Yet it holds true, soaking up the black liquid, allowing itself to turn its surface into something new, a tattoo of what is yet to come.
She loses herself.
Has it been an hour? A day? A month? How long has she been sat under this spotlight, hunched over her note book, churning out images that pull at her imagination, forcing themselves to take form. She stops and places the pen beside the paper carefully, as if she was nervous of disturbing the drying pictures, heavy with ink. She always pressed too hard when she drew. It is what gave her drawings such intensity I think.
She lets her hand drop to her lap and fumbles about in her back pocket for her tobacco and papers, still focused intently on the images before her. She breaks her gaze to roll a cigarette and rubbing the paper with her stained fingers, brushing her cheek with her hand, leaving a smudge of her creation on her jaw line. Lifting her lighter for her cigarette she catches sight of her hands, pale in the soft surrounding light on the periphery of her desk lamp. She flexes her fingers and holds her hands out, palms down, for an inspection. Flecks of ink spattered across her skin and dark patches shined where she had pressed down on spilled ink that still remained from the previous days work. Her short nails made her hands her own, feminine, light with their touch, still and passive. Insatiable.
She lowers one hand and finds her cigarette with the other. She leans back and smiles, wiping the loose hair from her face, rubbing her eyes, relaxing her smile and letting her head roll to one side. She closes her eyes and sees the images she had just painted dance in front of her.
Her eyes snap back open and she grins quickly, eyes sparkling as she stubs out her cigarette.
There was work to do.
I have recently finished reading 'Freakonomics' by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner. Which has now also become a documentary film.
It is one of those books I have seen kicking about for a while and I kept thinking that eventually I would get around to picking it up and reading it in a couple of sittings, like Gladwell's the 'Tipping Point' or 'Blink'. And true to my ideas, I found myself in Battersea library with some spare time and a new library card (Which I found painfully exciting... all those free books) and so decided this was the time. A new start at a new university, a new city, a new interest in economics (heightened by our change in government and the stronghold the economy has in determining the realisation of human rights) and so the time had come for this book.
And I have to admit is it extremely interesting- a little bit too neutral at some points, but able to show a side of data collection and analysis which makes me question every statistic that has ever been quoted before me. There are so many barriers and boundaries, so many correlating factors in the universe that attribute to a certain phenomenon, that it is nigh on impossible for a little left-winged student like myself to begin to grasp the ideas encompassed in this book. They did however, make me laugh out loud on the tube, smiling at the very ideas themselves and their blatancy.
It is very USA orientated, and very data heavy (of course) but the two Steve's have a magical way of explaining things without seeming condescending or over complicated, in a natural, lecturer to student kind of dynamic. They ask you to question what you thought you always new, and present you with a new, different way of looking at the links between different things... causality if you will. Which is very relevant in society today. After all, we are spoon fed things to believe in by the ever more conservative main streem media facets every single day. Why not question their angle?
The content you will have to judge for yourself, but the way in which the information is executed is fantastic and readable. The only problem is, I think it has planted a seed of doubt in my already cynical mind as to the nature of data and statistic gathering... so obscure and so dense, I honestly doubt I could see the trees for the woods.
Now, I have seen absolutely massive posters of this show plastered all over the underground, at every station, on every billboard. The picture shows what at first glance appears to be a favella, or bantustan, but is in fact, two villages divided by a wall. And the wall in question is the Israeli Security Fence, or the apartheid wall, depending on which side of the structure you are sat.
The fruition of this programme is very important I feel. And it ties in directly to the process of dehumanization of conflict we see in society today. The documentaries on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict that have called to me the most have been those which encapture the human side of the conflict (eg. encounterpoint) and yet, address the fact there there are two sides, both trapped in a cycle.
The drama highlights the fact that these are real human beings, that live in a shared space, that affect one another completely in all aspects of their lives. And with this, the element of history is tied to the conflict with the role of British (which many forget and know very little about).
I am extremely interested to see how the programme develops. I felt there was a distinct lack of Palestinians in the first episode, yet I feel it has the capacity to show the extent of dehumanization of Palestinians and Palestinian Israelis. But we shall see.
Watch it here.
and read and interview with the director Peter Kosminsky here.
"Where, after all, do universal human rights begin? In small places, close to home - so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any maps of the world. Yet they are the world of the individual person; the neighborhood he lives in; the school or college he attends; the factory, farm, or office where he works. Such are the places where every man, woman, and child seeks equal justice, equal opportunity, equal dignity without discrimination.
Unless these rights have meaning there, they have little meaning anywhere. Without concerted citizen action to uphold them close to home, we shall look in vain for progress in the larger world."