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NEW BOOKs from Venice where it ALL started

Get your copy of the NEW photo book on Venice, featuring photographs taken in 2020, which will be officially released on May 7th. You can secure your copy if you are an active Patron of the MED Land project or shop on theMED Land page!

THE STORY:

Venice is the tip of the Mediterranean and the starting place of the MED Land project. I lived in Venice on Nalu (the project boat) for a year, and the outcome was different exhibitions and the book ”Water Dragon of Venice”. Seven year later, I felt the urge, a call to come back and witness Venice again. THE RESULT IS ALREADY PUBLISHED IN a photo book with English text by Marko Pogačnik. This time, it was a a simultaneous call of two, Marko Pogačnik and me. No wonder, really, since we already collaborated on 5 book projects about Venice. During 2020, Marko has been visiting Venice mostly telepathically, and wrote and drew a completely new vision of Venice, titled VENEDIG – EMBRYO DES NEUEN ERDENRAUMS (VENICE – EMBRYO OF THE NEW EARTH SPACE). The second book, which is complementary to this one, features a selection of 92 full-page images which were also created in 2020. This 2-in-1 bundle is published  in German by Neue Erde.

The English version is a photo book with short introductory text by Marko. It is a limited edition of 99 copies and a very high-quality print. 

English Version - ONE book > 92 photos/144 pages 27x20,5 cm, hard cover: VENICE-EMBRYO OF THE NEW EARTH SPACE 

NOW is the right time to get involved in the very important 2021 chapter of the project.

Boy your own copy on MED Land>get involved and money will go all for the project to live on. 

The book is priceless and free, but you can contribute 32 EUR + flat price postage (SLO 4 EUR, EU 7 EUR, USA 12 EUR).

An EVEN BETTER option, however, is to became a PATRON on Patreon Page and get the book with a 10 USD contribution only by limiting your monthly contribution to one month.

Bojan


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

Setting UP Art residency-tiny house on the island of Ikaria -Aegean sea

2021: A year to stay at home? 

Can we really live without physical interaction

with living beings, visible and invisible,

lands,

places,

elements,

like sea?

Ikaria Island is like a crown chakra of the vast Aegean sea, the Mediterranean and beyond.

Can you sense that on the internet?

In 2018, I came here to meet Christodoulos Xenakis, and from the first moment, he shared with me and the MED Land team at the time (Melania and Kubilay) his heartfelt and passionate relation with Ikaria, taking us around and explaining past and present footprints on this ancient land. Christodoulos is 85 year old now, still running an organisation – the Institute for Ikarian Studies (IFIS). One of his compassionate idea was for each EU country to have one container house as an art residency place on Ikaria island. IFIS actually got one which was “waiting for the first“ country to make it happen for more than ten years …

The friendship with Christodoulos, as well as with other Ikarians that MedLanders met in 2019, has grown to this day, which is well reflected in the stories about the adventures of Christodoulos and other Ikarians such as Urania, Dimitris, Vangelis and others. The Med Land team also facilitated a land‑art stone sculpture project on Ikaria by international group of artists-geomants, which is still ongoing.

Here are some links to stories and news related to Christodoulos, Ikaria and Ikarians:

Christodoulos
Making Of: Dr. Christodoulos Xenakis 

Urania & five boxes

Christodoulos and Ulysses (Ὀδύσσεια Odýsseia) traveling together

Christodoulos and Ulysses traveling together : The knowledge about Philoktitis and the healing properties of terra limnea

Christodoulos and Ulysses traveling together: over the Marmara Sea to the Bosporus / Troy and Constantinople

The Last Days

AND Ikaria - image gallery by bojan

Ikaria has at least 15,000 years of continuous history of their own specific civilisation. Their main god is Dionysus. During the 600‑year period of pirates, they hid and lived untouched in the middle of the 1,000m high island. The communist ideas are still legit here to this day. Living with less, in a sustainable way, with a lot of music and dancing is what they like … the Dionysus way … Ikaria is also known for many people that easily reached 100 years of age … The recipe is not to live alone.

My top tree virtues of Ikaria that made me become its fen are:

1-2-3:

  • the perception of time on Ikaria as one big “now” … Every day is a new day, and a reset of “priority and schedule list“ is normal, acceptable, a way of living;
  • awareness of the values of the Ikaria continent with the positive attitude towards sharing them. It is about being grounded and connected, not only on a human level;
  • openness to the rest of the world.

In 2020, Christodoulos offers us – the “Slovenians“ – a tiny container house to use it for the “project residency“.

