‘peripatetic’,livingindiverseplaces; fromBahraintoMonteCarlo
  3. 3. With a background in anthropology, I’m inherently nosy. I like to dig for deep insights; translating consumer thinking, and finding commercial solutions within a cultural framework- I think that brand strategy should pay more heed to consumer behaviours as being messy, multidimensional, and comprehensible, only with close reference to their specific cultural context.
  4. 4. My regional and international research experience looks at the how and why of consumer behaviour: from cultural category, right through to consumer appropriation
  5. 5. 5 •  NPD •  Co-Creation •  Immersions •  BrandProfiling •  BrandRe-Positioning •  Commseval/ConceptTesting •  exploringconsumerbehaviour fromculturalcontext •  Implicitinsights: Projectives/Unconscious Response •  Productinnovation&brand development •  Film,Ethnography,Cultural Translation,Phenomenology andSemiotics. Iuseavarietyofresearch methodologiesandanalysis techniques:fromthe conventionalfocusgroup,to semiotics,video-analysis,and psychoanalytical‘deepsea dives’forfindingimplicit meanings
  6. 6. I ve worked with a Wide variety of commercial clients and consumer groups Including experience across financial, fmcg, and pharmaceutical fields Nigeria: Clients have included SABMiller, Philip Morris International, Kellogg’s, SCJohnson, supersport Kenya: Clients have included GlaxoSmithKline, PZ Cussons, Airtel. Europe: Clients have included Unilever, Pfizer, Diageo, Novartis, Sainsbury’s, and general mills Projects have been as diverse as investigating canine leukemia, to whiskey-drinking hipsters in texas, to masculinity & showering in china
  7. 7. Iadaptmypresentationtone/styleto fitthespecificbrandimage, corporateculture,andneedsofthe client- Icanbeasflamboyantoras toned-downasthebriefrequiresme tobe! AlthoughIdon’thavea backgroundingraphicdesign, freelancinghasgiveme,ina way,morecreativelicenseto testout differentwaysof presentinginformationthat go beyondacorporate template.Ofcoursethisvaries ontheclient,butingeneralI trytomakemyreports visuallycaptivating,whether that’sthroughinfographics, wordclouds,orgatheringup librariesof‘non-stock’style photos.
  8. 8. Differentwaystodisplaykey findings,e.gwhen visualisingbrand personalitiesorconsumer characteristics
  9. 9. 9 MY WORK IS MULTI-DEMOGRAPHIC, MULTI-SITED, and MULTI-DISCIPLINARY EXPLORINGCOMPLEXITIESWITHIN1REGION,LOOKINGAT INTRICACIESOFGENDER,AGE,LOCATION,ethnic identity,andreligiousbeliefsystems.myrecent workforMarlboro,Nigerialookedatthesemiotics ofsmokingacross4locations. Inavigorously dynamic&rapidlychangingcountry,theinsights wereintricate&explosive,encompassingfactorsas diverseasperceptionofmentholcigarettesas medicinallyusefulincolderregionssuchaskano; reasonsbehindmarlboro’snegativebrand personalityinnigeria;alongsidethesemioticsofa widerangeofbrands/packdesigns–fromcolour,to perceptionsoflength,strength,and‘capsule’ cigarettes.It’sincredibletoseehowthepackdesign forthe‘same’cigarettecanbesodivergentacross differentmarkets-Ilovelookingatthewhy/how behindcertainbrandchoices,especiallywith contemporarynigerians.
