Elections

With all the salmagundi about UKIP, from fascists to saviours of Britain, I’m struggling to think what the other parties actually stand for, well apart from “i’m in” from the Judas formally known as Nick Clegg. Voting has decreased in the underprivileged  due to the distance people feel from those in power and those with money. Corporations seem above the law of the land as they don’t have to pay proper taxes like we do and then there are the Bankers who get bonuses for creating a loss. It comes down to the separation known as otherness; the super-rich and the rest of us, those in power and the rest of us. Politicians have been making this clear for a long time with their inability to answer a question when asked anything in the news. They always seem to dance around it like a maniac distracting from what is actually going on. The Fraragions which seem to be spreading like a cold, have some justification in that at least they think they know what he stands for! Labour seem to be musing over things, not really sure what to do apart from appealing to people who don’t like the Tories, who, apparently only look after themselves. Though at first you wouldn’t even think they are doing a great job at that with the way things are, though occasionally you are made aware of a devastating stat that says the rich are getting richer and the rest of us getting poorer. So it’s nearly voting time again and I’ll probably vote for the usual Labour as I don’t like Conservatives’s financial limb cutting, or Liberal’s impressive reenactment of Judas. It is often said that people would tick a box that said ‘none of the above’, a vote of no confidence as it were. Maybe then they would have to re-think how they work things. Then there’s UKIP who seem distasteful to those who fear any chance of fascism. The other parties aren’t even worth mentioning as they play on extremes of green or nationalism. The anti-Farrage’s suggest his party is covertly racist and want to go back to a time when we didn’t share with the world, so we only trade with the farm next to us. To be honest it seems backward to “get out”, as we’re financially “tied in”, though I’m not really sure why either. I guess I don’t like the idea of not being part of the world, I’d rather open my doors to someone than close them. Unless they’re trying to sell me something. This is probably the dilemma that Scots are going through at the moment with England. It’s not really financially beneficial, but might do it anyway ‘cus we don’t like them’ so I heard from a radio debate. This is for something that happened a while ago in a history not based around `Braveheart’ apparently. Saying that if we all get independence, I feel sorry for Wales and the other bits of the UK as they don’t seem to have much choice. What has Scotland got against Wales?
Maybe they should join an alliance with Northern Ireland; then England can leave Europe and we all can keep to ourselves. So all these issues begin at what we are and what we’re not, from political parties to countries identity or whatever. If we are different from each other does that mean that we can’t get along or compromise? No, just put a big wall up and be done with it; walls seem to have been popular in history such as China or Berlin. I think they do the same in Israel to keep particular people out too. Comparing Britain to the other less desirable countries and ‘regimes’ we actually seem to be doing alright. Places where   it is law that women can’t walk in the street without a man, where people of other religions kill each other for believing in something different. Even America doesn’t have an NHS, though seems like ours is slowly getting sold. There was always a famous quote flying around at uni that “If we could read the secret history of our enemies, we should find in each man’s life sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostility” (Henry Wadsworth Longfellow) It’ll probably be a popular and therefore redundant ‘Meme’ at some point.  The point is about narrowing the gap between them and us, to eradicate the fear of the unknown, which is mostly contrived by prejudices and myth. Education, making awareness of something other than what you know is the most important quality especially in local politics. Wouldn’t it be good if there had to be an independent leaflet or webpage, mobile friendly of course, that stated, preferably in bullet points, what each of the parties choices are, in a line so we can compare. This may seem a bit simplistic though on TV voxpops people don’t know what the differences are between the parties, but then apparently they all do the same thing in the end anyway. Then again people seem to vote based on the caricature of the party; I mean the leader of party, “not sure about him he has a slightly annoying voice” or “he has a side parting so looks a bit, boring.” I’d rather vote for someone that looked like a broken Picasso who could do a good job, rather than a poster boy who only knows how to dance around questions. I guess there could be a picture of the leader with a movable piece over their face to settle any qualms if people remain undecided.

Filming: Apostle’s Manoeuvre

_DSC3433Action. All is silent as the crowds surrounding the scene stare silently. They are still, allowing movement to transcend into the scene. The two leading characters begin the rhythm of action reaction, playing off each other’s fantasy. Rudy, playing the mature father, has a disarming charm that was once used more rebelliously. This rebellious nature now sits opposite incarnated in his son. Leo is a character of youthful trends just as most of us were, though has abilities yet unflourished. In his stare stirs a quiet stubbornness in opposition to the mellow laid back demeanour of his father. Cut.

_DSC3425The short film is titled ‘Apostle’s Manoeuvre’ which I found referred to the phrase ‘To rob Peter to pay Paul; that is, to borrow money off one man to pay another.’ Apostle refers to a missionary, an advocate of a certain cause. They are filming at the Rialto Bingo Club in Coventry which consists of an unusual yellow room with a few bingo tables and machines. Strangely most of the hall has been hollowed out, holes are craters where tables once fastened.

