Thursday, September 22, 2016

On why I became a photographer...

I am not sure. It was an accident. 

When I was 15 years old, rummaging my grandfather’s library I found a Lumix camera from the 50’s, with a variable collection of lenses, crystal lenses, a Super 8 camera and a more modern Sony video camera, from the 80’s. Nobody in my family ever told me about my grandpa’s hobby, probably because nobody understood its value. I never got to meet him, but on the films he had there, whenever I hold them against the light, I could just see beautiful frames. For instance he had some pictures from a very famous place in my hometown, a chain of waterfalls of brownish stones. I was there thousand times, but the frames in my grandfather’s films seemed unreal, as I didn’t know that place. He captured not only water, but the trees around, and the birds, I will never forget how significant the frames of the birds against the overexposed sky were to me. 

Much later in my life I started studying film and consequently my parents got me a DSLR. With the years using it, just recently I found a passion on this artefact that freezes time and capture moments. Just now I understand why my grandpa loved it. It’s quite unique the lonesome feeling that a camera gives you. The solitude has a purpose, the solitude articulates and materialised itself. you can be surrounded by people, yet if you have one eye closed, and one open on the frame window, you are truly alone, seeing the world through a tiny dark room… seeing it all from your own unique perspective. Sometimes it’s just a matter of walking somewhere, looking up, and be seduced by how two buildings build symmetry, so with the camera you capture those lines that can exist only in the place you step and within the frame you measure. With a camera, life becomes a universe itself, you exist on a specific place, and from your point of view each picture you capture it’s as you were capturing a star on the firmament, from start to start there is just empty space, as there is from frame to frame, on your immediate firmament. Sometimes it’s just a matter of immortalising a sunset or sunrise, which will only exist few hours a day. With photography ‘existence’ earns a meaning, you are constantly capturing what exists, in that precise moment, in that precise place. It won’t be repeated, ever again, however you captured it. I spend an amazing amount of time capturing the sky, I have seen thousand clouds, they will never repeat themselves, they will vanish within hours… but they can be in a frame and they can exist forever.

I guess for my grandpa photography had the value of being something entirely for himself. He was a business man, a merchant, he used to spend most of his time travelling around the country, away from home, and photography it’s something that accompanies you, in so many ways, the world it’s constantly talking to you, not just people, the sky, the birds, an old woman, a child, a trash can… photography it’s the art of appreciation, and a camera the tool to capture the moments you feel privileged. It becomes the healthiest addiction, you day to day decisions on how you want to understand the environment that surrounded you, and if you put a thought on your frame, it becomes your day to day metaphor’s printer, and you’ll never forget that thought.

I say it was an accident, because when I got a camera I never though of its power, not only for who is audience, but for oneself, because whenever you capture something in front of the camera, you’re also capturing who’s behind, who you were when you took that picture. Therefore, since I saw the pictures of my grandpa, I could know who he was, while my family always portrayed  him as the most strict person on earth… on his pictures, he was a disarmed free man. I am glad I have a camera, it’s one of the greatest things of my life. I was always an observant of details around me, and the camera gives me the perfect excuse to capture them. 

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

We live in a world of walls… what if we push them?

I learnt something about justice when I was in my 1st year of High School. Back in the days intimidation wasn't something labeled as bullying, but I suffered at times from this, sporadicly. There was this classmate of mine which had a crush on the same girl I had a crush on... this friendly, popular girl that smiles at everyone. So this guy and I didn’t have the greatest relationship ever, however we used to spend some time together, because we were both very unnoticed in the school. We used to fight over silly things, I don’t even remember one specifically, but I remember the relationship was always uncomfortable. 

