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This afternoon I found a combination of the moon and the newest architecture in Den Haag and some of the oldest:


Then I turned around and saw these eleven anodized aluminum portrait displays, they're arranged in a circle -- and I caught a real live Department of Justice Ministry Worker on her way home:

She has a light beside her on her L and is hurrying for the tram.

Haven't figured out yet why this follows me around. Here were a group of 22 b+w portraits taken by Anne Paq, who's based in Paris and lived in Bethlehem for awhile. She went into several political refugee camps in the West Bank, one of them was Aida Camp, where one of the two theatre groups I'm supporting over there has their school. [The other one is in Anna's hometown.] The exhibit title is "Palestinians have already waited for justice for sixty years."

That depends, of course, whose definition of justice you are using and whose telescopic rifle sights you are staring down through.

The portraits are of pairs of relatives, almost all young kids and their own grandparents. The age gaps are around 60 years, to unify the theme of the exhibit. I have been in Aida Camp and gone to rehearsal and toured the area with Salam, one of the actresses / teachers. I was struck by the contrast between the kingdom worker, free to go where she pleased, and the people whose faces I was looking into, who are hemmed in by checkpoints and sniper towers and poverty because so many are separated from their jobs.

It had been raining and the exhibit frames are done in heavy plastic which reflects, but I tried a couple of closeups:

This is Fatima age 11 and her grandmother, with reflections around them of the other large picture frames in the plein and of some of the evening lights beginning to come on. Beyond the R edge of the frame is a bike and some cars, whose drivers tonight will have no trouble with army checkpoints and identity cards at all. The frames began to look to me like a kind of prison, defining space by metal where the faces were ordered to stay, while I and government workers could walk around or wait or go or go and come again ...

I wanted to see if I could put a couple of orange lights in Fatima's hair and I even got a window reflection to her R, thanks to the clear plastic. I wiped away some of the beads of rain but drops are still there despite her smile.


It's the kids who suffer. You should go pick up Gillian Laub's book "Testimony", which is one of the two I gave Kiota last Chanukah, published by Aperture. It is a brilliant series of photographs of Israeli citizens who have been injured in the ongoing wars. Bullets and bombs are equal-opportunity lifechangers. As long as the Palestinian "government" swears to kill all the Israelis and drive them back into the sea, and has taken many steps to do just that, these hatreds will go on and on and on.

The kids on both sides just want a place to play. And to live. Not just one more day, but maybe even for a long life? Too much to ask?

And they smile on, in the middle of the plaza in front of the Kingdom Department of Justice. They will all be staying there until someone comes to take them away. Another point made by Anne Paq.

In other news, I am not just trekking around taking photos; got some job leads to follow up on, there seems to be interesting things developing around the idea of Work Permits: can somebody not from the European Union even get a job here at all?

Brad's immersion education. Also including DANK JE WEL ["thank you"] and ALSTUBLIEFT ["you're welcome"]. When I got onto the tram I told the driver in my best Dutch where I wanted to go and he said, in English, "Where is it? I don't know where that is."


Does not rhyme with "phooey". It's pronounced SPOH, Spui Zentrum is where the City of Den Haag City Hall is, so now both the driver and I know. Employment agency and Kingdom Help offices right there too.

I can't slur stuff like this or I would wind up in Prague or Tallinn or somewhere.

DANK JE WEL for reading meeee !!

ps VLUCHTELINGEN = "refugees" in Engels. Here Anne refers to political ones.


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Dec. 12th, 2008 06:17 am (UTC)
Den Haag, then, not Delft. (I probably spelled that wrong.)

For some reason, I was thinking about how even here you've found Israel, literally in the middle of the town square. And how everything comes full circle for all of us, how stuff in our lives finds us and follows us and we're faced with it in town squares or wherever we find ourselves.

I don't know why I'm on this jag or what I'm trying to say exactly; it's like I've got this half-realized concept trying to come out. How about this: the circle of our whole lives and everyone in it is always united in us, wherever we are. That we carry ourselves around and all the people who are a part of us or were, whether we remember them or not.

I'll have to think that one over, but I think that's right. Your lessons will find you. You will find you. You are never alone.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )


kiota too late for the stars
Moonfire Marion Bridge / Brad

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