europe: experiencing space

stockholm

stockholm helped me experience a fuller idea of space; and that allowed us to dream of a life here: one with people not many not few, fresh air, clear water, ample forest, unfettered access to the continent, a slow bustle, time for reflection, and multifarious growth.

met furhat robotics here.

copenhagen

cycled around the city (map): through concrete, breeze and green. visited sarcophagi and sculptures at glyptotek, entertained a rabbit, touched ciid, and ate at 108’s café and at the ethiopian ma’ed.

berlin

the train from denmark drove into a boat; the boat crossed the sea with the train as its cargo; and then the train rolled out to continue into germany. interesting.

the topography of terrors, the holocaust memorial, the jewish museum: descending into the horrors we inflicted on each other in the past (¿and continue to, today); witnessing how people are villainised, snubbed of work, lacerated from their property, stripped of their voice and dignity and lives; learning how ideologies erase cultures and re-write history.

snowflakes come in countless shapes: a white-lie, a mindless slight, a tiny exaggeration, an innocuous generalisation, an embellished statistic, a glorious past, an unwavering belief, an ancient truth, an unflinching ideology, a purer breed, a land to reclaim, a nation to cleanse, a surgery struck. these snowflakes of partisanal rhetoric are easily ignored because of how harmless they seem; but they will snowball suddenly into avalanches that can not be stopped.

snowflakes mesmerise and distract us with their obviousness and simplicity; they infect peoples one flake at a time. we need to fight each flake—identifying it when it tries to hop from one person to another; standing up to it and to its many nefarious ways; and work tirelessly to educate ourselves and those around us.

spent half a day at the pergamon museum : should have spent two. perhaps it can be curated better, but its contents are much-too magnificent to take slight against.

athens

boisterous and, in some manner, akin to india. athens was less crowded than bombay, but her residents were similarly deprived of economical space.

in the acropolis museum, we read about how athenian democracy—widely revered as an ideal democracy—was built on exclusion (of women, slaves, neighbouring non-athenians, immigrants), tribute, and stealing resources from neighbours.

naxos

the tourist season was at an end, and beaches were empty. summer was on the wane, but lingered a while more: warm, cool; sunny, drizzly; windy, still; balanced. naxos afforded us space for conversation, and much slowness.

stitched image of naxos town. view full-size.

budapest

the river and an island below a bridge. wide streets and ample pavements — budapest expounded space. the same couldn’t be said of hungary’s politics, though, as propaganda continued to drown out space for migrants.

seats of hungarian power. view full-size.

a short stay, and then: one troddled toward bombay and uncertainty, and another to london and vim. their conversation, it seemed, would stretch not sever.

dubai

impressive. unfinished. over-polished. unnatural. air conditioned. insensitised. classist and discriminatory. hollow. spacious. claustrophobic.

impressive. unmade. fractured.

all i noticed was over-compensation: men roaring from rooftops malls about how great their accomplishments are, while women, children, their empathy, and humanity itself, all remain locked in cellars underground. dubai, like manhattan, reminded me of how low men can fall, and how desperately they resort to steel, politics and lobbies to mask that.