One morning, outside the classroom, within the recess time, I was with few friends, talking. This guy comes to me to be annoying as always and ignoring him was always my weapon. I was maybe even afraid of raising my voice, but back then when I was bullied, I couldn’t really frame myself fighting with anyone. To fight requires to be angry, with life, with oneself, and I wasn’t even close to that. My family was great to me and I used to have so much things to enjoy outside school, things that were so mine, that I couldn’t possibly develop rage then. That morning I had a sandwich my mom did for me as any other morning of my life in school, I didn’t take it out of the bag to consume it because I hated to be seen in school having my mom’s food. Apparently we all suffer from this “fear” once in our life, but now I just can think… who the hell in my school had the blessing of having a mother who could be awake at 5am just to prepare her son a proper and nutrient meal for the day? No one. Very few. 

Anyways, the fact that I wasn’t eating at the moment did not meant I wasn’t about to eat my breakfast… I used to wait until the recess ending, to then eat without being seen by anyone, even if that could make me arrive late to class. But this morning, this particular morning I won’t be able to eat at the end of the recess, because the recess ended right there. This guys comes to me and starts kicking me, he never went physical on me, but for some reason this morning he decided to and he started kicking me in the ass. I ask him to stop what he’s doing, and I remember clearly pointing at the fact that in my bag I had my sandwich, and I didn’t want my breakfast to be ruined by his foot. He’s careless as always and he keeps kicking me no matter what, until finally he reaches my bag with his foot (my sandwich). I then lost my patience and I confronted him rudely, he confronted me back, and in a matter of seconds we’re fighting in the middle of the school. He’s trowing his fist at me, and I’m replying by just standing and blocking myself with my arms. Once in that situation I only could think “Is this necessary?”. As I see he wouldn’t stop until he could ground me, and as I see everyone is gathering around encouraging us both, I decided to throw my fist on him, right at his face… I broke his glasses, and he starts crying.

When everything is over, a lecturer comes to us and take us to the office. In there, we’re both seating in front of the coordinator, while he’s crying… the coordinator asks “so, what happened?”… I explained myself to her, I explained that he was bothering me and that he kicked my mother’s food. He excuses himself, he calls me liar… I’m expecting the coordinator to fully understand the situation and act accordingly to what was happening. In less than five minutes my expectations fell down, when the coordinator tell us “Okay... you guys like the same girl, right?”… I couldn’t believe such question after I just explained to her what happened. So I answer honestly “Yes… but that has nothing to do with this”. I explained again he kicked my mother’s food. My coordinator says “I understand, you guys like the same girl, and that’s why you’re fighting for”… I was speechless, back then I couldn’t realise the laziness of this woman of actually doing her job. She continues “You guys never had this behaviour, so as it is the first time, I will let you guys go… but next time I will suspend you”. She tells us to go.

I went outside that office tremendously confused. I remember I was just so disappointed at the fact that when I entered that office I thought there will be justice to what just happened to me, and I left feeling that everything that happened was just in my imagination. So at the end, who bullied me? It was my classmate or my coordinator? “the authority”. I’m pretty sure that such event didn’t disappeared from my mind because today I can see in it, first, the uncomfortableness I felt from my school that I never could explain in words was intrinsically attach to the fact that they as institution does not care even a bit of the students as individuals, and second, there in such small event I can notice why the world lives in such state of decadency. How many students in the year before and after what I lived have crossed through that office, probably with biggest problems, how many students have crashed with such walls of ignorance?.


We live in a world of walls… what if we push them? 

Self confidence first, gender for later.

Someone on your circle of friends will sooner or later suggest you to use Tinder, the following question to that is “how does it work?”, and you’ll hear the typical answer, “you can meet random people and you can hook up”. Cool...

So what if you actually want to meet someone?. Let’s be honest, most of the people there is looking for one night stand. Tinder is like an online club… girls are there to be convinced, and guys are there to convinced them. But that makes me ask myself, since when such polarisation between genders exists on earth?. What if you really want just to meet someone? I mean, to really meet someone… to find another mind out of those you’re used to in your daily life. I have friends that think talking two weeks straight to someone without getting sex it’s boring… what are they thinking?.

