Hippie dolls are creatures living a wandering and vagabond life, freely. They love to taste the wild salt air and chaotic waves that soothes their soul as if the saltwater cleanses the wounds that cannot be seen and makes one dangerously free.


I have been working under the name Hippie Doll on social media from around 2011.
Not only because of the alliteration in “Heleen Hippie Doll”, has the name stuck since then. It had also become a quirky nickname for when I bump into my friends. I can hear their high pitched tone of voice in my mind right now when saying “Helééén Híppíe Dôll!!”

My definition of a Hippie Doll:
Hippie Doll (n): Someone with a vintage soul, involving rejection of conventionalities and loves to dress up little differently. Hence “I got all dolled up today”. “You’re a doll” is an expression often used by more older generations, meaning to say “you’re cute”.

I frequently get asked where I had come onto the name for my brand or Instagram. Hippie Doll or “hippie” had not always carried positive associations and memories for me. Coming from conservative high schools and being “different” because you were artistic, I got teased a lot by other girls. Although anyone who knew me would say it was not necessary that I did not have any friends. I was named called “devil worshipper” and “you are such a hippie”. Eventhough the two are so far from each other, and that hippies can actually be very sprititual; anything different was just weird and “from the devil”. However, I embraced my difference, although it is just my personality that I cannot be anything other than myself.

After a while of evaluation, psychological tests actually proved that I have a melancholic personality. For those of you who know about the 16 personality types- I fall under ENTJ. For those of you who do not know which personality you could be, take the free test by clicking on the link below.
The best aspect my psychologist used to describe me was “bohemian”. HECK!! I did not even know psychologist used it as an actual term, nevermind that I could psychologically be classified as bohemian. Pretty darn cool, if you ask me!


ENFJ traits


And so, the indie genre became to rise and unknown indie bands started getting signed and as a result our popular culture changed from “You’re so weird” to “Oh, I am so hipster!”. I started feeling not only more accepted by my peers, but they also started to find my style inspirational. Being Heleen Hippie Doll started to work in my favour, so boo hoo, the wheel has turned (insert evil laugh here). Thus, the Power Puff.. I mean Hippie Doll was born!

Combining “Hippie” with “Doll” actually references a variety of styles. My style is quite eclectic, which means a bit of everything or combining different styles. Bohemian is also a combination of different native or cultural styles. Which is why HippieDoll Designs is represented through a cactus logo. The hippie part of the name references the 60s style, being unconventional and free-spirited. This is portrayed through the 60s groovy-like font in the logo. The doll side is portrayed through the red lips. This represents to dress up, being classy and retro 50s vibes.


Heleen HippieDoll logo

Off-topic: I am not going sound like a “typical hipster” and say “I knew or was that first!” when it comes to style, music or fashion , but rather celebrate, because now I could find my style in many clothing stores (yay me!). But more importantly, creativity is meant to be shared and I feel fashion is a form of self-expression.



For more HippieDoll photos go to https://instagram.com/heleenhippiedoll?igshid=19iw0lt2a4t7a

For more of my photography of other beautiful dolls and other bunch of hippie stuff go to






Meraki Art Gallery opened their first ‘Solo Exhibition’ on 15 July 2019, displaying works in remembrance of late artist Delyse De Kock, curated by Gisela Jacobs. Jacobs’ own works were on display as well. The next opening event takes place on 16 August 2019 for the ‘Youth Art Exhibition’, where we can expect to see even more upcoming artists’ works on display.

Jacobs enjoys exploring various drawing and painting methods. Her series of drawings in the Solo Art Exhibition was inspired by the theme of music. The more Jacobs delved into the theme, the more she realised that many people in her life, close to her, are very musical.

Delyse De Kock, unfortunately, passed away about 2 years ago. Speaking to Jacobs about the works of De Kock, raised hairs…

“… She never really showed her art to anyone and after she passed, they found all these beautiful artworks she made. Which is really cool.” Jacobs states.

The overall look and feel of the Solo Exhibition had a particular aim. “The exhibition I did.. because the artists had passed away, Delyse De Kock, I thought ‘I wanted it to be an atmosphere of remembrance and also a celebration of her work and her life’. So there is a bit of a somber atmosphere, but at the same time, it’s honouring her and sharing her work WITH people- because no one has really seen it before. It was a shame because it’s so beautiful; it’s a celebratory, yet respectful display of her works.

