I recently came across an opinion piece in The Guardian on the term ‘expat’ that really piqued my interest. It asserted that the term was an inherently racist one that elevated European migrants to the status of ‘expat’ above their migrant peers from other parts of the world. For me, the term has an altogether different – less flattering – meaning based on the people who I have encountered use it and those that I have seen it used to describe.
A time when we shake of the decorum and expectations of adulthood and re-enact what was once a simple weekend activity. The blissful simplicity of youth is reborn and we renounce expectation. Some Gulal power paint, cheap water guns and the desire to create a rainbow of anarchic revelry is all one really needs for the Holi festival. Its origins and sentiment are perhaps as beautiful as the vibrant crowd it produces.
Why is it that some forms of entertainment are weighed down with pretension whereas others are devoid of such esteem? I recently went to see a production of the opera Aida and it was a noteworthy performance. The stage was beautifully crafted, the performances, at times, were magnificent and the orchestra impeccable. In short, I was captivated by the performance. However – as often occurs at such events – I was bewildered at the crowd’s almost senseless applause at any opportunity.
It’s been a while since I’ve posted and this period can only really be described as a creative hiatus. It would be wrong to call it writer’s block because the problem extended far beyond words on a page. It was more of a shutting down of creative thought. It’s curious that periods like effect more than just my writing and creativity. It – at risk of melodrama – corrodes the very sinews of the soul and chips away at my sense of purpose.
Writing and creating are towards the heart of my sense of being, if they are interrupted I feel lost.
Last year, I wrote an article about creating an artwork from chaos. I went to Tenerife’s Carnaval. It’s an event whose Christian origins are, thankfully, lost in a sea of beer, urine and colourful costumes, storming with the beats of Spanish salsa sounds. I arrived – as before – with a blank canvas, paint and colouring markers intent of creating another piece with the help of the masses.