In February/March and November/December 2020, four of us made it liveable! The idea is for people with creative aims to be able stay on Ikaria, live, experience, interact, and create something out of it. 

THE TEAM:

Ivana Petan – ceramic artist

Gregor Erjavec – activist and global networker 

Eva Marn – lawyer, director of Proja.org and the mother of many national and international projects and initiatives

Bojan Brecelj – Med Land pusher, active in visual media and art projects 

and Christodoulos Xenakis of course!

>>>If you are interested in becoming one of the residents from March 2021 onward, contact us at nalu@medland.life.

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

Posted by bojanb
a few months ago

Urania & five boxes

"The measure, the aesthetics and the human are three different keys for happiness and balance in our lives, because you can see all aspects of all these three things in our lives."

Urania is dedicated and native Ikarian. Her father opened the first tourist agency on the island, which upheld the values of sustainable tourism from the very beginning.

All aspects of our life come from aesthetics. Aesthetic is not just about art, it's about how we choose the people around of us, our environment, how how we dress, what we eat ... Aesthetics is also very much related to harmony, and harmony is based on the human proportion. The purpose is to be in balance, in which case we never go against the natural flow of energies in other words ... Aesthetics will make us better, will make us happy, because according to our taste, we choose our partner or lifestyle, a glass of wine we enjoy, and finally, it's the meaning of life ... But we don't pay much attention to aesthetics. We have to teach children to watch, to observe and make their own choices. For me, this is the beginning of a person's personality. All this has to do with our lower instinct, but if we don't use aesthetics, we cannot be masters of our instinct logic and soul. Brain and soul, these are two potentials we have to balance.  We must respect our contribution, or our existence in the universe, and not try to force the change of the rules, because then it really becomes toxic and catastrophic. Aesthetics is about the big chapter - it's a big part of philosophy. This could be the applied philosophy in life, this is the key to making us open windows, to seeing things differently, to reestimating our position as humans, as individuals, as a smaller group, as well as people as part of the universe.”

Aesthetics is very much related to harmony, both are universal principles, and harmony is based on human proportions. If we are balanced, if we follow these principles, we never go against the natural flow of  energies ... In other words, aesthetics will make us better, will make us happy.


Aesthetics is underestimated or ignored. Many people think it has to be linked to a specific field, when we talk about art, but in Greek, aesthetics – αισθητική (aisthitikí) –  is a big chapter of philosophy, and I think this is applied philosophy in life, this is the key to making us open the windows to see our position, to reestimating our position as humans in the universe, starting from smaller groups and environments, such as community, the people of one's country, the people of one's continent, the people of the world, and the people as hearts of the universe. 

Let’s go back to the fundamental unit, the human: aesthetics will make us better, will make us acceptable in a community, will make us happy, because we make our choices according to our aesthetics and our taste.


In my opinion, everything starts with this, and we have to teach the children to watch around and to make their own choices. 

For me, this is the beginning of building a personality and a more complete human being.



Soul instinct

The soul has to do with the lower instinct, but if we don’t use aesthetic, we cannot be master of our instinct, brain and soul. Logic and instinct are two of our potentials we have, and we have to balance them.

.

We need knowledge, aesthetics, and awareness about the people, because if we only care about ourselves, we cannot move forward (when I say about ourselves, what I mean is about ourselves and the people closest to us), we have to be more open and caring. It doesn’t mean we need to become victims, but to be generous. 



All the rest, money, respect and everything, come later, because if you are aware and you have aesthetics you can respect yourself, other people, the nature, the environment, everything.

If we change our aesthetics, we will become more aware of the environment. For example, we will not accept so much plastic around us, we will be aware to preserve traditional style of the architecture, to keep our tradition, our costumes and our culture alive. 

We can be more sensitive and protective if we have a very concrete idea about what we want our environment to be and if we can clearly see ourselves in a specific environment. 

In order to achieve that, we have to be very precise according to our aesthetics. for example “Kitsch environment” comes from someone who ignores the term “aesthetic”, with all the expression of his life: environment, behavior, generally.

on the practical level           

Years ago, I was invited to a council in the capital of Ikaria, where we had a meeting to talk about tourism. Our usual common problems are: lack of transportation, very bad ferry connections, especially back then, old abandoned cars beside the road, cleaning the beaches, and generally the way we handle waste and how we could train the people involved in tourism to treat visitors more professionally and carefully. 