Jacobs explains how it links to her works on display as well; essentially one could say the exhibition displayed a sense of memories and remembrance. Jacobs series of drawings was inspired by the idea of memories itself.

“… Memories of music and the people I have met through music and those who are still around as well. Sound and imagery can work very well together. When I looked at De Kock’s work, there’s a very interesting sense of rhythm and movement. Even-though the textures seem stagnant, but what they are ‘of’, is flowing. There’s that ‘Henry Moore’ style to it… which is very flowing, like light AND heavy- just like music is, you know.”

When entering the exhibition space in the foyer of the Brooklyn Theater, one immediately notices the walls possessed in aesthetic figurative pencil drawings. But separated through an open arch, the works are suddenly contrasted by abstract paintings covering the next room.

One could instantly assume they are from two completely different artists, but can be taken back by seeing it is the same artist on the labels. How would you comment on the curation of the separation of the completely different styles from the same artist?

“… her style is very diverse. When I looked at her art the first time I thought ‘It’s almost as if she was in different states of minds or almost going through a different phase of her life while she made the artworks. So that’s what I liked when I curated; I put them almost going in different steps. So the works were kind of figurative leading towards a space where they became more abstract. And I find that very interesting because when you know that it’s all done by her, you can kind of see similarities; where the abstract works reflect the forms and figures she draws.”

“If you have a look at some of the abstract works next to the figurative ones; although they are very different, you can almost see there are abstract shapes hidden in the people AND there are people hidden in the abstract shapes.”

“So by separating them I wanted the audience to go and have a look in different minds in a way, of ‘this is the same artist that can create such diverse works’, but there’s still that link between them, that absolute sensitivity and care in looking at form and shading and expression.”

How did you go about, as the curator, on deciding which artwork would represent the Solo Exhibition the best?

Jacobs chose a specific untitled work of De Kock for the poster cover as the work really explained De Kocks works well. “It’s a flat 2-D artwork, but it has such a sense of depth and light hitting form and shadowing. And there was something really beautiful about it… I don’t think the word ‘beautiful’ really gets it. There’s something quite profound about it, like when I saw it, I just felt a lot.”

IMG-20190815-WA0007 (1)

What would you say, was the main source of inspiration for your series of drawings displayed at the Solo Exhibition?


“… I wanted to make a series about music as it is a big part of my life. And as I delved into the theme, I realised that many people in my life are musical. So the works are all of the people I know that play instruments or people that I met through music.” “It started with my grandfather, who taught me how to play piano, so it was very important to include that, as it was very influential.”

There is one work, in particular, that is matching the series in theme, but that seems a little bit different; the “Cloud Beats”, of course, I can trace this to music as well. But it seems to match a theme of micro and macro, as it seems like a cell appearing, whereas the other works look like people you have experienced in your life, if you could walk us through this a bit…


“‘The clouds beats’ is more abstract in a way. It’s not an actual person that I know, but it’s more of a feeling that I want people to relate to while looking at that artwork of a person”. ” So it’s about how you can gain inspiration form music with the people around you and also how when you listen to music you can kind of transport into different spaces and thoughts… Music can make things very small and very big. Depending on what you are going through”.

What can we expect for your next exhibition “Youth Art” presented at the Meraki Art Gallery?

“This one is very different. It’s more modern– in the sense of there’s more digital works. And also, there is more of a variety; There’s very illustrative works coupled with abstract works. I want this next one to have a feeling of fun and variety.”

See you at Brooklyn Theater on Friday, 16 August 2019, for the opening of the Youth Art Exhibition. 18:30 for 19:00. The exhibition will be open for public view until 5 October 2019.


(Photos supplied by artist)

Art vs. Photography Communities

My experience of the difference between
the Turbine Art Fair versus the Photo & Video Experience, Kyalami.

Is it just me or is the photography community, entirely different from the visual art community? Even though photography is seen as a form of art.

Being an artist, photographer and model myself, I attended popular events for both photography and art recently, which both took place July 2019 in Johannesburg, namely; the Photo and Video Experience, Kyalami and the Turbine Art Fair.

