Friday, April 28, 2006
My host, Stavros Kariyanni, took me to his mother's place in the village for a traditional Greek easter dinner or, rather, the pre-easter dinner the day before, which involved, among other things, salads, breads, and a boiled lamb's head. That's Stavros's mother above, cleaning vine leaves she has just picked from the trestles above her front porch. The family dynamics and conversation had me transfixed as I took photos at the easter dinner table and compiled them into this QT movie.
Monday, April 24, 2006
Across on the Turkish side, some photos of the streets, replete with soldiers walking through the market. The bicycles, antique things, were leaning on a wall at Buyuk Khan, the general market that has been upscaled for tourists. The bikes are probably propped there for daily use, though they look like they could have been there for decades. A great deal of ornate design, particularly in metal and stone work around the city, quite a treat for the eye and the touch. And, of course, signs of nationalism everywhere...
Saturday, April 22, 2006
Yesterday, we drove to the Turkish Republic of Cyprus, a state unrecognized by the U.N., indeed, by any other country outside of Turkey since it was occupied by that country's army in 1974. But for the past two years, the so-called Green Line has been opened such that Greek-Cypriots and Turkish-Cypriots can pass over to the "other side," perhaps not with impugnity — you need to show passports and have appropriate car insurance to make the crossing — but they can pass over nonetheless. The forms of nationalism (Greek and Turkish) expressed on both sides is rampant and unconcealed, very curious as they both hark to nation-states that are "not-cyprus" in so many ways. As a Canadian travelling here, it feels like a type of officially-hyphenated-multiculturalism run wild — more on this later perhaps.
The photos below reflect the crossing and the longing -- that's the border guard checking our papers; the border crossing and its flavour of turkish nationalism; stavros standing on the seawallat Kyrenia, looking out over the med toward turkey; and also at Kyrenia (on the northern coast of the island) a children's festival where nationalisms still live large. The 'longing' is one that is hard for an outsider to recognize, the notion that this is one country divided and that there will be an eventual and necessary reunification, but on uncertain terms. The longing is based on geography and other sites and symbols of Cypriot identity, and it is both confusing and intriguing to hear about how this affects the national psyche. Today, off to Lefkosa, through the gates of Nicosia and a walkabout where only two years ago it would have been near impossible to tread. Borders, crossings, and nations.
Thursday, April 20, 2006
Tuesday, April 18, 2006
Sitting on the tarmac & YYZ, the A340 widebody getting set for the transatlantic to heathrow. A 3-hr transfer then across to another terminal, then bound in for Larnaca in Cyprus. My first visit there, I've always been intrigued by that (and any) state divided, the very notion of borders within borders. Now, for the past couple of years, cypriots and others are allowed to go from G-cyprus to T-cyprus and back again, but still, this veritable checkpoint-charley reality... On this flight, i plan/hope to finish my introduction to the IntraNation anthology that westcoastline is producing, hoping to launch it at banff as a gesture back to that place which hosted the residency in 2003.
Doors closed, backing off from the gate... Next stop, London and the seat of empire.
Friday, April 14, 2006
Immediately preceding that, on May 9, I'll have my Multiculturalism Research SSHRC project team meeting up in Vancouver, along with my research assistants from that and my Research/Creation SSHRC project, A Little Distillery in Nowgong
And immediately preceding that, May 1-6, I'll have the artists participating in Interior Investigations (i2i) coming to Kamloops for a week-long thinktank and project development process.
Just before that, I'll be sharing some of the Multiculturalism Issues research at an event called The Big Talk at the Ontario College of Art and Design, April 27 at 2 pm. Open to the public for those torontonians who happen across this entry. Session details below, but the preceding link will take you to the whole event:
2 to 4 pm, April 27: Diverse City: Cultural Diversity and Equity in the University (Room 327, OCAD, Toronto)
Moderator: Richard Fung
Panellists: Ashok Matur, Johanna Householder (two more panellists to be confirmed)
This panel will address a number of issues in relation to cultural diversity in art & design education in the classroom and beyond. How do we support cultural differences and equity throughout the University and ensure our practices – from the recruitment and retention of faculty and students, to the curriculum we deliver – are not exclusionary? How does cultural diversity impact upon the ways in which we construct and assess knowledge? And how can the University nurture cultural competence in students to ensure their ability to engage in art & design with informed historical and cultural frameworks, when they exit as graduate
We'll see what sort of shape I'm in for that, since the day before that, I will be returning from a research trip to Cyprus, April 19-25, where I'm hoping to set the stage for a symposium in 2007 on Performance, Borders, and Sexual/Racial Identities.
So there's the update, from the future to the present...
Tuesday, April 04, 2006
On the strip in las vegas, touts of all types offer grandcanyon tours by bus, by plane, by helicopter. Our six-seater helicopter took us rapidly out over the sprawling suburbs of backyard pools and luxury houses to the hoover dam, the desert, and the grand canyon (see the video clip below). But most spectacular, in a grotesque kind of way, was the unleaving of las vegas, the flyback return to the builtup strip, emerging as it does from the flat and barren horizon.
Part of our investigations took us high in the sky, out of las vegas and into the grand canyon via helicopter...
Monday, April 03, 2006
A few days off-blog during a whirlwind tour of southern nevada. Included highlights, to be duly noted shortly, an afternoon helicopter trip into the grand canyon, an elton john concert replete with problematic but pricey 70mm filmwork, visitations with university folks at unlv, and a drive out to red rock canyon with two of the 'interior investigators.' The image above from that site of red rock, a wondrous element of the mojave desert and a climber's mecca. At the base of one of the viewpoints, a creek runs quietly, and beside it, this found object. Red food colouring. A tiny bottle of red dye, the plastic twisted and warped by the sun. There, in the middle of the desert, the sand and soil the colour of sunset from iron deposits, there, a tiny bottle of food colouring, as if someone had painted the entire desert and forgot to pack out the trash. Moments of intrigue, colour, desert, intrusion, investigation.