When it was my turn to talk, I said that the priority was to reevaluate our aesthetics of the island, because if we manage to do this and we train new generations, showing them that there are other standards of organizing life, we will never need to talk about all those practical things separately, because they will simply choose much higher quality environment to live in, which would affect the visitors as well. 

If we create a little paradise in the middle of nowhere, people will know that they will discover a diamond, it doesn’t matter if there is one boat for months or for weeks, they will come just to experience this environment with us ... They didn’t get it.

I saw that all these people were raising children.

          The role of Greece

Everybody was talking about the Greek crisis, the economical one, but it wasn’t only economical, it was also general, political, cultural.

One of the values we have here is ‘less is more’. Not quantity, but quality. The roots. There are different keywords that if we were to gather all together, I could explain the dream that I have: being in a human environment, having real, good communities with other humans. Human communities, not isolated but open, in their own way. My dream is to keep the values and the measure as we know them, because it is not by coincidence. 

The important thing is that we create the time. Not the other way around … This is what happened today. I was busy in the office, I had many commitments. And in a magical way, without struggling, I ended up spending the entire day with you. I enjoy it, you enjoy it, and there was no stress of ‘oh my god, what’s going on’. With a couple of phone calls, everything is possible. Everything needs its time. And it finds its time, finally. Whatever it is that you want to sort out. I think the point is to get in a no-time situation. Sometimes it works better than to force things, to make plans, to try to make things happen. Somehow we use time as the measure to organize our lives. If we just start doing the things that we want to do and just let time follow the activities, rather than setting deadlines, it seems that it works much better for our mood and the achievements that we get.

 

Development

For me, development means improving our lives in terms of quality, convenience and respect. Respect for balance, for tradition, for costumes, and for the specific characteristics of the environment and its people.

 

Life&Art

For me, art is the filter of our lives, our expectations, our experiences and viomon, through which we can look into the mirror, improve our ego, improve ourselves in what we wish to communicate with our environment.

You cannot create art if you don’t have viomon, the life experience that has been transformed into the very essential part of our being, a part of us. This is what I call viomon.

If you don’t have that, if you don’t have expectations. If you don’t have a vision of life, you cannot make art. You are flat. You don’t have anything to say or to communicate. 

So, how are you using these things to create, if you want to be creative? What does it mean “to create”? I create something through which I want to show my improved self, my filtered self. 

I filter myself through art, and I am here, ready to show you another aspect of me and to communicate with you. 

People have the need to communicate. Why don’t they communicate only by talking to one another? Because their art, what they have created, is something new, is a new body, a new creation that they present to others. 

This is the improved self: a self that also includes more magical elements and less realistic ones, which they could not use in different other ways.

Involved

I am quite active; I hate the phases “I belong” or “I am a member”, I believe in freedom and action, and I have done it many times. I took action whenever I felt that it was necessary to do something.

I feel a great responsibility and duty to act, whenever I can, for the rights of the people, for the humankind, for the environment, for this place.

I strongly believe in the values of the unit, the will of the unit and the freedom of the unit; because we are units with a free will that can move things forward, it’s exactly the opposite of a community.

Cooperation is necessary, contribution of a team with ideas and actions is necessary, but I will never accept to be a member of a union and act as a part of a union because I will not accept to lose my freedom of expressing my ideas, I think that it goes against the actions. 






1st Example

I will give you an example: if I am painting or cleaning the road and someone comes to me and says: “Listen, as you are cleaning the road, maybe you can join our club, you can be a member of the union, 'Cleaning with the rainbow'.” If I say yes, they will say, “Oh good, you have to come, read the statement, sign and come to the council to have meetings, and clean with the rainbow”. 

Maybe it wouldn’t be acceptable to clean someone’s house if the person was a refugee and he should become a member of the community , he’s not paying the annual fee, so he’s excluded, “and after all, we don’t need refugees, because they don’t speak the language … So, we don’t clean”.

I wouldn’t agree, and I would go there and clean the house. 

The next day, maybe the council would have a meeting to decide whether to expel me from the club. 

This action would take my freedom to act as an activist away, whereas otherwise I would be able to do it without any consequences. 

So, we are back at the beginning: if you want to do something, just do it. If you have people that need support, do it. 

I do not belong in any council, in any local community.









2nd Example

One day, a union asked me to help them build a road to connect Therma to Nealia Beach. 

They worked with some volunteers, but they need thr money to pay for the wood and some workers with the machinery.

At that time, I was broke because the season had not started yet, so I gave them one of my painting, a big one, and I suggested they make a lottery. 

