After the hectic bustle of London-Niger-London-New York it's been nice to sit by a river and smell the grass. I have fantasies of becoming a lobster fisherman in Maine...
The desert always reminds me of the 'The English Patient' by Michael Ondaatje. For me it is the book that best captures why people fall in love with deserts, or maybe just fall in love with anything. Despite the harshness and difficulty, despite the heat and dust.
“And all the names of the tribes, the nomads of faith who walked in the monotone of the desert and saw brightness and faith and colour. The way a stone or found metal box or bone can become loved and turn eternal in a prayer. Such glory of this country she enters now and becomes a part of. We die containing a richness of lovers and tribes, tastes we have swallowed, bodies we have plunged into and swum up as if rivers of wisdom, characters we have climbed into as if trees, fears we have hidden in as if caves. I wish for all of this to be marked on my body when I am dead. I believe in such cartography—to be marked by nature, not just to label ourselves on a map like the names of rich men and women on buildings. We are communal histories, communal books. We are not owned or monogamous in our taste or experience. All I desired was to walk upon such an earth that had no maps.”
― Michael Ondaatje, The English Patient
I went to the Egyptian Sahara when I was 25, and now deserts are inextricably entwined with the excitement that I felt as a young reporter adventuring. The Niger desert was green from the rains. Pools of muddy water everywhere that camels rolled in the early morning. It felt soothing to be in a pure landscape again, no roads, traffic noise, and people on top of one another.
The Tuaregs fittingly thought that I was one of them, the same color, the same hair, and cheekbones. One old lady was convinced that I was her cousin, a newly arrived Malian refugee from Maradi!
A little film that we made about dancers and our ideas of beauty. Enjoy!
And I hope it inspires people to go out and dance.
From the Chris Marker exhibition and the Whitechapel Gallery.
Also, for the people who don't know, 'The Cure for Homesickness' made it into the Cannes Short Film Corner. So, the Executive Producer and I will be Cannes bound for the end of May.