Yesterday was the Afghanistan withdrawal deadline. The Americans have left the country. All other foreign country troops left over the weekend or on Friday. For many Afghans, this would mean the loss of a precious route out.
The Taliban is still hunting down journalists, activists, former local staff and their families. Some have already been killed over the past weeks. People want to leave and live.
This painting sums up how I’ve been feeling over the past weeks – trying to help some families there while physically being in a country of privilege and comfort. Life went on as per normal here, the news of Afghanistan just a tragedy worthy of maybe five minutes of attention for many people here. Over there it’s life and death, trauma and fear.
My midnights spent researching and writing emails to embassies received no response. Over there, it’s a privilege to have a passport, to be educated, to understand a different language, to have worked for international organisations. Many people don’t have that privilege and without that, not even a shot at making it to the evacuation list.
As of now, if you are on the Taliban’s black list, there’s no legal way out. In fact, for most Afghans there’s no way out that’s not dangerous or life threatening.
I’m writing this so that the Afghans left behind will not be forgotten. I’m writing this so that more of us will care enough to try and do something or influence our governments. I’m writing this so that precious lives won’t be forgotten and swept away as just another tragedy we cannot do anything about so we pretend nothing happened.
Those who know me will know that I’m a very curious person. I love hearing people’s stories. I’m an artist and my art is essentially one big inquiry of humanity.
My work intersects art, social change and conversations. I’m currently trying to understand the inertia to systems change by listening to people and hearing what stops them from living a purpose driven life or quitting a job that doesn’t serve them. I assumed that people hated their 9 to 6 jobs (often plus overtime) and that many businesses are exploitative of people and environment.
I figured I needed to challenge these assumptions and be open to what might come out from the other side that I don’t understand. I chanced upon a report on a dating app and was curious about how they designed it and their take on what kind of elements create better conversations. Then it struck me that through such platforms, I can reach people from different walks in life, different social classes, different job titles, different industries and in different locations. It offers quite an expansive reach and opportunities to talk to people I wouldn’t usually get to.
Post-museum presents The Last Supper, a project by interdisciplinary artist, Fié Neo.
Your must come event of the year. Yes, it’s literally the last. Say goodbye to 2020 in a meaningful way!
Physically distanced doesn’t mean we have to socially distance! This is the place to connect and convene. (All the while adhering to physical distancing regulations.) Tired of zoom calls? Feeling anxious about the climate crisis and want to act? Passionate about creating change and looking to connect with like minded people? This is your place for it.
Ft. Your unusual dinner table, the place to convene and connect. (We might have onions.) The “Take the blue pill then panic, but panic together” screening room.
Don’t scream while it screens. This is your must have film stop. How this works: We will curate intentional meetings with the most unexpected pairing. So come with an open mind because you might be meeting someone you won’t otherwise have met. Systems change require an intersectional approach and interdisciplinary collaboration. This is a starting point for it.
“Bonjour. In Marseille I am nicknamed La Quiche because I’m from Lorraine. Unfortunately, I am homeless. I was in the Légionnaires (military). In military we earn points for retirement. But due to an accident in Chad, I didn’t do the full 15 years of military so I can’t have the full retirement allowance and have to wait till I am 62 years old to be able to get out of here. After military, the army gave us the chance to retrain and change careers. I passed the diploma to become a firefighter and was employed because someone dropped out. I worked till 2014 but lost the job because I had a heart attack. I had government assistance but couldn’t work again as I couldn’t pass the health check up required for employment. I tried to apply for emergency allowance when I could no longer receive government assistance but was struggling with administration. They kept saying they didn’t receive my papers and at some point I had no money left to continue sending the documents.”
Staging Conversations is the coming together of two languages; wearable art and movement. A three year long collaboration and development, this project is a sharing of the conversations and connections of a growing and evolving friendship. It is an on going experiment of how experience can be communicated through contrasting creative art forms. This section is on grieving and how the overwhelming sensation of loss can be comforted through this sharing and friendship.