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Seeds of Palestine Dreams:

SEEDS OF PALESTINE dreans, is the title of 2nd edition of a book, where 99 Palestinians expres in selfportrait and words, there  relation with ladn of Palestine and people living there (previev 1st edition) Book -2nd, edition is on the short list, to be published by publisher Sanje

Eyad Tamallah, 20 ....I have many dreams. The big dream is for the world to be in peace. I believe that peace will start from the people themselves and not from the government...

I was born in Quira but I live in Ramallah. I study engineering at Birzeit University. I love to do things where you can see changes. The purpose of engineering is to make life easier for people. I think this is a big purpose. I also love philosophy. To learn about society. For a young person, to build your future, it is good to go to the city. It has more opportunities and you can meet people from different places. You can get a wider perspective so I think this is important. But I also really like coming back to the village during the weekends, holidays. I like the way people here are together, the family evenings, how they love each other. When I am here I do agricultural work and I feel I am part of the village. I do a lot of traditional farming. Here I get a lot of knowledge. I think it is important to work with the land. When you are in contact with nature, you get a very deep connection with yourself. I think this will make you stronger, wiser.

I have many dreams. The big dream is for the world to be in peace. I believe that peace will start from the people themselves and not from the government. This is my big dream, that people find peace in their hearts. I see my future here in Palestine. I think you should help your society, your country, the place where you live and where you share your memories. But I would love to go for a trip somewhere. I wish to go to the sea. To see the other side of our land. As a young man I can’t go to Jerusalem, to the sea, Haifa, Jaffa. So I wish to go there.

BOOK-preview

During 10 days in July 2018, anthropologist Barbara Vodopivec and me did 100+ interviews with selfportraits in the country of Palestine – cities and villages in the West Bank. The result is unique, nothing I could have imagined beforehand. It presents a parallel life, deeply rooted in heartfelt  relationships between people, as well as to the land. Land as a space that provides everything necessary for life, as well as culture and history. The wisdom based on the intelligence of heart, which goes beyond unconscious survival patterns of human nature, is very valuable for everyone of us, because we are all to some extent exposed to the pressures of domination, exploitation, control, violence. It is the way  to find a peaceful transition to the next step of our evolution in harmony with all beings.
At least half of the Palestinians are scattered around the world, but remain connected with the land and the people in Palestine. In this way, the wisdom they developed is also spreading around the world. The situation is similar to the side effect of the occupation of Tibet since 1950. More than half of the Tibetans live outside of Tibet, spreading Buddhist wisdom all over the world as an important mankind’s endeavor to understand life and develop peaceful ways of coexistence. It is based on compassion, which is also a common point with Palestinian wisdom. It lies in their hearts.
What also became clear to me during our time in Palestine is that Jewish people, through their centurieslong struggle for survival, developed extreme intellectual consciousness. The latter drives and motivates us “from the opposite side” to the intelligence of heart. To this day, these two fundamentally different worlds have not found a peaceful dialogue. When talking about the future, many of our Palestinian interlocutors stressed that the most important goal should be peaceful coexistence for ALL in Palestine, which also includes the settlers who took over the Palestinian land.

PALESTINIAN YOUTH AND SEEDS OF THE FUTURE

introduction from the book  by Barbara Vodopivec, anthropologist, Society for Human Rights Humanitas, Slovenia

How do young people in Palestine see themselves? How do they live their lives, what do they dream about and what are their hopes for the future? With this book we try to give a glimpse into the way youngpeople in Palestine think about these questions. Thisis not a research about Palestinian youth or a holisticrepresentation of their lives. Rather, it is an artproject, a mosaic of images and a story about the way they understand themselves and the place andtime in which they live.

Through the use of self-portrait photography and short interviews we hope to capture young people’s voices, particularly their experience and expressionof a personal and collective identity. The portraits,which always place an individual against his or her background, explore identity from a very intimate, individual perspective but always in relation to thebroader environment. Personal and collectiveidentities are closely interconnected and in the narrative of the young people, the harsh politicaland economic situation further intertwines the two.When young people talk about their own lives theyalso talk about Palestine. When they describe their home they also describe their country. In theirnarrative Palestine is not something abstract but what they experience and express through their daily life – through work, dance, sport, studies, art,architecture, friendship, family. As many emphasize,due to the struggle for freedom and justice,Palestine is in everything they do. This means thatpersonal dreams are impossible to separate fromthe hopes and aspiration for a Palestinian future.

The portraits and interviews thus aim to tell a story of how young people feel their identity, how they experience it through their personal self as well as through the place in which they live, and in relationto people they live with, or are separated from. Forthe context of Palestine, the latter is particularly important, with Palestinians living divided betweenthe West Bank, Gaza, and the rest of the world. Thisseparation, together with the system of oppression, discrimination and colonization which makes it almost impossible for people to travel, creates a distance that many young people try to overcome in their imagination by pointing to their emotional attachment to places and people they have only heard about, either through friends, parents orgrandparents.

The people we met were outspoken about the way the political and social context they live in limits theirdreams and possibilities for the future. And the sadness and anger this causes. Yet they alsoexpressed an incredible perseverance, resilience andhopefulness. Despite insecurities that perpetuatetheir lives young people stress the importance oflooking forward and struggle for change. Their dreams and imagination of a different future are not to be excluded from this change.

All the photos are self-portraits. While thephotographer set up the photo studio it was thepeople themselves who took the portraits. This so called Selffish Studio developed by the Slovenianphotographer Bojan Brecelj enables people to express themselves in a creative way, making themnot only participants but co-authors of the project.

Every portrait was followed by a short interviewwhich is partially published together with the photo. The photo studio was set up on different locations – streets, universities, youth centres, parks, cafes.Aside from few exceptions most of the people wereselected randomly. Conversations took place in English or in Arabic with the help of a translator.

During our ten day stay in Palestine we visited East Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Nablus, Jenin, Ramallah andHebron, always with the surrounding areas. People wemet live in these cities for various reasons: some were born there while others moved to the area to work,study, or are only passing through. These mix of people with different personal backgrounds shows the flow of the cities and its interconnectedness, the mobility, which although limited, it is still taking place.

During our stay in Palestine we also planned to visit Gaza yet we were not able to obtain permission toenter. Unfortunately, we were also not able to meetPalestinians living inside the 1948 territory, the importance of which was stressed by several peoplewe met. Hopefully, this is something we will be able to do another time in the future.

Lastly, we would also like to mention that both authors of the publication are form Slovenia and donot live in Palestine. This of course had an impact onthe way we approached the project, on the set up ofthe studio, on the questions we asked and the final selection for the publication. Our voices are thus impossible to exclude from the publication. This istherefore not just a book about the way young people see themselves, but to a certain extent, it is also connected to the way we see lives of youngpeople in Palestine. 

Intruduction to the 2'nd edition : (google translate from slo )

Hopefully this is something we will be able to do at some other time in the future, stated in the foreword to the first edition, because we were not able to get permission to enter Gaza to interview the young people as we were able to do in the West Bank ( the Jordan River) and in Jerusalem.

If I had not visited Palestine and Israel, it would have been an impossible mission for me to connect and understand this part of the world. Meetings and conversations with many people throughout the West Bank of occupied Palestine, who welcomed me with open arms, opened my eyes. So many years of constant oppression and aggression should make them miserable. But I experienced the opposite. The Palestinians showed us another side of (human) nature - I met proud and down-to-earth people whose self-confidence is based on trust in life itself. They managed to establish a parallel life, which they live together to the fullest. Order there is not based on obedience or survival, but on self-awareness, self-awareness that is not formally expressed. I could identify with this because, even though I was only a passing stranger, they welcomed me so warmly. A simple definition of coexistence among Palestinians in this part of the world has three pillars: a loving relationship with the land where they live; strong mutual relations or strong community; a deeply internalized consciousness of unity with a unique, invincible life. Many have expressed their dreams in interviews that one day there will be peace and harmony among the people currently living on this earth. Palestinians in Palestine - now in Gaza - know that many more can be killed, but that their spirit and the true nature they embody will eventually be part of a shared peaceful future. In a world where the consciousness of interconnectedness (unity) is a threat to many, the "parallel life model" mastered by the Palestinians, especially in Gaza for 75 years, the Lebanese with the experience of the thirteen-year war in Beirut, the Syrians and other Arabs in this part of the world , a common human experience that is spreading, as a large part of these families are displaced around the world - they live among us. at the same time, they remain connected to their original place and people. The awareness that it is possible to live fully, even as a parallel life, should not be just a dream for many around the world who do not agree to violence. In a world with such awareness, there will be no division between Palestinians and Israelis.

Project was exibited first time in Ljubljana /SLO/-Galerija Bolka  - please connect us to the next place to exibit and netwoork on, bojan 

Lui Petrič

Just before Lui Petrič left, he gave his final quote..

Lui Petrič final Q

whatever in the human being is, everybody works and wants to know whether it is his or not his if you do not have that policy, stability what you are working for and money,,, aye it is aye than it is terrible.. for instance Israel was saved because of kibbutzim.. there is no money, once there is no money you have to listen..then other people think for you ..pollution is the greatest enemy, we destroy nature...

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Posted by bojanb
a couple of weeks ago

Be Enlightened -visit Lebanon

Our visit to "Lebanon – Be Enlightened" took place in June 2022, when Ivana Petan and BB were invited by fans of Ivana’s ceramics to celebrate life with them. I was able to take time to follow the light in the name of the MEDLand project, and Ivana and I both fell in love with the heartful spirit that goes far beyond and over the limitations of continuous pressure to …for best view use (laptop) computer !

