Cancer fed on her breast. The same breast i fed on. What a wonder to behold: beauteous, statuesque mother.
ANTI TRUMP - DOCUMENTARY
July 2018, London
NO ENTRY. DUMP TRUMP.
On 10th July 2018 thousands rallied in Trafalgar Square (London) animated by a common anti-Trump sentiment whilst the American Head of State set foot in the UK.
THE HUNT - DOCUMENTARY
Verdun, Lorraine, France. January 2018
the buck deer hunt.
converging for the last hunt of the year the village farmers set out in the wet, flooded bush. Orange vests dotting the gray-green scenery. Damp dogs splashing about, sending volleys of yapping echoing across the fields and tree trunks.. Frenzied prey dashing here and there. Stealthy silhouettes emerging from behind the mossy stillness.
TURKEY - DOCUMENTARY
THE FLIP SIDE OF PARADISE
Goreme has been metamorphosed into a trope of modern tourism. The region has witnessed increased popularity among holidaymakers from Russia, Asia and the Middle East who have found Turkey — with its battered economy and cultural bounty — a newly affordable destination.
The steady pace of new visitors has kept the hotel industry in Turkey chugging along with hotels mushrooming everywhere. Goreme and Ushisar despite the beautiful tuff foundations have become a cluster of hotels.
The urban overhaul was particularly stark in Goreme: where neon lit panels are pinned on every wall, a host of Asian restaurants are established to pander to Easterns’ craving for a taste of home, with street vendors aggressively peddling counterfeit goods, laconic youth selling ice-cream and yelling “YOU SCREAM FOR ICE CREAM, ICE CREAM YOU SCREAM, YOU…", pots, kills, fruit juices, ceramics the shopping never stalls, the colonies of quads mounted by tourists of all stripes droning by…
The dreamy wonderland of hushed landlocked valleys frozen in time is a mirage. Goreme is a mutant. Early in the mornings or during the hot hours of the afternoon the city becomes a ghost town as tourist are shuttled to other touristy spots for shopping and leisure, or have taken refuge in spa rooms.
IRAN - TRAVEL DIARY
June 2018 - Tehran - Isfahan - Shiraz - Tabriz - Rasht - Urmeyia - Masouleh & the mountains.
Cant avoid thinking that there is this look of acknowledgement that is shot between women and i when our gazes meet - for a flickering second. We are in the know somehow- we re different in many visible & invisble ways, yet we remain women- alike and germane.Looks of envy, looks of contemplative admiration, looks of resentment etc….
black market on ferdowsi square: father did the shuttle between car and currency dealers
‘I hate hijab. I have no freedom’, hissed Neda, struggling to tuck her hair under the loose scarf.
New mosques are being built everywhere
Les automatismes- Bouche d’égout with wind blowing up, my instinct is not to hold down a flowy skirt but my hands instantly sweep to my billowing head scarf
‘Walnuts and apricot near Kandovan make babies intelligent’, preached Ali our self-proclaimed tour guide with twinkling eyes.
chasing the shade. Iranians flee the heat and don’t understand why tourists chase the sun.
Very interested to know more about our families and culture - Neda went around the room showing everyone my Iphone pictures
shocked at the fact that gardens are watered during the day. Under the scortching heat - half of it must evaporate. How harrowing...What loss, what a waste...Iranians arent educated on water management - seriously detrimental
Protests against water shortages in the south : villages are plagued with polluted water, murky muddy water, pipes are shut at midday. There is no water under Isfahan’s mythical bridges. Water disappeared a year ago some locals say.
Bread after mouthful of bread. Stuffed myself on bread to avoid hunger in a few hours actually until breakfast the next morning. Exemplifies the tenets of a 'diner du pauvre'
‘You are my only and best friend’, admitted Neda clenching my hand in a firm grip and locking her dark fearful gaze on me.
Iranian protest across the country and specificsllt in tehran against depreciation of iranian rial - dwindling economy
Protest take to the streets and grand bazaar shuts down.
Ate dinner by the Sib O Bridge : people milling around, congregate under the bridge galleries to smoke narguile sing dance play music - a meeting point for all & a place to socialise and entertain and get entertained
Twins dress alike- like exactly the same- in Iran
Lake used to be 145km long and 45 wide - shrunk since. Used to be islands in the middle over 200 - all disappeared. 0ver 40 dams block the water. South of iran truck loads of water are imported to villages sufferinf from water shortages - dried up
Wealthy iranians : ostentatious symbols (watches for men and big phones) (women: dyed hair in blonde, nails, handbags, jellewery)
3rd iranian that we encounter either went to Georgia for holidays or to create a business
Endless drive. Not a GPS culture
Rooms run out quickly and prices seem to escalte everytime Mohammed approaches someone. Now 2-3000000 irr
When merchants can’t give back change (ie 5 or 10 iRR) they give you sweets or chewing gum in exchange
‘2018 is the year of protest, a revolution is brimming’, clamoured a shawl vendor perched on his chair in Isfahan’s bazaar.
Inflation : 4 days ago 1e=79 000 IRR and now 83 000 IRR. when ze left it was over 100 000 IR.
I will sorely miss the indescribable 'violence' of the iran street life : astir, alive, writhing, clashing, reeling...
the hubbub the smell of grilled kebab, women s pungent perfume trailing behind them, the dusty hot air clawing at you, polluted frowsty air
'they are so different from us’, uttered a 10-year-old Tehran boy when he met us seated in a circle around a meal on his neighbours’ tattered Persian carpet.
