Saturday, November 20, 2010

Armenian Diaspora Symposium

What a productive day! After working at my school for 2 hours I went to the International symposium about the Armenian diaspora at USC.
I met George Deukmejian.
There were many educated professors and journalists who spoke.
Mark Arax was the award-winning journalist from Fresno who talked about his experience as a journalist at L.A. Times and his views of the Armenian culture.
Garin Hovannisian was in the audience. He is Professor Richard Hovannisian's grandson, Rafi's son. Garin is very young and has already published a book called "Family of Shadows".
In 1988 Garin was participating in a demonstration at Los Angeles City College. He was probably 2 years old. I took a photo of him holding a sign "One Nation One Republic". That photo was publish in the Armenian magazine called 80s (Outsounagan). The editor and publisher was Ishkhan Jinbashian.
Last July when I was in Armenia I saw Rafi and Armineh Hovannisian, Garin's parents.
Armineh remembered that photo.
I am so proud of Hovannisian's family.

Professor Armen Marsoobian

On Wednesday, November 17, 2010 Philosophy professor Marsoobian had a very interesting presentation about Merzifon and Anatolia College by using his family photographs and journals. His uncle, Aram Dildilian, was a photographer at the beginning of the 20th century. Armen Marsoobian still has some of the glass negatives. These photos have documented lives in Anatolia and they survived the Armenian Genocide.
The event was at Ararat-Eskijian Museum in Mission Hills, Los Angeles area.

Ara Oshagan's book

My dear photographer friend, Ara Oshagan, has published his book that he had been working on for several years. It is called "Father Land". It includes black and white photographs of Armenia with a text by his father, Vahe Oshagan.
In conjunction with the book Ara has a photography exhibition at the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery at Barnsdall Park.
Along with Ara some other artists have their work. Charlie Hachadourian is one of the participating artists. His clay sculpture are amazing and original.
Bravo to Ara. Congratulations.


On Saturday, October 23, 2010 I attended a literature event organized by Southern California Independent Booksellers Association (SCIBA).
I met many famous writers who primarily write for children and young adults.
In one picture is Michael Grant.

Women Writers

On Friday, October 8, 2010 I was invited to an event of women writers of Hedgebrook.
I was invited by Dorothy Randall Gray. She is the person who pushes me to do my best and write my stories. I don't know how she found my email and invited me to her writing workshops but I know she came into my life for a reason.
I attended her writing workshop in March of 2010. She graciously accepted to edit my mother's self-help book that I have translated from Farsi to English. It's in the process of getting published.
During the Hedgebrook event I met very interesting women. The way they told their stories were very unique and original.
I met Ruth Forman, Pearl Sharp, Mayda DelValle, Amalia Ortiz, Kip, and Amy Wheeler.
Thank you Dorothy.
Check this retreat for women writers.

Peace Tent September 2010

Another year of beautiful activities for the Peace Tent by my dear friend, Marineh Khachadour. Her husband, famous artist Charlie Hachadourian, baked fresh lavash bread on the first and last days of the event.
The Peace Tent activities last for a week, September 19 - 26.
Elana Golden provided a very inspiring writing workshop.

Armenia with my friends and cousin

My dear friend, Achik (Anna), went to Armenia from Iran to spend time with me. Of course, her sister, Armineh, and her family live in Yerevan but she planned her visit around my trip.
My lovely cousin, Mona, lives in Yerevan with her daughter and grandchild. Mona is a young and cool grandmother :)
Aida is another wonderful friend who is from Armenia. We spent fantastic time together.
We created beautiful memories.
Armen Minassian is the grandson of the legendary actor, Arman. Armen is an architect and lives in Yerevan with his family.
Also, I met many of my friends from Los Angeles area.
I rented a cute single apartment on Sayat Nova Street. My friends and I truly enjoyed the balcony :)
Another memorable moment was being present during the Apricot Armenian Film Festival. I saw Claudia Cardinale from close and said, "Che bella!" She looked at me and smiled.
Who would have thought one day I would meet Claudia in Armenia.
On July 15 I traveled to two villages and photographed the families who receive aid from an organization under the supervision of Armineh Petrossian. She is a caring person who does a great assessment of each family's needs. It was a very interesting experience. Listening to their stories was very touching.