I like talking on daily basis, if we saw our picture and we liked each other, why wouldn't I want to know you? You know that phrase everyone says of "be yourself", I'm always myself and I have to accept the fact that precisely being myself won’t be that much of interest. Don’t misunderstand me, I do not think I am a boring guy, all the contrary. But what do you look for in someone you want to hook up with? Their vision of the world? no… just a picture. I have had many Tinder matches, no one wants to talk about themselves or at least, about something worth talking about… that just proves that you’re either afraid or empty, and if that is the case, I don't want to know you, even if you're the sexiest person I've seen, because what your body can offer in a night, I can have it from someone that could seduce me with her mind first, and I could have it for several months. I know I’m sounding kind of dogmatic, but I really wonder, why people wants to just fuck? what does that offer in life? what does one achieves?. If there’s something I’ve learnt on my step for mankind is that the depths of someone’s mind is always worth exploring. 

For us, guys, this thing is so difficult, I used to think that it was only me, but is everywhere around. Personally, I always felt horrible because I couldn’t have one night stand, because that is what we are supposed to do. What if you’re not a person who might like having one night stand? What if you are not like that?. I know, any guy friend will tell me I’m lying with something like this; “will you tell me that if a girl just comes to you and tell you to fuck her you’ll say no?”… Of course I’ll say yes, if that happens. But even, if it does, in which circumstances?, because when I was 18 a girl wanted to have sex with me in my parent’s car, and I couldn’t stop thinking about the fact that, precisely, it wasn’t my car. That my mother or my father will probably use the vehicle the very next day, wouldn’t that be disrespectful and disgusting?. Yeah they won’t know, but I will. I am not religious, I’m not even close to be conservative, I just have a common sense I think we guys should have… If not, why are we seen as a gender of cavemen?. This girl wanted to fuck me right there and I’m not supposed to think for myself? What if I really liked her? What if I wanted to be with her in another way? The intimacy of a room, for instance. I had to do it just to mark it as done on a checklist of fantasies? My point is… why do we have to be so standardised within the gender?. 

Most of my teenage days I though I was gay, I really did, I thought I was so wrong, so out of place on this earth, I couldn’t, in any way think differently, not with my environment, because no one else around me thought differently, not even my gay friends, they used to tell me one day they'll see me with a guy. And there you are, on a race you started running because someone screamed to you “go, go!” when you were too distracted -you were being a kid-, to have the chance to stop and ask them… “wait a second, why am I running for?”. It's enough to just have a conversation with my male friends to realise that this gender thing is a jail for everyone. I mean, even for those who apparently enjoy to just have a different girl per week, what are you gaining? Where are you growing!? as a person, as a human being, for god’s sake. Your penis is not exclusive, it’s not an ultimate weapon, there is so much imagination that can deliver pleasure to a woman beyond the penis. We can’t be that basic. I think society needs to rethink manhood urgently, we are in these times of defending equality without paying attention to the fact that to gain that, first both parts need to see themselves as equals inside their respective gender. Women should have same rights as men, yeah… men needs to put their shit together first.
I was once playing Mario Kart with my nephew, a very childish videogames, he was playing with Princess Peach’s character… he was around 5 years old… five!… and the father comes (my brother), and realising he’s playing with a female character he tells him “What are you doing playing with a girl? you have to choose a male character”… he was five, he was enjoying deeply within his childhood, he was into the music, the vivid colours, the funny voices, the competition… he was into everything except into if he chose a girl or a boy. And there he was then, in front of his father, disarmed, thinking how wrong he’ve done… and I asked myself inside, are you helping your son to grow or are you inheriting your fears on him?. 

Self confidence first, gender for later. I was never self confident -with anything-, and since I’ve been able to disarm myself from the gender jail I have actually realised I can be confident -with anything-. Living your life as a gender close your eyes and cover your ears, while at the same time you currently live in a world of powers that want you to be blind, deaf and dumb. So fight against what you can defeat. I have friends that can fuck a different girl every week, and yet they are unconfident in the most idiotic things… again, self confidence first, gender for later... when you’re right there in bed and everything turns animal, when you’re delivering what you’re naturally predetermined to give. There be the man, because physiologically we can be a gender, but humanly we can be as diverse as the universe itself.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

La partida.

