dinsdag 19 juni 2007

This subject needs attention

Nog even over mijn bezoek aan het Flevopark, censuur en waar een foto toe kan leiden.
Onder deze foto ontstond een interessante dialoog tussen mij en een vrouw die zichzelf Homa noemt.
Homa wil anoniem blijven, omdat zij een verleden heeft.
Dit verleden speelt zich af in een streng islamitish land.
De dialoog heb ik op haar verzoek verwijderd van de Flickr, maar mag gepubliceerd worden op dit werklog. Haar foto-profiel blijft op deze manier geheim.

You may use all parts of my comments in your worklog.
This subject needs attention.
I do appreciate the anonymity, not because I am a coward, but because I do need to be very careful about 'how' I say what I mean.
You may introduce me as something like:
Homa is a 37 year old bi-sexual woman. She is an academic of Middle Eastern origin who has lived and been educated on three different continents (Asia, America, Europe); hence she is a bit fucked up in the head... but then: aren't we all!?

Tegenwoordig reist Homa veel en leeft soms gedurende enkele weken in verschillende steden, waaronder Amsterdam, Londen, Berlijn en Parijs.
Volgt hier de ongekuiste versie van een gesprek dat nooit plaatsvond...

This is one of the things that really surprises me about Amsterdam; the very high percentage of non-integrated foreigners!

That's true Homa.
It's amazing.
The moments of contact are rare, or come with violence or suspicion.
In this park (non intergrated) foreigners come together, organise hugh barbeque-sessions, show their familylife, sport or just gather.
Sometimes I think Dutch people are secretly jalous about this phenomen.
They don't know how to gather anymore, in a natural, non-commerical way.
Mixed up in their individualistic ego-thing etc.

These "(non integrated) foreigners" come together since many of them (Turks, Moroccans, etc) lead very (extended) family-oriented lifestyles. There is a strong sense of tribalism and co-dependency which inhibit them from stepping outside their immediate cultural surroundings, which in turn prevents them from integrating in the indigenous culture...and very seriously stunts their individual and hence collective growth!
Sorry about this long comment; you are welcome to erase it after you have read.
I am just quite sensitive to this issue!

I see.
But does it inspire you in a way?
For its complexity?

Inspire? It infuriates me Bert! I am a recovering tribal run-away!
Also, you need to bear in mind that as a woman my outlook is different anyway.
I have to say that I was appalled by all those Turkish and Moroccan teahouses in Amsterdam, full of native men of all ages (!!) who sit around, smoke and play cards. I can assure you that they don't talk about the future of the country in which they live, nor women's right.
Sorry, I do get quite worked up about this.

I understand.
But at the same time I only know it from stories.
You're the first recovering tribal run-away I've ever met.
(You want me to delete all comments about this?)

I think so, if you would please.

En zo verdween het gesprek en gingen we verder via de mail.

Thank you very much for deleting, and your email. I too ended up thinking about this subject for most of yesterday. It actually inspired me to go back to my memories of the first time I visited Amsterdam. I sub-let an artist's studio around the S-straat which is a mixed neighbourhood. And, it was there and then that I felt I was back in the Middle East again. Although I had felt somewhat similar in Berlin... in the Turkish neighbourhoods... but this time for some reason... it was overwhelming. I was actually quite surprised to see so many young men in those teahouses. I can understand the older generation needing a place to go... but when i saw young people and No Women... I felt very disturbed. I really think that people who support these types of insitutions don't understand the cultural forces that are behind them. They are sexist, racist (yes!), and homophobic. What is left to like? What they don't realize is that Islam (since most if not all of these places and people are practitioners of it) is not a private religion. It is very public and quite political. So...yes, to make a very long and complicated argument about which I am very passionate, I do find these institutions and their bearers quite offensive

Vandaag ontving ik weer een email van Homa.
Zij komt volgende week naar Nederland voor haar werk.
Ik heb een afspraak met haar gemaakt, in de lobby van een hotel.
Het zal de eerste ontmoeting zijn tussen een zogenaamd Flickr-contact en mij.
Ik zal deze ontmoeting documenteren, al weet ik nog niet hoe.

1 opmerking:

Marco Raaphorst zei

Flickr is echt een sociale en emotionele plek. Geweldig, nu nog hopen dat Yahoo haar eigen dochter niet om zeep helpt...