  10. 10. Be engaged MylastprojectwastolaunchanewbeerforSABMilelrinNigeria.This cameinthemidstofheated electiondebate,socio-politicalvolatility, andamassivedropinoilprices.Itriedtostayontopofallthese factors,fromfollowingthestockmarketindex,tolookingattrendsin beeracrossthepastdecade. Muchofmycurrentresearchiswith Nigerianconsumers.AsI’mnotphysically basedinNigeria,I’mconstantlywaryof overlookingsubtleculturalnuancesand imposingmyownbeliefsystems(however unintendedorimplicitthatmaybe]ona cultureinwhichIamgeographicallyand inherentlyanoutsider. ThismeansthatbeforeIgointoanyproject,I trytodoasmuchbackgroundresearchas possibletotrytogettogripswithanyfactors, howeversubtle,thatmayrelatetotheresearch subject. Admittedly,Someprojectsareharderthanothers(I adoredresearchingcigarettes,yetstruggledtobe quiteasenthusiasticwhenlookingatfootball!), especiallywhenworkingon differentcontinents andinpreviouslyunexploredsubjects.butIalwaystry tojumprightin,regardlessoftopic.
  11. 11. Having worked with a wide variety of client types, I’m at ease adapting to whatever professional/ presentational style is required. I l o v e w i t h c h i l d r e n , b u t I m j u s t a s h a p p y t a l k i n g p o w e r t o o l s w i t h m e n , a s I a m l u s h i n g o v e r l i p b a l m w i t h t e e n a g e r s .
  12. 12. Pain U&A Nigeria_Feb 2014 It’smyoverallaimtocarry outrobustresearchsupported byinnovativeandintuitive formsofinterpretation. I’m especially interested in cross-cultural trends research, specifically amongst young children and teenagers. Having lived and worked in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, my research interests go across the spectrum of both developed and emerging markets I like to use imaginative, dynamic, and interactive methodology to dig up interesting insights
  13. 13. I’mespeciallyinterestedinexploringthesubtlenuances&spreadofsubcultures andtrackingcross-culturaltrends.E.g.WhyareteenagegirlsinMonacoobsessed witheoslipbalm,Doritos,Cheetos,sunnyd,andAmericanconfectionary?[one tuteegaveme40Eurostobringback‘mintchocchipicecream’chewinggum from myrecenttriptotexas!]
  14. 14. B u t I c a m e i n t o r e s e a r c h b y accident I’ve worked in qualitative research since 2011, both in-office and remotely.
  15. 15. Academic background 2008 2008-2010 Graduated from Cambridge University with a BA in Social Anthropology Remained in Cambridge, but having trained as a counselor, worked in the field of social/mental health e.g. producing a mental health radio show, working on a crisis line, coordinating early intervention art therapy workshops for young people experiencing psychosis 2010 Returned to Cambridge to undertake multidisciplinary Mphil in Gender Studies, specialising in women & psychiatry.
  16. 16. Pain U&A Nigeria_Feb 2014 Ethnography (2 7) in Malaysia, investigating the transformation of ‘amok’ against changing socio- political climate alongside colloquial use of term across European cultures Postgraduate thesis on transformation of identity & empowerment by female psychiatric inpatients; exploring cultural ideologies against primary research of lived experiences, by taking a methodological approach that encompassed feminist analysis, the collection of empirical data, and interdisciplinary and comparative ethnographic investigation. ‘Bawdy Bodies & Miraculous Minds’: final year thesis on embodiment and subversion of space. Incorporated ethnographic interviews/video alongside multi-theoretical analyses AcademicEthnography fromCambridge onwards…
  17. 17. Before returning to Cambridge in 2010, I spent 2 years working in a variety of roles- from radio, to museum collections After graduating from Cambridge in 2008, I surprisingly didn t go on to discover an untouched tribe in Papua new guinea My ‘in between’ years may look like ‘career suicide/ driftwood’, but they were all underlined by the riddles of cultural complexities- for example, when working in the anthropological museum, we were constantly challenged by the issue of cultural conservation vs. cultural consideration. For example, after a biscuit beetle infestation on aboriginal dreaming paintings [created under strictly ritualized context and for the eyes of that audience only], our ‘interference’ had the potential to be both taboo and culturally disrespectful, especially for a female outsider to even see the paintings. Other cultural issues included the politics of display in a post-colonial context.