Noise resumes as the actors and crew discuss various perceptions. There are two cameraman, two lighting directors, two sound engineers and various other continuity and production staff to ensure smooth operation. “Ok lets go again” calls Brian the director, pursuing the cycle of re-enactment and repetitions of scenes that become hypnotic in a rhythmic dance of paradynamic shifts, creating memories of motion, sound and footprints.

Camera rolling, sound, clapper board, scene 3 take 4.. Action.

_DSC3478I stand back from the scene waiting for the decisive moment that a photographer encaptures.  I see a film set as three spheres, an isolated existence, surrounded by a fortress of crude machinery escalating high and covering the floor with cables of spaghetti, lights and lenses.  Surreal equipment with cameras with detached steering wheels and tentacle like apparatus reaching ceilings. Three point lighting, sound equipment with dead animal fur imitation covers. The first of the three spheres is the played scene with the actors, the new existence which is created by the filmmakers. The second sphere is the filmmakers with their machines. The third is the voyeurs, extras and assistants clouding the others watching how the scenes are orchestrated. Its almost like a organic cell of our body, each with a crucial role in a larger system of rules and function.

The clapper board snaps before every scene like a switch of existences, breaking one reality for another. The new scene, this new reality has the capability to re-enact each moment to become perfect. Each take pushes for a greater significance. Brian shouts ‘cut’ signalling the end of the shot, bringing us back to reality.

_DSC3509The actor is curious. The players hide their anxiety of performing a life not their own, clouded in desire and pretence one step closer to true escapism. Action and scenes roll one after another. Brian cuts the scene again, relaxed and confident, confides with the actors to refine nuances. The director is like a psychiatrist, working with people to get the most out of their persona. The director pursues a journey for our vision based on his own, in order to create a certain suspension of disbelief, a certain truth.

_DSC3453Beth and Amiee play characters distracted by the outside world, on mobiles and flirting yet perform their characters menial tasks with mouth and tongue in cheek. They are exuberant actors, bursting with admirable excess energy that only performers harbour. A condition that any artist desires and learns to live with.

_DSC3543Tired faces of concentration, repetition and performance allude in ore of a film set, breaking walls of reality, dancing with morals, extracting pinnacle moments.  Soon the final ‘it’s a rap’ will echo across all spheres. A sharp uncomfortable snap thrusting us back into our own realities like the transition from the cinema theatre to the sobering auditorium, or being awoken from a deep numbing dream. I am informed that this bingo club has already closed for business, possibly making this filming one of its last stories to tell. It will soon become yet another empty vessel of the economy, where memories echo in the hollow spaces, where noise once sung yet forever captured in film for the briefest of moments.

Day 2

We started early and walked into the Kibera slum. I felt nervous as I was told it is very dangerous for a white person with expensive gear in my case a camera. Collins, one of the teachers carried my rucksack with my camera in for security as the social worker led the way with the children.

Kibera is made of of small homes made from sheets of disused metal and goes on for miles in winding dry muddy paths where litter and waste is often seen. The slum itself has a moat of rubbish and waste which is never collected.  It seems like a fence, to either keep them in, or keep people out.  We walk along a disused rail line, well i presume its disused though i’ll wait and see.

The first child’s home is a very small room with a chair and a bed where him, his mum and his cousin stay.  I am given my bag so I film him pretending to get ready for school and doing his homework for the video.  Rainbow suggests I don’t waste any time and keep the filming short not to promote my presence in the local scene.

We quickly move on passed hundreds of other homes with people selling whatever they can outside. There is an array of shoes, and often charcoal like substance in small buckets, which I assume is for fuel. I realise Kibera is a sight that not many people will ever see. Or would want to I guess, and feel very humbled and in a way privileged to experience such a way of life to contrast to my own. 

Back at the school, I am to interview the five children. Its not going to be easy as there are construction sounds all around although I want to film them in th playground for context.  Mary is the first, she is 11 years, very smiley and pleasant. She quickly tells her story of how her father disappeared and how she has been moved around east Africa quite a lot until she found sponsorship here. 

The interviews continue as it becomes obvious that they are orphans, either through the parents going by choice or disease. Either way they speak quite coherently in English and almost objectively which i’m surprised by. Is it that the camera is making them hide there emotions or is it that this is a common way of life here.    

I spend my evenings at the guest house, as it is too dangerous to wonder at night. I have been warned that Kenya changes at night into a much more dangerous place. Again, i’m not willing to take the risk on my own, so I make entertainment with the intermittent wi-fi to contact home. I couldn’t help think about the life of a business or alone traveller. Must be a lonely affair. I know that travelling as with everything in life is better when shared with a common heart.