Filed under: unseen world | Tags: dispossession, France, Greece, Joakim Eskildsen, photography, Roma, Russia
Sophien St. Jacques
The Roma Journies, images of Roma from France, Greece and Russia by photographer Joakim Eskildsen
The four nails
The legend says:
Four nails were forged
to make the Redeemer die.
They were seen by a daughter of the wind
who passed across the hill
in her travels through the streets of the world.
Just one she took away,
so the soldier didn’t notice.
And thus He was crucified
with three nails only.
The fourth nail joined the suffering of the Sinti to the Redeemer.
The legend says.
Spatzo, Roma poet
Filed under: departure lounge
We always hear the advantages of heteroculture. Here is another view: that to know another place significantly is to not be fully vested in this one.
Many years later when I was studying at the University of Kong – linguistics to be precise, after I’d studied Chinese, after I’d studied Russian and French, trying on languages like so many dresses – I came across a theory claiming that bilingualism can hurt you. This was not one of those theories about the educational process or the capacities of the brain. It was a slender little monograph, not particularly well written, which claimed that in operating as two distinct personalities with two distinct tongues, a bicultural person will be highly suspect to those who have only one culture. The bicultural person seems so thoroughly one way in one language, so thoroughly different in another. Only an imposter would hide that other half so well. A liar.
–Marie Arana, “American Chica” Unrooted Childhoods, Intercultural Press
Filed under: brave new world | Tags: america, boredom, idle rich, nomad, rich, settled, travel
Lewis Lapham writes about the nomad and the settled. The nomad thinks about himself and not much else; the settled develops systems of thought and begins to see beyond himself. When they travel, the idle rich are like nomads: they have a vague stupid apprehension of the world around them.
“If he can afford the price of the ticket, the nomad comes and goes with the seasons of his desire. He has neither the time nor the inclination to think very much about the people standing by the wayside. The settled townsman makes art, science and law; of necessity he must understand something other than himself. The nomad merely gathers together his tent, his music and his animals, and wanders over the mountain in search of next year’s greening of America.
Transported from place to place at high speeds, suspended in a state of dynamic passivity, the American equestrian classes devote themselves to questions of technique and the relief of boredom. They can concentrate their attention on the logistics of going to Pasedena for the Super Bowl or to Japan for the cherry blossoms, or the ceaseless repetition of gossip and description of scene. But when, after prodigious labor, they find themselves on the fifty-yard line or standing under the trees in Kyoto, they can think of nothing to say. They have no idea of what any of it means, only that it is there and somehow very, very important, or very, very glamorous or very, very sad.”
Filed under: brave new world | Tags: car, carapace, landscape, machine, speed, train, traveling
A carapace is a protective outer covering like on a turtle or an airstream. Here is a description of how the traditional tangible relationship between people and their landscapes is radically changed. In cars, at higher speeds, for longer spells we gamble away the tangible for a remote gaze.
The landscape is a dynamic place shaped by natural forces that is culturally processed and refined by human action. It is both a container for humans and an object contained in human life that can be used and modified. Traditionally human cultural factors shape landscape and vice-versa: peoples inhabiting and gazing at this same landscape shape their own culture accordingly.
Nowadays however there is a radical change in this ‘traditional’, tangible relationship. In a society that is becoming increasingly mobile, more and more people belong to a new category: they are temporary inhabitants. They travel further, more often, sealed-off and at higher speed than ever before; they are those who do not inhabit land but commute through it and perceive it on the move when transported in high-speed ‘capsules’; those who do not fully engage their senses in the landscape experience but reduce the ‘physical’ interaction to a remote gaze; those at last, who have no roots in the landscapes they traverse.
In his book “The practice of everyday life” (1984) Michel de Certeau refers to this state as ‘traveling incarceration; immobile inside the train, seeing immobile things slip by’. It is only the machine (the train) that is in fact moving. But this movement causes a complete new vision of the world outside.
Filed under: unseen world | Tags: art, criticism, Francis Bacon, life, painting, violence
Francis Bacon made difficult paintings, and beautiful. They shake to the core because he is talking about the unearthed. This is about his method. The painting is the medium by which the artist returns the onlooker to life, violently. So we are dead until the image resuscitates us.
In the way I work I don’t in fact know very often what the paint will do, and it does many things which are very much better than I could make it do. Is that an accident? Perhaps one could say it’s not an accident, because it becomes a selective process which part of this accident one chooses to preserve. One is attempting, of course, to keep the vitality of the accident and yet preserve a continuity … What has never yet been analyzed is why this particular way of painting is more poignant than illustration. I suppose because it has a life completely of its own. It lives on its own, like the image one’s trying to trap; it lives on its own, and therefore transfers the essence of the image more poignantly. So that the artist may be able to open up or rather, should I say, unlock the valves of feeling and therefore return the onlooker to life more violently … There is a possibility that you get through this accidental thing something much more profound than what you really wanted.”
This map shows the bias broadcast by the American media in February of 2007. America and Iraq are the only things worth covering apparently. America had 79% of coverage; India, China and Russia, with over 2 billion people, had 1%. Bestest media in the world!