Armenia July 2010

Finally, I met with my poet brother, Varand, in Armenia. The first meeting was at Dzaghgazor during the Armenian Writers' Symposium. I took a taxi from the capital city, Yerevan, to Dzaghgazor resort. It was an hour drive. It cost me $20.
Varand was in his room resting. We had a wonderful reunion in the balcony with a beautiful view.
That afternoon Varand and few other writers visited with the president of Armenia. He was honored by President Serge Sarkissian.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Garen and Heartache

by Karine Armen

Can heartache cause death? Yes, I can say yes. Here is the story of a short life because of pain and lack of life skills.

In September of 1958 a healthy boy was born in an Armenian family in Tehran. His parents were very happy and proud and named him Armen. He had big brown eyes and blond hair like golden wheat.
After two years his sister was born. Armen’s father loved to spend time with his kids. He also loved to spend time with his brother’s kids who lived in the same building as an extended family. I have so many nice memories of my uncle and my cousin, Armen.
On Fridays my uncle took us to the zoo or to the park. He took our pictures. We posed in front of the cages. I have a black and white photo sitting on a baby elephant. I still vividly remember that day. The elephant’s sharp hair was scratching my legs. I was very scared but I posed smiling. My uncle always treated us to ice cream. We loved listening to his stories. He was a good story teller. He had many tails from Ukraine and Armenia.
Armen was a bright and active child. One day when he was not feeling good his parents took him to doctor. After several tests the sky fell. Armen was diagnosed with colon cancer at the age of four. Why, why an innocent child had cancer? He ate healthy food.
Everybody felt the family’s pain. The rich neighbor offered help to take Armen to Germany for treatment. My uncle and his wife felt helpless, frustrated yet hopeful. The whole family went to the airport. The international airport in Tehran was a fun place that my uncle took us to watch the take off and landing of the airplanes. I loved the pilots’ and hostess’s costumes. But this trip to the airport was not for fun. I was only 5 and to young to understand.
After the surgery in Germany they returned home. Armen died shortly after. All the kids were asking where he was. My oldest cousin who was six years old at the time said, “He is in the sky with angels.” We were looking at the clouds and searching for him. I wanted to see Armen’s dark and beautiful eyes. How disappointed I got not seeing him in the clouds.
Armen’s father’s hair turned gray within a month. He lost his belief in God. How can God be just and take away his innocent child?
After two years they had a new boy. He was born on my birthday. I was so excited to see him when they brought him home. He did not have a name yet, should they name him Armen? Perhaps they were afraid of Armen’s faith or they wanted to honor each child separately and keep Armen’s memories alive. Finally, they decided to name him Garen which matched my name (Karine/Garineh and Garen).
Garen had dark brown eyes and blond hair too. His parents adored him but Armen’s photos were everywhere. My uncle kept a small portrait of Armen in his shirts’ left pocket close to his heart.
Few years later another sister was born. There were three kids in my uncle’s family but they always remembered and talked about Armen.

In1979 Iran went through a revolution and many changes took place. I was already in the United States. I was homesick and worried about my family during the revolution. Finally, after being away for four years, I visited them in the summer of 1981. Garen was 16. He was tall and had big muscles. Both my dad and my uncle had been weight lifters when they were younger and had received gold medals. Garen also worked out under the supervision of his father.
My parents lived on the first floor and my uncle’s family lived on the third floor. We went up and down the stairs to each other’s apartments to visit, eat and play. That summer I spent time with my uncle’s family.
I returned to Washington, D.C. and continued my education. After receiving my Bachelor’s degree I left my husband and moved to Glendale. I started a new life with difficulty but I enjoyed being around my brother and other cousin’s who were already in the Los Angeles area.
I was able to return home in November of 1989 after being away from my family for a long time. How much I had missed my parents’ home. I took many pictures of the three story building where my extended family lived. Garen was more handsome and had an athletic body. He had participated in weight lifting championships. His father was very proud of him.
In 1987 Garen’s oldest sister moved to Los Angeles and in 1995 his youngest sister moved to Canada. Garen lived with his parents and worked with his dad in his tire store. He was content even though he did not socialize. His family was the core of his life.
Garen grew up in a traditional family yet he helped his mom with cooking and house chores. He always smiled and enjoyed spending time with his parents. In 1993 when I visited them again my mom had already died and my father was living with my youngest brother in the first floor apartment. My oldest brother and his family were in the second floor. My uncle, his wife and Garen were in the third floor.
Few years after that Garen’s mother went to visit a friend and had a heart attack and died. It was a sudden death at Christmas. We were all shocked.
Now Garen was left only with his father. They sold the old house and moved. Every body had to move. My dad moved in with my brother and his family. My youngest brother had moved to Los Angeles. The three story building was sold and demolished by the new buyer. He built a new apartment building.
I saw the new place being built when I visited my family in December of 2003. I surprised them with my visit. There were lots of changes. My strong athlete father was frail and living with his son. My uncle did not look as strong as before. It was December 25 and Garen’s mother’s one year death anniversary. I attended the memorial. After the church service we had lunch at my brother’s home. I took pictures of everybody. I love the documentary aspect of photography. I took a picture of Garen and his dad. That was the last time I saw them.

