Borrowed light

15/05/2011 § Leave a comment

I witness an experiential mirror
it stands in another realm – you see?

It makes me feel and think that I can touch what is of another space and time.
I have been and I have seen but yet hard to phenom that that’s all real.

When I can see the light of spring dawn into view of cyber cams
while I wrap anticipating winter’s chill.
I see fresh faced relatives in their morning light,
while I’ve just seen the setting sun.
They have just witnessed melting snow and freshly opened leaves,
while I prepare for winter’s rest, I smell their smells.

I am the foreign neighbour of their flesh
seeking refuge from orphaned life.

Among Asian-American women…by Alexandra Nikolchev

05/05/2011 § Leave a comment

An interesting case study from America.

“According to the Department of Health and Human Services, depression is the second leading cause of death for Asian-American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) women between 15 and 24, who consistently have the highest suicide rates among women in that age group. AAPI women over 65 have the highest rates of suicide among all races in that age group.”

Read the rest of the article here.

What National Psyche Is

24/04/2011 § Leave a comment

“We will explore the “mental software” which influences the everyday behavior of the average Russian.” – school of Russian and Asian Studies

Im unsure whether to categorise this into poetry or something else.

Its a description of a very interesting course offered to English speaking students studying Russia.

“This practical course is intended to produce future businessmen, diplomats, historians, professors, and other professionals skilled at overcoming cultural differences and culture shock. To achieve this, the arts are used as a starting point to facilitate cross-cultural communication through a better understanding of local culture, beliefs, and mentality. We will explore the “mental software” which influences the everyday behavior of the average Russian.

This course invites students to think critically about a range of issues that affect everything from diplomacy to daily life. We will explore the Russians’ use of patronymics and other ways of addressing people. We will discuss the role of the smile in Russian culture. We will learn why so many Russians believe that corruption is a permanent fixture of their society and why a “good tsar” is best to lead their country. We will understand better the role of language, religion, and history in modern Russia.”

Educational Texts: The Russians by Hendrick Smith; Natasha’s Dance: A Cultural History of Russiaby Orlando Figes; and The Tale of How Ivan Ivanovich Quarreled with Ivan Nikiforovich (The Squabble)by Nikolai Gogol.
As well as: Lefty by Nikolai Leskov; The Bronze Horseman by Alexander Pushkin; The Twelve, by Alexander Blok; and Heart of a Dog, by Mikhail Bulgakov.

http://www.sras.org/russian_national_psyche

Thoughts of the week:

11/03/2011 § Leave a comment

 

Its not easy realising that you can never be happy in any one place.

***

I was talking ‘culture’ with someone the other day.
She thought it was knowing your history.
And I said that I had though it was so much more.
I said it was manerisms, cusine, the little things, the practical things.. I halted after I heard myself say
‘its part of your presence.’

Doesnt that sum it up nicely?

It seems innate, out of control and ephemral, all at the same time.

***

If the cycle of life states: you have to loose in order to recieve
then it seems that you have to loose some of one presence to gain some of another.

..that seems reasonable.

But then that also means that if you gain some of one kind of presence then you also have to….
it means you loose some of the original kind of presence.

..and that seems unfair.

 

***

Your Ancestors Have Power

22/02/2011 § Leave a comment

Many people enjoy thinking about their ancestors. Now new research published in the European Journal of Social Psychology suggests it’s not just pleasurable, it may actually make you more clever. Peter Fischer studied what happened when people thought about their forefathers just before taking an intelligence test and found that those who thought about the past members of their families were more likely to do well in the tests. He believes people are more motivated to succeed when they think about their ancestors.

BBC Health Check 24/01/11 Listen here.