Vladimir & Rafi * Rafi & Vladimir, two friends, two colleagues, two blessed people by their own definition, determined to continue to live in Lebanon and co-create with 30 other people – one of the most advanced landscape architecture Bureaus based on experience and knowledge of integrating and amplifying the energies of place in harmony with being(nes)s that coexist there. 

VLADIMIR DJUROVIĆ / LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT

... differences make us a special team, and this is our strength in a way. We are so different, and when you combine us in a different way, the results can be incredible… I cannot articulate that, but it’s the beauty of this diversity and of the difference…of accepting and celebrating the difference. And really knowing that it enriches everything. It adds a lot. Nobody is perfect, everyone has their flaws. You know, I also I do a lot of unexpected projects – like this one tomorrow: taking coworkers to their parents' house to design and plant a garden there. It just came up. So I take them from work, "leave all your work, come", and then we go have lunch after. And then, as I told you, the beautiful parts are when we get a big important project and we travel in a group of 6-7 people, smaller team from our office, we go experience new place, new culture. We’ve been around the world, from China to Mexico, to Canada, everywhere, we grew up together, we shared life together.

Just to tell you. We are working with some of the most important clients, like Aga Khan Foundation, and we’re working with top architects in the world, top ten architects in the world. So these guys have lots of expectations and very very serious deadlines. Quality of the work has to be… Because you have to exceed their expectations. We don’t only want to meet them, we want to exceed them. And with all this looseness that you feel, we still deliver the best work. I mean, when it’s time to work, we do amazing work, but without forcing anything. I just tell you what is due, when it’s due (date), you agree. I also ask you, you tell me, yes, I can do it in this amount of time. And then, do it. For us, the secret is also you have to motivate them… Not manage them with fear, with force or with a schedule… Every Monday morning, we spend an hour and a half together, the entire team. We talk about every project, every deadline, anyone with any problem will voice it, we’ll see who needs help, we’ll help him, and then we attack.

you can’t live and not feel joy

... when everybody is laughing and happy, when they go back to work now, after lunch, they eat the work. Because it’s not slavery. You gotta live. When you live and you’re happy, you give the best you can, your best. Without anybody telling you to do anything. And life: you can’t live and not feel joy. For me. I keep talking about it in the office. We have to find joy in everything we do. Otherwise, we shouldn’t be doing it. You know, you have one life, and the time that passes doesn’t come back. You can’t go back and bring it back... It’s done! So let’s be happy…

VLADIMIR

 About the flow of life & work ... 

It comes by itself, the goals or aspirations that I have for myself on a personal level… I just look and then they fit perfectly for the company as well… One way of looking at things, the same interest, the same passion that revolves around nature, and always almost sailing, but not on the sea. Just open up and see where things are going , and it’s very interesting how many different winds you catch, and it takes you somewhere very interesting… So I’m very open... Audio transcript >>>

VLADIMIR

A "personal project" in Montenegro "started with the idea that I am the client, so I can do it 100% as I see fit...

...to bring together these special energies . That’s number one. And what is also definite for me is that I want people to come all year round to be there. With me, without me, I want it to be a lived experience. And what people...

Audio transcript >>>

RAFI karekachian

 

About Lebanon ...

Lebanon is the warmth of the people … a life where people don’t fear each other … I’m attracted to smile … We are free people, it’s in our nature … I want to unlearn everything and relearn it my own way … “Lebanon is a message” … a coexistence in a universal sense, not just between humans … our minds must change … Zionist ideology … the system has to change … new laws … go back to human scale … future architecture and its redefinition … bring need and necessity in the equation … vernacular architecture … by talking to each other, a new formula must emerge … It’s tricky, but we shouldn't be afraid of it … I want to challenge …  Audio transcript >>>

I have never found this kind of warmth anywhere else I traveled. so that’s what's most special about Lebanon for me.

R A F I

... and more about architecture 

… In the past, people didn’t sit in the shade of what they planted. We’re about to lose this concept, altogether.

All these buildings that are owned but nobody is there ...

... The issue of continuity ...

... Life… It’s not history, it’s evolution, and it’s change ...

... Architecture and architects …

... Survival 🙂

... Vernacular architecture ...

More >>>

R A F I

The role of Hezbollah

Civil War in Lebanon … Hezbollah … Hassan Nasrallah … you and I have the same right … Western media … people living together with equal rights … one-state country … with will and determination, any unfair situation will have to end.

The initial plan of the Americans was to give Lebanon to the Palestinians and solve the Palestinian issue: take Lebanon and forget about Israel and Palestine. So at some point, they came all the way to this village here (above Beirut), which is a Christian neighbourhood, with a Christian headquarters in another village half an hour from here. So it became very scary, they were basically able to invade the most critical areas of Lebanon in terms of Palestinians. At this point, the Christian leadership asked Syria to intervene. To stop the plan. So the Syrians came in and they stopped the plan, basically. So that was the first blow to the Israeli-American plan. And the Syrians began to push the Palestinians back to where they were, to their camps, and they recaptured all the territory that the Palestinians had taken under their control.

More >>>

Ivana and I (BB) first met Rafi in person in the middle of the night, when he picked us up at the airport and took us to his nice big family fleet in Beirut. He said we could stay for a week, but we stayed until the last day! He had taken a week of just to show us around Lebanon. His favorite place is the Jabal Moussa forest reserve with very old cedar growth and canyons in the Mount Lebanon area.

Here in the mountains, I could finally admit that the light is special, intensive in a very specific way. By here, I mean in Lebanon, wherever we went ... I have a theory why, and it is also for this reason that I want to come back, trace more and explain that bit of the story as well.

ERICA ACCARI –

FARMS NOT ARMS HAS LAUNCHED THEIR FIRST FARM, TURBA

Turba, a women-led regenerative farm in Zahle, Beqaa in line with the Farms Not Arms design model.

Turba, the Arabic word for soil, encompasses our values and our focus of placing soil health front and center to heal our land, our communities, and our planet. We are employing regenerative principles 

to grow and cultivate healthy and nourishing food much more efficiently while creating a scalable farm model for food security.


BUZURUNA JUZURUNA:

Our Seeds are our Roots

Story of a Land, Protection of a Heritage – Buzuruna Juzuruna: قصة أرض وحماية التراث

Walid is a Syrian farmer, a refugee in Lebanon since 2011. In 2014, he met Zoé and Ferdinand, two Frenchmen, on a trip to the land of the cedars. This encounter gave birth to Buzuruna Juzuruna ("Our seeds are our roots"), a farm-school located in Saadnayel, Beqaa, supported by CCFD-Terre Solidaire.

INSTAGRAM

CATALOGUE 2022

 R A F T

What is difficult for me is that sometimes I feel alone. It’s hard, you know, because I don’t see a lot of people around me – I'm not saying there aren’t people – around me, among friends, colleagues. I’m somehow, maybe, marginal. But that's OK… There are a lot of people like that, but I’m not surrounded by them. But especially the young generation, when we talk about these things in general, not specifically in our work, in general about architecture, they are very open to this and very receptive. Much more than the older generation. Because they live the problem that the previous generation created. So even the religious differences, the new generation is fed up with these divisions. They don’t want to hear about it anymore, Christians, Muslims, Jews. But the previous generation fought for it, one fought as a Christian, the other one as a Muslim… But the new generation is more open. The minds of the others are blocked. The same goes for these issues. They very easily accept it and then work around it. Yeah, but you have to do it in a… I don’t like to nag, that is dangerous, if I keep nagging “this is bad, this is bad…” No, this is what we have, and we have to change it. You change by being self-critical, seeing what you’re doing right, what you’re doing wrong, and trying to change that. It’s as simple as that. And believe that you can change. Which I do, definitely. So that’s the key, I guess. Not to nag, not to be destructive. Not to just complain without being constructive. Try to give solutions. And one of my solutions was to take a new look at the architectures of today in terms of legislation. Which means a new way of thinking, a new way of approaching.

My wish is to “not leave a trace”… There is an Armenian poet who has a phrase I like a lot: “Like a flower I take out of the earth, I smiled at life, I walked away and left”. This is what I mean by “not leaving a trace”. Now, smiling at life is the trace, the kind of trace I want to be, yes, only that kind. Just smiling at life and then walking away and leaving. And I read that on one of my birthdays, quite by coincidence 🙂 There is a joke about coincidence: two philosophers are discussing (this is also in Armenia) whether there is chance in life or there isn’t. So the guy that believes there is chance is says to the other, “Let’s say you’re walking on the street and the flower pot falls on you from the balcony. What do you call that?” The other one says, “This is an accident." He’s avoiding the word "chance". The first on says, “OK, the next day you’re walking down that same street and then from that same balcony another flower pot falls on you. What would this be?” The other one says, "This is coincidence...” 🙂 The first one says: “Ok, suppose the third day you’re walking again and then the flower…” And the second one says, “This has become a habit." 🙂 They (the Armenians) have very funny jokes, especially in the Soviet times when you couldn’t say much and everything was hidden.

The bigger the problems, the closer the solutions. Everything we are doing beyond our needs is a poison. - R A F I

and PIerre

"Young people should stay in Lebanon, but..." Besides offering his chocolates, Pierre – LE NOIR Atelier Du Chocolat – also

shared his opinion about young people in Lebanon.

We ordered coffee and got chocolate with it :-))

AND editor's note: 

The title of this exclusive Mediterranean story, "Be Enlighted – Visit Lebanon", can be explained in three ways:

– Lebanon (similar to Palestine) is the best place to see how life can be simultaneously experienced and lived as parallel realities. One is based on connections and sympathies, being connected to the land and cultivating heartful relationships with each other. Such wisdom gives us the strength to live... a life. The other reality is the fact of living in a country and area (Lebanon, Palestine, Syria, Jordan) that has been the target of strong manipulative egoistic interests since WWII, which makes life very hard even today! 32 years have now passed since the civil war (which lasted nearly 15 years). The majority of the population no longer knows how it was "before", and 60% of the population live abroad as messengers of the wisdom of coexistence, as they remain well connected to Lebanon. Today, we are in a critical situation globally that forces us to be aware of our own parallel realities that give us opportunity to connect and coexist where peace and freedom are present.

