Angelique Culvin is the newest addition to the Oslotech team. She is part of the enthusiastic group of 17 colleagues that run the Oslo Science Park - workplace for 3000 plus persons and home to more than 300 companies.
A curious Community Coordinator
Her number one task as Community Coordinator is – in short - to make people happy. Create and implement activities, professional events and social meetups that enable scientists and entrepreneurs to meet and get to know each other. It also means telling the stories about people, companies and research results coming out of the community.
– We want to see cooperation and open doors between companies and industries, because this will fuel innovation and growth, Angelique says.
She is a curious person and wants to know all about Forskningsparken in an instant.
– There is so much value within these walls and in this area – people working hard and dedicated to make better solutions and to find important knowledge. This fascinates me, she says.
Angelique Culvin has background as photographer and journalist (Photo: Angelique Culvin).
- As I started during the corona-lockdown we had no chance of gathering people together. We came up with Better Together, a web series where I sit down with someone in our community to have a live broadcasted talk. Epiguard, Vitas, Cicero and Hardware Lab have been on stage and I have learned a lot from them. I hope the listeners also found it interesting. Judging by the feedback this is has been useful.
Norsk, Swahili, English
Angelique speaks Norwegian, and jumps in head first in the sometimes crazy lunchtime debates with colleagues or heated discussions in the office. Although it is easier (and faster) for her to respond in English she can easily join in on the conversation in Norwegian.
-I lived in Tanzania until I was 18, she says. I studied in Ireland where I met my Norwegian boyfriend.
She moved to Norway 5 years ago, where she took three semesters of Norwegian for International students. To practice she read textbooks, listened to the same audiobook and often pronounced the sentences aloud to herself. - I also watched SKAM with subtitles multiple times, to get a hang of the ‘informal’ spoken Norwegian. It’s still hard sometimes.
- We speak English at home because we met speaking English and that’s how we can express ourselves best. But we often tell each other “ok, during this dinner we will only speak Norwegian”, she laughs. - And then we slowly fall back to English after 10 minutes!
As student and model Salma Noor shared her picture (left side), Angelique Culvin - the photographer - became part of a the #VogueChallenge for more representation in fashion.
-It’s a eurocentric world of fashion
Angelique has a background as photographer and journalist, with bachelor from Griffith College Dublin, and M.Phil in Media Studies at the University of Oslo. Her thesis focused on the lack of representation of “non-white models” in Norwegian fashion magazines.
- I worked as a photographer, mostly in fashion, freelancing like everybody else. One thing was the struggle to get paid, you are expected to work for free to a large extent while trying to make a name for yourself. I spent two years writing about representation as I felt that models and people of colour were underrepresented. I think that many great creatives of colour are excluded from the conversation, Angelique says.
This means that a lot of kids and young people lack models they can relate to, or see their likeness represented included in a larger frame and a wider narrative.
- I see magazines as both a source of entertainment and information. So repeatedly featuring the same – usually white – faces and fashion bodies has two effects. Angelique sums it up: It reinforces one standard of beauty, a Eurocentric one, and secondly: it doesn't reflect the development of a moving and changing society, even in Norway.
- I’d like for the industry to widen their sphere of influence and perspective. Representation is about inclusion, visibility, widening narratives and perspectives, and in the case of magazines, creating spaces of imagination for a multitude of people, regardless of age, race/ethnicity, or religion.
In Vogue, NRK, CNN, etc
The story behind Vogue Challenge has been published by several media: the photo of Salma Noor, taken by Angelique(!), has been around the world and back this summer.
-It’s surreal, she says. I got really scared when my photo went viral. I shy away from the front line, but I’m proud to contribute with what I can. Photography is a strong, visual language. People may say it’s naïve, but it’s my way of advocating for more diversity.
Getting to know Forskningsparken (Photo: Sigurd R. Klæva, Forskningsparken).
Settling for the entreprenours
- I’m happy to be in Forskningsparken now, she says. I’m more than just a photographer, and Forskningsparken took a chance on me. I want to further develop and explore other skills I have. Having structure and safety, gives me a lot more creative freedom in my personal work.
Angelique has a lot on her mind, always have. She wrote a novel when she was 14 years old (not published, unfortunately/ editors note). She will continue to share photos and texts, i.a. on instagram @culvin
More about Angelique Culvin and the #VogueChallenge here:
Read the story on NRK
The article on eonline.com/news
Vogue cover more than a hashtag
From one of the Better Together talks during the corona spring 2020 (Photo: Sigurd R. Klæva, Forskningsparken)