In May of 2009 my uncle died from complications of old age at 84. Garen was left alone. He did not know what to do with his life. He had no socializing skills. He was like a fish out of water. He got severely depressed. My brother took him to a psychiatrist. I started calling Garen more often. I gave him ideas of joining the sport club, going to the movies, and taking English classes. His voice sounded better after our long conversations.

Last summer he sounded much better. His sister from Canada had visited him and helped him to get a passport. He was optimistic about the future. I liked the tone of his voice; I could hear the energy and hope.
Then during the winter he felt depressed again. I called my brother on January 5th for the Armenian Christmas. When I found out that Garen was not there and he had stayed home all alone I got worried and upset. Garen told me that he had a cold and did not want to go out. He did not like cold weather. He was thinking of moving to Los Angeles. I encouraged him to travel and meet me in Armenia next summer. He liked the idea but wanted to know if my brother was going to travel so he could go with him. He was afraid of doing things alone.
On April 1st I called Garen to make sure he would spend the Easter with my brother and not to stay home by himself. He sounded good but he did not say he wanted to go there. He talked about the weather. He said, “It is cold again. How is the weather in Los Angeles?” That night I could not sleep. I called another cousin and encouraged her to call Garen and visit him. I said, “Kids have energy and their energy is contageous. Garen needs energy. Why don’t you take your kids there? You can call now for Easter.” She got inspired to call.
Saturday morning I called my brother for Easter and his son’s birthday. The phone rang for a long time. I got worried. They were supposed to be home enjoying the traditional Easter dinner. Finally, my sister-in-law answered the phone and said, “I cannot talk now, please call back in 10 minutes. Something bad has happened.” My heart felt to my stomach. “What do you mean? To whom?” I asked. “To Garen, please give me 10 minutes.” she replied. I hung up the phone and started praying, “Please God, let it be good.”
That was the hardest 10 minutes I have ever had. What could have happened? Finally, I called back. “Please, get to the point, how is Garen?” And I heard the worst, “Garen has died.”
Oh, my God! He had died just few hours after I had talked to him. He had a heart attack at the age of 45. The way they found his body was tragic too. My brother went to see why Garen had not gone to their home for the birthday on Friday. He heard the TV but Garen did not open the door. My brother went to the hospital where Garen had been few days before to receive IV. But he was not there. So my brother had to enter the home with a police officer.

It was Saturday, the day before Easter. I was in charge of spreading the sad news. I did not know what to do. When I called Garen’s uncle, here in Los Angeles, his body trembled. He could not believe it. Then we had to find the way to tell the sisters here and in Canada. I called the sister’s friend to see if she can help me with telling the bad news. We all went there to be with her. Garen’s sister was feeling guilty for leaving his brother alone.
Everybody was angry that Garen sacrificed his life for his parents. He did not live life fully. The only remedy I could think of was Garen was an angel. He came to serve his purpose, to fill Armen’s place. Maybe his parents had prayed for a baby boy and God answered their prayer. I think Garen had a beautiful soul going from this world fast. What if he had a stroke or cancer and needed long therapy and care. He did not want to cause problem for others.

Yes, Garen died from heartache. He did not know how to live alone. Life skills are more important than academic skills. That is my message to my students and my friends. Learn the skills to enjoy life. Live life fully!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

30 hour famine

Thanks to the people who helped me raise $245. The group raised more than $25,000.
It was a great experience. I was craving coffee but I was all right without food.
I will participate in a 30 hunger event on April 24 and 25 at Glendale College.It's organized by a very progressive Armenian priest, Father Vazken Movsesian. Participants need to raise $150 Please consider to donate $10 in an effort to help hungry children.
Make your check payable to
St. Peter Armenian Church [30 hour Famine in the memo]
Mail it to:Karine Armen, P.O. Box 466, Glendale, CA 91209-0466
The funds will be given to World Vision, a global leader in addressing poverty.Thanks.How much do you spend when you eat outside?

