Like part one, this was originally posted in 2015. However, I felt it well worth the repeat and there will be a few other, older, repeats in the next few weeks. A dear friend arrives from California on Thursday and I believe there will be some travel involved which should result in some interesting posts around mid November. Thanks for your continued support.
“Exile of Syria,” chiaroscuro of SAMEERAH AL BSHARAH
“BETWEEN LIGHT AND SHADOWS”
A short biography:
Sameerah Al Bsharah, Allama, was born on 1 January 1952 in Sweida (Syria). Graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Baghdad in 1977, she taught art education at the University of Damascus. Member of the Brotherhood of Syrian artists painters, Sameerah Al Bsharah has several exhibitions to her credit including the Syrian city of Latakia where she participated in the famous Biennale.
Living in Deraa, the family fled the conflict in 2012 and took refuge in Jordan, then in France in November 2014. Hosted by the Centre for Asylum Seekers Home (CADA) of Béziers, the family has obtained the status a refugee.
Sadly, I have no website or even email address to recommend to you and would suggest contacting CADA of Béziers for further information on the artist and her work.
The setting for this exhibit is Domain Langel just outside the village of Artisan. This tranquil setting surrounded by olive orchards and vineyards with honey coloured stone buildings waits to embrace the work of the artist as she translates through her paintings the torments of a country in turmoil.
While domain Langel continues their production of olive oil they also have set a goal of cultivating environmental education and cultural activities.
Over tea on the cold tiles of the kitchen, she carried her paintings and comments on: this is called <moustachfa> (<hospital> in Arabic) and reflects the expressions, the intermingling of bodies that may be encountered in Syrian hospitals overwhelmed by the influx of victims of war.
On another painting, three fish with sharp teeth represent that powerful attack of frightened people. Sameerah denounced the veto in the UN Security Council that would prevent international intervention and let the Syrian people defenseless. A composition black and white leaves perceive injuries, body and spirit.
Alongside these poignant testimonies of the Syrian conflict, other paintings pay tribute to Syrian beauty: lush scenery, smiling women and tranquility.
The paintings that Sameerah presents were dismantled from their frames before departure. Many stayed in Syria or Jordan; it was impossible to take everything into exile.
Due to factors beyond my control, the photos I offer are poor representatives of the work on offer. There is much more to add and therefore, this will serve as part one of an amazing exposition.
PLEASE DO NOT FORGET TO CLICK ON THE PHOTOS FOR A BETTER VIEW.
are two typical Alsatian towns. The architecture, is fairytale, meets living history, with the added benefit of French dessert! There are little towns like these scattered all over Alsace, exploring, (note Jupiter near clock tower) and eating, here is a delightful way to spend your days! Cheers to you from beautiful Alsace~
La belle France. Yet even the most beautiful of gardens has both thorns and weeds. The group Eurocultures invited me to visit Camp Rivesaltes otherwise known as Camp Joffre where we would visit a memorial to some of its darker past. A very short distance from the beautiful waters of the Mediterranean, and just the other side of the tracks, lies the remnants of a concentration camp.
For over five years I have tried to share with you some of the beauty in my chosen home. However, this scar must not be glossed over nor forgotten.
Testimony to man’s inhumanity to man.
Though the walls are crumbling and little remains of the buildings, many artifacts are carefully preserved in the new climate protected museum.
Rivesaltes Internment Camp – Camp Joffre opened in 1938 and was not to close its doors until 1970. For nearly five years, I have shared with you the beauty, serenity and the joy of La belle France. Yet this beautiful Country has had much pain, cruelty and suffering inflicted on it and its people. Many of those coming through this camp did not originate in France but may have spent their final days here.
Perhaps you have never visited the Quote page? If you have, it may have been awhile. I have just added some new quotes. Some may inspire you. Some may make you angry. Some you may write down for further examination. Regardless, if any of them get you thinking, inspired your creativity, or help you see another side to a situation, then I have done my job. Here are a few to get you started. If you have a favourite, I would love to know. Now please check out what else is there.
“People feel like the system is rigged against them, and here is the painful part, they’re right, the system is rigged.” Elizabeth Warren
“Peace cannot be kept by force; It can only be achieved by understanding.” Albert Einstein.
“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.” H.L. Mencken
“There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle; you can live as if everything is a miracle.” Albert Einstein
“Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add ‘within the limits of the law’ because law is often but the tyrant’s will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual.” Thomas Jefferson
I hope you have found something that captures your imagination among these examples. Now, please check out what else is new on the Quotes page…
Fête Nationale (or to English speakers Bastille Day) is the biggest day in the French Year. Not only is it a time of family, friends and celebration but it is nearing the height of the tourist season. On quatorze juillet (14 July) large crowds gathered all across France to join in the celebration of LIBERTÉ, ÉGALITÈ, FRATERNITÉ from Paris to the tiniest village in the Country.
I find it highly unlikely that more than a very few of you out there can be unaware of the attack in Nice last Thursday. It is all over the media and I am not here to reiterate what has been said so many times. What I do want to say is that the French are all too aware. Yet paranoia is not a French attribute. We do not live in Fear. We will not give our Liberty, Equality nor our Fraternity to those who wish us harm, or for that matter to anyone. Three National days of mourning began on Saturday ending tonight.
Just as we join ranks to celebrate, we also come together to mourn. At noon across France today were gatherings a few words from the maire (mayor), a moment of silence and usually concluded with The Marseillaise which is the National Anthem of France.
On Saturday I was in Carcassonne. While the flags were at half mast or in the case of smaller flags which could not be lowered a black ribbon was tied around the flag, life in France goes on. We refuse to live in fear. From the following photos you can see just how vibrant and lively the locals and tourists continued with their day. I was there for approximately five hours and saw two police making their rounds on foot which is normal. Take a look at a few photos from Place Carnot where I met my friends and of course, Saturday is a market day there.
There are times, like this, where it would be lovely to be a bit taller or perhaps in front? I had hoped to get some actual photos of the maire speaking. Alas, it was not possible and I do apologise. However, I did want to create this post that shows the resolution of the French people. Our gathering, like most, is outside the office of the mayor. Up those front stairs to where the first floor (where the balcony is) is the chambre de mariage (for weddings) and next to that are the offices of the mayor, his secretary and other members of the counsel. This is a rather large building and there are classrooms on both sides of these offices over two floors which is our village school. Regardless, that is another post. LIBERTÉ, ÉGALITÈ, FRATERNITÉ
Lyon is one of my favourite cities, not just because it hosts the annual Quais du Polar crime festival. Yet, no matter how often I come here, I never seem to have enough time to visit everything. So I was determined to do two completely new things this ‘weekend of adieus’: see a show in […]
My meanderings about politics, space exploration, cars, cats, tech things and whatever else strikes my fancy. To the current occupant of the White House, we will not be taken into war on anyone's leash.