They managed to collect 1,600 euros, and that was more than enough to cover the wages. Then, they said to me: “We only need 800 euros, so you can have the rest”. I said: “No, because you made all the effort, I gave you my painting, all the profit is yours. If there is money left, just keep it, have a big party, feed the people who work as volunteers”. 

They made the party, they bought the food and at the same time and at the party, they also collected extra money. 

So they asked me if I wanted to be an honorary member of the association, and I said: “No, I am here, if you need something just call me and if I can do something, I will do it, but don’t put me in the difficult position of becoming a member.

I offer as much as I can. If you believe in that, you don’t need to make your life very complicated and make up rules everywhere.




                                                         a voice of Urania !

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Released by MED Land project / photography, editing: BB / cover photo: self-portrait by Urania / audio conversations, BB and Eleonora Pauli / transcription by Laura Mangumba and Giacomo Colonnelli / text editing - proofreading: Tadej Turnšek, godfather of the story: Barbara Ćeferin

Posted by bojanb
8 months ago

Workshop with Marko Pogačnik on the archipelago of Vis – September 2019

worshop-with-marko-pogacnik-medland-project

Participants were from Croatia and Slovenija mostly scholars of the second year of school of Geomancy, assistants for the field exercises, some permanent collaborators as well as organisers of the event from the island..18 altogether! The focus of the workshop of intensive 2 nad half days connecting, understanding, communicating and acting in imagination for the wellbeing of island Vis and Biševo.

The main push to do the workshop on the archipelago of Vis was an invitation of LAG ŠKOI - Manuela Antičević, who was also the organiser of the event.

Among the visited places were: church of Marija Gusarica-Komiža, the chapel of SV. Mikula above Komiža, the monastery of SV. Jeronimo-town of Vis, Duhova cave also known as TITO headquarters during II WW, Stiniva beach, the monastery of SV.Nikola above Komiža,  Biševo island -Blue cave, The sea bear cave and Odyssey library, Sv Ante Padovanski on Plisko plain...

 The workshop was held on Vis and Biševo island- in Adriatic.     

project in Palestine :


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.

Project is exibited first time in Ljubljana /SLO/-Galerija Bolka Gornji trg 16, till 22 of November - please connect us to the next place to exibit and netwoork on, bojan 

Exhibition “Barke” (Boats) by Ivana Petan-ceramics and BojanB-prints

The opening took place in the courtyard of the Bianchini palace, now Museum of Stari Grad, Hvar island on 11th September at 11 am!

The multimedia exhibitionBarke” (Boats) is built by three elements. The first is Bojan Brecelj’s photographs, focusing on the construction of wooden boats on the island of Samos in the Aegean Sea, which is one of the few places in the Mediterranean where wooden boats are sought and masters still have a lot to do! (collection of 7 prints-limited edition 100 x 70cm and 110x 30cm )

Looking at the strong structures of the boats made of wood growing here, on the hill above the sea… the questions appeared: Is this the past? What is really the future of sea travel? Having in mind these questions, these photographs were created.

The second element of the exhibition is ceramic sculptural works of Ivana Petan – abstract forms of boats, made in the technique of paper-porcelain, chamotte clay and glazes.

In the hours when the sea and sky are painted in the same colour, they look like one big blue. Through it, beings of different worlds draw traces of innumerable shapes, creating a unique mandala of destinies. Each trace tells its story – its creation, its path and its mission that it yearns for. To imprint the traces of sea, to take its form, it happens through the respect, hearing and participation of all visible and invisible phenomena that create the whole of the open and every moment of the new water-air space of life.

The third element of the exhibition is image&sound track TRACES OF MED LAND PROJECT 2019/1 a project on which the creation of this entire exhibition is built on. The soundscape was created by Eleonora Pauli.

more images and the opening:

collection of 7 prints-limited edition 100 x 70cm and 110x 30cm are available as special offer at:

MED Land get involved –PATRON page 

Meeting a Japanese sailor, Wakao Yoshikatu

It was such a precious coincidence meeting a Japanese sailor, Wakao Yoshikatu on the island of Ikaria, Greece. /interview, transcription and photos by Ayane Tanaka./

We were curious to know about the philosophy and the vision of his life because it’s very rare to see Japanese sailors around the world. Here we share his story of the experience in both Japanese and Western culture, which makes him always like to start new things.

