In Wetin You Go Do?

In Wetin You Go Do?
– Title of an installation at the Tate Modern, created by Nigerian born Otobong Nkanga

The title of Nkanga’s piece, when translated from Nigerian Pidgin, an English-based Creole language widely spoken across Nigeria, is ‘What are you going to do?’. ‘In Wetin You Go Do’ integrates voice and sculpture to reflect on contemporary anxieties.

The theme of anxiety stitched a ragged thread through the time I spent lingering in the Tate Modern after my early morning arrival in London. Or perhaps, when visiting a gallery such as this, the feelings we have, that we bring in through the door, colour the way we see the exhibits, determine the way we select what to linger with and what to pass on by?

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connections

Those who were living now are dead
Those who were breathing are from the living earth fled.
If you want to see how the poor die, come see Grenfell Tower.

From the impassioned poem on the fire at Grenfell, by Nigerian writer, Ben Okri, whose poem, published in the Financial Times on 23 June, 2017 is a searing statement from which it is impossible to hide, impossible to avert one’s gaze, impossible to forget.

I wrote earlier this week about my arrival in London, on the red-eye from Lagos, and my efforts to both stay awake and entertained before being allowed to pass through the portal of my hotel.

I decided, after grabbing some breakfast, and scribbling a short poem, (which I published on Facebook), to walk along the South Bank to the Tate Modern. During my walk I found some inspiration by shooting the various vans being prepared for the hordes of tourists soon to fill the streets which at that time were still and relatively quiet.

What I hadn’t counted on was the degree of connectivity I felt with the things I saw and experienced that morning.

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chewing gum man

But I, being poor, have only my dreams; I have spread my dreams under your feet; Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
– W B Yeats

I like to contribute to the weekly photo challenge hosted by WordPress and must confess I hadn’t quite found inspiration for this week’s prompt, which frankly is quite unusual for me, which seems apposite as this week’s theme was indeed unusual.

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locked in

We all live in a house on fire, no fire department to call; no way out, just the upstairs window to look out of while the fire burns the house down with us trapped, locked in it
― Tennessee Williams, The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore

This post was inspired by a few things.

For starters, I’ve been working too hard and neglecting almost everything, and everyone, else. Apart from the obvious social clues, my Fitbit sits on my wrist admonishing me with a digital iciness of tone, pointing out that I am not exercising enough, and it has facts, and they are not Spicerian alternative facts, but hard, cold evidence. And, not so long ago, whilst walking in the street, I felt decidedly odd, numb fingers, a sense of unreality, dizziness and a general feeling of fading vision. Trust me, that is the universe speaking to me. I think.

Also, I have been using the theft of my beloved X100T as an excuse for not shooting enough, or writing about it.

In conversation today, someone made some kind remarks about my photography. I took this as a challenge, and so set about capturing my environment. This in turn was an act of rebellion about an environment that feels like it has captured me. Shielded from the world outside by double locked gates, security guards, razor wire and faithful drivers.

I’m not complaining. I’m lucky. I’m just rebelling, a little.

These shots were captured (there’s that meme again) with my iPhone. I used Analog Efex Pro 2 (Toy Camera 3) because the effect seemed to capture the way reality bends when in a certain frame of mind.

As for my camera, at least my Nikon is safe at home, and there’s always the X100F to look forward to.

A glass half full?

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How would it be, if everybody did that?

How would it be,” the police officer asked him severely, “if everybody did that?”
– Douglas Adams, The Salmon of Doubt

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Douglas Adams may not be an established literary giant, but for me (at least) he has long been an inspiration. His original The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy series, first broadcast on BBC Radio 4, captured my heart and mind many years ago. Captured my mind as I was figuring out who I was, what I wanted to be. Gave me an early insight into alternative perspectives.

Made me think.

Last week, I (or at least my business alter ego) was privileged to be invited to speak at the Baltic Project Management Forum 2016. The subject of my presentation Cultural Diversity: Making the Project Fit the Culture.

In the lead up to the Forum, I was invited to give an interview to Simas Čelutka at IQ magazine, a Baltic publication affiliated with The Economist.

The questions posed to me, the contributions of my fellow speakers, the warmth of the welcome extended to me by the organisers of the Forum reminded me of those days long ago when the world stretched out ahead of me, waiting to be discovered. And so, again, I realised that no matter how rich one’s experience, there is so much more to be learned.
The interview I gave to IQ, transcribed below, reminded me of how lucky I have been, of the opportunities I have had, to learn more about our world, about how much more there is to learn.

Always.

For we can never stop learning.

Or sharing.
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