Monday, April 7, 2014

Funerals

With three funerals in a short time, I didn't quite get to my blog. First was my mother, after 10 years of dementia it was a good thing that she slipped quietly away during the night. My parents being catholic, an intimate service was held in the small church of Overbrook. The pastor's openness for other believers or non-believers was refreshing. Then the father of a close friend passed away. A civil service in a huge crematorium. The woman who lead the memorial did a great job. The fun loving side of him was brought out, his jokes and yes, I too remember the twinkle in his eyes, his kindness. Yet I felt dwarfed by the size of the hall, the coldness of of the marble... It was good later to return Daisy's father's ashes to the earth in the old cemetery of Stekene... Closeness and togetherness. The third funeral was a friend of mine Lydia. She never found the road back to life after her husband Hugo died. They had done everything together, were a great couple, dancing tango, traveling, sharing their humanistic beliefs. This service too was in a Crematorium. It is situated in the beautiful setting of the graveyard of Schoonselhof, Antwerp. Here, her friends spoke about her life, her ideals, her philanthropic work, her son Wim spoke movingly about his mam. They had recently been to London together and had had a good, happy time. This kind of memories will sustain him during a difficult period. Sometimes death comes too soon, sometimes death would have been welcomed earlier, sometimes death is a choice. All kinds hurt even when one knows it was welcomed. Each funeral adding to the load and grief of the others...

So, don't forget to live and cherish your loved ones. Celebrate life.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Maono II - The video clip

This video clip was made with the participants of last years Maono project. Enjoy the music and dance, the energy and fun of it.
 The clip will be premiered tonight  at the Pitcha Art Center in Lubumbashi.


Ouai (ouai), Imagine (imagine)
C’est Lubumpapé (c’est Lubumpapé)
Ouai, Junior, Sarah, on y va !

Si seulement tout le monde pouvais penser comme moi de l’avenir de se monde,
Un avenir ou missiles et bombes n’est pas synonyme de la destruction d’une vie humaine,
Mais plutôt une façon de permettre à ce que tout le monde sois de bonne humeur,
Moi je rêve que demain sois une vie meilleure,
Une vie où le verbe ETRE ne se conjugue qu’à la première personne du plurielle,
Une vie où a Touva sa ne se joue pas autour est ailleurs,
Une vie comme les Etas-unies
Où l’amour pouvais rester le seul lien au quel tous devons être unies,

Tu sais en tant qu’artiste le pouvoir de changer se monde est à travers mon imagination,
Dans ma tête il est juste question d’un monde sans discrimination,
Un monde où chaque enfant a droit à l’éducation et à la bonne nutrition,
Moi j’ai male quand on parles de la place des privilégier et de mos privilégier de si ardant villageois,
Moi je rêve d’un monde où elle n’est pas morte la joie

Dans l’autre vie où les hommes et les femmes,
On tous le mêmes droits,
IMAGINE
Pas dans se monde où il n’y a pas de crie d’alarme,
Que des hors la loi,
IMAGINE

Dans l’autre vie où les hommes et les femmes,
On tous le mêmes droits,
IMAGINE
Pas dans se monde où il n’y a pas de crie d’alarme,
Que des hors la loi,
IMAGINE

L’avenir est la meilleure couleur de la vie,
Alors quoi de plus simple que de le bâtir,
C’est avenir qui fais le tour de mon cœur,
D’une couvé d’aurore que j’ai toujours sous la paye des astres,
Et tout le sang de mon cœur coule dans le regard de cette avenir,
Pour nous, l’avenir ne sera jamais un mots,
Mais quelque chose qui remplacera tout.

Dans l’autre vie où les hommes et les femmes,
On tous le mêmes droits,
IMAGINE
Pas dans se monde où il n’y a pas de crie d’alarme,
Que des hors la loi,
IMAGINE


Dans l’autre vie où les hommes et les femmes,
On tous le mêmes droits,
IMAGINE
Pas dans se monde où il n’y a pas de crie d’alarme,
Que des hors la loi,
IMAGINE

Avec le njala dans mon ventre  moi, je gratte le papier,
Dans ce monde il y a  tout le monde qui est sans papier,
Des mamans bien habillée qui vendent des paniers,
Plein de tune dans ma poche, je veux pas partager,
Yoka nga na lingala, nazo teka makala,
Mokili maneno, soki ozangi makuta
Article 15, tout le monde se  débrouille,
Et on saute tous comme des grenouilles,
La religion amène vers la distraction,
Télé, vidéo, que des destruction,
Pour sauver les mines ils sont prés a mettre des milliards,
Mais le peuple souffre par cette bandes pillards,
Mais papa me dit Junior,
Y'a beaucoup de choses que j'ignore,
Imagine, que j'imagine, un monde qui ne tourne pas comme  une machine

Dans l’autre vie où les hommes et les femmes,
On tous le mêmes droits,
IMAGINE
Pas dans se monde où il n’y a pas de crie d’alarme,
Que des hors la loi,
IMAGINE

Dans l’autre vie où les hommes et les femmes,
On tous le mêmes droits,
IMAGINE
Pas dans se monde où il n’y a pas de crie d’alarme,
Que des hors la loi,
IMAGINE

Texte des rappeurs.... This is the rappers text. Give me some time and I'll post it in English as well

Enjoy! Congratulations to all involved. Congratulations to Maono 2013! And now fresh energy for Maono 2014

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Maono-Vision


Maono, Swahili for vision, is an exchange project with Belgian young students and Congolese students and artists. The focus of the work is about visions and images of futures. A road book was developed by future researcher Maya Van Leemput. See/hear a radio interview at: http://vimeo.com/77329367. Seen the images are important in this project Bram Goots photographer is an essential part of the team. Six weeks this years, the first two week to conduct workshops for the African participants and to work with the artists. The Belgian students had their preparation in Brussels Belgium. The results of the last two years of Maono have been real good writings, paintings and two music clips and some really neat road books... The first year this was the clip. Internet in Congo is shaky, thus working isn't alway easy. This year they are there for the first time during the rainy season and thus Congo is really green. Rainy season also means it is 5°C or 41°F warmer than last year and that there are a lot more mosquitoes. Thus malaria pills, anti mosquito sticks and the impregnated net over the bed. When there is relevant news, I'll keep you informed.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

No thanks, no nuclear energy.