  18. 18. 18 Work with the anthropology museum included community outreach programs which sought to widen access to the museum, as well as showing just how much geology rocked and archaeology wasn’t just ‘dead stuff’. Other social outreach work included producing a mental health radio show, training as a crisis counselor, and serving as a trustee for a large mental health charity. Between 2008-2010, I flitted across different disciplines Damage inventory and assessment, computerised data- recording, object transportation, risk analysis, cultural complexities and questioning. As a museum technician, my responsibilities were mainly to data-base moth larvae and sometimes chase weevils out of the Inuit furs from Sir Ernest shackleton’s arctic adventures
  19. 19. Havingretreatedbacktomynative Ireland,IrealisedthatwhenDorothysaid ‘there’snoplacelikehome,’shewaslyng, andthatTerryEagletonwasmuchmore accurateinsaying‘Irishnessisforother people’and‘thosewhocan’tfeelathomein theirowncountry,mightaswelllive somewhereelse’…Icametolondon.. In 2012, I moved to London, and marched into marketing
  20. 20. RAZOR WORKING FROM PITCH TO PRESENTATION, SOME OF MY MOST MEMORABLE EXPERIENCES INCLUDED CO- MANAGING A LARGE ONLINE COMMUNITY, WRITING QUIZZES FOR BETTY crocker/ ‘are you flakey about pastry?’ And hearing someone tell their life story via the prop of a pineapple. Clients ranged from seeing the progress of startups [e.g. firefly tonics] to huge global companies such as Boots, pfizer, general mills, and sainsbury’s. As a boutique agency, razor was the perfect place to start out. With their infectious energy, and edgy research methods, I was able to be awed without being swallowed up by a sterile corporate culture!
  21. 21. Time spent with spinach research in London helped build international cultural awareness, with multi-sited projects e.g. Jameson's in Ireland & austin; axe Lynx in china & florida highlighting the complexities and subtleties of cultural nuances
  22. 22. After a year spent in office at razor & spinach, I swapped the smog of London for the dust of Bahrain where I worked as a private tutor to many age groups and nationalities. I also worked with local Bahraini children on art therapy projects, as well as occasional participation in mad science, a company that aims to make science exciting – this included a trip to the king of bahrain’s palace. Bahrain was a tricky place to live in- a country torn apart by sectarian divides but it also an exceptional place to live in, worlds apart from the manic energy of somewhere like Dubai and being able to witness festivals such as ashura, learning to drive through a cloud of tear gas, and showing a tiny prince how to make dry ice, were unforgettable experiences.
  23. 23. After Bahrain, I lived and worked in Hong Kong & Dubai, and have been based in Monaco for the past 2 years, where I combine private tuition with research work for firefly’s Kenyan & Nigerian offices.
  24. 24. Since 2013, much of my work has been across dynamic, emerging markets, specifically Nigeria through my work with firefly. Projects have been greatly varied; from looking at whether the concept of pan-african identity resonates across consumers in Uganda & Libya; to football in Nigeria. I’d like to continue working with the ‘bric’ & ‘mint’ economies, specifically across new categories of consumers [e.g. russia’s emerging middle class]
  25. 25. Justlikefashionandentertainment trends,I’mfascinatedbyhowslang isconstantly evolving; whetherthat’sFrench Verlan, cross-culturalpick-a-mixingby InternationalStudentsinMonaco,or amongstcontemporary Nigerians.Atthemoment,ahuge numberofMontecarloteensare callinganythingandeverything‘a sassy muff ,inspiredbytheir avidwatchingofDance Moms blendedtogetherwithFrench colloquialisms.
  26. 26. Once I signed up to an intensive musical theatre course because I believed that if I could tap dance like judy garland, then I, too, would ‘get happy’. I attribute much of my output to having a flexible & creative attitude in both work and lifestyle, and not making a clear-cut distinction between my research work and my tuition work. Insights can come out from the most unexpected situations, for example seeing a 7year old Russian boy transform his bedroom wall into a shop where he has been trying to sell broken pencils and post-it notes for incredibly inflated prices [25 euro!]