Dear Famine Participant,
We’re in the final days of preparation for our Annual 30 Hour Famine. Here are some instructions for this coming Saturday.
BUT FIRST, I want to once again congratulate you! You’ve made a decision to MAKE A DIFFERENCE in the lives of others. As you know, we are holding the Famine on April 24 to coincide with the commemoration of the Armenian Genocide. While many people know that 1.5 Million Armenians were slaughtered by the Turks, many people forget that millions were sent out as refugees, trying to create a life without any resources. The world looked and dismissed our parents as “Starving Armenians.”
Through the Famine, we, as children of the “Starving Armenians” are feeding the starving world. 29,000 children die of hunger and hunger related diseases every day. These are kids like our grandmothers or grandfathers – trying to make it in a world that could care less about them. Every dollar you collect goes to aid them!
Think about it… how many people have the opportunity to save a life? And you… you get to save 10’s, 100’s and maybe even a 1000 lives by participating in this year’s 30 Hour Famine. Is there any greater response to Genocide than this? To be a living testimony to the power of Love!
OK – this is what you need to do. . .
1) Collect money from your sponsors and fundraising. As you know – we’ve set $150 as a minimum, but you can do SO MUCH more. I’m please to tell you that I spoke to a gentleman in Arizona yesterday, and he’s willing to MATCH everything you collect and donate it to the children of Armenia. So don’t stop collecting!!!! BRING your collected donations to the Famine Saturday morning.

Friday, March 5, 2010

photos by Karine
1987 Glendale, CA.

Self-help articles by Berjik Kurkjian. They were published in Farsi in Fogholadeh Magazine.
Translated by her daughter, Karine Armen.
Copyright Karine Armen
March 26, 2010.
You may use the material for educational purposes only.

No. 1 Happiness and Sadness

“Happiness and kindness make people more human and sadness, and hatred burns the roots of humanity.” I heard these words on the Radio Iran on a Friday. It’s a quotation by Simin Dareshvan. These words remind me of my life; back to old days when I felt that my whole essence was filled from my head to my toe with sadness, despair, and bad luck. I had no hope to continue my life.
I asked myself, why people love sadness and pain. We are so fascinated by pain that we make a big deal out of all the small stuff. We transfer this bad habit of negativity to our innocent children and burn the roots of their existence and create a painful body and a confused and restless soul. With all the learned pain we still expect them to be successful. This despair and sadness can trap the body like a spider web and keep them from seeing the blessings that others enjoy. They become negative, and dead inside. They move and live but have no life inside. Why? People live like that because they grew up with the habit of loving pain and sadness. Fortunately with the help of God and my own efforts I got out of depression. I walked into a beautiful world of light. I have inner peace, and a clear mind. I feel fully alive. I don’t deny that sadness exists, but why get so preoccupied with negativity and despair that we can’t see any light and happiness.
Let us help each other to get rid of negativity and replace it with positive thoughts and kindness. Smiles can be the spice of life. We can see happiness in small events of our lives. We can enjoy life and being alive. Live life fully and show life to our children.
Don’t forget: “It’s not important to be alive, it’s essential to live life.”

July 4, 1987

No. 2 Happiness and Despair

“Kindness makes us more humane and hatred destroys humanity”. After reading this quotation we think about becoming kinder to feel happier.
Happiness and despair are two different emotions that exist as Positive and Negative Channels. They are like lightness and darkness. Recognizing the difference between the two emotions, how to use them and in what context will help us to deal with them appropriately.
Unfortunately, due to lack of self-awareness and wrong cultural upbringing many of us are deprived of happiness. We are used to negative thinking. With today’s knowledge we can become self-aware and distinguish between positive and negative thoughts and emotions.
Statistics show that 5% of the world population feels happy, another 5% are emotionally damaged, and 90% need self-awareness and spiritual awakening.
July 11, 1987
No. 3 Positive and Negative Words

To be healthy we need to have a peaceful soul. We can have inner peace by self-talk, by listening to our thoughts. Half of ones self is the outside appearance, a frame for the other half of our existence, our soul. When we have a physical injury it is visible and we heal it with medication and treatment. However, when we are hurt emotionally nobody can notice it except ourselves. We feel hurt by listing to hurtful thoughts.
Usually we are the creators of the negative and hurtful words. We express our pessimistic thoughts, and create an anxiety and restlessness that can cause physical illness. We communicate our pain to others without resolving anything. We just transfer negativity to the people around us. Instead by using phrases with hopeful messages we can feel loved. A sense of security is essential for healthy existence.
We have two inner, emotional channels, one positive and one negative. Sense of fear is a destructive feeling we carry from childhood.
Unaware actions of parents and adults can cause children to grow up fearful. Sense of fear is good when it is meant to prevent harm, but when it prevents healthy growth and maturity it can be paralyzing. We need to learn to tell ourselves encouraging words to be aware of our own inner voice.

