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  • Writer's picturetanaka simonsen

Seizing the essence of nostalgia while transcending stereotypes: a soulful wandering with Julia Tran

Updated: May 29, 2023

In the vibrant mecca of Naarm, Julia Tran, a brilliant film photographer, effortlessly captures the essence of nostalgia through her lens. From her teenage years, Julia has been on a mission to freeze moments that embody her growth and youthful spirit. Through her project, Youth.On Film, she beautifully preserves cherished memories, making us yearn for the past while cherishing the present.


Julia Tran, she/her


Embarking on a Journey of Discovery

Reminiscing about her early years, Julia shares how she stumbled into film photography during her rebellious teenage phase. It became a way for her to capture the whirlwind of youth and document her coming-of-age adventures. Starting off with local gigs featuring her favorite Melbourne bands, she explored different techniques and styles, falling deeper in love with film photography along the way.



Youth.On Film: The Gateway to Nostalgia

At the tender age of 16, Julia launched Youth.On Film, an enchanting project aimed at preserving her most cherished memories. It became her personal time capsule, a visual diary that evoked feelings of homesickness and a longing to be forever 16.


Through each click of the shutter, Julia encapsulates the magic of fleeting moments that evoke a profound sense of nostalgia.


Drawing Inspiration from the Masters

Throughout her artistic journey, Julia found inspiration in the works of Brook McKeon, an artist with an uncanny ability to capture nostalgia in its purest form.


McKeon's artistry showcased the transformative power of imagery, inspiring Julia to transport viewers to a realm where words fall short but emotions soar. This revelation fueled her determination to create visuals that touch the depths of the soul.


Breaking Stereotypes and Celebrating Diversity:

As a person of Vietnamese heritage, Julia has faced her fair share of stereotypes and casual racism. She candidly recounts the moments when she was mistaken for Chinese or Japanese, emphasizing the need for change. Growing up, she encountered stereotypes and prejudice that minimized who she truly was. This fueled her drive to challenge these narratives and advocate for greater recognition of diverse artists, particularly those from underrepresented backgrounds.


Embracing Pride and Shaping the Future

With an undeniable sense of pride, Julia confidently asserts her satisfaction with the artist she has become and the journey she is still on. She hopes to see the artistic scene continue to evolve, embracing diversity and providing a platform for a wider range of artists to shine. Her vision extends beyond personal success, as she aims for a future where artists from all walks of life can thrive and their stories can be celebrated.


Julia Tran's artistic voyage as a film photographer is a testament to the captivating power of nostalgia and the importance of celebrating diversity. Through her heartfelt imagery, she invites viewers to revisit their own cherished memories. Simultaneously, her impassioned advocacy for the recognition and upliftment of artists from underrepresented backgrounds inspires positive change within the artistic community. As she continues to evolve, Julia's work serves as a delightful reminder of the magic that lies within preserving moments and defying stereotypes.




To stay involved with Youth.On Film and Julia's photography, follow her @juliaetran on Instagram


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