The German newspaper "Die Tageszeitung" (TAZ) has organized a nice action. They gave away 1000 flags with the text and classical image: Atomkraft nein Danke. All they asked was that people would fly the flag or show it in their window, or wherever it would be highly visible. It is the day of the catastrophe of Fukushima, a day which is made special by this action with its poignant message. I guess  you are all aware that the nuclear water is arriving at Canada's west coast... these days. This is a picture taken at Doel, where you can walk up to the old plant which has fine hare cracks in its reactor vats. I can see it from my window. If something happens over a million people will be in the first wave of radioactivity getting out. And evacuation will be difficult since on normal days the ring around Antwerp is usually totally stuck.

We need to think about longterm Futures and, being a linguist, I have been wondering how to warn the future generations about the dangers of no longer used nuclear plants and the unsafe deposits of nuclear waste. What language will they understand. So I wrote this poem:

-->
The long now

the long now
10.000 years
who can then
read this
understand
the symbol

who knows then
looking
for the cause
of double timing halftime
short selling
of what how long
then still
has to come
now
10.000
years from now
the late burden
of moot mushrooms
and fantasies of fission

we all live
in the halftime
of the long
now -

Nuclear energy no thanks
Nuclear weapons no thanks

Old nuclear plants, like the one in Antwerp and Tihange are kept open longer in Europe, they all should be decommissioned and their nuclear waste be put away in the safest possible way.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

RuhrKunstOrt - Horst Weichbrodt-


The opening of  the show by Horst started with an interview for the local media, relaxed, everybody knows each other except me who is trying to figure out the relationships, the qualities of of each and everyone. Horst had asked not to ave a formal introduction to his  art but to read a few poems written by Native Americans. So Trevino Brings Plenty was heard, and also Sherman Alexie and MariJo Moore.
Horst sculpting is based on found objects, material along the banks of the Rhine or the Ruhr. He said: I work with cheap materials. yes, it is a kind of Arte Povera. The light effects in his work stem from incorporating glass marbles.
 Sometimes the sculptures light is in one tone, sometimes the marbles are multicolored. Of course besides the poetry not only read in English but also in the German translation by Fred Schywek, there were didgeridoo players, really fun and a Kurdish trio and of course good musicians then tend to jam together: a extra treat. The audience would spill out on the sidewalk and look in... My favorite piece is the Crow.




Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Johan de Boose interviews Lucienne Stassaert

 This post is a little late, almost a week after the facts. As an interviewer of writers Johan de Boose is just great. He researches thoroughly and digs up interesting information. I remember it happened when he interviewed Marleen De Crée and now again with the interview with Lucienne Stassaert. I have known both authors for a very long time and yet he managed to surprise me. He reads thoroughly, and asks sometimes difficult questions. Of course the bio is dealt with: Lucienne started out as a musician, even participated in the Queen Elizabeth Competition. Yet it was her fathers dream, not her dream. She gave concerts till in the late sixties and then gave her piano to her daughter who is a singer accompanying herself on the piano. Lucienne now paints and writes prose, wrote radio plays, she translates and writes mainly poetry. 

As Dickinson would say:

I dwell in Possibility -                                                                                  
A fairer house than Prose -

Currently she is working on her memories...
In Lucienne a poem will usually come about because of a word she found, a word which opens the possibility of saying something new, or in a new way. Very often after the first poem a second poem will come and it might even turn into a cycle of poems, or even a whole book. She was part and parcel of several literary movements like Labris, yet she distanced herself from those, being too much of a rebel, of an individualist. With age comes more and more introspection and also loss. A poem in my translation from her last book: Nabloei 

I'll quarantine death
now the bleakness of a new season
robs the light of its overtones
when in the night a blackened child
closes off the crossroads where the past thrives.

So life, reckless as an endangered spring,
can shoot up in a wild bush
in all nerve knots
I give free passage to the word
raging in seas a self-lighting sea.






Monday, February 24, 2014

Syrian dancers

Years ago my kids went on a long trip which also brought them to Syria. Their means of transport were two recumbent bicycles. Then, having a knee problem, my daughter stayed on in Aleppo on her own, totally safe and when the time had come, she went by buss with her stuff to Damascus and they all were reunited again. Once in Damascus they interviewed a few people. People, with whom they stayed in touch. The young people interviewed were hip hop dancers, moon walkers, dance instructors and such, also human rights advocates. Nidal made it to Belgium, a great dancer. Jihad is a master chocolate maker trained in Dubai, now learning to make Belgian chocolate. Naser who ran the dancing school, had reached his sister in Austria and worrying about their mother returned to Damascus to go and get his mother. A young man who never touched a gun in this conflict, has family values and was cherished by those who knew him. The sad story is that he got killed in Damascus. We don't know what happened to his mother... This war isn't far away. If you visited the country, seen the antique places, talked to people, made friends then it feels as if that war is on our doorsteps... The horror, the horror of war we can't imagine. Feel it in the loss of this young man.