Sunday, January 31, 2010
Saturday, January 30, 2010
Now this is what I am talking about! Talking Side Walks is a literary magazine filled with the stories and photos of people who have experienced homelessness in the Chapel Hill area. Found this quote on the back of most recent issue:
" I've been a very arrogant and elitist man in my life and got swatted like a bug until there were only pieces of me left, and I perhaps would like to redeem myself by giving a voice to people that have no voice. It reminds me of the title of one of the old science fiction novels, called 'I have no mouth but I must scream.' For those that have no voice, I would like to do some of the screaming, and I do." - Phillip Rodney Personette
Sunday, January 24, 2010
I just finished reading Jennifer Toth's 1993 book The Mole People. It is a moving account of her brave investigation of life beneath the streets of New York City. Toth, a young Columbia University student, pushed past her fear and the warnings of friends and family to uncover the people and places that many thought of as urban legends only. What most surprised me was that the people she discovered lived within tight communities with their own set of rules. Not without violence, these groups did in fact offer support, even love to its members who could not fit within the paradyms of society aboveground. This book raises as many questions about how we treat each other above ground as it does below. I also found the way Toth became personally invested in helping the people she met as being common among artist activist, myself included, who include the marginalized in their work. Toth's involvement ended with a scare but others have picked up where she left off. A new documentary Voices in the Tunnel has revisited the places and people Toth wrote about in the 90's. I recommend seeing the documentary and reading the book.
Monday, January 18, 2010
I have heard some people are complaining of depression after seeing Avatar- because they cannot live in that world. Maybe rather than take a anti-depressant they should pick up a pencil and paper like Konrad Zoll and really SEE the reality that we have been given.
I had just finished taking a brisk walk in the real world, cold and snowy as it was in the lovely hamlet of Damascus, VA and had just stepped into a warm coffee shop when I came upon a collection of drawings by Konrad Zoll of Durham, NC. Konrad has hiked sections of the AT through Graceland Highlands but unlike most he has also taken time to stop and draw the beauty that so many race past. Konrad is currently working on a new series of drawings from the AT. He does not have a website dedicated to his art but you can friend him on Facebook. Thanks Konrad for reminding us all to stop and really take in the reality that lies before us.