Where I come from we celebrate Carnaval, a 3 day lasting Roman Catholic festivity by origin, which takes place before a strict period of fasting as it is supposed to be the last opportunity to eat and drink lavishly. Nowadays, celebrating Carnaval constitutes dressing up like a cunt and behaving like a total whore for 3 days in a row, Burgundy style. Not my cup of tea (anymore). Anyway, when I was a little BNZL this meant that I could dress up and wear whatever I wanted and for as long as I can remember (and would allow myself to dress up) I would choose to wear theshinobi shozoku. I love ninjas. I've also always been a fan of hoodies, something I apparently inherited from my father. As a teenager I would even wear them inside, it drove my mum crazy. I love wearing them and looking at people wearing hoodies, especially girls. (It's a girl crush thing, in case you were wondering.) I'm also quite fond of the hajib, which in case you didn't already know is a type of head covering traditionally worn by Muslim women. I grew up with a lot of Maroccan and Turkish kids and their lovely mums always used to wear the most beautiful veils. Wikipedia says "The Arabic word 'Hajib' literally means curtain or cover (noun), based on the root حجب meaning "to cover, to veil, to shelter"." I was raised a Protestant Christian but do not consider myself to be bound to one specific religion, including Islam. In fact, I find beauty in all religions and I believe that we pretty much all believe in the same thing, but I also believe that Humankind Inc. (including atheists, agnostics etc) is heavily undermining the true foundation of it's faith by making a big deal out of who's "God" has the biggest you-know-what. AAANYWAY, the whole concept of instant privacy by covering your head and face (or identity if you will) in public or wherever you wish to I just find incredibly appealing. It feel safe, almost invisible. Also, I can not sleep when my face is not covered, so when I need to sleep in airplanes, public trains or any other public space I need to bring a scarf. So a while back when I finally had the money to buy American Apparel's Unisex Circle Scarf, I was over the freaking moon. I finally have the perfect scarf that keeps me perfectly warm and allows me to cover my head, face and, if the situation calls for it, turn it into a skirt, a dress or a top. Awesome! However, today I went shopping and as I was standing outside a store, wearing the scarf as seen in self-portrait below as I was cold, an older Muslim gentleman approached me and said to me "Young lady, you would look beautifull in a niqab." (a niqab is a face veil worn as part of the satorial hajib.) I smiled and said thanks (I guess??) and he laughed and walked off. I've walked around like this many times before and I never got any weird looks or remarks, at least not that I know of. But that man's remark made me think and suddenly something just didn't feel quite right. What if by wearing a short skirt and the scarf draped around my head this way with my my hair peeping out I'm offending women to whom this type of dress actually has a deeper religious meaning? Living in a city where eccentricity, individuality and expression of identity is no less than praised, I'm probably worrying too much but I am actually curious to find out if I do offend anyone by walking around like this...
Food for thought.
I know some of you are still waiting for more Indo photos. And yes I really really really want to post them but I just can't seem to find the time nor the peace or will to do simple tasks like these. My jetlag decided to linger about longer than I'd wished for, resulting in wanting to sleep at 8 PM and waking up at 4 AM for almost a week. When I'm awake I'm mostly occupied with trying to work hard on uni stuff, catching up and annoyingly enough, obsessing over lesser important and outright futile shit. Getting back on track has been harder than I expected it to be. And when I do find the time to sit down and get cracking my mind wanders of and I draw or end up listening to Erik Satie's Gymnopedies on repeat while lying on my sofa, staring at my ceiling. I'm still very much enjoying the memories of my journey and have come to the conclusion that I have become a happier person but I guess I'm just being (necessarily but temporarily) lame. So, I've given up on trying to work/play/live at the pace that I used to and have given into doing whatever my personal rythm allows me to do. For now. Please be patient, those photos will appear here at some stage. Here are some random photos of what I have actually been doing since my return. x
My favourite Gymnopedie at the moment:
For a while I've been visually obsessed with everything black&gold, these are some of my purse contents. I also keep a handfull of shelves that I picked up from Saparua beach in my bag, I like their texture and the sound they make when I play with them.
I'm doing a collab magazine design brief for uni. I've been to several bookshops and at Claire De Rouen's, where I've been drooling over the amazing collection of books and (exclusive) fan- and magazines the have in stock, my magmate introduced me to Swedish made Acne Paper. The combination of carefully selected subjects, choice of paper and simple binding makes my pills pop. So does (the paper stock of) Exponere. We also went sample shopping for our own magazine.
A hint of some work I've done for the project so far. (This includes doing a typeface out of homo-erotic imagery that I haven't posted up here yet.)
I came, I saw and found my third home. It's been an amazing month in Indonesia, going from spiritual but touristy Tanjung Benoa on Bali to a transit stopover in Ujung Pandang on Makassar to my beautiful Maluku islands for a family visit in Ambon City on Ambon Island, followed by finding my roots in my grandparents villages Kampung Mahu (maternal) and Kampung Haria (paternal) on Saparua Island. I've been there and despite the recent wars, corruption and the poverty I now consider Indonesia to be the most beautiful country in the world in so many ways, hand down. Bleh, I'm more jetlagged than I want to admit and am still trying to adjust back to London life, so more photos and stories will follow soon.
I wouldn't have wanted to miss this trip for the world!