As expected the two experiences were entirely different. However, it was definitely not in the manner which I expected it to be:

This is a platform to open a discussion surrounding something I have remarked regarding our creative communities in SA, in particular, our photography in fashion and modeling. Rather than a review on the fairs themselves, my next blog post is a review of the Turbine Art Fair.

It is almost as if the photography community in SA still follows strict rules, of not only gender stereotypes, but also social ranking. 

As a viewer, I experienced the atmosphere of the Turbine Art Fair to be warm and welcoming. As if all kinds of people were accepted and all kinds of people were there, and they seemed like they could really express themselves. Nobody would look twice if seeing a male wearing make-up for instance.

At the Video & Photo Experience, I had people asking me why I was behind a camera as I was taking photos of something.  They had told me that I should rather be in front of the camera. When I had asked why they responded that I have the looks -“thanks for the flattering, but can I not have the brains as well?”, I asked. They then responded by pointing at my friend/collogue who is male and said jokingly that he should be the one behind the camera and me in front.

Although this person was just making a joke and did not mean any harm, and in some odd way meant it as a compliment, they do not realise how much they have been influenced; we should help people realise that gender stereotypes have started to get worn out and are so 19-voet-sêk.

I also remarked that it was as if I was only treated as a model once I had my high heels on, but almost went unnoticed when I had flats on; even though we were already taking photos and I had the exact same clothing on. When I had my heels on, many people suddenly started asking to take my photo, but no one bothered when I was clearly posing by the model stands and wearing flats.

This could serve as a great social experiment to see how people view that photographers “must look like” and how models “must look like”. Can photographers not be well dressed as well and if they are female do they have to look “different” or “weird”?

Correct me if I am wrong, but shouldn’t a model in 2019 look and dress in any way, right? This is NOT a complaint about photographers, it is just to give some background information on the way people, in general, view other people.

My feeling is that social photography communities still have a long way to go in terms of breaking down barriers and marginalising people, in South Africa. Feel free to share photography events or anything related that I could participate in if you disagree or have had a completely different experience. Or else we need to ask ourselves how we could shift the stigmas of the male and female roles within photography.

Just a quick disclaimer; of course, there are many wonderful women photoraphers in South Africa and in JHB in particular! I acknowledge female and male artists that have worked in photography as Fine Art, specifically commenting on barriers surrounding people. I am however sharing my experience of fashion photography when a model comes into play. I do have such a great passion for both photography and art. I would like to see no one placed within boundaries, in the creative communities because they have to look and be a certain way.

Mom’s Closet

Winter is the perfect time to “borrow” from your mom’s closet!


From the early 2000s to about 2010 it was like someone would have a laugh at you if you looked like you were dressed out of your mother’s wardrobe. Then all of a sudden grandma or mum’s clothes become trendy.

Reflecting on the winter, vintage jerseys were super “in”. However, the cold-front is not over yet. Grab a jersey from your mom’s wardrobe, throw it on with some skinnies and pair it up with some boots or heels- and voilà! The perfect winter outfit.

“Vintage” in fashion could be a combination of old fashioned styles and elements that especially represent the best of its times.

Mix and match autumn colours; yellows, plum, browns, dark greens and mustard for an amazing golden glow! The autumn colour palette is not only restricted to the season and its time of year.

This mustard jersey is my mom’s from the 80s. Note its typically large collar from those times, therefore I don’t need any other accessories to create a vintage look as the collar is already very dramatic. Wear a long-sleeved polo neck if wool usually irritates your skin and you won’t even know that its there!

This grey-beige jersey is another from mom’s closet. It is paired with a matching scarf I found at a thrift shop. Better known as charity shops in South Africa. It probably cost around R20 max! The best vintage looks can be created from thrift stores, it can be affordable and you’re helping goodwill- while look lit AF! What more can you ask for in fashion?

Each look shares the same jeans and boots, to demonstrate how easy it is to spice up old clothes for a trendy look.
Jeans: The HUB Fashion.
High heel boots: Pick ‘n Pay Clothing.


These are the perfect nails to compliment your jerseys! These are from Impress nails. They are deep blue nails with geometrical lines.
The geometrical lines were very much a 70s trend. Therefore, carrying vintage throughout the look. The shimmery gold blocks mimic the colours of the jerseys.

