Today we went back to the orphanage in Santiago, this time to have a party with the kids. Bizcocho y helado. When I took out my camera. The kids were immediately enthralled with taking photos of themselves, of eachother, of the party and of the buildings and sharing those photos. I wish that I could acquire a grant and come back a couple of times a week and start a photography program. I wish I could give them all cameras so that they could capture their world on their terms and show everyone their perspective. We could have a little gallery at the end with all of the pictures that they’ve taken. Those kids didn’t live in the imaginary. No matter how little they had. They still knew how to capture the beauty & good in every moment.
I hate to see the way that developing nations have to act like prostitutes to attract foreign capital. I hate the way that local culture and communities are destroyed and lives forever altered for the development of a tourism industry. I hate to see trade deficits so plainly in my face in the form of American and Chinese imports. I hate the way that colonization and the thought construction that made colonization possible can still be seen in the minds, society and culture of the previously colonized people. I hate it, but I have to question the validity of my hate. At times I think that I can not hate it because I do not know it. I can understand the history, economic theory, psychology and social phenomena behind it but I can not truly feel it. I can feel and see the consequences of it, but I wonder how much I can ever truly understand. I wonder how much my privilege has informed my biases. I see the Dominican Republic as the mirror image of the experiences of my part of the African Diaspora. The struggle for identity is one that I can witness in the United States as we grasp for a culture that was made out of necessity and pain. A culture that was never truly ours in a way because it was born out of disruption. That is the mirror image. Also, I am privy to the occasional shadows of our pre-civil rights past. But those things remain copies or shadows of it all. Everything is so interconnected in this country, identity & feeling is so complicated that I feel that although on the surface, certain things can look uncanningly similar and feel so familiar that I have had to force myself to recognize the depths beneath. Depths that I have hardly waded in….I don’t think that this is making sense.
I got super excited about this short story that I wrote that was completely in spanish. I had all of my verb tenses; conditional, preterite, imperfect, future, all correct. And it was political satire. I am officially beyond nerdy because I wanted to publish the story.
“Every new acquaintance and friendship is a new story. Soon as relationships blossom, their decembers arrive. Detach yourself from the concept of who they are to you and just appreciate them for being; beings that make you smile and beings that distract you. You never know when you’ll stop meaning something to somebody and you won’t always know why.”
-Farra Naz”—(via bollywoodbollywood)