RELATED LINKS

Professor Peter Fischer, Social Psychology, University of Graz (www.uni-graz.at)

Fringe Festival 2011

21/02/2011 § Leave a comment

If you are in Auckland there are meny exciting things happening there within the next month. Here are some on the Lost and Found topic:

ILLUSION OF DISPLACEMENT
Fri 25 Feb – Sun 13 March

“Ruru will navigate the urban environment and roost in various locations. Illusion of Displacement is an interplay between urban and nature, ephemerality and structure, time and space…” – thewandererproductions.co.nz

“The Ruru is a watchful guardian. Ruru will navigate the urban environment watching, prevailing, collecting, projecting. Roosting in various locations. Open yourself to chance sightings or try and track them on the web. Illusion of Displacement is an interplay between urban and nature, ephemerality and structure, time and space.” – aucklandfringe.co.nz

click on the burd to go their website > > > > > >> > > >

PIGS IN THE YARD
Sat 26th Feb 10am – 4pm
Mangere Arts Centre

I would love to see how Pigs are comment on influences of different cultures in Mangere. As I won’t be able to attend, if anyone could contribute photos of this event that would be great!

“Pig is an offensive word for an unpleasant, greedy or dirty person. Pig reflects on the European’s influences and different cultures, values and tradition. Pig can also be seen in slavery and imprisonment. This new work by Kalisolaite ‘Uhila deals with connecting with people, individuals and cultures.” – aucklandfringe.co.nz

THE WAY OF ALAYA
Fri 25 Feb – Sun 13 March

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tiffany Singh’s work collaborates with the community at different locations throughout the city through the making of ‘thought flags’.

http://www.tiffanysingh.com/

Supporting Organisations:

  • Artstation
  • Depot Artspace Devonport
  • Te Karanga Gallery
  • Verona Cafe
  • Avondale Markets
  • Mangere Markets
  • Auckland Fringe Festival
  • First Thursdays K rd.
    Flags will also be made in Albert Park & The Domain

JOURNEYS
Fri 25 Feb 12pm or 7pm
TAPAC

” The performers explore their own experiences of journeys in all their forms: real, imagined, internal and life journey. A common thread begins to emerge that binds members of the group, but ultimately everyone is travelling on their own journey. With original music composed by the group and Flying Dance, this promises to be an intriguing and moving piece of theatre.” – aucklandfringe.co.nz

TRACES
Fri 25 Feb – Sun 13 March
Te Karanga Gallery (K Rd)
http://www.memoryremnants.blogspot.com/

Other inspiring links from this festival:
http://www.perceptual-engineering.com/the-time-machine/
http://www.printablereality.com/


The Trip Series: Sunsets

19/02/2011 § Leave a comment

When I went back to my home town i was in awe of all the sunsets I saw. I kept trying to explain to people that OURS are ‘Really beautiful -others are faster, so fast that its unsatisfying to watch, theyre different.

It was as I walked to my new zealand home and to this sunset, i sat down and felt that if i kept Those sunsets in my heart, others were actually quite beautiful too.

18 days after I come back and I am beginning to understand ‘quality of life’. All I knew before is that it is because I have the privilege of choice that i am willing to make sacrifice of my living standards but I never quite grasped the term. It wasn’t during my time in Russia, that I understood its meaning, but from the slow appreciation of how relaxed and un-bothered I can be here.

I guess Im terrified of falling in love with another country (one seems hard enough), of adultery… or is it of commitment… How many years do widowers wait? What about those who morn their whole life, are they defining what is natural? – to move on, to be transient creatures of pleasure? to be willing to compromise their definition of what what is right… I am just trying to stay true to who my roots, to who I want to be.

that sunset

That night I watched the one DVD i bought in Russia “Aganistan/Chechnya” – war films *blush*. In one film Russian pilots are taken captive for years and years, a journalist is allowed to interview them: “вы скучаете по России?”/”Do you miss Russia?” she asks one, after a long pause of what seems indifference he off-handedly states “… мы и есть россия.”/”….we are Russia”
Another film turns out to be a Chechnya doco (Rus DVDs usually contain as much as they possibly can, in low quality). It describes how  captives were immediatley given local names, I couldn’t help but to think that a similar effect is reached with different -incorrect pronunciation of names by locals.
One 18 year old captive that had become part of the community and was forced to stay part of it decade after decade, after coming home to Russia had went back to that community to marry a local girl. Then having returned again, said that “Родина чувствуется с чужбины.”/”Homeland is felt from afar.”

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