July 18, 1987

No. 4 Positive and Negative Channels

As I have mentioned before we have two emotional channels, positive and negative. Our emotions are the product of our thoughts which are connected to these two channels.
We express our thoughts by language. Healthy positive and useful thoughts come from the positive channel. These hopeful thoughts create a positive environment and a healthy society. If everybody uses their positive channels we will have healthy, happy and sympathetic people.
We can use negative channels and allow unhealthy thoughts in our lives. The negative sentences can hurt us and the people around us. This leads to dysfunctional families and societies.
Negative people are victims of their own thought process. They lack self-awareness and self-control. When one finds out the root of the problem and thoughts that effect our emotions they can change them. Pride is an important feeling and helps us to stay moral and healthy. Pride and arrogance are different. Nobody likes an arrogant person. Arrogance makes us isolated and depressed. Self-awareness and recognition of our emotions can help us to be healthy and happy.

July 25, 1987

No. 5 We Create Our World

We can create a happy and fulfilling life by focusing on the positive aspects of our life.
Even though our lives might have many shortcomings, and problems we can still see a beautiful picture if we get energy from the positive channel of our thoughts. On the other hand, if we let the negative channel give us energy in fact we would feel drained and sad. Life would be unbearable.
We need to be aware of these two positive and negative channels. We can let the negative thoughts come forward. Then by awareness we can turn that switch off and turn the positive thinking switch on. This is a self-awareness and positive approach. By verbalizing our positive thoughts and happy feelings we can make others happy too. Happiness can be contagious.

August 1, 1987

No. 6 Worry

If we cannot our control our worrisome thoughts they can destroy our inner peace. Worry can change to anxiety and become self-destructive.
We have two kinds of worries. The thoughts that come from Positive Channels are there to prevent problems. The worrying thoughts that come from our Negative Channel can be problematic.
We get energy from food and our thoughts. Half of the energy is physical, and the other half is mental and spiritual. If we let the negative channel in control us, we lose our spiritual energy and feel tired and drained.
Many people eat healthy food and take their vitamins and minerals, and still feel drained. There can be a false sense of tiredness due to unnecessary worrying emotional and mental activity. Being aware of the negative can help to protect worrying.
Some scientists claim life events and problems are contributing factors. We are in control of 60% of our life events, 30% of our lives are affected by others, and 10% by nature. If we believe this then we can begin to feel a sense of control.
We can accept the disasters caused by nature, know that we did not cause them, and be at peace with that. Then we can focus on the 60% so the events that we can control. We have ability to be grateful for blessings. We are able to learn and strengthen this sense of gratitude. We can minimize our worries and maximize the positive thoughts. By using these strategies we will be able to deal with the 30% of social and family pressures. Using positive thinking techniques will give us an inner peace and sense of happiness.

August 8, 1987

No. 7 Work and Cooperation

Work, physical activity and cooperation are our healthy needs. Human beings who subscribe to this sense of helpful and teamwork have improved our civilization.
There is a saying, “Work is the bride of life and cooperation is the flower of life.” Life should have purpose to be sweet and meaningful. Work and cooperation give meaning to life.
Everybody has general talents. These talents are ready to sprout with the inner energy. If we don’t use the inner energy with work and productive activities it will change to a negative energy. That can cause inner restlessness. Also by working we can take care of our financial needs, and we will use our time productively.
There are two kinds of work physical and mental they are complementary. We use our minds and body in different jobs.
Our body and good are connected. We need to find work that is enjoyable. If we are forced to get a job that is not what we really like, but we need it for financial reasons, we can still do it with pleasure. If possible, listen to soft music during work. Remind yourself of the benefits of working and change your attitude.
Cooperation, collaboration and teamwork give us satisfaction too. We need to change our attitude and focus on the benefits of work. Then we can enjoy any task we need to complete with pleasure.

