Thursday, 28 July 2011

Imagine Iraq

Recently I was emailed this link, of Iraqi artists showcasing in Venice :

Unfortunately I can't access it, but I can almost imagine what's in the video.

I'm glad. Iraq is slowly developing foundations in the creative arts- means of collectively translating the chaotic debris of modern Iraqi history. No doubt through sculptures, paintings and writings. Future generations will no doubt look upon canvases filled with blood reds and black; written words of angry hate, and hopefully be glad that it is assigned to history, only history.

Its still not enough though. I genuinely strive and hope Iraqis turn more creative. I want to drown in words and books and publications and art, but finding them in the Western market is difficult, and I've looked in some of the most diverse book stores.

Our imagination in life is limited. So little of our nation strays from the path that has been already paved for them. It all occurs so suddenly, that our imagination and dreams are repressed and overwhelmed in a tightly knit family unit.

I occasionally worry for our arts - has it all been looted and burnt? Will we ever think on our own to produce intricate masterpieces, or will we fall into the age old mentality of following the social norm.
Perhaps my thoughts stem from being surrounded by so much Art at the moment. Then again, I'm also surrounded by an excessive amount of garlic, and family asking the same questions about my life in London. I wonder how many times I have to repeat the same story, although at times, I almost imagine a hint of sadness in their eyes, over their perhaps less adventurous youth.
To which I always try to remind them that nothing comes without sacrifice. Not even my adventures.

Now I'm off to try and throw paints at paper and see if I manage to discover that I'm actually an amazing artist...

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Risk it

It started on one of those famous 'grey days'.

Sitting around, and doing absolutely nothing productive, apart from thinking of ideas to be productive. Or at least pretend we were trying to work.
One of the guys sat up. 'Lets play risk!'. He muttered it with such excitement and strength, that I got a small insight to how he must have been as a child.

I was also surprised by the lack of response his outburst had achieved.

I thought truth and dare had been renamed risk, and chose not to question that assumption. I replied we needed a break, but I was probably going to chose truth over dare. At that statement everyone lazily turned to look at me, and I earned a few guffaws and laughs.

So was my introduction to the board game Risk. I had no idea it would last as long as it did ( rivals Monopoly game time), nor that I would win.

It wasn't Beginner's Luck, it was simply because I constantly acted like a child (who doesn't act like a child when introduced to new board games though?). And my childish behaviour meant I was constantly underestimated. :D

I ended up through a phase of Risk addiction. I'm going to try to explain (again) the rules to my family. I think they've lost concentration, but I'm so addicted, I might end up trying to con the neighbourhood children into playing against me.

Perhaps it would be embarrassing to lose to them (I just know they'll rub it in my face for eternity), but I can never bring myself to rob them of the happiness of winning. (it's hardly as if their life is a whirlwind of joy..)

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Rewriting #1

I made them all laugh about how no one looks at each other, and once I do stare at someone's face, I cause awkwardness, even more so if I try to smile anonymously.

I told them, how every morning, without fail, an old man in a white suit would bless me on the tube. And how I smiled at him every time, and his insistence to call me 'the repenting sinner'

I made them laugh at how everyone runs in heels, while I trip on flats. I told them of the legging fashion- how leggings and a shirt only are worn, but no skirt. I told them how the first time I saw it, I tried to politely ask the girl if she forgot to wear a skirt.

I told them of one morning where I arrived at rush hour, and how tense everyone was- in fact I sensed that if they got more tense they would have 'let one rip' as they say.

I told them how I was going to miss being a fresher, because of everyone's low expectations.

I told them about the different races, so diverse yet so divided. And the unfortunate stereotypical roles they had all fallen into.

I told them of how I had a hacking cough that vibrated through my chest. It stuck for too long, and after numerous consultations, the diagnosis had been 'you're not used to the polluted city air'. To which I had replied 'yes, I prefer the very clean Baghdad air'. The doctor had stared before breaking out into a bellowing laugh.

I'm counting off the days anxiously, my nails having been reduced to mere millimetres.

That wasn't what I wanted to write about- far from it. I miss writing and writing, with no beginning and no end- what I used to do here, you know I might just start doing it again.

I don't want this to be the July 14th. post- I've recalled the events of that Tammuz verbally so much times, I'm not even sure what I think of it any more - my recital of that portion of history usually stems with a stranger's astonishment that Iraq had a monarchy, or something along those lines, and my thought train goes on a rampage...
I'll sleep on it, and decide what to post tomorrow. I think I used to be a hard core monarchist at one point.

I wonder if writing deteriorates or merely changes? I don't think it deteriorates per say, but I'm now stuck in a colourless state of writing, so much words and sentences and experiences, that I've truly come to appreciate the meaning of 'information overload'. That being said from a self proclaimed 'love-to-learn' is a big thing indeed.