Archives for posts with tag: tribe

When the british brought the first cameras to some tribes in africa the africans got really scared and refused to pose for the photographs. They had thought that if a camera captures your image it will also capture your soul that will be locked in it forever. That’s an interesting idea. I’m not sure if the african who said that was being literal or if that was a metaphor. If he really meant “soul” or the fact that something about him could be printed  for everyone to see and could be able to move away from his actual self forever yet still be able to show his features. I love to go to concerts and i was in an U2 concert a couple months ago. It amazed me the amount of people with cameras. I could say the audience was not watching the show but taking pictures or videos of it. Most people literally saw Bono mostly through the screen of their cyber shots. It that african witnessed that scene he would maybe realize he was totally right about that “soul cage”. My generation is using digital media to archive our passage through life and in this process we are spreading our “soul” all around in a zillion tiny pieces. Don’t get me wrong. I love photography as na art where the photographer searches for memorable examples of what is enchanting in this world and it’s impressive how effective these images can be over people’s emotions. Unfortunately the records my generation is producing is mostly mediocre. Art and inspiraton is certainly not the reason all these folks were taking shots of the event. Today if you don’t have an image to show you didn’t see it. The power of the word is less important than the power of the image. It really makes me afraid because for one to record there should be a subject and if more and more people are interested in only recording there will be less and less content. A world filled with images that have no soul.

I was born in 69 so in the end of the 70’s i was a ten years old kid. This was a very rich age for culture. I remember the premiere of Star Wars. A film i watched in the Movie theatres fourteen times. It was the age of disco and the age of punk. The age of feminism. The age of pop and the age fo hippies. It was the age of the big promisses for the future with the start of the personal computing and the beginning of roots for globalisation. There were no AIDS. The kids that grew up at that age were supposed to change the world. Let’s not forget we are talking about the cold war so the world we are supposed to build is a world in peace. Something very interesting happened in music. It was a time where kids opposed the status quo and embraced the idea that chance is always better no matter what. Punks looking for anarchy, New wavers looking for a different cultural attitude, hippies fighting wars with flowers, skinheads gathering gangs to fight for the working class, Hip-hop from the projects talking about real african american issues, mainstream dancing on the disco clubs and having free sex, Heavy Metal dudes alienating from society and The Yuppies casting a capitalist shadow in all this fun. A importante thing at those times is that these tribes didn’t mix at all. Skinheads would only go to punk shows to fight. Rock hed nothing to do with new wave and all these tribes had their own way of dressing and talking and acting and all reflected the music they listened. The thing is: that was not all fun and joy. There was a lot of prejudice between these tribes and also with the status quo. It was a time of fight and hate in many levels but it was also a time of a rich cultural creation. The richer of the last decades. Punk, pop, pop-rock, electronica, hip-hop, new wave, goth, disco. Almost all the musical styles we listen today came from the 70’s. We had grunge in the 90’s and many electronica segments but not even one new hole musical style. In other hand today kids go to a rock party that ends as a disco party and they hang with hip-hop kids that enjoy electronic music and so on. Punk is only the theme of some fashion collections as well as hippie. Psychedelic is a graphic style and also a segment for electronica. That makes me wonder. The cultural segregation from the 70’s created so much and the 00’s cultural mixup where everybody can do anything created so little? Am i missing something here? If i’m right segregation is not so bad culturally speaking? As i don’t like the idea of segregation how can creation grow in a fluid environment where the “need” to raise a voice in not so important for a group as it is for an individual?

In “Quincas Borba”, a book from Machado de assis, one of the greatest writers in all history there’s a wonderful passage about these two tribes. For a lont time they live side by side because there’s enough potatoes for everyone. Once the potatoes are not enough anymore they go to war for survival. After the war is over the tribe that lost it carries pain, fear, loss, sorrow,sadness. The tribe that won the war carries the potatoes! So? Well… In my lifetime i saw more richness in my wrongs than in my rights. I had the chance to receive great awards and i had the chance to receive the silence of disapproval also many times. I can say that receiving an award is great but empty. There’s nothing to it. You just receive it and drink a cocktail. Loosing one is a hole different story. It can motivate you to try harder or make you change directions. Putting things in perspective is what you do when you loose. It makes you wonder how wrong you were and if you do that you may  feel grief, you may cry, feel pain and sorrow. But that’s always more than just potatoes. It’s better to keep falling in love and suffering of broken heart than having it flat all the time. Who wants a flatline? Who wants the potatoes? I want to feel. That’s what makes me alive!