August 15, 1987

No.8 Fatigue

Feeling tired can become contagious. In many cultures people say, “Don’t work so hard, you will get tired,” or, “I am tired,” or, “don’t get too tired.” Many people use “I don’t feel like it.” All of these sentences reflect our attitude towards work, energy, and tiredness.
Not many people are aware of their patterns of when and why they feel tired. They just complain about that they are tired. The negative attitude towards work is contagious. We know that working and being active give us more energy. Our negative attitude towards work is a learned behavior.
Feeling tired can be due to lack of physical energy which can be regained by sleep and rest. Most of the time fatigue is due to our negative attitude and lack of knowledge about it. Awareness of our thoughts and attitude can help us change them and feel more energized.
The signs of emotional tiredness are restlessness, sleepless, and lack of energy (aptitude). By self-help and self-awareness we can become calmer. We need the support and understanding of our family members. Open discussions about change of attitudes can be helpful. We can accept the problems and difficulties in our lives and not be angry about them. Using the Positive Channels we can see the good in every problem.
Feeling calm and peaceful will give us energy and we will not feel tired and drained. We need to feel satisfied with our lives to survive and continue life with pleasure.

August 22. 1987

No. 9 Inner Peace

Human beings have been looking for inner peace for centuries. After invention of electric power and many electrical appliances people have more comfort but still feel an inner emptiness.
People look for inner peace and satisfaction in different places. Some go for higher education, others pursue physical beauty, or sex. Some people set high goals for their financial futures, and spend many years making money, yet they don’t feel satisfied.
Life is like a car with four wheels. We need to take care of all four wheels to function and move forward. The first wheel is the ability to love, self-love, showing love and affection to others, love of life, work, and people. The second wheel of life is ability to earn a living, knowing how to spend and save money. Earning money is a means of life not the main goal. The third wheel is treating us and others with love and respect. How one treats children is very important. Your own or other’s kids are all tomorrow’s adults. Careless treatment of children will affect our lives, their future, and our well being too, as individuals and as a society. The fourth wheel of life is work, completion of our daily tasks and chores. Feeling tired and procrastination causes distress and discontent.
Many people live with some flat tires, meaning dysfunctional and unfulfilled lives. Being aware of these four factors of life, self-awareness and self-help we can have fulfilled lives.

August 29, 1987

No.10 To Cry

Crying is natural phenomenon. From the first moment of birth babies cry.
The cause of crying can be sourced to our negative and positive channels. When we feel sad we cry and let out our pain. However we also cry out of joy and happiness. This kind of crying is our positive channel.
Unfortunately in our culture, we use negativity for manipulating or we look at it as a form of weakness. Usually we do not allow people to cry. We need to know the reason for the crying. If it has a good reason we should let the person cry and let the sad emotions out.
We need to learn not be affected by the crying of others and not to let it make us feel distressed. When we accept crying as a natural part of life, and let it take place for us and others then we can feel better. Controlling our natural feelings and not allowing our tears to come out can transform it into anxiety and depression.
Of course, unnecessary crying is due to depression and may call for professional care, but the release of emotions due to sad events or happy moments is totally acceptable.

September 5, 1987

Saturday, February 27, 2010

South African photographer

In this photo: Dawn Stevens, owner of Clickers and Flickers photography club; Ezra, Karine.

I met Ezra Mabengaza on Jan. 27, 2010 at Castaways during a photography event.

He is a photographer and actor. He was one of the bodyguards in the movie Invictus by Clint Eastwood. Ezra is a very warm and friendly person.

Here is part of his email to me:

What I realise is that the dream that i have of building an art academy in South Africa one day just is not gonna materialise if i dont continue to grow. Perhaps, you know what this future institution of ours in South Africa is gonna do to change the landscape of my home country. right now our ESSENCE is being threatened on so many levels, years of overcoming apartheid and then now being thrown into competing in modern day economies after years of isolation, on unfair and unjust terms. Please try to imagine the position that our next generation is in after the decay of several generations before us. There is the continued exploitation of women as well as HIV, which is also destroying us, and all that can be changed by seeing a young artist like myself, someone who shared the same experiences (except that my father was a political prisoner, this generation at least had some access to their fathers).

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

famous photographers

I met Tim Mantoani at a Clickers and Flickers dinner event on Tuesday, February 23, 2010.

Tim takes pictures of famous photographers with photos taken by them. He uses a huge polaroid camera.

I had met Nick Ut before. Nick is famous for the photo of the Vietnamese girl running naked after a bomb blast.