  27. 27. It sounds like a corny clich , but I see Research as complemented by lived experience wherever, whenever, however, that may arise Cultural ideologies;, lived experiences;, empirical data,;; interdisciplinary, multidimensional , and comparative research methodology. ]
  28. 28. exploring everything around you
  29. 29. Get lost ok
  30. 30. Psychogeography and phenomenology means experiencing spaces and places as sensory and subjective. It welcomes wandering with open arms. the flaneurs of paris used to accompany their pet tortoises on strolls around the city [allowing the tortoise to set the pace]. Getting lost can reveal the idiosyncrasies of people and places and can serve as a brilliant brilliant site of analysis. From the exquisitely decrepit gritty urban edgelands, [with their allure of wilderness, abandon ,decay and transgression- zones of subversion and dissent and subliminal pleasures ] , to the ‘polished perfection’ of a place like Monaco. Google maps cannot map reality!
  31. 31. There’s a tradition amongst intuits to walk out in a line they feel angry. The point at which they stop is the point at which they cease to feel anger, and they mark this spot with a stick to show others the length and strength of their emotions Amongst the Pitt River Indians, ‘wandering’ was seen as a disorder, brought on by mental stress, and manifested in aimless movements. The term ‘to run amok’ stems from the malay disorder, whereby a villager, overwhelmed by the claustrophobia of village life, literally breaks out of the confines, going on a rampage without rational, conscious, thought Get lost
  32. 32. I asked my Swedish twins to find 3 library books that they felt represented Rhonda . They brought one on natural disasters, one on dinosaurs, and one on extinct endangered animals Look at that weird bug. It looks like a piece of shriveled salami 11year old girl somewhere in Argentinian jungle I love working with young children & teens, and approach my tutoring work as enthusiastically as I approach research. Intutoring,it’simportantformetoconnectwithmystudentsonbothfunctional–ieacademicassistance-and emotionallevels.Someofthemorebizarreexperienceshavebeenaccompanying2sistersontheirfirsteverpublic transportjourney[theywere11and13];accidentallyintroducinga3yearoldtotheconceptof‘death’atthe nationalgalleryinlondon,buildingahouseforatortoise,andorganizingafuneralforapetcat.
  33. 33. “Everyone around me seems to be an adult, but I am merely a child in drag.’ Margaret Atwood
  34. 34. Multifacetedapproachtomakelearning brilliant,notboring! Making tutoring dynamic & engaging: EXPERIENTIAL; moving beyond linear learning; Encouraging curiosity; helping children process information within context of lived experiences; multi-sensory [especially visual, kinesthetic, & tactile] exploration; relating learning to real-life - getting out of the classroom & out and about in the world; building social & interpersonal skills and fostering creativity; Supplementing traditional teaching strategies Just like in research, In tutoring I try to elicit a full contextual experience by bridging the gap between abstract concepts and concrete experiences.
  35. 35. In tutoring I try to bridge the gap between abstract concepts by relating learning to real-life. Students naturally bring their own experiences into the learning environment- I try to tailor my tutoring to the unique cultural heritage of my students for opportunities of reciprocal learning I learn just as much as my tutees do! I try to facilitate opportunities for the boosting both academic and interpersonal, social skills from story telling, using puppets, or creating tactile colleges. Learning should be exploratory & spontaneous- children learn just as much from doing as from the end product. Play is purposeful; an important psychoanalytical tool in helping a child [and adult!] to self-actualize, lose themselves in a game, and make sense of their world
  36. 36. Keep the flame of curiosity and wonderment alive, even when studying for boring exams. That is the well from which we draw our nourishment and energy. Michio Kaku “As children, our imaginations are vibrant, and our hearts are open. We believe that the bad guy always loses and that the tooth fairy sneaks into our rooms at night to put money under our pillow. Everything amazes us, and we think anything is possible. We continuously experience life with a sense of newness and unbridled curiosity.” YehudaBerg
  37. 37. Quote Creative Writing with Children: Exploring the Personalities of Animals I am a platypus. I am brown bread brown. (Swedish 11 year old boy) •  Seahorse: ‘I am so small, I could fit in a microwave.’ •  Iguana: ‘Everyone thinks I look like a dragon, but I am gentle, really.’ •  Octopus: ‘I glide around the ocean with my massive arms.”