"No sé como podrán mis labios pronunciar, la frase de un adiós cuando vaya a partir. Será un momento triste y cruel que hará a mi corazón sentir la pena de la ausencia que es más dura que el morir"

-Carlos Bonet.


Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Perpetual

Perpetual, your timid gaze at my eyes.
Perpetual, your fragrance surrounding my senses.
Perpetual your silence, your heavens.
I’ve been falling in love with you, with your vessel.

Confronting the challenge of constructing on your seas,
I have found uneven grounds, I have found some rotten seeds.
But as perpetual my intentions, perpetual your disposition,
perpetual my love, my sentiments with precision.

Pedalling the bicycle, wandering on this circle.
Pedalling my love working in this circus.
Juggling with my words your orgasms, your impetus.

Don’t let me fall from the rope,
do not break my somnambulism.
Because I have tied hands,
with knees on the ground,
drinking, savouring your limbo.

My love, my great love, my delirium…
I have tied hands, knees on the ground,
ready to be your perpetual martyrdom.

Abuela.

Abuela, hace mucho tiempo que, por costumbre no me refiero a ti con ese sustantivo. Pero hoy tal palabra no solo posee sustancia, si no también, el atributo de lo fijo de un sustantivo como lo fijo de mi sentimiento por ti. La distancia nos ha enmarcado de silencio, cuando siempre estuve allí para escucharte y hablarte; desde niño, tus oídos siempre estuvieron dispuestos a mis narraciones. Soñé ésta noche contigo, hace mucho que no recibo tu abrazo, y hace mucho que lo extraño. Mira, hoy te escribo estas líneas, procuro ser tan pulcro y entretenido como tantas otras líneas que leíste en tu vida, procuro ser tu atención, cual novela recién comprada para ti de la mano de alguna de tus hijas. En mi sueño de anoche, tu te preparabas para partir de éste mundo, imposible no recordar, muy agradablemente, que quizá desde las navidades de 2004 nos decías, que quizá las próximas no estarías aquí. Que sorpresa te ha dado la vida, quién sabe realmente por qué, pero ya más de 90 ciclos has experimentado del mundo. Fuiste testigo del país que hoy todos soñamos, viste caer aquel sueño y lo viste alzarse una y otra vez en toda nuestra historia. Ayudaste a los otros, serviste a tu comunidad. Leíste miles de líneas, viviste lujos culposos, pero quizá lo más resaltante para mi, fue tu manera de estar allí para mí. Siempre disfruté tu compañía por sobre muchas cosas, me gustaba acompañarte al mercado, a la panadería, a pagar cuentas… cuando todavía tu cuerpo te lo permitía. Siempre anduve de tu mano abuela, nunca la soltaba. De todo un poquito, en casa, te ayudaba con lo que podía. Me llevabas a tus caminatas por la tarde, en Caracas o en Ciudad Bolívar. Me escuchaste los cuentos de Disney. Me cocinaste huevo con carne molida y arroz. Me inculcaste disciplina autoritaria. Me enseñaste las tablas de multiplicar. ¿Recuerdas abuela? cuando algo te dibujaba. Te dibujé el pico Bolívar en cinco páginas, después de mi primer viaje a Mérida, que colgaste junto a aquel rosario de madera en le que recuerdo gasté 10 bolívares para regalarte. Abuela, mi respeto por ti es profundo, porque fuiste mi primer mundo externo. En aquel viejo revistero de madera en tu estrambótica sala, recuerdo mi primera vez interesado en el mundo, cuando veía aquellos libros de Jerusalem. Hace más de 60 años quizá, y perdona si equivoco fechas, pisaste suelo de medio Oriente, yo hoy día me como un shawarma cada semana. Es lindo tenerte en este mundo, incluso por el solo hecho de representar una especie de estacionamiento en el tiempo. Nos has visto a todos, crecer y ser, eres testigo, eres libro que imprime lo que fuimos y lo que somos… eres pilar, Pilar. Mi respeto por ti es profundo, es extenso, lleno de luces varias, de momentos únicos, verdaderos, no perecederos, cálidos. Mi respeto está aquí, dentro de mí, de estas líneas, de cada que pienso en ti. Abuela, si mañana vas a dormir y al día siguiente no puedes abrazarme más, quiero que sepas que siempre te he amado con todo mi corazón, que eres color que no se destiñe en el tiempo, que tu calidez es sensación que siempre trae paz a mi alma, que siempre te recuerdo con tu bata de dormir en tu rutina, que siempre quise defenderte de mi hermano Jesús cuando perdía la paciencia contigo, pero no me atrevía yo siendo muy niño. Quiero decirte que, la vida me ha regalado placeres que incluso jamás soñé, que aquel niño que te contaba historias ha contado miles más y ha escrito la suya propia, y que soy feliz, tan feliz como el final de esos cuentos. Lamento no llegar a casa cada tarde y hablar contigo unos minutos, yo sé que es duro, dime abuela ¿Quién más entraba a tu cuarto a sentarse contigo en la cama frente al televisor? Hay cosas que son irremplazables, y quiero que sepas hoy que, sin pensarlo si quiera un segundo, tu eres de esas cosas que se van a quedar en mi alma para siempre. Gracias por todo lo que siempre fuiste para mí, gracias por la confianza, el respeto, la atención. Te extraño, y te mando un abrazo. Aunque esté lejos, recuerda quien fui contigo, recuérdame y llévame en tu corazón, que yo en el mío te tengo como elemento purificador. 

