This week has been a bit demanding. I am starting to return to the entire set of previous year’s work from Pakistan and need to sit and complete my posting of interviews and photographs that have mostly been sitting on my hard drives. I am also returning to my India work from 2011 and a new book layout and design work is being done. There has been a lot of reading to do about a possible project in Yemen, but that trip seems to have been delayed because of some new commitments coming up in New York. And then there is the super complicated arrangements I need to make if I am to ever begin anything close to a photo project in Rwanda. And I will not even mention a new USA project idea that is rattling around somewhere in the back of my head. I do wish that in all this there was an idea that was sellable and could convince editors to work with me more. Alas, I am off on tangents that seem only to satisfy my own curiosity, and leave most in the world of markets and sales, bored and indifferent. How long can this last? Well, another week or so at least. No but, seriously, its been an overwhelming week of ideas and plans, tests and explorations. Much to do, and new trips on the horizon, but at the same time, a real need to step back and look at the work done so far and to start to organise, collect, and put it together into something. In the mean time, here are some things that swept by me this week: Details »
Rwanda mesmerizes and confuses. To date I have avoided producing any work from here. The question of the genocide still hands heavy, and certainly, remains the main prism through which the country is examined by almost all photographers. But of course, now, nearly 20 years after that horror, the scars and sensitivities still remain. It is near impossible to step away from them. And for some it has become a means to connect to a powerful world of money and influence, to gain favor with those who have access to corridors of imperial power. And there is nothing like a group of American Jewish billionaires with a unquestining, and frequently immoral, support for all things Israeli, to cozy up to. And as much as I want this nation to emerge stronger, more beautiful and more complete in the aftermath of the 1994 genocide, it is moments like these when I see its leader hanging around with vile, corrupt, and mindlessly inhumane people, when I become worried. Details »
I have been told that I risk losing friends who no longer wish to speak to me, but rather just read these Musings & Confusions posts as they encapsulate so many of the things I have been speaking and discussing during the week. So be it. Human company can be quite a burden. So there.
Listen to the funny, intelligent and dissenting voice of Professor Deepa Kumar whose book Islamophobia & The Politics Of Empire I have just finished reading. She speaks about the political nature of Islamophobia and its an important talk. It is an unspoken and perhaps worst, unacknowledged bias that underpins so much of today’s ‘liberal’ discourse in the United States and Europe. Here she is speaking about this phenomenon that is tainting so much of public, political, and secular debate today:
The influence of Edward Said is visible in her work. Which of course only makes it more interesting. Her book is an excellent primer for anyone trying to get a handle on how Islamophobia has been playing out in our modern democracies. Details »