I won’t be posting here anymore, goodbye!
1. Untitled, 2. floor, 3. Roadroll’art, 4. Pakistan: Dreaming of a white wedding?, 5. Fleurs, Foot and Floor, 6. Funkeys, 7. Untitled, 8. My own private Idaho, 9. Fallen from the golden story, 10. Organized randomness, 11. Lonely in the Middle, 12. 10-18-2006 07;34;16PM, 13. 10-16-2006 05;46;29PM, 14. Metal online, 15. catcatcats, 16. Untitled
Thanks to Shula, I now know how to make mosaics! I’ve been admiring her’s for ages. There are so many wonderful photos on Flickr.
I still haven’t worked out how to transfer the code to provide the links back to the original photos, so for the time being, please visit my flickr where they are listed under the mosaic.
My personal observation is that creative people tend to be very egocentric. I don’t mean selfish. Often creativity goes hand in hand with a rich sensitivity that lends towards a kind and gentle nature. The flipside is that it also leads towards introspection and neurotic self-exploration. I have been wondering about the notion of the creative self within the framework of Islam. We are supposed to focus on subduing our egos, not cultivating them. Is there room then for creativity as an expression of self or should it always point to something Bigger?
I recently discovered that a photograph of myself(or the top of my head) that I had published on this blog, had been saved as a favourite by someone on Flickr. So I went and checked out their account and found that my image was one of just hundreds of pictures of women in hijab. Then, to my dismay, I discovered that the person was into bondage and discipline, there were also photos of gagged and restrained women. Obviously this person sees hijab as a kind of fetish, ah such irony! So I was horrified and blocked them from my flickr and removed my photo from their site. But the whole experience has left me wondering about the nature of photographic images.
Initially, I was ready to delete my entire flickr account and even stop blogging. But then I thought about it again and reminded myself that it was just an image, photographs are not real, although we sometimes give them far too much reverence. For years I didn’t put photographs up in my house because of the traditional fiqh ruling that images should not be displayed. We only have to look to most dictatorships to see the role that images play in state propoganda, there is wisdom in this fiqh perspective I think. But on a personal level, I think it comes down to intention. We just have to maintain an awareness that images are just reflections, they are not real and they have no inherent power of their own. We should not invest too much in them. It’s interesting that when most people are asked what item they would rescue from their house if it was burning, they reply, their photo album. It is as if memories can’t exist without the visual reminder, tangible evidence that the event actually happened. Someone that I am close to wants to document everything “special”, if something funny or beautiful happens and it is not recorded, then it is a major dissapointment, a lost opportunity. To me, it seems like a removal of the event from ‘reality’, into the realm of ‘ideas’. Once a memory it is more special than it was when it actually happened.
In Islam we are encouraged to live in the present. It is in the ‘now’ that closeness to God is most possible because we are less veiled by all the mirages of our “selves”, our memories, precious and feared, our hopes and dreams. So perhaps part of the wisdom of the prohibition of images was not just the danger of the image itself being worshipped, but the more subtle danger of what the image represents forming clouds upon our capacity to be receptive. We become absorbed in our created world.
I have to say that I am fascinated by photography and embarrassingly, I love to see photos of myself! But it’s not an expression of vanity, it’s because I feel disassociated from my own image. It’s a kind of detatched fascination. I know that a reflection of my physical self is just that, it is not me. It just interests me to try and see what other people see, how I am from outside myself. But of course, this is impossible, I cannot be an observer of myself.
I don’t think I would be comfortable with posting photograps of myself if I wasn’t a hijab wearer. It is a barrier that I need, it does enable me to have ownership of my body, because whatever you imagine, you perverse individual who stole my image, it remains entirely that, your imagination. And your imaginings have no bearing on me. I have control over my physicality and it is not yours for the taking. Actually I’d like to thank you, because you have reminded me of why I wear hijab in the first place.
I stayed up late last night, making these for my daughter to take to kinder to celebrate her birthday. But this morning she is too sick to go to school, I’m so disappointed for her, probably more so than she is! But after I braved the scary food colouring and tried one, I realised that it’s probably a good thing, because they taste horrible! Although my kids seem to like them. They do look wonderful but I think this is my last foray into using food colouring, it’s just too toxic and every parents worst nightmare when it becomes smeared all over your beloved child’s clothing, not to mention the walls!
So I’m on the lookout for healthy, fruit cupcake recipes for her party on the weekend!
My hands feel so clumsy at the moment, I’m so out of practice. I can feel this drawing rapidly losing itself into a murky mass. The beginning was promising, but then I added too much blue and now it is too dark. I will try and rescue it, but I may just make the mess bigger, in which case, at least I will have a photo to prove to myself that I have begun the making process again!
see some truly amazing photographs of Chernobyl here.