At the Fifth International Festival of Peruvian Cajón
It is followed by what you may call a rant concerning the minimal turnout of Blacks and Morenos.
I choose to call it a considered analysis.
Monday, April 16, 2012
Wednesday, November 09, 2011
Friday, November 04, 2011
Wednesday, November 02, 2011
Sunday, April 10, 2011
Beauty and the Beast. Guess who is who?
I was about 45 minutes early for the post office and she was sitting there repairing a cloth object that fell off her purse. We chatted about many things, including God. I was afraid that when I told her I wasn't a Christian that I had missed my chance for a picture. But she agreed.
Such a beautiful disposition, a bottomless supply of wide smiles, and far better at taking self-portraits of two people than I will ever be.
[25 May 2009]
Let's agree to not call this a stitch. But still, I wanted to share this with you. I shot this by poking my camera through a fence, from quite a distance. But I am not telling you this as an excuse for having done a shoddy job. If you could see this the way I saw it, we'd agree that the concept and execution are without parallel in the class of the macabre. I cannot tell if it is all blood, but I know it is not all wine.
[10 August 2010]
This city was a big challenge for me. First, I couldn't find the hostel for which I was searching, but a generous woman took me to her place, consulted her husband, and I spent the next four days with them. He gave me his bed, because I think the floor was better for his back.
Then I ran out of money. You don't want to run out of money in Cuba because your credit card is worth nothing, and, thanks to a US 50-year-old embargo against the island, you cannot call home either because no agency will send the money. Running out of money in my travels is something that has happened too often: in Sao Paulo, in Beijing, in Cuba about 4 times. As a matter of fact, returning home from the carnival in Salvador, Brasil, I was allowed to leave the airport without paying the airport tax. And I am sure there were many other countries but they escape my memory at the moment.
[28 June 2007]
She saw me outside in the street shooting graffiti. Turns out there were some fine graffiti in her building. She invited me in, and offered others and myself some wonderful coffee.
[26 May 2009]
My guardian angels and I at the Osasco station, São Paulo. The one at left never left my side from Palmeiras, insisted that I sit, while she stood, and tried our best to communicate. She has a beautiful name, which I promptly forgot.
[16 August 2010]
Tuesday, April 05, 2011
A woman offered to take my picture and here I am, the spray from the Victoria Falls providing background. I have learned to accept just about all offers to take my picture. In Manaus, Brasil, last year, I declined to have my photo taken. And for no damn good reason.
Here, after I visited the falls and returned totally soaked, even my prized $2 pair of shorts which I had purchased in town.
At least, in this eastern cataract, the Victoria Falls swoop down in a narrow space. Consequently, it sends sprays up which, in some sections, fall as rain.
Today (24 Feb), I leave for the town of Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe to check out the view from their side. Then head to Bulawayo by train, which I hear is quite harrowing. Not as genteel as the good, old days. I already have a contact in Bulawayo, a Jamaican. Then I head east to Masvingo where I will visit the ruins known as Great Zimbabwe, which are so incredible that historians have proclaimed that black folks could never have made them. Must have been beings from outer space.
Plan is to then head to the capital, Harare, to fly to Durban, South Africa, on my way to Cape Town.
Jamaica is huge in Zimbabwe and Bob Marley's song Zimbabwe is a big part of that fact. Every time he saw me he would greet me with the ultimate Jamaican greeting: "Wa'a gwan?" I liked him a lot. He was trying to sell me something but never, ever pushed, never the hard sell that you find in Maputo, Mozambique. Finally, it was I who hunted him down to get the two pieces of sculpture. The day I left for Bulawayo, a major city south of Victoria Falls. If memory serves, a 12-hour train ride, arriving around 8 AM.
A Falko - in a laundromat at the corner of Green and Keerom Streets.
I was walking and saw a Falko on a van. I struggled to get my camera out of the case around my waist. It took me a while to extricate as I saw the light change and the van head off. You simply cannot get them all.
She caught me on my third "stolen" moment. It was too obvious that I was pointing at her and not the plants. She laughed and I walked over and told her she was so beautiful I couldn't help it. I think she said it was freaky, but she was fine with it. Since I had "stolen" three, I had planned to ask her permission to take three more, but, minutes later, she walked the other way. It would've been too freaky to pursue her for that portrait that I had wanted. So I simply watched her as she walked away with her girlfriend.
About five days ago (20 March 2011), I accompanied two friends on a brief tour of some graffiti sites during which I took quick shots because I know they had planned to paint as well. Kyle cautioned me about going down an alley.