Be enlightened... Here the light is literally different, very bright. This could be related to the specific conditions in this part of the Mediterranean. 

– Be enlightened... is something almost normal here. The people are very friendly, attentive, self-aware and well connected with the land, which is still very strong and primal, despite being overpopulated. Here meet the sea and minerals of the land, mountains. 

Rafi's statement – The bigger the problems, the closer the solutions – works here, where conditions are good and people are connected to them. I know that living in parallel worlds also exists in other parts, gaps and pockets of the world, and practicing our own parallel worlds as individuals and communities should also contribute to the "pot of wisdom". In this sense, Lebanon is a great place to stay and get inspired.

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Released by MEDLand project / film, photography, editing: BB   TRANSCRIPTIONS : Ivana Petan  proofreading: Tadej Turnšek,       godfather of the story: Ivana Petan

Posted by bojanb
11 months ago

Rafi Karakachian- the role of Hezbollah

Civil war in Lebanon … Hezbollah … Hassan Nasrallah … You and I have the same right … Western media … People living together with equal rights … One-state country … With will and determination, any unfair situation will have to end.

Rafi and his family resisted the war by staying in Beirut! They were able to go anywhere since they have 3 passports/nationalities and lived abroad before the war which lasted for 13 years!

The initial plan of the Americans was to give Lebanon to the Palestinians and solve the Palestinian issue: to take Lebanon and forget about Israel and Palestine. So at one point, they came all the way to these towns here (above Beirut), which is Christian neighbourhood, with Christian headquarters in another village half an hour from here. So it became very scary, They were basically being able to invade the most critical areas of Lebanon in terms of Palestinians. At that point the Christian leadership asked Syria to intervene. To stop the plan. So the Syrians came in and they stopped the plan basically. So that was the first blow to Israeli-American plan. And The Syrians started pushing them back to where they were, to their camps and they invaded back all the area that Palestinians were taking control of.

And then, when that failed, the next step was for the Israelis to invade. So in 1982 they started. I remember that very very well, like today: 6th of June 1982. We were at the friend’s house in the mountains, having fun, barbecue, a big group of friends. On the way back on the radio we hear that Israeli invasion of Lebanon started. And we went home, you know it was like a shock and then few days later they were at the border of Beirut. And then we had a new elected president Bachir Gemayel, Christian militia leader, according to the Syrians, he was collaborating with the Israelis. So somebody assassinated him, they saying it’s the Syrians, but we don’t know for a fact. So when that happened, the Israelis came and invaded west Beirut, which is the Muslim area and then they went to east Beirut, which is the Christian part. But in the Christian part they were not invaders, they were guests. And there they were going to restaurants… So on the one side of Beirut they were invading it, on the other side they were having fun.

Then in 1982, when Israeli invaded and settled, there was no Hezbollah. It was resistance of all… all kinds of Lebanese wanted to resist. So they started organising themselves, and Hezbollah was one of these parties. And they started resisting. How? Like: they see military car, Israeli car going on the street, they throw a grenade. Soldiers die, one, two tree, four, five, every day, several times a day. It’s starting becoming a problem, the Israeli started pulling out. They pulled out of Beirut and they settled in the south. The Lebanese army was divided, so Lebanese army in the south became their collaborator. The Hezbollah – mostly the Shia – were also mostly in the south, and throughout Lebanese history they were neglected. Basically, Israeli used to come, and do things…I mean, nobody cared about them. Really. The political institution, the army, nobody cared about them. So they had to take care about their own safety… So they organised. And of course, they had the support of other countries – that time Syria, because Syria was also in Lebanon – so we had Israeli army, Syrian army and the Resistance, and the fighting militias. And they (Hezbollah) became very organised. Secrecy – until today they don’t understand how they operate and with the Israelis spying and all their capacities, they can’t locate where they are. Even Nasrallah who is their leader, they don’t know where he is. He’s underground, maybe it’s been for 10 years now.

So the Resistance kept going and then at one point it was becoming unbearable for the Israelis. Year 2000, sometime in the summer, overnight, without telling even their collaborators (the Lebanese), they (Israeli) pulled out. They left in one day. And that was the day of celebrations. And then we had several times many foreign armies coming as if stopping the war.

We (Rafi and wife Arda) lived the first 11 years and then we left to the States. The war between the Lebanese fighting fractions stopped in 1990. But Israel was still here, in the south. In 2000, after the Resistance succeed to push the Israelis out, and they started becoming very strong, in 2006 Israelis decided to invade Lebanon again, to get rid of Hezbollah. There still is a small portion, until today, which is not Israel, it’s Lebanese, but they (Israeli) are still there, and also the official borders are not very clear, whether it belongs to Lebanon or Syria.

And there were always clashes on the border between Israel and Hezbollah: they tried to go in, they do things, the Israeli fly almost every day, as tourists with their air force. So the problem was still there, because the Hezbollah proved to be effective and they started to be a model for Palestinians in Palestine. Reporting of that invasion, the western media – all of them, CNN, BBC, you name it, the western mass media – did a huge campaign to heavily demoralise the Lebanese.

The Israelis started heavily bombarding the south, like crazy, everywhere, villages… So Nasrallah had a speech, he said: all the civilians just leave, go out, wherever you are, let only the Resistance stay. The refugees were here, everywhere, in the mountains, in Beirut, they settled in schools which were opened for them. So the media bombarded us with fake news, bad news to demoralise us, and the point was that Israel is bombarding, destroying Lebanon because of Hezbollah: like we don’t want Hezbollah anymore, just give away your arms and let’s have peace. But fortunately that didn’t happen. And in fact, all the news was fake!

And Nasrallah at the time – they have a TV channel and the Israelis couldn’t find where this TV channel was spreading the news from, where the antennas were – went underground and every day he comes on TV at night and says don’t believe these news, we are advancing, they are retreating, and don’t believe anything they are saying. One day he came on the news and said:  OK, to prove myself, whoever is in Tyre, there is an Israeli boat in the sea,10 min from now go on the balconies, we will hit the boat, just to prove myself. People went out the their balconies and saw how they hit the boat.

I can tell you another story of western news mechanism: in 2006, one day the Israeli threatened to hit Beirut so Nasrallah came on TV and said: if you hit Beirut, we will hit Tel Aviv. Five minutes later I turned on CNN. Headline news, breaking news: Nasrallah in threatening to hit Tel Aviv. But the guy didn’t say that, he said if you hit Beirut, we will hit Tel Aviv. So of course, American public opinion: Nasrallah is going to hit Tel Aviv, he’s a terrorist, he will hit the civilians. This type of things we were witnessing every day, every minute, every moment. Anything what western media says, I believe the opposite, because that’s what we saw. The lying mechanism, it’s their expertise.

Finally, with the intervention of Americans and then some other countries, they came and they claim a ceasefire. The war stopped…at the end they made this resolution, which was not to Israeli advantage. It was just something on the paper to stop the war. And to save faces. And Israelis pulled out, the second invasion didn’t succeed either. And from that point on Hezbollah started getting help from Iran, starting getting stronger and stronger. Their policy was  OK: we will start manufacturing our own weapons, our own missiles and everything that we need. And they’re doing that. In 2005 the Syrians pulled out, then Israelis went out, and Lebanon now is now Lebanon, with only Lebanon army.

And, to tell you about Hezbollah discipline: in 2000 when all people fled south Lebanon and came into Beirut, settled in schools, we were helping them, volunteering to help them, give them food and whatever. So when the ceasefire happened, Nasrallah came again on TV and he said: tomorrow, everybody goes back to their villages, we will take care of you. Even if you don’t have a place to stay, if your house is underground, don’t worry, we will take care of you.” And they did. The refugees were also in our school, the Armenian school (across the street of our home) and they left the next day. The next day they sent people from their party to clean up the school and give it back to us the way they took it. And they did this in every school…can you imagine? And they are called terrorists…?

Yes, this is the reality. And until today some parties in Lebanon they say  OK you did your job, bravo, Israelis are not here anymore, just give away your weapon…the only thing that is stopping the Israeli to do the same thing, is that. Because we (Lebanon) still don’t have an army. We have an army, very good army, but it’s like internal police. They cannot stop any invasion.

And they (Hezbollah) are gaining ground in the whole region. Because what happened in Lebanon, this Resistance, is now happening within Israel, not the West Bank. They decided, I’m saying that unfortunately, but they came to the conclusion that the only way these people will understand and come to the table and negotiate a long term peace, is arm struggle.

And now, there is this Mayadeen channel, which is very pro-Palestinian highly professional TV channel, with amazing journalists and amazing talk shows, with very global view on things and highly connected to centres of power resisting the Americans. If you watch that TV, they are so hopeful that even our generation will see the end of Israel. They are saying it’s coming. We hear things from TV like that in Israel, where Arab-Palestinians and a lot of Jews talk about one state solution: we have one state and we live together like we used to live. DđAnd do you know, there is an amazing Israeli journalist that writes in the Haaretz, he’s called Gideon Levi, he’s a very pro-Palestinian guy and he keeps writing in Haaretz, I don’t know how they allow him, well Haaretz is the leftist newspaper, but still, having the guts to say all these things… So there is an intellectual class in Israel that is with the one state solution, and they see it as the only solution, only logical and long-term solution. Real peace, you know…not with one dominating the other or having doubts on each other.

