Apr 18, 2011

Tell You Why I Do Like Mondays

The weekend came and went and here we are at Monday. I used to be with Bob and the Rats on wanting to "shoo-oo-woo-woo-woo-oot the whole day down" but my weekends have been a bit manic of late—all good stuff, but manic—so that Monday is my day to catch my breath. 
Here are a few things catching my breath and attention today:

Ghosts of the Sahara
Irish photographer Andrew McConnell wanted to photograph more than daily life in Western Sahara, so he captured 50 portraits by the light of the moon. His exhibition "Ghosts of the Sahara," showing at the Half King Gallery until June 7, is the result of four months photographing and interviewing the Sahrawis in refugee camps and in the Polisario-controlled Western Sahara. I was first pulled to the image of Djimi Elghalia above, purely because it suggested romantic images of me and my teapot in a desert under the light of the silvery moon. Then I read the testimony that goes with the image and it suggested I need to go see the rest of the exhibit:
"I was born in Agadir, Morocco in 1961. My family were among many who fled the climate and social conditions in Western Sahara to look for work in Morocco. A lot of Saharawis used to stay at our home and because of this my grandmother was arrested in 1984. She was sixty. We never saw her again. In 1986 I moved to El Aaiun for work after I graduated in agriculture. The next year I was arrested along with five hundred others for trying to organise a demonstration on independence before a big United Nations visit. They held eighty including nineteen women. They interrogated me and used physical and psychological torture. They would put chemicals in my hair which made me faint. I was electrocuted on the arms and back and was bitten by dogs. Later they would laugh and say that there are no dogs and I must be imagining things. It was the same thing you see in Iraq but here we have no media attention to show it.
I was released in 1991 along with three hundred and twenty four people, some of whom had been held since the invasion, seventy eight were women. It was because of pressure from international organisations like Amnesty International. From 1994-98 we, the victims, tried to engage in the field of human rights but we faced a lot of harassment. In 2005 we established the Saharawi Association of Victims of Grave Human Rights Violations Committed by the Moroccan State (ASVDH). The Moroccan authorities prevent the association from working despite the court allowing us to work. We work from our homes using the internet and we host international visitors but still Morocco harass us and now foreigners are not allowed to visit us.

We have a conviction that we will achieve independence but it depends on international pressure, our case it very just and fair. It [pressure] will come from the allies of Morocco, like France, the US and Spain. We have no direct contact with Polisario but we share the same goals. As a defender of human rights we are all about a peaceful solution. Whether the Polisario want to go back to war is up to them but as a civil society we are calling for a peaceful solution and this will come from international pressure. "
via The New York Times

Seamus Begley

I never thought I'd admit to a crush on a Kerry man, but I've developed a bit of a soft spot for Kerry singer and button accordionist Seamus Begley after seeing him perform with Joanie Madden of Cherish the Ladies on Friday night at the Irish Arts Center. Madden and Begley had spent a week together as part of the Irish Arts Center's “Masters in Collaboration,” and they made quite the pair—as quick with their wit as with their whistles and boxes—at the cozy Donaghy Theatre. Begley broke his tailbone before coming to New York (he said he'd "rather be in New York with a broken arse than in Kerry with a broken heart") and Madden's father passed away in the week leading up to their concert series (Begley played on her father's box), but there was no shortage of joy as their polkas and airs and mutual appreciation moved the feet and hearts of the audience.


If you were wondering what the inside of my head looks like on a Monday afternoon—it looks like white petaled peonies on a gold background. Seriously, I'm thisclose to taking my balls out of my handbag and wallpapering my living room in this burst of color and pattern.

Kate and Ava

I have a fiftieth birthday party, two First Holy Communions, a Gaelic Football dinner dance, and myriad other nights out coming up in the next few weeks and—say it with me—nothing to wear! I've been muttering that exact sentiment to myself for the past few days, and it seems I might have muttered it out loud, too, as Irish design label Kate and Ava (Kate Reilly and Ava Cassidy) popped into my inbox the other morning threatening to save at least one or two of my days with their new online store. Now if only they'd pop a few dresses in my mailbox!

Onward to Tuesday!


smallsight said...

I was so happy to see Andrew's photo at the top of your post! Such a beautiful series, isn't it? He is one of the several Irish photographers that won photo awards this year, which I'll be lucky enough to meet in a few weeks at a work event. An exhibition with their work will be in New York in August, if you're interested http://bit.ly/14boz1

best, carly

Jacinta said...

Hey thanks for the link Carly--I will definitely plan to check out this exhibit in August. Sounds very cool!

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