Way out of the city, we got to a sort of playground with graffiti on it walls. Kyle went to a house but they declined to have him use their wall. A second resident gave him the OK. We returned to the car and lugged about 30 paint cans, white paint, some fruit and one mask. I helped to prepare the wall by painting about 20 square feet. Then, for the next three hours I photographed their progress.
When Kyle finished his, I noticed him writing: Yo: Patric Barry Barr
It was funny and amazing that, after relentlessly photographing graffiti since 2001, here I was being accorded some recognition.
During the work, which took three hours, two policemen approached us and asked about the work. The head cop said they had received at least 20 calls from residents complaining about vandals defacing the wall. (At last, the vandal side of me has been recognized!) My main man told him he had permission from the owner and the cop and himself took a walk. The woman concurred.
When the cops were returning, I asked them what they thought of the work. They approved and stopped to decifer the letters in the art, which is not always an easy task.
Speaking of decifering the letters, yesterday (25 March 2011), I was on my way, walking through Company's Garden*, to see a play, Broken Glass, by the late playwright and late husband of the late Marilyn Monroe, Arthur Miller. At the museum, I went to re-check the four pieces of graffiti that I had observed and photographed about nine days ago. I was re-checking because when I returned two days after the four pieces went up, I saw that one had already been replaced, and two, which I thought were finished when I left, were actually now completely finished and three schoolgirls, in their green uniforms and about 13-14 I would guess, were trying to figure out the letters in one.
I helped them figure it out and told them it was done by a woman who signs as LARD. We discussed the other that was replaced and I showed them what the original looked like.
We probably talked for about 45 minutes and the conversation ranged widely, even including religion. They were all very pleasant and one, who was one year in school ahead of her two friends, was particularly precocious. I never took pictures because am usually wary of doing so with young girls. The precocious one says she is into art and took my Flickr address when I told her I was into graffiti in a big way.
I said my goodbyes and left to find The Fugard Theater. I stopped to enqure as I walked along and with half an hour to go, decided to take a cab, otherwise I could have arrived late and sweaty.
At the intermission, I was leaving to stretch my legs, when a woman in the back row called to me and reminded me that we had met the night before when I went to see an African play called Burnt. As I have written elsewhere, during our conversation the night before, she suddenly introduced me to three young women. I had thought she did so because a special person, a man, had arrived and she thought better of us being together. But she told me yesterday that she did so because she had some work to do. I totally understand.
*I haven't researched nor enquired, but I am of the opinion that "Company" is short for East India Company, Great Britain's colonial arm that ruled much of the world. Do the research.
Edit: I also need to do the research because I believe there were two "Companys" -- The Dutch and the British East India Company.
Had I gone to Table Mountain as I had planned, I would never have met her.
Invariably, when I travel, I never plan. So I am often totally uninformed. About Table Mountain, all I knew was that wherever I went in Cape Town, I could see it. So, when I announced yesterday afternoon, that I was going to walk to the cable car, two staff members at the hostel were shocked. It is far, they told me. You need to get a cab. It will cost about 40 Rands. This time, I had the money but I wasn't in the mood to spend that money ($6).
Instead, I took a walk to a park on Queen Victoria Street. As I arrived at the On Orange Hotel (on Orange Street, that is), I saw about eight costumed women and one man, enter the terrace of the hotel, with a photographer and his assistant. On cue, I started taking shots, even before they were assembled.
The woman in the photo asked me if I would like a photo. Of course, but that was what I was already doing. So I shot for about ten minutes or so, from the background of course, being sure to not get in the way.
After the shoot, I stood at street level, at the bottom of the steps. She spoke to the photographer's assistant and I believe he didn't agree with her. However, she came to me, took my camera and handed it to him.
For the first shot, I posed, looking at her, as if paying a compliment. She instructed him to take another shot and that shot was for us.
I thanked her and left.
Athough I told her that my duffel bag was heavy, that's the one she took. She took me to the room and waited until I selected a bed. I can tell that she has a wry sense of humour even though she expresses it in another language. She does treat me as if she were a loving daughter. When I head to the kitchen to wash my plates or cups, she will intercept me and no matter what I say, I have to give in because she stands her ground. She's my other "daughter."
I just picked up a book with the front cover missing. Graham Greene's A Gun for Sale, which once belonged to Ruth Shepherd and H. Eruns. There is no way of knowing who owned it first. I bought it in Prague on 4/11/2001. It was published by Heinemann in 1936, by Penguin in 1963 and reprinted in 1965. I have yet to read it.
On second inspection, however, since I write day/month/year, it has to be 4 November 2001 rather than April 11, 2001.
I also just found the cover neatly snuggled between pages 182 and 183.
It's now on my reading list!