And also the Hezbollah channel, they have a program where they show the Lebanese people everything that Israelis – the politicians, the military – talk between themselves on their TVs about the situation…and it’s panic mode, they’re saying basically: we have no solution, what can we do? The same thing that happened in Lebanon is happening there now: the guys have decided we have nothing to lose, they’re strangling us. The only way the Israelis understand is “if you kill me I kill you, If you kill my child, I will kill your child, Eye for eye”. So: don’t kill me, I will not kill you. Let’s talk. But if you kill me, I will kill you, this is the only way we can deal with this situation. We have reached the point where we cannot throw stones and then you shoot us. This is over. Unfortunately, but this is it. Because they’re not stopping. You act peacefully, the Israeli act violently, and now they are in a panic mode nobody has seen it like this until now. Because it’s happening with Palestinians within Israel: the Intifada is everywhere and it’s armed.

Hezbollah is not the army, that’s their strength. They do trainings in all kinds of condition. And with “mental training” somehow religion helps: in their thinking you have the same right. You cannot take away my right. It’s religious, it is the message of Allah: you and I have the same right. You cannot step on my foot. I will not step on yours but if you step on my foot I will take care of you. That’s why they call them Islamic resistance – their ideology comes from the religion. They are defending themselves and they have a right to do it, internationally. So I cannot be against them, even if I’m not happy. If you’re defending yourself, and that is causing some problem to me, I cannot tell you not to defend yourself.

The regime in Lebanon is, as I said, the majority is still with the Resistance. So in the parliament they have a majority, And they will continue having; it’s not getting weaker, it’s getting stronger.

So the official government believe that with the Resistance, the end of Israel is close. And this is not analyses, because if you watch their TVs, what they’re talking – the Israeli, the politicians and the Mossad and the military, what they’re talking among themselves, you really feel that. I mean, in the panic mode, they’re saying: we don’t have a solution. The people in Israel are criticising their regime, the military being not able to do anything…it’s over, there’s no way to stop this. It’s what they are saying, so that’s why it’s very interesting and very convincing.

And the next step?…I think, it’s been a while they’ve been talking about two states solution. I think they will go for one state solution. And there will be one country, people living together with equal rights. Not a jewish state, islamic state, not a christian state, a state, let them call it the Holly land, Palestine, whatever they call it :), but they all have the same rights and they will live together, and the refugees, Palestinians, they have to return to their homes. This is an UN resolution, it’s not anything that’s not accepted by the world: UN resolution 425 from 1978 talks about that, about the right of the Palestinian refugees to return to their homes, not West Bank. This is an UN resolution, so why every UN resolution should apply to Syria and Jemen and Iraq and all that, and not to Israel? Why? Because the Americans veto it, that’s the only reason.

I believe there is a chance that things will change, maybe in my life, but it doesn’t matter. But eventually, whether now or in hundred years, this will happen…I’m starting to believe that I will see it. Definitely, I don’t mind not seeing 🙂 but if I see it, it’s a bonus 🙂

And the Palestinians they are determined and that’s the way things are evolving. We’re seeing it here very clearly, were seeing how the Israeli-American policy is not moving on, they’re failing everywhere. Because it’s not fair, as simple as that. And when it’s not fair and you have a will to resist, and you have a power to resist. The case is that resistance have the will and the power and capacity to do that. And it’s happening, we’re seeing the result.

Also, for Palestinians, one state solution is the only one. Like, what would you do with those refugees on Israeli land? And UN resolution says that have the right to return. The zionists are scared that if they go back to Israel, they will multiply much faster and demographically things will change over time…  OK, which is right, so what do you do? And these people have the right, acknowledge by the international community to return home, there is a resolution. Until when can the US do this, when there is a resolution?

During all the years between 1982 and 2000, when the Israelis were here and the Resistance was resisting, the ones who were not with the Resistance, they always kept saying: what are you guys doing, are you stupid, can you fight the Israeli army? Well, they could, this is a fact. At the end, if you have the will and the determination, any unfair situation will have to end. It cannot go on forever. It’s not sustainable. I mean, who can name one empire that has survived forever, starting with the Romans, ending with the British and the French and the colonialists and everything, and Hitler and Germany and Russia, Soviet Union.

Nasrallah, in many speeches he asks: “guys, do you believe that we’re happy with these situations that our kids are going and being killed, and resisting and being killed? Can a logical mind accept that we’re happy with this situation? Of course we’re not. Once this is over all this will go to Lebanese army. But until that happens and as long the Lebanese army is not allowed to be armed, what can we do? This is the only solution.” This is what says the guy, can you believe it? But the people who criticise them and their supporters, they don’t even listen to what he says, Nasrallah is evil for them, he’s a terrorist.

And why would I support him? I’m neither a Shia nor this nor that, I’m like watching from outside, then why would I support it? If I don’t find it logical? And why would more than half of the Christians support him? If he’s a Shia? That’s not a case, it’s a political issue.

Now there are some information, it’s rumours but most probably very true that the Pope is planning to come to Lebanon, soon. And there are rumours when he comes will meet the Hezbollah leadership. Which is a big big blow to the Christians who are payed by the Saudis and the Americans to discredit Hezbollah.

And the money that these countries threw in this Lebanese elections, which happened in the beginning of July 2022, to gain the elections against Hezbollah, it was unimaginable. And they failed. They were campaigning, like the Saudi ambassador, he was campaigning, openly. The American ambassador was going and meeting all these leaderships of the parties who are against Hezbollah, openly. I mean, diplomatically it’s not acceptable. And we are watching all this and they want us to say bravo, we are with you. And, they lost, they didn’t get the majority over Hezbollah! So I’m very optimistic.

And somehow, staying in Lebanon is my way of participating in this resistance. Because I can very easily leave, I have the passport, I have the citizenship, I can go.

Rafi Karakachian, more abour arhitecture

… in the past, people didn’t sit under the shade of what they planted. We’re losing this concept altogether.

All these buildings which are owned, but nobody is there…

 The issue of continuity

… Life … It’s not history, it’s evolution, and it’s change

… Architecture and architects… … Survival 

… vernacular architecture…

Nowadays, if I’m the client, I want my tree to look as an 80 year old tree, under which I will sit when the project is completed. And this becomes a way of life, which means that all the time that is required to grow a tree you detach from the process. That’s why you start wanting things that have nothing to do with the process that’s natural. This is a shame.

For me, nature is a process.

I would love to renovate what is there, to tear down what’s not good and then put trees there. All these buildings which are owned but nobody is there, they have no use, except money laundry. Would take them out. Of course, if there is a need for it, not. I also think that population growth is going crazy in the world, it should go back.

This issue of continuity…are you familiar with Krishnamurti? All these time related issues, continuity and all that which come with memory, is also very problematic. So in nature, the tree grows, but it’s not attached to the memory and it’s open to change… They live the moment. So if you live the moment, it means there is no time. And if you’re doing anything… OK, you only need memory for practical things, but we have overestimated it, in my opinion, and it has gained so much value that we are in the trap of memory and time and all that. So even archaeology and all that, OK, I know the value, history, tradition… There is nice funny definition of tradition. It says tradition is “peer pressure from the people who are dead”. History as an institution or as an education is new. Like primitive people, they have history, but they don’t think of history, they are history… The term “history” has certain connotations which is a problem. So all these worlds that we have created, I am starting to have issues with it, unless we just give them the right value, OK: history is good for this only. It’s good to be destroyed somehow, without attachment.

Also sometimes, if you go to primitive tribes which still exist today, the evolution there is extremely slow, if there is any. But they’re very natural people. Let me put it very simply: if I can live like an animal consciously, that’s what I’m aiming for. Like when I watch my cat, I’m learning much more from a cat than I have learned all my life through all experiences. Not getting bored.

Life… It’s not history, it’s evolution, and it’s change. It’s adapting to the present all the time, eternally. And present is never the same. Animals have a synchronicity which we have lost. So change and evolution in that sense make sense because it’s the nature’s way of being.

Architecture and architects… In what we do, the need and necessity are not in equation. Everything we’re doing is not needed, even the client doesn’t need it. They already have 10,000 houses. This is the 11,000th.

Survival. Unfortunately… Yes, I could cook. But even cooking, restaurants and all that, the logic is the same, it’s entertainment. And 99% of what we do is entertainment. Why don’t I go home and eat when I’m hungry? And when I’m hungry, I will eat with art, because that’s also part of me. That’s why I was saying: food for me is the highest form of art. Because it’s needed. It’s not that I’m against art. If you approach art with that kind of perspective, then even art would be a lot different. Even art is becoming an institution and it’s extending what we’re doing. Things would evolve and grow differently. But now it comes down to consumption. We’re consuming without thinking.

I’m educated in this system. But when I started looking at things differently, even these needs that I had had changed. I don’t have the same needs anymore. For me now, sitting on my balcony and watching the sea, just watching the sea, has become as satisfying as an experience of doing something. It’s doing something else. It’s being. And then, I might do something. The process, the rhythm, the drive, they’re all different, they’re not the same. Before I needed to do something ten times, now once I year is enough maybe. That’s what I’m saying, and if we keep telling to ourselves that this is a need… Maybe it’s a desire. For me, a need is something that’s external, it’s within interconnectivity, it doesn’t depend on me. I have to eat, I need the light. That is need. Another thing is what I decide to do, it has nothing to do with you, the other. The need is about the interconnectedness. So if you live with that perspective, the desires, they are still there but they don’t impose themselves, they go with the flow, you know when to stop and when to leave them happen. Which are the spontaneity, the accidents in the nature. Unexpected things happen, maybe in the bigger picture there’s nothing unexpected. But something you were not expecting, happens.

