Saturday, 5 September 2015

A Heart of Darkness - revisited

Let us imagine, if not for a moment, that there were no "legal" implications for the term refugee.
(there are - but humour me, please, for the moment)

We'd all like to think everyone could picture being close to 400,000 kilometres from our home, no gravity or air, looking back at our home and marvel emotionally, lovingly homesick, as we have
- "a moment" -
in awe of its astounding, penetrating, blue shine, in the midst of an endless, colourless, void.

Yes, it would be nice, but, things aren't quite so.
There are always a few deranged beings who think and act in accordance to their own whims in an illusion of personal freedom. Freedom can never be true liberty or real if it is only sought by, or for, oneself

work from the series "Beaches of Absolution" - Sept. 2011 Guida Almeida

Europe, it's not that different from other continents, with (some) people keeping people in, (some) people keeping people out.  One thing it is known for (also, like the others) is "a past" with a large flux of people fleeing from the horror of wars, from hardship, from political, economic or past religious persecutions throughout the centuries, bloody civil wars and genocides..
It has (also, like the others) its body of artwork (music, fine art, cinema, dance, dramatic art, architecture, literature, et cetera).

Conrad's - A Heart of Darkness - alone, written in one of Europe's idioms tells us so very much, doesn't it?

I was going to place a video clip with Brando's Kurtz..
If I don't it is because I am a sissy, I love the book, films based on it, and love Brando but, no, not this time.


Joseph Conrad was a migrant, a Pole granted British nationality that travelled the seas with the French and the Brits. in merchant vessels.

Merchant vessels. The Market. Dictatorships.

Trade. Treaties. Turmoil

Exploitation. Misery, Human Will. War. Destruction.

"the horror"

It's too easy to put the blame on this or that nation, on those that pray, pray differently or that do not pray, that eat meat or do not eat meat, or on a victim - be they of war, catastrophes, persecution, hate crimes or whatever it may be that is brought upon them due to someone else's whims,
due to others overstepping their own personal freedom or obeying those that do,
or even by simply not acting, by turning away from those that are wronged.

A Heart of Darkness.

Leopold II, one of the world's top genocidal maniacs of all time was not an example of a typical Belgian person, the same can be said of other monstrous beings born in other lands in relation to their countrymen.

One can turn the coin and say that Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King Jr. Peltier, Xiaobo, Mandela or Gandhi weren't or aren't the same as others in their lands,

( can expand things to say neither
Hannah Arendt, Rabindranath Tagore, Fernando Pessoa, Picasso, Einstein, Bach, Stephen Hawking, and a number of others weren't or aren't, in a similar fashion)

(Each person has their own capacities, and freedom of choice, all of us take and choose our own paths)

 but one thing one can definitely say is, whether the "authority" is Science or God, even though obedience is important to social structure and survival
(as it is with other species (dolphins, for example are wonderful but they too have the occasional raping, killer psychopath that causes havoc among the others. Like other animal species, we are social beings),
 it can also be lethal and have a horrific outcome.

To think about things, think them through and well may not be easy but it is important.

(playlist with 3 short clips)

It has taken me a while to try to write down my thoughts regarding the "European Migrant Crisis", not because it doesn't hurt me deep down in my soul, but because I have been perplexed at reactions each time news regarding the terrible ordeal is announced.

Some of us comment the news in such a way that we see how "a heart of darkness" can be anywhere, just as one can be shocked by the outcome experiments such as the one above.

The European Union is a union of states. for obvious reasons with open borders among themselves under the Schengen Agreement, a necessary tool for the EU to function, with its 2013 - Dublin Regulation (revised in 2014) is ill equipped to deal with today's world as can be, to our horror, verified.

To my surprise, some go to great lengths to argue over semantics, whether people are refugees, migrants, immigrants, emigrants, citizens of here or there, to such a degree that something is lost - the understanding that these are
Anyone of us, any one of our children, fathers, mothers, wives or husbands, due to catastrophe, war, famine, drought, plague, or whatever, can become from one moment to the next, a refugee.. Think of it.  If the term refugee seems to (for reasons beyond my knowledge) be demeaning to some people, it is because either they do not fathom in the least  (they themselves)  what it is to be caught in an earthquake, plague, a war torn nation, being pursued by a tyrant's special forces because they liked daddy's car - although daddy was a minister in the tyrant's government - and in a "shoot first, ask questions later" mentality - shot daddy's son who was taking a drive and have daddy's nephew who was in the passenger seat throw himself behind the wheel.., never stopping until he gets to a place where those who would cover-up their blunder (thinking if it happened to us what happens to others?) could not get their hands on him - having been refused protection until he got to the third country he arrived in, thousands of km later, struggling with the thought that he may never to be able to see the face of his family, his fiancée and friends ever again.. His country wasn't at war, imagine if it were,, Demeaning, is not the word that comes to mind when I think of a refugee.
A refugee can be anyone.

It can be you or me in the past, present or future for any reason.

The term exists because Man's world isn't perfect and our backyard may not always be a safe haven.

It is a legal term, with legal implications, defining a hopefully temporary status.

To make things worse, great profit in one of the world's major money making venues is being obtained - human trafficking, blood money being made
- LINK - Guardian news article on Migrant Crisis and Human Trafficking - April 2015 

- GP (international affairs magazine) article regarding flaws in Dublin Convention - Feb. 2015


Dublin Regulation

NY Times article - Sept 2015

Sputnik News article - Aug 25, 2015

UN Refugee Agency

Rule of Law in Armed Conflicts Project - International refugee law

European Council on Refugees and Exiles

painting from the series "Beaches of Absolution" - Sept. 2011 Guida Almeida

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