  38. 38. After The father of my 11year old Swedish twins had his gmail account hacked, my twins decided to imagine the life stories of the hacker. The little boy saw the hacker as bob, a donut-loving with an elaborate underground hacking network. The girl saw the hacker as gougoulia , a benevolent hacker who ran away from her rich but vindictive and selfish parents in south Africa to kent, england. Here she spent her afternoons with her compassionate grandmother, rhonda , watching the oprah winfrey show with cups of hot cocoa. Then they would hack in the evenings, donating all the money scammed to cancer charities. Bob and Gougolia The Gmail Hackers [As imagined by 11 year old twins]
  39. 39. We love Lego Swedish11YearOldBoy’sRetellingofHistory: HereweareinCapFerrat,ontheFrench Riviera,atthechateauofKingLeopoldII.Theyearis1887.Thekingisdemandinga platypustoaddtohisprivatezoo.HesendshiscorruptcommissionairetotheCongo wherethemaliciouskinghasanundergroundvault,completewith explosion-proof fridgefullofpineapples,pretzels,guns,money,andmoreguns.Thereisanarmedguard constantlyondutywhoterrifiespeoplebyholdinguptheheadsofenemiesonsticks. Thankfully'Squiddy'andRichard,twodaringdelinquents[Squidywith"venomthat transmitsebola”]manageacoupandstealingtheprivatejetofLeopold,flytoFrance [theyalsoswiminthesewersforabit].Oncethere,theyknockthekingunconsciousand draghimbacktotheCongo,wheretheydemandblackmailmoneyandfreedomfortheir people.
  40. 40. Creativity seems to emerge from multiple experiences, coupled with a well-supported development of personal resources, including a sense of freedom to venture beyond the known Loris Malaguzzi, founder of The Regio Emilia Approach The first and simplest emotion which we discover in the human mind is curiosity. (Edmund Burke)
  41. 41. This is my niece, Maddie. She s 5 and lives in Texas, loves frogs, Walmart, and causing chaos, especially chaos in Walmart. The creative adult is the child who has survived. Ursula LeGuin "Only where children gather is there any real chance of fun.” Mignon McLoughlin
  42. 42. 42 Creativity involves breaking out of established patterns in order to look at things in a different way. (Edward de Bono, conceptual founder of Lateral Thinking)
  43. 43. Semiotics of Monte Carlo: Class, Consumption, and cultural capital an ongoing project
  44. 44. Hello, Monte Carlo If Paris has been ingrained in the collective consciousness as that place of bohemian beauty and existential despair; the French Riviera has been internalized as the golden child of glistening luxury- a Shangri-La, heaven on earth.
  45. 45. In truth, monaco is an agglomeration of concrete 60s style architecture, estate agents, and private banks
  46. 46. 46 Destinations like Capri, st. moritz, and Monaco have captured the public imagination with their infinite allure, unattainable glamour, decadent indulgence and their inevitable sidekicks of vice & corruption
  47. 47. Pain U&A Nigeria_Feb 2014 From monte carlo, with love “a den of idlers and exiles. one has the impression of seeing inmates at a lunatic asylum.” karl marx.
  48. 48. I m fascinated by the construction and evolution of identity, especially across rapidly changing emerging markets e.g Nigeria ; relatively new regions e.g. Dubai and in places such a monaco- the 2nd smallest country in the world Vatican city gets top spot! . In a place that considerably lacks authentic Monegasques, I ve been looking at how identity Can be firmly anchored via both conspicuous consumption and cultural capital
  49. 49. xxxx ‘Monte Carlo is real hell, the cleanest, most polished place I’ve ever seen...a continual procession of whores, pimps, governesses in thread gloves…old hags, ancient men, stiff and greyish, panting as they climb, rich, fat capitalists.’ [katharine mansfield].