So that rhythm, it’s there. If we live the way I was describing, if you look at things that way, you’ll still be creative, but in a different way, in a different rhythm. Now, everything has become an institution, as if they are sustaining themselves, it becomes raison d’être for every institution. They want to keep themselves before anything else, they forgot why they are there for. Unfortunately.

That’s why I like vernacular architecture; an architecture where there were no architects. Where things were done out of a need. You need a shelter. And no other parasites, egos… nothing. And you look at the result, it’s perfect. It blends with everything. You bring the architect and the signature and everything gets spoiled. This is what I’m observing. Of course, there are exceptions, I’m generalizing a little. But in general, that’s how I’m seeing it. Unfortunately. I know this is an extreme position, but…

I ask if building lives or doesn’t live for itself… When you see a building – is that the building or the architect behind the building? Or is that the teacher who taught the architect behind the building? So again, you go back to interconnectedness and everything. The building is the outcome of a process. It has a purpose, it serves a purpose, and its cause. It’s life, and you have to let it be that.

Without people? Well, it has its life because it’s there, but when you look at it, it has its life through you. They don’t contradict each other. It’s there, I did this and then I died. But it is still there and I’m under the ground. Building is still there and it has its own life until it disappears one day. But then, if another person comes and sits on this, it will have a life in relation to that person, and the person will have a life in relation with the building… So it’s all being, in different forms, an observer is there, another observer comes…

I have a problem of categorization. I know the logic behind it and I know the function of categorizing, but I should be aware of what categorization is for us. If it becomes the aim, then I have a problem. It has a function and I don’t want it to go beyond that function. And Krishnamurti says it very well: words, any word you say, it’s an abstraction. It’s not the reality. It’s an approximation and abstraction. So in any word… The word can be very tricky if you take a word as a thing. But if you’re aware that it’s just an abstraction to say something, then OK. But I guess, today’s society, we’ve forgotten all this, probably.

and MORE HIGHLIGHTS :

Vernacular architecture, OK, you go to these Greek islands, you go to the medieval cities where there was no architect. They just built because they needed to build. And for me, that type of architecture – forget the churches and all that, even if it’s the most beautiful, I don’t care, I would rather not have it, to tell you the truth – that type of architecture, which comes from the people and their needs, for me it’s so beautiful, so simple, with so little consumption. And there’s no name of any architect. Once you put the name, which is the ego and everything else, then it falls apart. Then you can produce an amazing gothic cathedral or renaissance whatever, Michelangelo… OK?

In my opinion, all this fall started in the Renaissance. Of course, in school we learn that the Renaissance was whatever of civilisation. Then, art was institutionalised. The tribes, they did art, but it was just direct expression of nature… Nature was creating through you. Now, with the ego, you are above it, you control nature. And science…

For me, if art is what the universe is doing through me, the creation through me or through anyone, that’s art. And that reads very well, very strongly. But when it’s the expression of your ego, then you might create beautiful marvels, which I don’t care about at all.

In the Neolithic, an object that today is called art was functional and was not called art. Now, you call it art and it gains authority… He’s an artist, he knows, he sees things that we don’t… The connotation that we have given to art and institutionalisation of art… You know, I go and study architecture, plus architecture I have no problem with it because it’s functional. But today’s architecture and architects – I have a big problem with it, including myself. So anything we’re doing today, architects and engineers, sucks, it is terrible. It’s destroying everything, because it’s done with this very low energy, it’s the expression of that. And all architecture that was done a long time ago, vernacular architecture – vernacular means coming from the people, the people’s architecture – which was built because of need, by the crafts, masons. If you study this architecture and you study our architecture, you cannot compare. That was extremely efficient, simple, beautiful, respectful, the guy didn’t even think he was respectful. Because he lived with what he had; with life, with environment, with nature, with the stars, with the sky, with the universe, because he was connected, he couldn’t do otherwise, he couldn’t not be respectful. Now, because of our egos, we are programmed to be disrespectful and they teach us to be respectful. And in our work – today’s architecture work – that’s so badly reflected. When I see an architect, I ask: if I take out the name from your building, would you do the same thing? Definitely not… All these star architects, the very famous ones today, all their buildings seek attention, wow, this is new… But if I take their name out and you don’t say “This is Bojan,” than Bojan wouldn’t do that because it’s not attracting any attention. Now I understand you have to put your name so people know. We do the same, I do the same, but I’m not proud of it, that’s the difference, I’m ashamed of it. And I tell everyone, not the client, I cannot, one day I will tell them all.

Rafi Karakachian, about Lebanon 

Lebanon is the warmth of the people … A life where people don’t fear each other … I’m attracted to smiles … We are free people, it’s in our nature … I want to unlearn everything and relearn it my own way … “Lebanon is a message” … A coexistence in the universal sense, not just between humans … Our minds have to change … Zionist ideology … The system has to change … New laws … Go back to human scale … Future architecture and its redefinition … Bring need and necessity in the equation … Vernacular architecture … By talking together, a new formula will have to come out … It’s tricky, but we shouldn’t be afraid of it … I want to challenge …

For me, Lebanon is mostly the people and the warmth of the people, which is very specific for me in general. in the sense that I have never found that kind of warmth elsewhere, anywhere else I travelled. So when I say Lebanon, it’s different from other places by this factor: the warmth of the people… Besides other things, of course. But this is what strikes me.

In school, they teach us history and geography, and for some reason, I… OK, it’s interesting, but for some reason that never meant that much to me, because personally, for me what matters the most is the relationships between human beings. The rest, I forget to tell you the truth. […] In fact, looking back, anything I learned has become problematic. So I want to unlearn everything and relearn it my own way. After all these years.

Why Lebanon? Why did you choose Lebanon to live in?

I have chosen Lebanon to live in because first, I was born here, so I’m part of it. Before the war, we had a beautiful life, wonderful life. I never wanted to leave the country, but then the situation got quite bad and I was somehow forced to leave Lebanon. And then, when I went out, the qualities of Lebanon came out much stronger. I realized what I was missing when I was living abroad. That quality was so important to me that it pulled me back and I decided to come back. And although there are many problems, political, economic – you name it – but somehow, as I said, there is something I couldn’t find elsewhere: this human warmth, relationship between people and their resilience and their love for life and that energy. And that is what matters to me, this is what I’m looking for in life… To have that is a priority, besides everything else. And as long as I can make a living here, I will not go anywhere else.

I could choose not to come back. Being in the States… I’ve told you the story of what triggered my return: Varak (one of my two sons) was in third grade, seven years old, and one day he came home from school and he said that they taught them if someone gives them something in the street to reject it, not to take it. So at that point, I understood that I’m living in a culture where they’re teaching fear at school, institutionalized fear. And at that point, I realized that in Lebanon, even during the war, people didn’t fear each other. Ok, it was dangerous, there was danger but, no fear of each other. The danger was physical – bombs, shells, whatever, it was a war situation, but people didn’t fear each other. And living in the States, I realized at one point that fear is part of education. They teach us to fear the other. And I have never seen that, it was very foreign to me, so I decided to come back for my children to see that other side of life. That there is a life where people don’t fear each other, they don’t see each other as a challenge, a competition. 

The Armenian passport came latter. At the time, I had Lebanese and US passports. But even Armenia… OK, I like it, historically I’m connected, I’m Armenian by origin, but I still feel that this (Lebanon) is where I would choose to stay. I have no problem, I can live anywhere if you want. But if I have to choose, I still choose Lebanon. And as I always say, if I can make a living here, that’s the determining factor. Even in this chaotic situation, I still prefer to stay here than to go anywhere else. And it’s not just a matter of being attached to the land and this and that… It’s not just physical. It’s more than that. It’s human relationships. And the smile on the people’s faces… Smile is very important to me, I’m attracted to smiles. And I can find a smile here on everybody’s face, no matter what the situation is.

In my opinion, Lebanon is so much in the focus of the world because people in this region – Syria, Palestine, Lebanon – with a mix of religions like Jews, Christians, and Muslims, this makes it such a special place, where all cultures, all different cultures come together and they coexist in a very beautiful way. And if they leave us alone, this place can become a message. And that is felt somehow in life. We have all kinds of differences, but they coexist very nicely. And yes, It’s not just Lebanon, it’s all the region, basically, where all Western religions were born and they coexisted. And I think that is also the future if we get there. If we don’t destroy ourselves, one day, that fact of coexistence will I guess come back: coexisting with others peacefully.

I think the turning point in this coexistence being present was the creation of the Israeli state. Before that were the Worlds Wars, of course, there was turmoil in the world in general, but I guess in terms of people living in the area, big problems started after the creation of Israel, with Zionist ideology. And I believe that all religions, Jews, Christians, Muslims, if we take out that element, that ideology, we can coexist together again very nicely, very peacefully. And it can really become a model.

We have gone through this crisis. So if this crisis gets resolved, of course, it’s a jump forward. We will have what we had before plus the fact that we learned something from this crises. And hopefully not repeat it. So that probably we will coexist also consciously now.

I’ve learned from this crisis that no one can impose himself on the other. We are free people, it’s in our nature. So we cannot somehow accept someone coming and imposing himself on others. You should respect the differences and then coexist. So that imposition in this case – the Israeli-Palestinian conflict – or of the existence of Jewish state imposing itself on the people of other religions in the area, has proved that it’s not a sustainable and viable formula. So once people realise that and they get over it, I guess things will prosper, things will become extremely radiant. 

It could be a message. When Pope Jean Paul II, I don’t remember which year, was in Lebanon, that’s what he said about Lebanon: “Lebanon is a message.” Well, Lebanon and the region in general (Syria, Palestine, Israel).