“I decide my way of living by myself, not by society. One reason for the decision is rooted in my experience in the exchange study in America 40 years ago. I was shocked by cultural differences, such as individualism and proactiveness. These new values have influenced my current way of living. Another reason is based on my focus on the value of free time, which I cultivated through sailing. In Japan, the priority tends to be working and commercial affairs, not leisure like sailing. In order to have my free time in Japanese society, I have to find out my own way to make a living.”

“The motivation for working is to make customers happy. I have work experiences in different fields such as a buyer of jewellery, a builder, and a hair artist etc. However, my belief in working is one: to make customers happy. I believe a person who is happy to please others can be the happiest person.”

You can track Wakao’s Sailing Vessel “Crow’s Nest 7” from here. We hope more Japanese sailors can be seen all over the world near future.

Full version in Japanese is below:

ギリシャのイカリア島にて、日本人セーラーの宜克 若尾(よしかつ わかお)さんにお話を伺うことが出来た。彼は世界各地をボートで妻と訪れており、今回はヨーロッパから日本に帰る途中とのこと。日本人としては非常に珍しいセーリングを趣味としている彼。一体どんな人なのだろうか?「周りから次は何始めるの?と聞かれるくらい彼は新しいことを始めるのが好き。」と妻は言う。何が彼をそうさせるのか。日本と西洋の文化をこれまで経験してきた彼のストーリーをここにシェアしたい。

自分で自分の道を決めた人生を歩んでいる。そのルーツは学生時代のアメリカ留学にある。

留学という決断

「日本には、社会に決められた「レール」が存在する。大学を卒業し、大手企業に就職するというもの。僕もそうするのだと思っていたが、まだ海外留学が珍しかった40年前、アメリカに行く決断をした。なぜなら、自分とは何か、何のために生きていくのかと疑問に思ったから。そして自分自身を見つめるためには日本の文化が分からないといけない。日本の文化を理解するためには、違う文化を見て比較しないといけないと思ったから。そうして大学3年生の時に、一番身近だったアメリカに半年間留学することにした。」

アメリカでのカルチャーショック

「日本との大きな違いが2つあった。まず、考え方が違うということ。日本のような全体主義ではない、お互いを認め合う文化と個人主義がすごくいいなと思った。2つ目は、自分から何かを起こさないと事が始まらないということ。知り合いが全くいない環境のおかげで、なんでも自分からする力を身につけられた。こういった新しい価値観に触れた経験から、大手企業に入るよりも自分で何かできることがあるんじゃないか、自分の好きなことをする方がいいんじゃないかと思うようになったことが、今のキャリアパスに繋がっている。」

こうして留学後、大手企業ではなく小さな魚屋で修行を積む決断をし、その後「自分でビジネスをする」という夢を叶えた。メンズアクセサリーショップcreamを立ち上げて、バイヤーとして世界中を飛び回る生活を送っていたそうだ。

日本社会で「自分のための時間」を持つには、自分のやり方でやっていかないといけない。

セーリングに気付かされた余暇の価値

「自分でビジネスを始めた頃から、仕事以外の時間を作れるようになりセーリングを再び始めることができた。2012年に今の船を購入し、世界中を航海して沢山の国の文化を見てきた。そこで日本と西洋との「余暇」に対する価値観の違いを肌で感じた。まず、西洋の人は「余暇のために働いている」。例えば、地中海の街は港を中心に街が発展していて、バカンス用のボートがたくさん来ている。遊ぶために働くというライフスタイルが浸透していることの現れだ。一方、日本文化は「生活=仕事」。日本の港は商業用優先であるため、バカンス用のボートの代わりにフェリーといったビジネス向けが多くを占める。このことからも仕事が優先される社会だと分かる。日本では、働くこと=良いことという考えが一般化してしまっているが、たとえ失業率が低くても、実際に幸せな人は少ないように強く感じる。時間的な余裕がないのがこの問題の連鎖を生んでいる。それを見て、自分は自分のやり方でやっていかないといけないなと思った。」

興味深いことに、彼はバイヤーの他に、建築や美容師といった様々な経験を持っている。彼のこれらの仕事に対するモチベーションはどこから来るのか。

仕事のやりがいは、人に喜びを与えられること

自分にとって仕事とは

「仕事で大事なのは、人に喜んでもらえること。だから、仕事の精神「お客さんの喜びのため」を知ることがまず大事。例えば政治も、憲法という精神に基づいて法律というマニュアルが成り立っている。仕事も同じで、「精神」なしに「マニュアル」だけでは仕事の意味を理解しないままタスク処理することになる。だから、仕事の根本である精神さえ分かれば、マニュアルなんかがなくてもお客さんの望んでいることは何なのか自分で考えて仕事をこなすことができる。」