Blue and orange are also complementary colours. According to colour theory, deep blue and deep orange are complementary colours, as they are across each other on the colour wheel.

Image result for blue and orange complementary colors

I thus suggest getting your nails done in blue if you are going to be following an autumn colour pallet in your wardrobe.
In terms of jewelry, gold is a brilliant way to go to complement your autumn colours. Big golden earrings and golden rings will round off the look. Necklaces are either hidden or in the way of the collars and scarves. So I just typically skip necklaces in winter, especially if the jersey already has detail around the neck.

When do you think moms’ closets suddenly became so cool? I would love to hear what you think in the comments below!

Here is an autumn colour palette for you to play around with from your mommy’s closet:


All modelling photographs: @ashvir_maharaj_photo

My Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/heleenhippiedoll/

My favourite self-care JUNE/JULY

1. We all know the best thing for stretch marks is tissue oil, tissue oil, tissue oil! However, have you felt like this has not really worked for you?

I have heard many people complain that they do not see results fast enough and then stop using tissue oil. The thing about scar tissue is, it needs to break down first before the vitamin E from the tissue oil can renew the skin cells. This does take time.

The secret is to continuously massage the area in a circular motion. The second key is to make a habit out of this, as part of your daily self-care routine. The easiest thing to do to remember, is to apply tissue oil every day straight after your shower.

For the best results, you can use it along with Celltone’s tissue oil body wash and tissue oil body lotion. I have been using this for a few months and my skin as never felt more moisturised. You should get so used to applying the tissue oil on the problem areas quickly every day before moisturising that you will be as thrilled as I was when realising the results.

2. Wearing heavy foundation everyday causes many women to have out-breaks. Especially living under the African sun! I have spoken to a few women at work who often skip doing their make-up completely, despite loving to wear make-up.

Woman rightfully complain that wearing foundation every day to work/school causes breakouts even in our South African winter.

Surely we all have heard of BB cream, but we tend to forget about this gem! We have become so used to doing the same make-up routine every time, with the same foundation we buy in twos because we’ve finally found a shade that works just right.

On everyday occasions, I only apply Garnier’s BB cream and a tad bit of concealer over the problem areas. I now only wear heavy foundation when I know I have to be in front of the camera or for eventful happenings.

Garnier’s BB cream blends out so easily that it does not even matter that you cannot find desert sand beige 02. Although you’re welcome to comment your review down below if you have a different experience using the darker shades. BB cream is a light formula which gives your skin time to breath!

3. Does your hair thinning make you so mad it makes you want to pull your hair out!? Silly pun intended.


I honestly never go a month without my Vigro tablets for hair thinning. I am adding it to the list because I started taking Vigro alongside a Zinplex supplement. Zinc is really important for our skin. The key to having thick healthy hair is a healthy sculpt; and your sculpt is non-other than skin, of course!
Zinc also helps with hair growth and building your immune system, as well as for acne.
Vigro contains a bit of zinc already, but with Zinplex, it gives your sculpt that extra boost! Vigro also contains ferrous Gluconate, which is iron and is essential for hair growth. The vitamin B12 in Vigro helps your body to absorb the iron. Become healthy from the inside out!

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All the above items can be found at CLICKS stores South Africa https://clicks.co.za/home/c/OH10006?clppage=sc

Keep an eye on this blog to see the visual improvements on my hair, body and skin!

*This was not a sponsored post, this blogger just loves the variety and prices from Beauty to health at CLICKS.

Our Natural Enviroment

“Plans to protect air and water, wilderness and wildlife, are in fact plans to protect man.” -Stewart Udalla20160323_161344vj.jpgMy visit to the Water Sisulu Botanical Garden

During my visit I made specific observations and identified some interesting fauna and flora and this is my photo journal. The Walter Sisulu Botanical Garden celebrates, growing wonderful plants, offering jobs opportunities and therefore working with dedicated whom some have been employed since the first day. They celebrate the learning of South Africans natural heritage, providing aesthetic safe natural environment as well as brining large sums of people together, from 27000 in 1990 to 180000 in 2006.

