Spain, for me one of the most fascinating and alive countries in the world a microcosm of global cognitive dissonance. The primeval instincts buried and suppressed within all of us along with an openness and expressiveness many of us are not capable of.
For most of us the reality of many of the world’s issues don’t exist, knowledge and denial. Heaven forbid that this is a discussion on bullfighting it’s not or fox hunting or Kangaroo shooting. We are destroying the planet while looking the other way. Not a form of justification however 80% of the films we watch are just as violent as bullfighting the only deviation is the perception no one is really getting hurt a safe way to pander to the primeval. The care directed at the noble Andalucian horse.
The very real connection to music of the Golden Gypsy, el gitano de oro. Then there is the security safety of religion being part of the community participation in making things right an important part of keeping the balance and forgiving the misdemeanours. The exciting expressiveness of escape from worldly issues through Fiesta, Romeria or Feria. The faces of the woman and little girl in the carriage, happy to be participating, the pride of the gypsy boy participating on the horse. The everydayness of the bandsman playing with his mobile. Hope these images add a meaning to my statements. Look closely at the detachment of the spectators at the corrida. Are the spectators and matadors really connecting with the drama or just playing lip service to a traditional peer group concept that embodies toò much reality to really connect with or is there some form of emotional primeval stimulus, note the child. For the matadors detachment a defence mechanism, possibly? looking but not seeing certainly for many of the spectators. We live by denial a protection against the enormity of change and our individual inability to effect change.
There is so much young talent playing the streets and the clubs of major cities I thought it is worth producing a photographic repotage of what it feels like to be a busker an entertainer. This reportage will up date from time to time.
It is rare for snow to settle in central London. However with the snow storm named the ‘Beast from the East’ there has been the freezing conditions for snow to settle in the capital. These8 images could become part of weather history.
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Having travelled extensively in the Country of my birth. I felt as a photographer I would like to show a side of Australia that tourists rarely see. The working and gritty side of a commodity driven country.
I have used black and white for strength. I see much of Australia as time warped in the 19th century. Much of the attitude beyond the populated coastal regions is early 20th century to early post 1945 the 50s and 60s.when I left Australia the first time the population had not yet hit 10 million. Today it borders on 25 million and should continue to grow exponentially. However still most new comers cling to the coastal regions like clinging to the gunnel of a boat. Little effort has been made by successive governments to develop the interior of this vast continent Island for community growth. The only development has been to plunder one of the world’s great commodity reservoirs. Many will say irrigation is a problem however Australia has one of the great sweet water catchments of the world in the Great Artisian Basin covering in excess of 1/3 of the country.
Still many commodity industries are producing as they have for the last 150 years through the blood sweat and tears of hard yakka (yakka australian for work). As an example Australia produces 1/3 of the world’s wool this wool is of the finest micron quality. Shearing still takes place in the shearing shed on the sheep stations as it has for 150 years. Many commodities are mined in small holdings by sweating miners sometimes working in dangerous conditions.
I hope these images will give an idea of the hard yakka and gritty side of survival in the outback that still exists today. A world not totally based on ‘Information Technology’.
The above article is a good article and is an indicative parallel to the broader issues of global racism. The issues outlined in the article are issues that Americans should be able to relate to. Australia generally has little tolerance towards the Aboriginal community and yet exploits the historical track for purely commercial reasons. Growing up under the white Australia policy we never mentioned our neighbours and were taught little about one of the oldest continuous cultures in the world. We certainly never went to the same school or sat next to them at a cinema and continually still joke about how ill kept they are and their drinking habits. The issue with many Australian academics is that they are products of history most having grown up under the white Australia policy, we are our fathers. While travelling in the outback I heard a woman shopkeeper say ‘an Aboriginal woman came in here this morning, she was very nice and really polite’. Why wouldn’t she be what was the shopkeeper expecting to be mugged? Australian Academia does not have a silver bullet more like a smoking gun. This country of immigrants still dislikes diversity in most of its forms. The surface practical issues can be cleaned up and like justice seen to be done but the deep rooted psychological issues inherited from our forefathers takes time and is harder to banish.
At sometime whether Aboriginal or European it is necessary to ring-fence but also to look beyond our own cultures.
It could be a parallel for Brexit. We still dislike difference we still distrust diversity without really knowing why an insecurity that Australia and the world must face at sometime if we are to survive as an educated, enlightened species. We must also find ways to not forget but to forgive the past or next we will be prosecuting the descendents of Alexander the Great for his misdemeanors of 323 BC.
The featured image by photographer Shane Aurousseau could be called ‘Which way to Look Now’.