Archive for January, 2013

Flagey

Posted: January 14, 2013 in Uncategorized

[music: violin]

Here are some pictures of where I live, Place Flagey.

3 photographers was also take here last summer.

Advertisements

The Killing Fields

Posted: January 13, 2013 in Change, Mindfulness, Photography, Travels

[music: The Partisan – Leonard Cohen]

Walking through The Killing Fields was a sombre and emotional experience.

I have been asking myself what responsibility the citizens of democracies have for the actions of their government? I have the feeling that citizens of most democracies have absolved themselves of their countries’ actions, “It’s the government that did it, I didn’t agree” or “Had I know, I wouldn’t have agreed.” Terzani provided me with my own answer to this question: a vote for war with Sparta means going to fight and possibly die… whether you voted for war or not. Citizens need to have ‘skin in the game’ for a democracy to function as one.

We act as we want the world to be. Inaction, indifference, ignorance must be more than tacit approval or disapproval, they are active participation. Despite the discomfort of considering oneself a collaborator in whatever crimes the nation has committed; what other incentive do we have for engagement?   Isn’t a democracy simply a collective responsibility? They certainly aren’t limited liability companies, no matter how much this idea is attractive to leaders and the herd. We elect representatives to represent us, we can not feel that we delegate responsibility of the decisions, we only delegate the action of taking them.

When citizens fail to act to hold their leaders, legislators, prosecutors, and judges to their own standards, then they are themselves complicit in their actions; the citizen is, after all, both the initial decider and final arbiter, no matter how much how lazy or how cowardly he may be. I think that freedom has been erroneously interpreted as “right to abstain from” responsibility, when in fact it must mean “obligation to” act, challenge, change.

Evidence would suggest that our leaders would prefer that we remain ignorant. I find it ironic when references to the ‘nanny state’ refer only to state social programs (like healthcare, unemployment insurance, welfare) and not other matters of state (see link for examples). So I ask myself, why? Now it’s Orwell that provides me with an answer (see below).

My conclusion is that private opinions don’t matter, only our acts are material. Feeling helpless is not an excuse, we all have the ability to set priorities, to take small simple step. And I am the first to opine instead of act. I would go further and ask myself whether the members of groups, churches, associations bear, at the very least, moral responsibility for the actions these organisations?

I ask myself these questions because wars, genocide, war crimes, do not spontaneously appear, they are often the direct or indirect result of the foreign or commercial policy of ‘third party’ nations… our nations. Here is a Hollywood illustration.

I’ll end this with two quotes from George Orwell:

“Freedom is the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.”
“War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.” 1984

Backstage

Posted: January 3, 2013 in Music, Photography

[music: String Quartet No. 3 in B flat Major – Brahms]

This year, I had the pleasure of discovering the website gwarlingo, Claus’ group of Brussels Photographers, the violin of Erica Jang, the photography of Delna, the drawings of Jean Cocteau. I’ve met drawers, dancers, performers, painters, teachers, musicians, writers, designers, organizers, and photographers. Many have chosen this path early life, some are amateurs, and a few have decided to leave their past lives and embark on a new path. They are all inspiring.

Here are some photos from a modern classical music competition I attended in Antwerp with my good friend Erica (the violinist). Most pictures are from before the performance, practice and preparation, a part of the concert most of us don’t normally see.