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Photo of the Week
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ISSUE

121

This week in the Photo of the Week:

"The arches of samba
(Lapa neighborhood in Rio de Janeiro part 1: captured in film)"



photo of this weeks photo of the week




photo of this weeks photo of the week




photo of this weeks photo of the week


The Arches of Samba

We are always busy making, buying and selling things that make our life easier, and exactly because of that business (busy-ness) we never get to live easy.

We are not pleased with this human paradox.
That is why we name the result of our busy-ness 'progress'.

For example, when you build a city near swamps with sickening water and you have to walk miles to retrieve fresh water, then eventually you would like, you might even pray, for something to bring that water to you. So you come up with and build canals and an aquaduct. You are proud of it and you make it all look very beautiful. You call it 'a feat of human progress'. Now it is there and you get the water easily, so you go on to the next thing that is not easy, and try to fix that. After all, you have a lot of time, now that you don't have to walk so much anymore.

This kind of logic seems to be embedded in all mankind. At least examples of it can be found all over the planet.

Photo of the Week 121 shows the Carioca Aquaduct* in the Lapa neighborhood of Rio de Janeiro. It was built in the 18th century. After water it transferred people on the Santa Teresa Tramway which was laid out on top. Presently it is functionless because of some tramway accidents, but I am told people are working to change this state.

But Photo of the Week 121 also shows something else. It shows what happens when the human focus swifts from being clever, practical and busy in order to make life easier, to being clever, practical and industrious in order to achieve progress.

Once, yes, once we took such pride in our accomplishments that we have kept on painting them white, century after century after century. But look what we are doing now. Climb on top of the Arches of Samba and see what the world looks like now, now that progress itself has become the main goal.



photo of this weeks photo of the week


Monumental Netherlands

Photo of the Week 122 immediately reminds me of its creator. We know that the photographer resides in Brazil and most of us know he is Dutch by birth. These photographs entitled 'Monumental Netherlands' were taken by a man who was, at the time, a visitor in his own country.

In my experience you do not necessarily have to indefinitely relocate to feel such a visitor. A substantial stint in surroundings that are exceedingly foreign to you can do the trick. This may even happen in your own country.

You look at all that is familiar and yet you feel it is strange. The familiar hasn't changed, that would go against its nature, wouldn't it?! No, you have. You look at the familiar with new eyes.

The emotional results of feeling foreign in your own country, as well as the feeling itself, can extend to all things in your life. Tom Waits wrote a song about this, which a friend of mine put on a cassette (remember those??!) he gave to me when I took of for a few months of traveling. It is this song that I think of when I see at these Dutch monuments:

I never saw the morning 'til I stayed up all night
I never saw the sunshine 'til you turned out the light
I never saw my hometown until I stayed away too long
I never heard the melody, until I needed a song.

I never saw the white line, 'til I was leaving you behind
I never knew I needed you 'til I was caught up in a bind
I never spoke 'I love you' 'til I cursed you in vain,
I never felt my heartstrings until I nearly went insane.

I never saw the east coast 'til I move to the west
I never saw the moonlight until it shone off your breast
I never saw your heart 'til someone tried to steal,
Tried to steal it away
I never saw your tears until they rolled down your face

See a video of the song 'San Diego Serenade' (1974) by Tom Waits

Texto: Peter-Jan Vermeij
Website Peter-Jan (in Dutch)

Until the next Photo of the Week!

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Texts and photography –unless stated otherwise–
all rights reserved © 2010-2012 Maarten Zeehandelaar

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