188

a new european dark age |

she wrote: I don’t think it’s the trip that’s making me low, I was just low before I came.

some months later, someone you don’t know wrote: I’ve been feeling really low the last couple of months and I’m not sure going away by myself was the best decision. Out there it was just an extension of how I felt already and without my buffers I felt it more acutely.

and now me, I felt the same way too when I went away in June. Listless. Unanchored. Lo(w).

impending dark ages, a call awaited.

187 (a)

from Derek Walcott’s Forest of Europe

Who is that dark child on the parapets
of Europe, watching the evening river mint
its sovereigns stamped with power, not with poets,
the Thames and the Neva rustling like banknotes,
then, black on gold, the Hudson’s silhouettes?

From frozen Neva to the Hudson pours,
under the airport domes, the echoing stations,
the tributary of emigrants whom exile
has made as classless as the common cold,
citizens of a language that is now yours

176

It was 6th July 2020

“In Isaac Julien’s short film Lessons of the Hour, there’s a shot of black hands picking cotton, overlayed with the sound of a cracking whip. In Gianfranco Rosi’s Fire at Sea, the recorded distress calls of drowning migrants is played over a shot of a blinking radio tower.

These particular audio-visual combinations were chilling, almost terrifying, for the very fact that they don’t show the act of torture. The viewer/listener is forced to hone in on the audio: the wailed words, the gasps of desperation, the sound of cruelty, rather than get lost in the familiar excess of visual suffering. The image is instead created in the mind, circumventing suffering as spectacle.”