a20160323_161837.jpg          The False Olive is the horizontal bush behind me.

a0160323_162757.jpg         One of the most interesting trees I came across was the Natal Guarri (Ebenaceae) tree, on the left. The roots or tiny barks of this tree was used as a toothbrush by chewing it.

a20160323_163812      There was even a lot of information about historical rocks or minerals. There was a whole timeline path you could follow and it felt almost like time travelling because there were rocks at every beacon from that time as well as the names of the apes from the human revolutionary theory

Here are some more examples of the fauna and flora found in the South African biodiversity:

Milkweed plant
Bush Felicia plant
As humans we think we are separate from nature, where in actual fact we should embrace it that we apart of it.
In the background is the Golden Daisy
River Poker Plant
Felicia Bush Flowers
Pelargonium Ionidiflora plant
Cliffortia Ferruginea

The Botanical Garden is not only home to plants but a diversity of insects and birds too:


Monarch Butterfly I found at the Botanical Garden
People also forget how important “veld” grass is, it contributes a lot to the CO2 cycle .

More information on plats as a food type, as medical use and cultural and mystical purposes in Africa:



Tree Story Time

Did you know that we as humans have relationships with trees?

I had an interview with four people who shared with me their different experiences they have had with a tree “The meanings we find in these stories influence the choices we make when we plant trees in the city, they alter the ways that we trim and control the tress, and, finally, they inform our decisions to fell them”(Dean 2015: 162). Trees not only provide, symbolise class, create associations, but can be unruly and refuse to conform to humans and are not submissive

The Tree of ServiceIMG-20160511-WA0042.jpg

-Mischa’s Story

When I interviewed Mischa she immediately thought of a specific tree in their back yard as a child. The tree always stood proud and tall and acted as an anchor to bring the whole family together, especially on her birthdays. They spent all their family days under the cooling shadow this tree provided, in the hot Pretoria summers. She got very nostalgic as we were talking and it brought back more and more childhood memories for her. Memories of her running  through the sprinkler and splashing in blown up kiddies pool in this great tree’s shadow. For such small girls, this great tree also created fear in Mischa and I, because the tree casted a scary silhouette in a storm of a man scratching the windows.IMG-20160511-WA0043

Mischa’s 3rd birthday


The tree of Power

-Bezuidenhout Brothers

As children, Arno and his brother used to climb a marvellously big tree in their backyard that grew next to their granny flat. They always wanted to have their very own tree house, but as they never got one, the little inventors made a plan. The two brothers helped each other and carried crates up the tree to the highest strongest grooves and tied them down with belts to the branches. This created a place to sit and they stayed up there for hours talking and watching the sunset and birds fly by. It was the closest they would ever come to having a tree house, but it was perfect for them because they had their brotherhood and shared a tree as their escape place. Trees have a power to bring humans together.


The Tree of Heritage

The Fever Tree

-Megan’s Yellow Thorn Tree

For Megan it brings back sad memories because they had chopped down her favourite tree as an child. What fascinates me is that even though it was a thorn tree, Megan was never afraid to play around it and fly on the swing that used to hang from it. When I asked her if she was not scared of the thorns, she said that it never bothered her and that she just always wore shoes. But that the thorns were the reason they had chopped it down, she said sadly, thus making it an unruly tree as well. The thorns reminded her of Christ’s thorn crown and therefore it is a heritage tree.

Thorns of the Fever Tree


The Unruly Tree

Eucalyptus Tree in Namibia Dessert

-Motherly Instinct

My mother went to Namibia for a while, where she fell in love with the only eucalyptus tree that grew proudly in Aus, in the Namibian dessert. It awoke a lot of emotions inside of her and made her realise that we here in South Africa are chopping down these glorious trees, because scientists say that it takes up to 800 litres per day. But ironically she finds this tree growing in a dessert town. The tree even survived when it was miraculously snowing in Aus back in 2012. This tree is originally from Australia where coala beers use it for staple food, it provides the sweetest nectar for honey bees, we use it for oil with healing qualities, as well as shelter for birds and animals, and as shade and  a beacon for the locals of Aus to get together. Therefore it makes my mother anger that they have laws against this tree in South Africa and demolishing it, because it has so much to offer in contrast to the plants that are well kept around the tree with nothing to offer.