Cabine of 6 : an elderly mother and her 32 yo son, young soldier with a enfeebled hand and a bright-eyed Tabriz locals desesperately tried to communicate with us
Watched World Cup on iphone
Offered to share bread and tuna tin can
Women click their tongues when dismayed or when they disagree
Impossible to maintain a balanced diet- repetitive menus becomes so tedious. Neighbour wont shake hands with me it is forbidden in islam to touch another woman than his wife.
police car extorting money from ever vehicle they pull over. The policeman curtly told Mohamed that ''my boss told me to stop wevery car and take money off of you' this absurb invalid unjustified toll was sheer racket. The men demanded 600 000irr. We were outraged
‘You are under our head now’, purred Muhammed, the Father who became our Iranian guardian & foster family. He said i was like a daughter to him. Etched in my heart are those words.
Electricity shortage: lights shut down, we continue eating in the dark
Kebab and eggplant - what else?
Starting to get fed up of same rice same kebab same eggplant stew same menu
Unit of measurement for inflation was the car price
Naturally had to pay to see the first panoramic view of Tehran
JAPAN - TRAVEL
AN EMPIRE OF SHADOWS
I came from the West, from brillance, and landed in the East in an Empire of Shadows. A kingdom with many shades. Betwixt light and darkness- life dwells in the dimness of a flickering shadow.
Kyoto unveiled its hidden wonders one by one. Surreptitiously, bashfully, like a girl undressing in the wavering candlelight. Loath was I at first to amble around a city so dark very dark, so very mute, so very petite as if stunted in its urban growth.
Where was its flamboyance? Its regality?
Yet I leant to see differently. Appreciate Kyoto’s idiosyncraties. A beauty unknown, pregnant with singular charms. So I gorged myself on every minute detail.
That is: sound and signs, the still and the moving, the body and the noise. Beyond language and its trappings another world of communication blossoms and requires to be tamed, tended to like a racked stone garden. The tangled undergrowth of Japanese customs, gestures and body language is truly elusive and wonderous. The swift shift of a hand, the discreet nod, the faint grunt, the low bow, the profuse thanking - a merry-go-round of encoded dialogues that still largely remain a mystery to me. In this series you’ll notice people turn their backs on me, deflecting their gaze, twisting their head sideways : am I not welcome?
Nevertheless, I presently came to observe beauty in this dark opacity of oblique silences and rejections. Beauty, in the interstices of a way of life that flows poetically within its mould of rigidity and codifications.
I began to comprehend, see and feel what Tanizaki painted in his ramblings about Japanese aesthetics: the darkness that hangs under the low eaves, the alternated dark patinas on the wooden temple doors, house facades, porches, the flaring amber of autumnal maple trees, the dampened radiance of the mosses’ emerald green, the pinnacle of a silver rock floating in the rippling grey-white gravel, the silky black mane of locals, the torn sequoia tree trunks bent, tipped in a halted fall in the forest’s inky atmosphere, the folded body of the ash-grey heron with eyes of gold in the twilight of the shrubbery and dancing river weeds, the yellow and green armoured spider dangling under the cherry trees’ nutritious shelter, the dimly lit backalleys where a moving mass of light - a cyclist- appears and vanishes like ghosts here and now, a flickering paper lantern suspended in mid air radiating its warm glow against the dark wooden panel door as a welcome in the night, the strutting ladies hiding their white faces from the white sun’s glare, the subdued light penetrating like a razor blade in the inside of a studio, the Darth-Vador looks of cyclists battered by the rain, the mossy sepulchral stone statues rooted on the mountain flanks, the darkening foot prints along the stone bridges, dark ink drooling off a fresh calligraphy, through a small bright aperture between two wooden planks: the sight of a tapestry artisan’s deep in slumber, coiled up in thick duvets,…
The magic realism of Japan and the clair-obscure of photography allowed me to engineer somewhat of an alternative reality here. Outside of the normal now- well at least outside my normality, the norm that is Paris. I played with reality and tried to trick myself into seeing little wonders at ever corner of a street. Things don’t have to be the way they are, don’t always have to be the way they are seen. I wanted to step into a world where mysteries lurked in the shades.
recommended soundtrack to listen to when browsing through the series : GHOST IN THE SHELL by K. KAWAI
LEBANON - TRAVEL
A week roaming around the dusty & vibrant capital -where religion and military are omnipresent, venturing into the Christian, olive-tree populated Quadisha valley, discovering the ancient city of Byblos, and the life along the city's waterfronts.....
ROMANIA - TRAVEL
Hot and colourful.
A country of contrasts and paradoxes. A road trip through Transylvania. where flowers, religious opulence, centuries-old German and Hungarian fortified churches, and blue-black buffaloes live side by side.
MEXICO - TRAVEL
I cannot forget the many blues of Mexico. Blue, a soothing, nourishing, calming presence: a colour of life. It is warm- it is blue like an orange, as Eluard would say. From Casa Azul to the oceans flanking its strip of land connecting one continent to the other, blue is a mighty colour in Mexico. A saintly, divine colour too. A Christian blue for the robes Madonnas’ don.
So my trip was tainted with blue hues. As I dipped my toe in the salty waters, the aqua-marine waves lapping my feet. As my fingers sank into the blue paste of a baked corn tortillas. As the marshy origins of Mexico City were reminisced. As Chacahua’s way of living around the laguna plunged us into a time-warp - an otherworldly blue.
O’ the Mexican blues.
poop project - ABSTRACT
'Tu m'as donné ta boue, et j'en ai fait de l'or' - Baudelaire
Goose excrement festoon the streets and pavements of York so I decided to take on this project.
Prompted at first by a word play with my family name I decided to turn filth upside down, elevate it to the sublime. What we oversee and neglect until we step right onto it and insult shit by it's now comes to prominence. From an unnoticed, status to that of a tableau. The infestinimal comes centerstage.