Introducing Annie Belanger

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yva addens

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Backstory

 

Annie was born in Montreal, Canada, her mother, Margaux, coming originally from Paris, France and the Place du Tertre<b>, </b>which is widely known as the artists village of Montmartre, where Margaux spent a large part of her adult life painting whatever inspired her.

Having moved to the most french sounding place in Canada, at the age of twenty-eight, to find a different style of inspiration for her artworks, she met and married Annie's father, Embry, who at the time worked in a bakery. Within only a couple years of dating, they bought a very bohemian looking yellow row house in the suburbs of Mile End and Annie's mother quickly became pregnant a few weeks after they moved in. It was an <span data-dobid="hdw">idyllic time.
</span>

 

Hip, trendy and artsy, Mile End is known as much for its residential quaintness as its night-time antics. By day, kids play in the parks and friends debate politics and the merits of art in cafés; by night, restaurants and bars teem with people wanting to enjoy the heart and soul of the creative quarter.

Cafés, bars, bookstores, restaurants and designer shops line it's streets, which stand alongside former textile mills and churches which have been turned into start-up incubators or condo buildings. The nerve center of Montréal’s trendsetting cultural scene, this neighbourhood is home to a unique and multicultural mix of lively shopping strips and pretty residential side streets with colourful houses and spiral staircases.

Annie grew up in this hipster enclave where she spent her youth in a world of vintage shops, deliciously scented bakeries, next-level lattes and authentic Montréal style bagels.

Being neither extremely popular, nor unpopular at school, she managed to get through her school years with minimal emotional damage, a few good friendships and a glowing recommendation for college, from the tutor of her school's photography club.

Her home life was just as normal, with no great upheavals or traumatic events aside from the rite of passage that was getting her heart broken by the boy from school. She soon got over it though, her parents marriage a loving and affectionate one, their advice and guidance seeing her through.

And amongst a plethora of artists, painters, musicians and crafters, she found her passion in the high-shine of a camera lens. Leaving home at eighteen to study at The Visual Arts Centre,  the largest bilingual independent art school in Canada, she spent three years honing her craft, soaking up every tiny piece of knowledge that she could, her dream of being a world-famous photographer, a comfort to her during the years that she fell in and out of love.

When she realised that she was bisexual, her coming out was less of a rollercoaster and more of a relaxing canal ride, her parents and friends seeming not to care or mind who or what she was into, as long as she was happy.

In the last six months of college she diversified her art into urban, architectural and intense portrait photography and in that, she finally found her niche.  Upon graduation, she decided she wanted to travel, see other kinds of life and waved off by her parents, she drove away from the home she loved in a beat-up old camper van, and spent the next two years traveling from place to place, round the country, indulging her passion.

She came to love the gritty and seedy neighbourhoods, the worn-down, <span data-dobid="hdw">underprivileged, wrinkled old faces of the older people who had been born, lived and grown old in these places and she began to find the beauty in what others saw to be ugly and </span><span data-dobid="hdw">abhorrent. That was when she really came into her own.</span>

She wanted to say something with her work, highlight important issues, show the beauty in the dark, frightening places, show the humanity in those who most saw as having none. She wanted to move people to tears, make them laugh, make them feel a flutter in their hearts, be drawn to the eyes of those she shot with her camera.

 

Now she's here, the next place on her tour, attending university as an older student, at twenty-three, while trying to capture the soul of Hathian in her lens.

 

About

Her home life and upbringing gave her the friendly, sunny nature she carries with her like Captain America's shield. Cool, calm and collected, she's not one for teenage angst or female drama and having spent the last two years staying in the worst kinds of places, the seediest neighbourhoods, she's gotten pretty used to the sound of gunshots, and the dark underbelly of the streets.

Or at least, she thinks she has. She's been lucky, though. The people she's met, shot with her camera, always treated her with something bordering on respect, even as a lone woman in a very bad neighbourhood, she rarely ran foul of anyone and, luckily, she managed to talk her way out of the times that she did.

 

Most people who've met her would descibe her as classy, yet really down-to-earth. The girl next door with an elevated edge, who can seem to get on with princes and paupers alike. She seems to always see the beauty, the good in people, which will surely bite her in the ass one day, but so far, it hasn't.

She's no timid mouse, though, despite feeling awkward sometimes in the prescence of those she sees as superior to herself or judges to be stunningly beautiful. Mostly she carries a quiet, regal, confidence, and has no fear of standing up for herself even if she favours being polite, yet firm, over being rude or getting into a physical fight.

But what about relationships? With her trend of moving from place to place, she rarely allows herself to get tied down. To her mind, there's no point, if she's going to be leaving again, so her attachments are usually enjoyable yet temporary or fleeting.

She's confident in her own skin, in her own sexuality and isn't afraid to find pleasure where she can, and despite her outwardly classy, preppy, casual style, there's actually a fiery little sex-kitten hidden underneath who loves a good party, a great high (when she's not working) and a cigarette after sex.

As with her knowledge of artwork, she enjoys exploring every facet that sex has to offer and she's had some amazing experiences which include a threesome with a ployamorous couple, a kinky two month fling with a german dominatrix, and three hedonistic weeks with a local drag artist as her wing-man. Those few weeks were exhausting, but she looks back on them fondly.

Many have tried and failed to get her to commit, but she never does. Her heart belongs to her passion for photography and no one has ever come close to that, for her.

 

She's just a normal girl, with a normal upbringing, with normal parents, with a normal high-school and college experience. But how will she fare when she finally meets real danger? How will life shape her in Hathian? Will it become just another town on her tour or will it destroy her? Only time will tell.

May 1, 2022 at 3:19 am
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yva addens

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May 1, 2022 at 3:41 am
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May 6, 2022 at 9:46 am
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May 9, 2022 at 7:21 am
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May 11, 2022 at 8:11 am
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May 11, 2022 at 2:17 pm
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