Namibian Dessert


Namibian Dessert
2012 snowing in Aus (the trees is behind the woman in the white jacket, under the title)

In conclusion

Trees are disliked when they are not submissive to human control or rules. People create laws against trees, but in contradiction they loose everything the tree has to offer. These trees are claimed to steal too much water of our dry land, but how is it that the tree can grow in desserts? The trees adapt to the African environment and they have became apart of our landscape, our identity and our heritage, like the Jacaranda tree for example. Instead of the government focusing on people and factories that are polluting our rivers and dams. Humans can grow attached to trees and “We like to tell stories about city trees. The stories shape our thinking, but more materially they shape our management of the trees”(Dean 2015: 162).


These images triggers nostalgia in people being interviewed. Nostalgia means having a longing for a happy memory in the past. It is often mistaken that the memory can be sad, but this is not true, because one does not miss something negative, however one can become sad in the current moment because of missing the memory, like a place, event or person. Here are some more nostalgic photographs that were associated with the memories of trees.

Painting of eucalyptus
Painting of eucalyptus close up


Mischa and her brother in the backyard
Mischa’s brother and her cousin next to the tree

Did you know?

Air pollution is slow violence!

As Nixon states in his article “Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the poor” that humans are lethal to the environment and then contradict themselves by the present activisms. “Violence that occurs gradually and out of sight, a violence of decayed destruction that is dispersed across time and space, on attrition violence that is typically not viewed as violence at all” according to Nixon.

Violence is only a source of entertainment nowadays viva the media. People only respond to the large eye catching problems. Slow violence is just as bad as any other kind of violence, but in fact the issue escalates because it is being ignored. People need to understand slow violence affects not only people but the environment around them as well, in the long term. The consequences will be worse for the generations to come.

The Greenhouse Effect

Let’s put aside for a moment that the earth has a natural greenhouse effect.

Radiation warms the planets atmosphere and cause it to be of a higher temperature of what the atmosphere would normally be. The average temperature should be 15°C in the earths atmosphere. There are several primary gases included in the greenhouse effect, these are carbon dioxide, vapour of H2O, ozone, methane and nitrous oxide.

Greenhouse gases



Human activity: Deforestation

Humans activity such as the burning of fossil fuels and deforestation are leading to an increase in the natural gasses. So even if there are natural gasses and process taking place already, humans interrupt the cycle and cause it to escalate, worsening the consequences. Deforestation not only causes a lack of clean oxygen but also cause animal species to be in the dangerous of becoming extinct, because their natural habitats are being destroyed along with nests and possibly injuring animals as well.

Burning of fossil fuels

Carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, is the main pollutant that is warming Earth. Though living things emit carbon dioxide when they breathe, carbon dioxide is widely considered to be a pollutant when associated with cars, planes, power plants, and other human activities that involve the burning of fossil fuels such as gasoline and natural gas. In the past 150 years, such activities have pumped enough carbon dioxide into the atmosphere to raise its levels higher than they have been for hundreds of thousands of years.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Airflow is reduced and replaced with warm air inside the atmosphere, which is where the “Greenhouse effect” gets its name from. Greenhouse gasses rise and get trapped in the earths atmosphere causing a warm blanket along with some of the heat from the sun with significant implications to retreat glaciers, sea ice and level and rainfall. With nitrous oxide and carbon dioxide causing air pollution as it was believed 30 years ago, and up to 10 years ago air pollution was believed to have just been a local issue. But now new studies show that air pollution shifts across different continents and ocean basins because of long-range transport. The results are trans-oceanic and trans-continental (as in transported) plumes in atmospheric brown clouds, which contain micron sized particles such as aerosols. Atmospheric brown clouds, ABCs for short, can dim the surface by absorbing and reflecting sunlight. This “dimming effect” is further enhanced by aerosols that include nucleating more droplets. This creates an increase of solar radiation reflected by the clouds. It also has a “surface cooling effect” and causes a decrease in h2O vapour and therefore slows the hydrological cycle down. BUT the absorption of solar radiation by certain organics as well as black carbon, increase the heat in the atmosphere and tend to amplifying the effect of greenhouse warming and causing ice to melt that serve as a natural habitat to certain animals like ice bears.


