Worth a thousand tears

August 8, 2007

Talk about gravitas! This painting hangs in a bar near my Brooklyn apartment, presumably for sale.

grimafrica.jpg

I don’t know who the artist is or why anyone would want that leering skull hanging in the kitchen. But clearly, the artist cares.

The picture reminds me of those computer generated posters where every pixel in an image is itself a photograph. Put together a thousand tiny pictures and, voila, a kitten. In Africa, my planned approach is the opposite. It’s to describe a hundred of those photos. It won’t be as cute or coherent as a kitten.

One theme that may recur through those post is economic life, taking and trading, needs and wants. It’s an arena where almost everyone participates, a concept everyone understands. A very experienced journalist recently told me that even in war zones its possible to find people going about their business. They need to eat. This increases exponentially beyond immediate danger. Even in difficult conditions most people seek out normalcy and stability. Their effort is worth acknowledging and recording. If that seems too obvious to write, take another look at the painting.

OK, enough speculating. See you over there.

 

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