Monthly Archives: July 2010

Astray

This is a selection of images I somehow was brought to as a natural consequence of my current state of mind.

Self Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Humming Bird, 1940

Ever since the first time I saw Frida Kahlo‘s paintings (long before that Hollywood movie, I might add) was I fascinated by the strength and pain depicted in the images she produced. If aching has a translation, here it is:

The Little Dear, 1946

Isn’t it striking how agony can be turned into an image even by the use of bright, vivid colors? The true genius of Kahlo lies in this ability in my humble opinion.

Then I  saw this picture:

Moose, by Ben Pier

It is like the animal had been caught wandering around the house. Or maybe it owns the place and the photographer just happened to be there. Wouldn’t that be an interesting perspective?

My mind is drifting today.

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thinking & existing

Having an opinion is something I treasure deeply.

I simply could not understand how so many people can live their lives without reflecting upon their experiences and on the world that surrounds us.

Then I read something that shed some light on the matter. In order to have an opinion, one must think. When you think hard, you start seeing things and then ideas begin to shape in one’s mind, which in turn create the need for expression. Expressing one’s conceptions can either please or annoy others, and I find it that most people are affected by opinions in the second way, being annoyed by them.

When someone presents us with a carefully conceived, whole-hearted felt idea, there’s no way to escape our own thoughts. One is forced to think and that is exactly what many people dread. Isn’t it easier just to follow the ideas from others? Isn’t it much less complicated to do what one is told and never question anything?

Fortunately, I disagree.

departure

I found out yesterday that a cat I loved very much died of unknown reasons.

I was devastated.

It is not too often that I get that attached to pets, but this one was special.

Hiro (2010) by Camilla Engman

Bye-bye, Zézi.

New worlds within our own

How can we sometimes be so wrong?

It is fascinating to see how much our perceptions of the world are biased. The inexistance of a neutral reality is something quite painful to be realized. Let us then use the pain to free us from our own misconceptions and maybe even learn to be more open and just see what happens without overanalyzing life.

Deep, isn’t it?

At moments like these, I thank the higher powers of the universe for creative minds such as Michel Gondry‘s:

New worlds to be seen.

Sooner rather than later

When I am struck by disappointment I either feel the need to go out and meet stimulating, interesting people (generally my friends) or I feel the need to seclude myself. The latter desire is my choice for today.

To accompany me in my isolation: new books, some DVDs (though I won’t see any of them) and as always, my most important refuge: music.

Tunes such as the ones by Minitel Rose are the perfect solace for me in a day like today:

I love so much French electronica, with all its taste for past sounds and soft voices. I still haven’t gotten over it.

On a second thought, there are other things I would rather get over. And soon.

(Via Valerie Collective)

Uncivil Brazil

Isn’t it good when Friday comes full of pleasant ideas and desires for the weekend? It’s wonderful to write about lovely things on this day – it’s like a nice preamble for the free hours to come.

Not this time, though.

Intolerance has hit me and I felt it was more meaningful to debate it rather than just ignoring facts, as so many people (myself included) so often do.

Situated somewhere along the line between disapproval, shame and utter disgust, intolerance is nevertheless present in most people’s everyday lives. Be it race, religion, opinion or sexual orientation, one is more often that not faced with feelings of unwelcomeness towards others. Perpretrators or sufferers, the dislike of someone else for their difference is something most humans have known in their lives.

Which brings me to me. Machismo and sexism thrive in Brazil, even though this is the year 2010, one might add. People are especially intolerant of gay men. Unfortunately, dressing stylishly almost equals being gay (straight men in Latin American countries dress horribly for the most part) and looking different equals being subject to people calling you offensive names in the street, because you are different.

Some months ago I decided to bleach my hair white, so that I now look something like this (styling by Robbie Spencer):

Picture by Ben Toms for AnotherMan X

Which means that I am stared at about every time I leave the house. Sure I’m quite pale and my hair is now white, but I only wish this was the only source of passers-by bewilderment. Their intolerance is the reason why I get called names (some garbage collectors called me a faggot and something else a minute ago).

Was I then brave to do it? No, I did it because I wanted to. I simply cannot bear the thought of bending my will to prejudice and uncivilness. I take a stand.

Deep down, I truly want to believe that by doing what I feel like doing, trying as hard as possible to dismiss these people’s intolerance as pure misconceptions, I will be able to influence others to do the same.

So the next generation will be more tolerant. If children grow up used to diversity, they are much less likely to unwelcome it.

Hopefully.

The North’s Ugly Face

More than half of Oslo’s criminals are foreigners” (Aftenposten, 07/21/2010)

This seemingly informative piece of news hides more xenophobia and prejudice than can be guessed.

I truly admire Nordic artists and think many aspects of Scandinavian culture are to be admired, but there is one thing that I could never accept: their racism.

Historically, Nordic nations have almost always been quite apart from other places. Cultural interchange was small and very concentrated in specific periods of time. Apparently, it was not until the late 80’s that immigration really began.

As most Europeans, Scandinavians feel threatened by other cultures. It is like their country will disappear if different people come. Thus it is quite a temptation to blame foreigners (who are easily identifiable given Nordic ethnic homogeneity) for most problems faced in these countries. As if culture was something chrystalized and impermeable.

Chronic xenophobia is the ugliest side of the Nordic countries and, although they try to fight it through different measures, it is still to be felt.

Just like I did, years ago.

Not all as pretty as it seems

Photo by lovely Swedish photographer Anna Ådén. (Nice flickr too)