Another effect of Global Warming

In conclusion, people need to start taking in account that we are stealing away from our generations to come, whom will never experience earth as we did. We need to not only make people aware of the dangerous we face on planet earth, but we need to start acting on it immediately! This is the time NOW to start learning from our mistakes.

Interesting fact:

Venus, Titan and Mars also contain gasses causing a greenhouse effect in their atmospheres.

For more search the hastag #DigEcoAction and follow me on

Twitter: @HeleenHippyDoll

Instagram: @HeleenHippieDoll







“I don’t mind if I get a boy or girl one day… As long as it’s a healthy puppy.”

This photo essay documents personal experiences of pets, with reference to the article “The Companionship Species Manifesto: dogs, people, and significant otherness” by Donna Haraway.

Humans have a bond with their animals and in a sense share a life together within their “significant otherness” (Haraway 2007). Throughout their history pets have always been important and seen as part of the family. They play a big role in our lives and are like children to us as humans and are also referred to as such by Donna Haraway. Humans find dogs and other pets more trustworthy because they are indeed loyal.Wet nose kisses are better than what any human can offer.

Matewis Kat


Matewis kat is named after the cat character from the children’s show called “Liewe Heksie”, based on the stereotype that witches own black cats. Kat has such an individual and independent personality, we call him Kat for short. Whenever you try to move him from a spot he looks at you in disgust, as if he is saying (in a sir voice) “How Dare you”. He thinks he is the king of the street and believes that he really is royalty. He is like Cuzzco from Emperor’s New Groove- “No touchy, touchy!”. Kat is so fussy; he refuses to drink water out of the bowl you just poured in for him, because it’s not “fresh” enough- He wants it straight from tap! He insists on a new bowl of food when the dog might of stolen a bite out of his. He never shares or gives love- but I am the only human who can cuddle with him. He pretends to not like it, but spins in secret.

Liewe Heksie
“Liewe Heksie”


“Liewe Heksie” as the theatre piece “Flower Power”




At the first impression Boesman comes across as a vicious dog because of his toned body and saber tooth tiger-like teeth, obviously exaggerated. But surprisingly he is the most loving and tolerant dog I have ever come across. Boesman is a crossing between a Great Dane and Boerbull, but own the best qualities of both. He is unbelievably patient with puppies from the size of his paw to naughty children that ride him like a horse.

Boesman’s paw- almost the size of the puppy

Boesman sits quietly when the kids climb on and around him- he never shows his teeth or is of any danger to the kids, rather like a father figure. He is very territorial and protective, over children especially. He shares his big bowl of food with the  little puppy and picks out the food carefully while the puppy crawls into his bowl.



Lola as a puppy

Lola is our Miniature Maltese Poodle, so basically she looks like a Maltese puppy forever. You would expect her to be this lap doggy- as they were first bread for princesses back in the day. She is named after lyrics “Lola, she’s a show girl” and “Lola gets what Lola wants” because she seemed so girly at first and a typical dumb blonde. But she is nothing like that, she is such a tomboy. Lola likes to roll in the mud and jump in the piles of autumn leaves. Whenever someone is gardening she helps them dig big holes in the ground. Her favourite activities include catching inscets and being Boesman’s side kick. She is always running by his side ready to protect, kicking out the grass as she barks. She is very playful and loveable, but can’t survive without humans; she needs human interaction 24/7 and someone to look after her.

Bunny Wunnies and Ginnie Winnies


Fiffy and Fluffy

These are my two bunnies and guanine pigs. They are sweet little, innoucent animals who are very kind and caring. Whenever I want to clear my mind I just go sit by them for a while and it really does help turn my mood around. They are very therapedic. The bunnies would not only lick and clean each other but would also lick my feet clean and hop on me and feel my heart beat. The guanine pigs are more verbal and call me whenever I just walk past from a distance. I have gotten so attached to them because I got them as little babies and I have seen them grow up. One day when I got back home from varsity, I ran straight to their cage and I was so shocked to see how much they have grown in just 2 weeks- when I saw them last. It made me burst into tears because it felt like my own babies have grown up and that I lost sharing some part of their life or childhood. Mostly because they started to feel a bit alienated by me, whereas before they were so tame. But I have now accepted that they are just grown up and do not really want to be cuddled as much. This made me already realise at the time what mothers feel like when they see their own human children go off to varsity or move out. It made me have more sympathy for my own mother. These little animals make you feel so special physiologically because they are dependent on you.