  50. 50. Pain U&A Nigeria_Feb 2014
  51. 51. Semiotics of Monaco: Using Bourdieu as a Launchpad, on-going project looking at factors that ‘determine’ contemporary social class- from conspicuous consumption, to cultural capital [‘ethnic art’; libraries, food] As a tutor, I’ve had ‘insider’ access into the generally-closed off, private domestic sphere. Beyond the ubiquity of nespresso machines and diptyque candles that dot my students’ apartments, there have been some unexpected insights, like the re- appropriation and reinvention of certain brands. One of the most bizarre examples has been THAT of pot noodles BY ONE AMERICAN FAMILY. ASSOCIATED with being inherently British, ‘POT NOODLE SOUP’ IS HAILED AS A GOURMET TREAT, SPECIALLY ACQUIRED FROM ‘GEOffREY’S,’ AN ‘ENGLISH FOOD STORE’ IN ANTIBEs, which THE FAMILY DISPLAY WITH PRIDE AS AN EXPRESSION OF cultural capital- A signifier of class, culture, and refined taste.
  52. 52. FRENCH FANCIES 1.  BIO EVERYTHING 2.  ALL THINGS MINCEUR 3.  Art therapie et chat therapie! colouring in books 4.  DIVINE, MIRACLE, Miraculous, MYTHICAL, MARVELLOUS OILS Whilst British magazines often lush over the elusive yet ‘quintessential French elegance,’ French grazia gushes over ‘London girl/ Carnaby street’ style
  53. 53. Pain U&A Nigeria_Feb 2014 Which nespresso pod would you like? How about this one? It s george clooney s favourite. Student, Monaco
  54. 54. The French go bananas for Bio
  55. 55. 55 TEXT TEXT
  56. 56. Old vs. new: ‘authentic’ packagingforrabbitpatè,vs.vibrant designsfor‘montecarlocoffee’ .Quirky designsforfoiegras,champagnesorbet, artisanvioletlemonade,andchef’s selectiongourmetcatfood
  57. 57. Pain U&A Nigeria_Feb 2014 The allure of British foodstuffs: jordan s granola on sale for the bargain price of 14euro, and crackers for 10euro Rule Britannia Pot Noodle Soup and Jordan’s Granola ‘depaysement’ LOOSELY TRANSLATES TO A SENSE OF CONTEMPORARY UNEASE; OF BEING BOTH AT HOME IN A PLACE, WHILST FULLY AWARE THAT ONE IS AN EXILE. “Exileisstrangelycompellingtothink aboutbutterribletoexperience.Itisthe unhealableriftforcedbetweenahuman beingandanativeplace,betweentheself anditstruehome:itsessentialsadness canneverbesurmounted.” EdwardSaid,ReflectionsofExile
  58. 58. ‘Europe’sbloated, pendulous,hemorrhoid. Onlythevery,veryrich couldinventaslumthis corpulentlyarid.’ AA GILL. The French Riviera. Where f scott fitzgerald wrote tender is the night and zelda went mad; where bruce chatwin died of AIDS; where jules verne moored his yacht and drafted out ‘around the world in 80 days’; where oscar wilde convalesced after his realease from gaol; where isadora duncan was strangled by her own silk Hermes scarf after taking a bugatti for a test drive [a bizarrely glamourous and appropriate way for one to die]; where napoleon escaped his jailor and wandered around antibes; where keith richards had a yacht called mandrax ; where picasso and matisse and cocteau celebrated and commiserated, and today, where the chief of police was decapitated by a Russian yacht propeller, where the ‘vice- princess’ property mogul was shot dead a few months ago, and where apartments have walls of stingray skin; and shark-tooth handles. There is a single branch of starbucks; the opening of which, caused extensive queues that stretched possibly the length and breadth of the country Despitebeingamere2kmlong,monaco has2mcdonalds,completewithmacaron- filled‘mccafes’
  59. 59. 59 La Societe des bains de mer/ ‘SBM’ –is the pleasantly innocent name for the ‘sea bathing company’ owns most of monaco’s money-makers , including the infamous casino and hotel des paris. : Monaco was founded by ‘le malice’, a murderer who masqueraded as a monk and slew all around him in 1297, taking possession of the land. The Monegasque coat of arms bears a depiction of the event, seeming to give a nod of approval to this audaciousness The story of the French Riviera is a story of fugitives; of those who sought out the escape that it offered, from chilly fugitives from northern countries coming to convalesce, or escape the tedium of tax and/or domestic life. Still, today, 90% of Monaco's residents are imported.
