Greetings! I'm on stop over in Abu Dhabi on my way to Mumbai. The personal entertainment console in the plane made me forget about how far I was traveling (beautiful Crazy Heart), but the change of culture was everywhere from the second I stepped off.
Tall white-robed men checking passports at immigration, people visibly from all corners of Asia everywhere, large families with lots of children, a foot-washing station leading past the washrooms towards a full prayer room. Bollywood music is playing behind me and I am alone in my euro garb amongst it all. I am smiling from ear to ear.
Toronto, you have given me so much and I am profoundly thankful for the friends, for you, whom I have met there and hope to stay in contact with. Four years ago I came back a jaded "European" from a gratuitous eye-opening experience in Spain, and I leave with the firmest of regards for the strong community identities, the spontaneity, the haphazardness and both dusty and leafy green urbanity of the North-American and Canadian city. I am glad to have dropped and left strong roots there and will forever regard myself a citizen of Kensington, Bloor & Ossington, Christie Pits...
Allow me to leave you with some quotes from Magnum photographer Constantine Manos who we went to see Wednesday night as part of the Contact Photography festival. I will include some of my favorite quotes from last year with David Alan Harvey in a future post.
"Any fool can take a picture but why don't you try and play the violin" so practice!
"When you cut off the heads, the bodies become symbolic"
"If you bring me some bad pictures, I can help you."
"America is a salad that hasn't been tossed"
"Leave the answers and solutions to the viewer"
"I don't arrange things, that's the way I am, that's the way I'll be"
"Having a passion is one of the most wonderful things a human being can have" [...] even "a passion for hybrid raccoons"