The important steps in this crisis… OK, we’re getting into politics… That’s good, that’s fine. The fact is that the state of Israel, with the Zionist ideology, is an expansionist state. And they like to dominate. And they have United States supporting all this, for several reasons: Israeli lobby… Whatever… But this is a fact. Since 1948, when the Israeli state was created, from that point on, they started to expand… West Bank… They occupied Lebanon, they went to Egypt, Sinai… You name it, they did it. And this expansionist mode of doing things was not accepted at one point. Some people decided they cannot go on like this and they have to resist this expansion. And unfortunately, the only way to resist was not the negotiations or peaceful way of doing this – talking to each other. It had to be done by force. And that started and then at one point it succeeded, and again, it became a model of how you can resist this situation. And it proved itself, it proved successful. And it’s giving its fruits now. I’m not really happy with it, I would rather see it resolved peacefully. But it seems that the Zionists are not very sensible to doing things peacefully, and people were forced to go to arms struggle. And that’s what’s happening now. It will at least stop the Israelis; to think again and probably be forced to negotiate the settlement. And from what I know, I think there is a good number of Israelis, Jews, who are for a one state solution. And in Israel, there are these “pockets”, these groups that want that. They also say that’s the only sustainable, viable solution. I mean living together through division is basically temporary, you can’t go on like that. And it’s forced, it’s fake. Because the Palestinians are everywhere. Like the Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, they’re Palestinians from Israel, not West Bank, a lot of them. And they want to go back to their homes, so they will eventually live with the Jews in the same place. So you cannot impose Jewish state upon them, that cannot sustain. And the Palestinians don’t want that. They reject that. That’s known. So the only solution would be to accept to live together under one umbrella. Now what you call it, what the state is called, that’s a detail.

So I guess it’s the decision to resist this occupation, all this ideology, and to resist military, that is going to make a difference.

I see it visible in the future, yes :)! I now have a feeling that the resistance is determined to continue, and I also see the signs that Israel as a state cannot stop it and they are really now in panic. Because that’s how they left Lebanon. They couldn’t stay here anymore. And that’s now happening in Israel. I mean what happened in Lebanon is happening in Israel, with the Palestinians, from within, not from the outside. The Palestinians who are living there, not only in the West Bank but also in Israel, it seems they have made their decision that this cannot go on like this anymore. Which I think is a good thing. It will go through violent period, most probably; that unfortunately seems to be the only way as the Israelis have chosen to go that way. Whenever you try to solve something peacefully, they’re just not interested. I mean they abuse your good intentions. You want to do it, they say, “OK, they’re doing it peacefully, so we can prolong it and in the meantime, we build the colonies and all that and we try to strangle them so they leave the country.” So they’re abusing your good intentions, unfortunately. I wish that it didn’t happen; even if you listen to those who are resisting, military, they too are not doing this with love, they don’t like it, all of them would prefer to negotiate, to come to a peaceful solution. But the other side is not responding.

For Lebanon in the future, I think if things get resolved, if this political situation changes, which I believe it will, then this coexistence of differences will again come to the surface. And then, with more awareness. Plus because of global changes, environmental changes, all this survival issues globally… With all that in mind, I think this area of the world can also be a model in that sense. So, coexistence between religions, between different ethnicities, and that being a message which means it’s a universal. The other global and universal issue, which today is environmental issue, even in that sense, the region can provide a model. Because the nature of the land is such that you can have a model of proper agriculture, of forestry, we have a lot of water. It has the potential of becoming a message in that sense as well… All of this, if that awareness bears its fruit, and if we don’t fall in another trap or some powers don’t abuse our diversity again, in some other way, which is happening all the time in this region as well. There are powers interested in this region, they have ambitions that they call interests. So if they leave us alone and if things get resolved, I guess it has a lot of potential in many ways. Besides cultural and religious coexistence even in a way of life that can radiate and then become a model in that sense: a coexistence in the universal sense, not just between humans. And as you’ve noticed, it has started, even in this mess, you have people who are doing certain kind of agriculture, even restoring historical dwellings, places… Also because during the war, I was telling you this, in my opinion, the ugliest destruction, physically, was by building, by constructing buildings. So they destroyed the city and the country by building. And now we have to somehow take that away again, physically. What was built without respect for the physical and the cultural environment. It was built out of self-interest without respect for anything, just pure interest, during the chaos period because of the war. Some people abused that, benefited from that, and that destroyed the physical environment. A lot of people are aware of that, so there is a strong reaction to it, they want to change that. So probably, like in other parts of the world, after the war there is a period of reflection, looking inward, trying to see how to change that and what is the proper way of doing that. So I hope – this are all wishes – or I see there is potential in that, and I hope that we see that happen.

Let me explain a building issue in Beirut. During the war, Beirut was dangerous. People moved out, and that’s how these suburbs around Beirut grew. Before, this was all forest, green, nature. So people went out of Beirut and in that period, whoever had money built buildings the way they wanted, where they wanted. They were sold to this people who were leaving Beirut and moving outside. And a lot of people migrated. But then, there were others factors: when there came peaceful time, after 1990 when the war ended, people invested in building, and the Lebanese from abroad bought apartments, many wealthy people built for investment or for hiding their money, whatever… They kept building. So you have towers, all sold out, without any inhabitants. You see like 30 stories and only 2–3 floors inhabited. So that was investment, not a need.

I go to downtown Beirut and I see all these buildings. I see seven, eight towers next to each other, each one 30 stories high, and then I see couple of floors inhabited, that gives me a sense of how much of it was needed. Those buildings are not needed. And what’s also unfortunate, they’re destroying nature, they’re taking up space, which is needed as space for the people who are living there. So I can imagine, if those buildings were not build, and we had green spaces in their place, it would have been the most beautiful city in the region.

In general, I have a personal look on future architecture: in my opinion, the need and necessity are out of architectural formula these days, everywhere in the world, not only here. Today’s environmental situation tells us, in my opinion, that we shouldn’t build anymore, it is not needed. So we should bring the need and necessity into the profession of architecture and not put two stones on top of each other if it is not needed. And if it’s needed to take stones, to bring these buildings down, which I think it is, we have to go that way. There shouldn’t be any space in the building that is not inhabited. Ideally we should go into renovation and rebuilding what’s there, rehabilitating what’s there instead of building new stuff. But that’s much of a bigger issue because it’s related to how the economy works, etc. It’s not an easy thing to do. But if we go on doing what we’re doing, we’ll keep destroying. 

To really help ourselves, we have to bring these two factors in the equation – need and necessity. And be guided by that. Which means a whole different way of teaching architecture; it’s a big thing that should happen. And there is also awareness when it comes to redefining architecture: it has become an aesthetic thing, it has become an ego driven thing, like in most professions. So we should take away that ego and really do what’s needed. And tear out what’s not needed.

I want to be hopeful that this transition happens, but before anything else, it’s transition in the mind, it will not happen if we continue with the same mindset. The transition has to happen in the mind, the rest will be just a natural outcome of that. Revolution has to happen in the mind. That’s how I see it.

It is already happening in the pockets, in populations, but if we don’t do it (also professionally), nature will take care of it: if we don’t do it, we’ll be self-destructive, and then, when life comes again, it will happen. So we have the choice, either we do it or we destroy ourselves and then we start from zero again… Not zero, we’ll start with a new situation where things are destroyed and new rebirth happens. I wish we don’t get to that point and we realise our minds have to change.

My role in this sense :))… By doing the opposite of what everyone is doing, because, yeah, I can’t go on with this mindset. I have made my – it’s not even a decision – I feel I cannot go on like this and my mind is starting to change, I’m seeing things differently. I’m not interested in what I’m doing, because as I said, in general, when it comes to profession (architecture), is mostly doing something that’s not needed.

The only thing I can do, I can talk about these issues. And not be proud of what I’m doing. Because we’re proud of what we’re doing aesthetically, if we get good article in a magazine we feel happy, we feel proud… In fact, to tell you the truth, I’m ashamed of what I’m doing.

In the projects we’re doing at the office, I cannot directly implement these thoughts. It has to be a totally different project. I mean, I cannot keep on building for people who have already a dozen of houses or apartments, and do additional one. I can try to pass legalisation that no apartment should be left empty. Because there are many people who need places and don’t have it. So that’s one way of doing architecture for me. Ok? Passing new laws. Ok, let’s say passing a law that doesn’t allow a person or a family to have more than a certain number of square meters in the world, not only in Lebanon. So one family cannot own more than X square meters. Do whatever you want with it, but this is your limit. OK? And every family has the right to have a minimum of square meters. This is legalisation. So for me now and changing the mind, we’re start there, not by building but by seeing how to develop from this point on. And if we do that, everybody will have a shelter and then probably it will even be more than needed so then we can start taking away things. Plus the scale of things, energy consumption, right? If you have a 30 storey building, you need elevators. But if you have a 3 storey building, you can walk. So you don’t need electricity, you’ll use your own energy. So we should go back to human scale… But again, this is big big change. 

And architecture is just one part of it. But we can have an input in that sense. This course has to start at the university level, at the education level, which is very rare today ,that type of discourse. Still, if you go to the Architecture Biennale in Venice, for me it’s a disaster what I see there. What I see there depresses me. And then you see all this star architects going in and coming out… They’re blown up, with their egos, they’re going to explode. And they write articles, they brag about biennale, it’s the biggest architectural event in the world. For me, this is a shame. And with all this nice clichés… And that’s why I keep giving the model of vernacular architecture which was the architecture that came out of need and not power, not ego. You didn’t have the name of the architects, their egos were not carved on the stone or their names written in the magazines. If we can go back to that, then we’ll be on the right track.