  60. 60. The public gardens are full of exotic flowers [bananas grow just down the road in Menton] and every night an audio recording of birds of prey chase away any pigeons that may be inclined to linger for long. Reality and fantasy become intertwined-; doing your laundry involves a weekly visit to the casino to make dirty cash clean. Everything in Monaco is hyperbole- from the police force who almost outnumber residents and who are hired on their aesthetic charm, to the animation of little old ladies of leisure with their with exaggerated mannerisms, waxed features, Chanel twinsuit, and perfectly painted lips. If Monaco was a movie it would be a cult classic Monaco is a bit like a movie set. The country itself is tiny, though well stocked with props. Sometimes it can look farcical: in November red carpets are laid along the streets and Christmas trees aren’t taken down until March. Exquisitively flamboyant and beautifully confident Russians stomp the streets in a parade of exaggerated animation and toy box colours.
  61. 61. 61 There'saheftydoseofcamp, farce, and melodrama,also playingintothetypicalarchetypes of childhood fairytales-thegoodies, the baddies, the outlaws, and lovers. Gracekellycontinuestobemonaco’s greatestcommodity-thereal-life fairytale princess who walkedoffthestudiosetandstraightintothearmsofherreal- dealprince.And,ofcourse,theinevitable triumph of good over evil,whichisyettobeseeninMonaco,thougheffortsare madetoensurethatevilisneverexposed(in2013,theheadofthe policewasdecapitated by a yacht propeller inagruesomeactofinfidelityrevengebythe ruffianmafia;andjustthisyear,theheiressoftheproperly monopoly,HelenePastorwasassassinated–someevengoingsofaras sayingitwasa‘message from putin! .Yeteventhemafiain monacoisglamorous;-aGoodfellaswithmorebeautifullocation shotsoftheAlps. PerhapsnoplaceisascampasMonaco-the idea of it being always more exciting than its reality.
  62. 62. 62 We romanticise places makethemiconic.Monaco,justlikeNewYork,or Paris, aren’t just places, they’re an idea- aprojection of fantasy and desire.Imbued withmeaning,symptomsoficonographytiedupinthefamiliarimageofunobtainable ‘Frenchchic’ [unobtainablebyfactofitbeingafiction]thataresplashedacrossmagazine fashionspreads.We graft our identities onto ideas makethemfamiliar;make them‘ours’. Despite-ormaybeinspite-ofitslackofcohesiveidentity,the FrenchRivieraalwaysperhapsbealiminalsite‘betwitzand between’;aplaceoutsideoftime.The myth is more important than the reality theneedtomaintain the alluringimageofaUtopia,earthlyparadise,aheavenon earth
  63. 63. Being a Foster Mother to cats & tortoises also serve as motivational aids; oftenhelpingtoavoidcat- astrophesandremindingmetokeepthepace steady. Working as a freelancer can be tough, especially when working on a different continent. Without the social and professional support of colleagues, contextual awareness and digital tools have been vital
  64. 64. Pain U&A Nigeria_Feb 2014 loquacious word lover and bold presenter, I enjoy dipping my toes into any stage of the research process-;happy to collaborate either in-office or afar, facilitate sessions, interpret insights, and hopefully help deliver exciting and engaging debriefs. RhondaZPNicholl rhondazpnicholl@gmail.com +447541056637
  65. 65. Pain U&A Nigeria_Feb 2014

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