Antes de despedirme quiero decirte que, a tu hija erudita, mi madre, le debemos este maravilloso sentimiento. No importa cuanto ustedes puedan no entenderse a veces, ella siempre procuró tu existencia en nuestras vidas. Ahora que también ella se te va, abrázala muy fuerte, y abrázala por mí, porque lo que nos ata son cadenas imposibles de romper, cadenas de lo más irremediable del universo, la explosión de una estrella creo el mundo, ese mundo le dio ácido sulfúrico a previos habitantes, ese mundo le dio oasis masivo a dinosaurios, ese mundo le otorgó a los continentes, países, esos países le otorgaron a su gente, guerras, y la guerra te disparó un italiano, y con el italiano, mi madre, y con mi madre yo. Mira bien abuela mía, mira bien sus ojos, no es solo tu hija, es esa estrella.

People.

Right before leaving my country, four years ago, my bank account had some money left. So I decided to take my debit card to a book store. I was leaving to the other side of the world, and Asia was to me a continent I wanted to discover. So I got myself this book "Asia; a travel for every country of the continent". I was in love with the northeast and I was just focused on meeting as much Chinese, Koreans and Japanese I could.

Today I realise, Malaysia has given me the opportunity to touch a bit of every cloud on this finite sky called earth. And I can't believe how unnoticed have been the fact that this entire book became a reality to me in one way or another... Passing every page, I can say "I met someone from here".

Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, China, Mongolia, South Korea, Japan, India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Yemen, Syria, Libya, Jordan...

The book ends and I can recall... Malaysia even gave me the chance to meet people from all over the world, U.S., Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador, Argentina, Spain, France, Germany, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Botswana, South Africa, Sudan, Australia, Lithuania, Greece, Algeria... And I'm sure, as I've seen thousand faces, I've forgotten many.

With such scenario, I've witness this amazing movie which is earth and I've had contact, in shorter or longer periods, with any of our actors. I've shake hands, I've talk, I've sing, I've worked, I've had dinners, walks, beers... I've had arguments, I've shared visions... I've share something with this people... the people that gives a meaning to this planet. Nowhere else, ever, we will find this, the most successful slabon of life... the people, the ones that keep talking and walking and fighting and dancing and singing and writting and creating and destroying... giving a proper meaning to earth. 


What a privilege this of us, to be able to share a gigantic globe with millions of equals that were born like you and that will die like you. And to be able to share this, our little secret in the solar system.