By talking together about it, a new formula will have to come out. In general, like the professionals, they’re very proud to be architects today. And it’s aesthetic driven, ego driven, and I’m really ashamed of the profession. I’m just doing it because I’m in it, that’s what I’ve studied, and I have to make a living, and at this age for me to start from zero… I’m just waiting for my retirement. Whenever I can, I will do that, but also keep on talking about it. It’s not that I’m going to stay passive. I’m going to confront people, to face them, and give my opinion… I’m not saying what I’m saying is right, but I want to challenge…

In my office, they know my opinion, of course. And Vladimir, I don’t know how he tolerates me :), he knows my opinion very well, for sure. But with newcomers, I’m careful. We do it through our projects. Like when we do a project, we say that “it’s better to do it this way”. Definitely, if I talk to my colleagues the way I talk now, at one point they might lose interest in what they’re doing. But… It’s a tricky thing… If we get a project, let’s say, which I’m not proud of, definitely :), even the Philharmonic project in Belgrade – because there is something more important than to build a museum which is an empty space – OK, it has a history, but there is something more than history: you go out of the museum and there is a beggar at the door. Which one is more important? To have that museum or to feed that guy? So that museum becomes irrelevant to me, I’d rather take that beggars and put them into the museum, to have a roof under their heads. We have reached that point. So when we get a project, it’s going to be done anyway, so I rather do it in a slightly better way which is less damaging, and in parallel, show people how I feel about it. Not address the issue directly, through the project, but generally, in terms of how we should approach things, how legislation should be, talking about “the museum and the beggar,” OK, not specifically, because Vladimir is also afraid of that. He’s afraid that if I keep talking about this openly, people might lose their interest. OK. But I’m also telling him I’ve lost interest but I’m still giving you my best. That’s also possible: I have to do this so I’ll do my best, I’ll give you my best, although I’m not proud of it. Because I have to make a living. The change will take time. And it will be a product of this not being happy, but not also having the illusion that you can live out of the system. I mean, you’re in the system, the system has to change. I’m living in this world, not somewhere else. So I mean it, I’m part of it, but I want to change. So I have to keep talking about change in a way that’s productive, not destructive. So even if I’m not interested, I’m still giving him my best. And Vladimir is happy with what I’m giving. It’s tricky, but we shouldn’t be afraid of it. Otherwise change will not happen.

Vladimir Djurović : Montenegro project

Montenegro project … like being at home … bringing together people that touch and inspire … a foundation … wild pomegranate … following the goats … the right place to build a house

To bring those special energies together, that’s number one in the Montenegro project. And what is set also for sure for me, is I want people to come all year around to be there. With me, without me, I want it to be lived experience. And what people: people that touch me, I mean, that do special things in this re-awakening, in this new place we have to build, environmentally, nature wise… Anything that inspires you that they’re good people… And I have a lot of people that I love and they don’t even know it… So the first part is for those people to come together.

And then, of course, we will have the food, the farm and the sea, all this stuff should happen there, and because there is nobody eating organic food in Montenegro, food alone is one chapter. Those people coming should be eating from the land – 90% of their diet has to come from our land there. And then, in the future, after a few years, I have these other structures at the bottom, that’s where we will do this Plan B Foundation.

So, let’s say you invite David Attenborough and… Someone very special, totally different, from a different background. Nobody will pay a penny, you’re invited, it’s like you’re at home and then you leave. If you’re interested when you’re coming down – because this foundation is at the bottom of the land, at the public side; it will be us and the community – I’m gonna do one of the houses just as an open house and you can sit and give a lecture or talk, etc. And then, I have friends here in Lebanon, they do the most amazing videos you’ve ever seen; also winning awards all around the world. They go to people that had a very very difficult life and they do a 3-minute video about them and how they found joy of life again and what’s their mission now, after they went through this hardship. Very powerful videos, very short. So imagine when these people come, and capturing the essence of this very informal, not planned, not structured happening. And then you have a website or whatever so people can come and see those people at that moment at that place. And they contribute this way.

And the foundation will have many more things, there’s a big program for it. For that to happen, I brought Salim and I told him when I’m 60, the company has to run without me a little bit, because I need to spend a lot of time and be in Montenegro, feel it and see it.

And we’re working, I’ve told you, all these years with Aga Khan Foundation and Gulbenkian Foundation now – very special relation with all of them, the president, all the board members, 50 year old building project; timeless, incredible project. And the foundation nurtures it in a way that’s spectacular. So imagine inviting them, the board members, they do this quarterly meetings: come one time and be alone in Montenegro and do it. And one day I will ask one of them, show me, help me make a foundation, because I have no idea how should we set up a foundation, what do we need… But then, you have somebody driving it.

The symbol of the project now is the wild pomegranate. I want to rewire the whole area and plant thousands of these trees and what grows around with them.

All the people in Montenegro will tell you “sok od nara” (wild pomegranate juice) is the most powerful drink you’ve ever seen: you squeeze the wild pomegranate and if you drink this much in the morning (half to 1 dcl) every day, no cancer. In Montenegro, I’m going to make this drink, everyone that comes will take a bottle with him, “sok od nara”.

So this wilderness is everything to me now. Why now? If I connect the story to Wadi Rum, it’s because it’s untouched by men. And Wadi Rum got me. I realised the damage we are doing everywhere and the power of something that is virgin somehow. Pomegranate for me now became a symbol of the project. And now I keep discovering more and more that this is linked to what I’m doing at work: it feeds the work. Because there, now I’m proposing these things in a way. So it’s all like somehow it’s all coming together. Look, what really disappoints us with clients, it’s you always have to compromise somewhere. So you prevent the big vision. They do 60–70%, they never go all the way like you want. Because they have other interests. Like, no, Vladimir, this is a university, we need to do this, we need to do this, we have women coming with heels, we cannot have natural grounds, who’s gonna clean it if it rains? They don’t see the benefits, for example, of the rain soaking… Without buildings, you just let the ground soak, yes, a bit of maintenance, but zero costs, zero whatever. But at the end, you always end up compromising. I realised that in the end, if I want zero compromises, and I want to do what I feel should be done, it has to be our project, not the client’s, I’m the client.

The goats are designing the Montenegro project. I walk all of the walkways, and to discover the place, I follow the goats. And they show you the way to go everywhere.

We have a contractor who’s very very conservative and old-fashioned, and very beyond basic… And Rafi would marry him… He’s so… He built the whole project. I came and I saw the wood ceiling he made, I said I wanted to meet the carpenter, where’s the carpenter? He looked at me and said what, what do you mean carpenter? I said the man who makes the wood. He said, “I made it”. I said who built the floor, the stone floor? “I did the floor”, he said. Who did… I did it. Who’s doing…? I’m doing it. Everything him! He’s amazing. But old old old-fashioned, and you know, everything by hand, everything is simple, basic, nothing can go wrong, and if it goes wrong, it is very easy to fix, there’s nothing sophisticated.

And do you know how the Montenegrins decide where to build a house? When they find the land they want to build their house on and live on, they walk around it for a long time, with the sheep, with the animals, whatever, and then they do two things. They discover where the animals like to be, and then of course, the orientation, wind, sun, etc., plus what they feel. So it’s a possibility here, or here, or here, maybe: three places where we can build our house and live our life. So OK, what do they do, where do they build the house? They bring three pieces of stone, they put one big piece of stone in every place and they leave it for a year. They come back one year later, they flip the stone, the one that has a lot of life under it, this is the one. They build the house there. The one where there is no insects, the energy is not good. And they don’t build here or here. And no machines, no nothing, look how beautiful, though. Because I remember from your childhood, sometime you move the stone… Where it’s not appropriate, you find nothing. The Montenegrins are never in a hurry, you know, we want everything tomorrow, now now now now now now now… But they take their time, without any machines, without anything. For me, it was like… The contractor keeps impressing me, this guy. First, we had his father, until 1995, and he was working with his father until 1995, when unfortunately his father passed away. And now he continues, he’s like 55, but took everything from his father and learned a lot. And that’s all he does.

Vladimir Djurović – about the flow of life & work

It comes by itself, goals or aspirations that I have for myself on a personal level. And I just look, and then they fit perfectly for the company as well: one way of looking at things, the same interest, the same passion, revolving around nature, and always almost sailing, but not on the sea. Just open and see where things are going, and it’s very interesting how many different winds you catch and it takes you somewhere very interesting… So I’m very open, I’ve become very open. And liberated, I’m not stopped by anything, I don’t know, I can’t explain it. There’s a very very close merge. Like Montenegro started as something for me, and now I see it could be a perfect place to take our clients and help them see the difference, help them to raise their awareness and help them do the right things through seeing an example where we really didn’t do much in a way. What you do a lot is not, is not to do – you know what I mean: It’s what you don’t do, that’s what we’re doing. Because I have a client coming: Hey, we hired you, we paid you, you’re telling us not to do anything, what is this? 

So anyway, it’s merging very closely. I’m almost losing the boundaries between things. And I’m loving it because it’s holistic. There’s no word and it’s not that, on the other hand, I have no life and I’m all work… On the contrary. I mean, I don’t work, I don’t feel I’m working. And when I feel I’m working, it means I’m working on the wrong project or there’s something wrong. So yes, it’s interesting. And I love doing environments that allow for these things to happen. And somehow also, over the 25 years, if you want, at work, this position now, you realise more and more that you can apply it and you can use it to make more of these connections, to push things more in the right way, to raise awareness as well, and to fully utilise what we have built until now for that purpose as well. You know, to put it to the best use possible and not to look at it as business… I’m always open and I’m always learning; the more connections, the more people you meet, when you’re open and absorbing and connecting, and seeing the connectedness of everything and everyone. And especially, when the right energy is aligned and how it feels when it’s right.