なぜ仕事としてビジネスを選んだのか

「ビジネスは幸せを作ることができると信じている。例えば、政治の世界はみんなが100%賛成する状態は不可能であり、必ず敵を作る。つまり、誰かを苦しめないと誰かの幸福はない。そのバランスを取らないといけないそんな大変な仕事はないと思う。」

人に喜びを与える人こそが幸せになれる

「人の喜びを自分の喜びだと思える人が、幸せになれる人。人の喜びを妬む人や損得を考える人、人に喜びを与えるのではなく自分だけが喜んでいたらいいという人は、幸せになれない。」

彼がこれまでやってきた仕事は一見すると様々だが、根本の考えは共通している  「人に喜んでもらうこと」が目的だったのだ。

宜克さんのセーリングボート「Crow’s Nest 7」はここから現在位置や過去のセーリングトラベルを追跡できる。日本人セイラーがもっと世界の海で見られる日が来ることを願う。

取材·写真撮影·編集 by 田中文音(たなか あやね)

Meeting Antoni Font Gelabert

While staying in the port town of Agios Kirykos in Ikaria island, we met with Antoni Font Gelabert. Antoni has been involved in environmental protection and sustainability for over 30 years, including seven years of being a board member of Greenpeace International. He is currently working on two projects. The first, Pandion, is an environmental consultancy firm. As he explains, Pandion is the Latin name of the fishing eagle, since they mostly work in marine conservation. The second is Ocean Observer, a project that aims to introduce electric boats into operation, from installing electric engines to borrowing electric boats to non-governmental organisations.

Coming from Mallorca and having expertise in the Balearic Islands, Antoni visits Greek islands every year for the past 12 years. Connected to both these places, he transfers his experiences from home to the processes that the Greek islands are undergoing now. As he says, he is interested in seeing and understanding how the same processes that have destroyed Mallorca are acting in different places.

“I come from a place that is strongly saturated by human pressure. Mallorca is growing at the rate of the full population of Samos each year. In the coming years, Mallorca will grow by 300 000 people, ten times the population of Samos. So mainly the challenges and the problems we detect have to do with this overcrowding and the pressure of tourism. But not only tourism: there are people who want to come to Mallorca because Mallorca has very good infrastructure, very good transport and all these things that are fantastic for any project or business. In fact, of the 80 000 people who come to live there each year, 50 000 go away because they don’t find their real dream. So Mallorca is what I call a dream shredder: a shredder that destroys the dreams of 50 000 people whose dreams don’t come true. Because the pressures and the competition are really hard. But the rules of neoliberalism say that everything must go in the direction of growth.”

On our islands we have released the ropes and we are drifting in terms of the relation of people with nature. And here, of course, this is starting to happen. But when we come here, we feel like in the Baleares 50 years ago. There is internet, there is everything that is in our islands, but many ways of doing are still old fashioned. And that has a lot of value: I love the old fashioned way of relating to nature. In the basic sense, I feel at home.”

He talked about where he sees the current problems of the Mediterranean – and the ways to solve them. 

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Three faces of Lesbos

Lesbos lately became famous for the „most unbearable refugee camp in the world“ as they call it here. Now, we might already have forgotten about it, but the hard reality in the packed camp of Moria and people waiting for years to get asylum rights, is a part of daily life on the island. And: People are still coming and drowning on their way to Europe.

At the harbour, visitors of fancy coffee bars and refugee families fishing coexist quite separately. ut there is a minority of locals and mostly foreigners who run projects & activities that are extremely valuable for the many lost on Lesbos…depressed, with no future and especially with nothing to do. Europe turns a blind eye and the Greek government obeys Europe by ignoring refugees needs, especially in legal processes. This should convince Afghans, Syrians, and many Africans NOT to cross over at all!  “I can see – in the future – the Mediterranean Sea full of blood since you cannot stop people from escaping violence at home“ 26-year-old Omar from Syria stated. In April 2017 he started refuge4refugees-  an NGOo working on Lesbos and Samos. We stayed much longer than we thought and got closer to many more heroes…VIDEO

Embraced by Samothraki: The mountain in the Sea

“Either you love it - or you hate it and you have to leave immediately” was a sentence repeated by many. Especially the ones that migrated and live here now for years…and their love affair goes on. They are the active population for the needed changes in a land of “no compromises”
voice: Giorgos Maskalidis >>> video


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