on the poverty of student life

a good time to revisit this


i forget sometimes how powerful art can be.  our dance instructor in jacmel said that their dance studio has always been a place against discrimination of any kind, despite the prejudices that exist in the rest of haiti.  people are free to be who they want to be.  they are free to create what they feel.  it is a safe space, passionate and emotional.

some haitian drumming for inspiration:


solidarity ... globalized.


stendhal syndrome: a psychosomatic illness that causes rapid heartbeat, dizziness, fainting, confusion, and even hallucinations when individuals are exposed to a particularly beautiful piece of art

File:Sunset over florence 1.jpg
like any school, glenard oak had a complex geography.  not that it was particularly labyrinthine in design.  it had been built in two simple stages, first in 1886 as a workhouse (result: large red monstrosity, victorian asylum) and then added to it in 1963 when it became a school (resut: gray monolith, brave new council estate).  the two monstrosities were then linked in 1974 by an enormous perspex tubular footbridge.  but a bridge was not enough to make the two places one, or to slow down the student body's determination to splinter and factionalize.  the school had learned to its cost that you can't unite a thousand children under one latin tag (school code: laborare est orare, to labor is to pray); kids are like pissing cats or burrowing moles, marking off land within land, each section with its own rules, beliefs, laws of engagement.  despite every attempt to suppress it, the school contained and sustained patches, hangouts, disputed territories, satellite states, states of emergency, ghettos, enclaves, islands.  there were no maps, but common sense told you, for example, not to fuck with the area between the garbage cans and the craft department.  there had been casualties there (notably some poor sod called keith, who had his head placed in a vise), and the scrawny, sinewy kids who patrolled this area were not to be messed with--they were the thin sons of the fat men with vicious tabloids primed in their back pockets like handguns, the fat men who believe in rough justice--a life for a life, hanging's too good for them.

zadie smith, white teeth