I mean yes, when I started, it was… OK, I grew up in nature, I grew up in forests. Our old house, we were in a pine forest. I used to leave the house in the morning and come back at night with my friends. In the forest all day long. But then, I went to the US and England and studied landscape architecture for 16 years, but at the beginning I was obsessed with doing beautiful gardens, design, design of beautiful gardens. And our school – it’s very funny how things happen… Because I went to a school called University of Georgia, Athens, School of Environmental Design. And all they taught us was about protecting and bringing back the environment and working with nature. However, we hated it. We were fighting it: “What is this university?” Because at Harvard, they were only teaching design. And we felt we were not given the tools to be good designers. Because we want to be great designers, we want to design, design, design. And I thought: They are really strange, what are they talking about, native ecosystem and restoring ecosystems and… Because we had no clue. We were so unaware in a way, so naive to not see what was happening. The environmental movement, of course, was happening even before, but we wanted everything new, we wanted to design special things. So I was going to be trained to be a designer. Like I said, obsessed with that aesthetic layer, with that layer that everybody sees: “O wow, great designer, look at this beautiful garden…” Yes, it changes with the season, it has natural aspects, but what you see on the surface was extremely important…How we build the reflection, the perspective from each corner, the materiality… I was obsessed with it because somehow it was what everybody wanted and… I don’t know… Even my family – I come from a family of interior designers. So everybody: design, design, design… 

And it took a long time, over two decades, for me to start first seeing, when I started traveling all around the world and realised that everywhere I went in the most pristine remote areas, clients would buy spectacular pieces of land and ask us to destroy them; us and the architects. And make this amazing land, I could feel the spirit of that place without knowing, back then in the beginning I was also discovering that I could. But then I know when we finished the project, it became about the architect, architecture, the landscape and blablabla, and the place is no longer there. It’s there, but not really… 

And now it’s all about how do we amplify the sense of a place, how you bring it to life, we need to disappear, we need to do nothing, you know. Or whatever we do, number one is to amplify that sense of a place, the place should speak. So it took me two decades, 20 years of projects and traveling, for that thing to happen, probably in Wadi Rum was the first realisation that everything we’re doing is wrong and the power when you don’t touch it, what you feel: the real truth, you know? And that teaches you the need that you have to be completely… You can’t be separated with nature. You are nature, you are part of it. And we were always out of it, wanted to dominate, wanted to put our mark, wanted… And now, we have to unlearn absolutely everything, stay back and start from scratch, listening, learning, observing, trying and really giving back all these natural systems that we destroyed all around the world. Trying in every project to bring them back, to the right place, to give back a sense of place and let it start happening again if we can.

And now we’re starting to learn about how you would do that and how you would become and how our projects used to finish. You design it, you finish it, I give it to you: here it is. Ok, I used to follow up after, but my job was done. So with this new approach now, it’s just the beginning, because we’re just setting these seeds, and with it, replicating that natural system for nature to take over then. And you, you have to just guide it, somehow, a little bit, and protect it, shepherd it along the way. And then, the job is never finished.

To develop and reach that point where it doesn’t need anybody and it becomes a natural system that can take care of itself, without us coming back in and messing around with it, and the clients deciding, OK, there are some unwanted species coming from birds, let’s spray the crap out of it, you know, let’s kill… To keep an eye, to make sure that we don’t go back to what we’re used to doing. Not just us, everybody, the clients and all. So you have to stay to keep guiding it. And to keep guarding it. 

So it all started from the love for nature, and then the love for design, using nature a little bit, imposing on it, to now going back and learning. I wanna learn so much more about natural systems, about all of that, the ecological aspects. Funny enough about that, my university was all about that. More than 35 years ago they were so advanced in it and we wanted it different, we didn’t want that.

And with our projects, it’s not only us in a way. We bring on board new connections, always, in every mission, that’s the aspiration, we get so many people with us, specialists in different fields, because you know there’s so much to tackle in this new direction. We bring them, but then we have to somehow orchestrate it, to let the results stay on course and arrive to the desired direction, otherwise one of these guys can take it completely in one direction, but you cannot lose what the clients want and what the mission is. So you become a conductor. We’re feeling now we are more becoming like you have to bring all these people, and get it to harmonise and achieve results together. And it’s a learning for everybody.

You cannot design a beautiful park, and people come and sit, and pretend there is nothing wrong now. I mean, the damage we’ve caused for us now is so grave and dramatic that we have to address it while creating this special places, but not only for people. For all living species. Now equal. So it’s no more a park for people, and benches for the people and trees for shade and walkways… This is finished now. It has to be an environment that sustains biological diversity and all sorts of life. Otherwise, it has no meaning for me now. I want to be a bit … A bit categorical. With lines that work architecturally: there are buildings… You do all that, but in the end, the natural environment has to shine as the main important player. Instead of the design and the aesthetics. 

I look forward, like I said, to the last part: to push much harder in this direction and then to rise to the point where the clients arrive with us to this point that they want us to go there and we go much further, and not just us pushing them there. Which will happen. And even to sometimes get clients who already want that, and you come and you take them there, and further. Because we’re stretching them now. When they come to us, they don’t want any of that. But how much and how far can you stretch them? You know. But if they come and they are already more evolved or awakened somehow, or conscious, then I can go further. Because we always want to go much further. Further at every level. Out of the program, out of the sight, out of everything.

To go much further is to have a client that has a lot of land and is not so sure what to do with it. And maybe his goal is not to make a fortune. To develop something that can sustain, definitely, even economically and all of that: how can we do it so that everybody benefits? When nature benefits, when the community benefits, when everybody can benefit, locally and globally, somehow. Because every project has a lot of potentials. To be a seed that can be an example for the place, for other places, etc., etc. So if we can do more of these examples and sow these seeds everywhere…

… I can’t articulate all these things. I operate by feelings in a way, and it’s very clear to me that we’re at that point.

There are many other and easier places to run a business… Regarding all the difficulties in Lebanon… I mean, I have four types, and now we might enter the fifth type to sustain our electricity. Because we work on computers, we don’t have electricity all the time, the people we pay the money to generate electricity – the service where you pay and they give you electricity when government electricity cuts off – are not reliable either. And then we have our generator, so we have to turn it on when those two sources go bad. The generator fuel prices went crazy, the pollution it makes, the sound it gives… Poison, all of it. Now we’re looking for solar inverter. So it’s not easy to operate here, plus lots of international clients get scared… One of them from China told me that all his friends, on his level, are asking him are you crazy, in the whole country there’s less people than in the smallest village in China, on the end of the world, why do you go there and hire them, and the risk factor and blablabla…? So, of course, we can be anywhere, our work is international, we don’t have a lot of work in Lebanon … So we’re not here because of work.

Visiting -Svetac and Brusnik islands in Adriatic

 ..goving over the sea never repets 


Coming from the 2D world by default and continuing on the surface of the 3D world – the sea is exciting and never the same 

The destination is ahead, but being on the sea with the winds gives me the opportunity to be present and connected even more as ALL is ONE. This time, the 2D and 3D worlds merged even more, fish and sponges below and birds above were close neighbours!

These feelings also came to me when Neja Rojc shared this blissful time with me. Neja is deeply connected to animal kingdoms, whoever and wherever these animals are.

It was a simple visit to two islands in the open sea of the Adriatic. One is the small pure volcano island of Brusnik, and the other is the island of Svetac. It was a “call” to get to know the places and not the people. Anyway, no people were supposed to live here, as we were told beforehand. But there are actually 4 people living on Svetac.

My first impression when approaching Brusnik was WOW, such a crowded place with spirits dwelling in small and big black rocks scattered all over the island.

The rocks! Mineral & crystalline matter, the great body of Gaia lives and gives the heartbeat, the pulse we all relate to … In the middle of nowhere, in the presence of all connectedness, it was magic and much more real …

Get to know more about Neja: Terra Anima Society for Deep Ecology and CENTER KIRON

 


wherever- however-whatever we "do", we live traces, which are NOT forgotten BUT embedded  

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Released by MED Land project / film, photography, editing: BB  text editing - proofreading: Tadej Turnšek, godfather of the story Barbara Ćeferin

In between – Aine

If I was to describe the 4 weeks' time of Inbetweening with Áine, I’d use the sentence ‘Is that so?’ from a story about Zen master Hakuin that Áine told me one day on the boat.

A very ‘humble, disciple, and great master in one’-soul; young, full of passion to learn, to experiment, to be persistent, but also willing to surrender when need be…; is that so.

Formally we got stuck with the maintenance work on the boat that was not finished in time to do the planned MED trip BUT! we took this trip from day to day heading through MED Land tasks that always need to be done.. for the good reason to create conditions where we can meet and exchange what and for what we are ..

Aine started a new Youtube channel for MEDLand Project, and created three videos during her time here – including a video specifically about our In Between-time:

What is Med Land Project? -intro on youtube

This video briefly describing what Med Land Project is, why it exists, where it operates, how it came to be, and what it aims to do. If you are interested in a deeper explanation, please hop over to this video:https://youtu.be/7YPMWxGlpPY by Aine

In Between: Nalu's Engine Surgery

  video:https://youtu.be/D8V8dTYc3c0 by Aine


In Between: Handover

s video:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c6LHy09eUAY by Aine

AND :  image review-selection of Ainas pics from that time, that I can point out :

1,2 - dynamic composition, by default static- main object in the center BUT here  front and background is in a dynamic relationship and makes photos beautiful 

3 - again every bit has a sense here..I start and end looking where the eyes should be and I do not miss them! 

4- a detail with a lot of stories that light and color speak directly 

5- the light dominates here! light has a form..

6- if you forget about the bike and observe only shadow ..photo starts to "move on " 

_________________________

images of a storyteller :-))



...wrigting, droving, filming, photografing ...  storytelling 

follow her here https://www.youtube.com/c/AineDonnellan

and Instagram of-course : https://www.instagram.com/ainedonnellan/

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