A grown up bunny and guanine pig
The two grown up bunnies

Scene, the Anthropocene

The Anthropocene is the time period that we, as human live in today, described in this quote from Kat Lahr; “Humans have wandered the Earth for thousands of years, but never has our capacity to alter the Earth’s ecosystem at a larger scale been more prominent than it is today”. Anthropocene is a geological epoch that differs a lot from any other epochs. Epoch being the outcome of human activities on earth, according to Steffen et al (2011: 843 & 847). These factors include the following:

  • Increased use in fossil fuels
  • Destruction of the natural biomes
  • Higher levels of CO2 (Carbon Dioxide)
  • Production of artificial/unnatural materials

Some parts of nature are getting extinct in a faster state than it normally would, fauna and flora species specifically. This is known as 6th mass extinction (Waters et al 2016: 2-8). This article aims to show that Humanities is just as important as the soundscape of the Anthropocene in order to provide information about the environment around us (Gisli et al 2013:7).

For a couple of days I paid close attention to the sounds I was surrounded by, every time I entered a new environment. Unfortunately I have not been exposed to the outside world of social life and the rat race that continues to haunt every individual working in the corporate industry, because I have been slaving away, day and night for Diane Victors project. The only sounds I heard were the sound of a packet of crisps opening and crunching in my mouth, from the very expensive vending machine downstairs (which reminded me of consumerism and littering being an effect thereof). Other sounds were the loud noises of cars and police swishing by the building on Lynnwood Road, reminding me of the CO2 been lead out into the sky, sending a tear down my eye. Coming home at 2 am, I would hear the sound of a tennis ball being hit from side to side on the court across the street, making me think of how unaware these people are in their own world what is happening to the biodiversity around them and how we destroy velds to big houses and tennis courts, potentially killing fauna, flora and insect and bird habitats. It does concern me however how the sounds of organisms such as plants in the wind and animals are suppressed by the sound of a physical man-made environment or in other words “human generated sound”, (Whitehouse, 2015:57).

“Jakop Regop” flowers from my garden

After talking to my mother, who was one of the first pupils to matriculate at Hoerskool Montana in Pretoria I realised how quickly areas become populated by humans and their activities. The area used to be mostly veld and plots, whereas today there are buildings everywhere with unnecessary shopping centres popping up all over. One of her fondest memories was picking the red wild flowers, called “Jakob Regop”, that used to grow everywhere. Today the only place where I have seen these flowers are in our garden, only because my mother has kept the seeds from the flowers. She also had to harvest and replant the seeds after we moved away. The sad thing is that these flowers grow so easily, because they are wild (you literally just need to throw the seeds in your garden) but that they are nowhere to be seen. Interesting enough the first flower to be grown in space by NASA, according to RSG radio station, belongs to the same species of this red wild flower. Which emphasises how easy this flower is grown but that it is rarely seen on the streets.

Scott Kelly uploaded an image of the zinnia flower to his twitter account


This just shows me the change in biodiversity from one generation to the next. I stay close to the Cradle of Humankind, and this area also used to be only velds and nature reserves. Within a couple of years I have widest residences, a mall, a hospital and schools being build around this area, getting closer and closer to the Cradle of Humankind itself. It scares me to realise that I do not even have to ask the elderly coming from Krugersdorp how the area was before, because development has taken place so quickly.

The Cradle of Humankind surrounded by development

In conclusion our soundscape reveals that we are living in the Anthropocene and the Anthropocene is evidenced by the loss of ecosystems and biodiversity. This is proven by listening to the soundscape around us and realising that there is a lack of sounds made by nature such as birds. Most of the sounds we hear on a daily basis are made by humans or human-made things, which are all a part of the Anthropocene. This has made me aware that the Anthopocene has led to the loss of biodiversity and natural habitats. Humans are too focused on making life comfortable for ourselves and are destroying our world around us without even realising it sometimes, therefore this blogs aims to make you aware of these issues.

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