En beklagelse til vestlendinger alle vegne

Man bebor både Vestlandet, og det som er tenkt å bli den kunstige konstruksjonen “Vestlandet”, utgått av en gang forna da’rs Hordaland og Sogn og Fjordane – noe man også har gjort de åtte siste årene.

Rett som det er, kan praten blant de lokale, eller i svigerfamilien, gå om en vestnorsk eller verre, bergensk, notabilitet eller andre fenomener, mens Deres ydmyke blogger, med påtatt interesse, later som han forstår hvem eller hva de diskuterer. For skjønt man altså både er født og oppvokst mellem de syv fjellene, som engang omkranser Bergen, eier man hverken interesse for det eller dem som rører seg der – eller på Vestlandet for øvrig.

Ikke desto mindre er det ikke fritt for at min manglende interesse for Vestlandet og det vestnorske, ikke gjør meg mindre vestnorsk – hvor mye jeg enn distanserer meg fra landsdelen og dens vesen. Det står med andre ord ikke til å nekte at jeg er født i Bergen, som den gang riktig nok ikke inngikk i Hordaland, og dermed kjenner på en trang til å overbringe sunnmøringer og rogalendinger de dypeste beklagelser, for mine fylkesfrenders grenseløse imbesilitet.

Det hjelper så lite at jeg, i all min gjøren og mitt vesen, har distansert meg fra alt som er vestnorsk, hordalandsk inkludert, når utenforstående tar meg for en av dem.

Som forebyggende tiltak utstedes herved min uforbeholdne beklagelse, til vestlendinger nord og syd for de to fylkene, på vegne av en skokk regionpolitiske dilettanter jeg ikke representerer – hvor mye de enn måtte tro de representerer meg.

Skjønt jeg nok i virkeligheten toer mine lanker.

K on Sun

Fully aware that I’ve posted both a photograph and a YouTube clip of this before, the last time we visited, a year and a half ago, David Černý’s 39-ton kinetic Kafka head didn’t move, so filmed this some two weeks ago.

In a tweet yesterday (please forgive its – Norwegian – language) I put it to my fellow tweeters that the longer an occupying force (Spain) is able to hold an occupied possession (Catalonia, since 1714), the bigger the chance of the occupation’s international approval:

Most of those protesting the statement objected that the occupation has lasted too long for the assertion to hold true.

Also see: Let Catalonia remain occupied, if they so desire

The baby, 2001. The sum total of ten of David Černý’s babies, 350 centimetres long and 260 centimetres tall, have been put up on different sites in Prague. This one, along with two others, on Kampa.

Il Commendatore, 2000, Anna Chromy (b 1940).

Bronze sculpture in memory of Mozart’s Don Giovanni premiere in Prague on 29 October 1787, put up in front of the National theatre, in which it premiered.

Ai Weiwei: Law of the Journey

 

Visited (in the Prague National Gallery, Trade Fair Palace) on 21 October 2017.

The exhibition Law of the Journey is Ai Weiwei’s multi-layered, epic statement on the human condition: an artist’s expression of empathy and moral concern in the face of continuous, uncontrolled destruction and carnage. Hosted in a building of symbolic historical charge – a former 1928 Trade Fair Palace which in 1939–1941 served as an assembly point for Jews before their deportation to the concentration camp in Terezín [aka Theresienstadt, blogger’s remark] – it works as a site-specific parable, a form of (public) speech, carrying a transgressive power of cathartic experience, but also a rhetoric of failure, paradox and resignation. Like Noah’s Ark, a monumental rubber boat is a contemporary vessel of forced exodus, floating hopelessly within the immense, oceanic abyss of the Gallery’s post-industrial, cathedral-like Big Hall. Set for a journey across the unknown and the infinite, an overcrowded life raft carries ‘the vanguard of their people’, as Hannah Arendt described the illegal and the stateless in her seminal 1943 essay, We Refugees: over 300 figures, squeezed within the confines of a temporary shelter, undertake a journey ‘far out into the unnavigated’, fleeing violence and danger.

— Source: The Prague National Gallery

All pictures blogger’s own.

Let Catalonia remain occupied, if they so desire

I like Spain. Not only because I’ve visited several times and quite like it there, but also because I favour unity over separatism, which goes for Spain as for any other country, as well as my beloved homeland, Europe.

However, we should remember that the late generalissimo Francisco Franco remains in high esteem among many a Spaniard. Also his Guardia Civil‘s conduct during the Catalan referendum weeks ago, immediately woke my sympathy for the Catalan separatists – and their demand for independence.

With that said, I find separatism a bad idea, just as I find unity a good one, which includes Catalonia and Spain. Nevertheless, there are a couple of factors that we need to take into account.

What ever the outcome, the international community needs to ensure that democracy prevails. Today we hear claims that the Catalan referendum was illegal, rendering, therefore, the declaration of independence equally illegal, but is that actually the case?

  1. We need to remember that the declaration was made, not by the referendum, illegal or not, but by the legally elected Catalan parliament. Whether or not that decision was based on the referendum, it was indeed made by the Catalan people’s legally elected representatives. As the case always is, when ever democracy is at work.
  2. We’ve heard claims that a new referendum would have to be held throughout Spain, in order to secure the referendum’s legitimacy. To which I should perhaps remark that:
    1. The minute you assign an overwhelming majority the task of deciding a minority’s future, how could you possibly expect an outcome favouring anyone but the majority?
    2. Said majority is an occupant, insofar that Spain invaded, occupied and annexed Catalonia in 1714, rendering Spain a de facto occupying force. Since when did international law condone an occupying country’s right to decide the fate of the occupied?

These are all facts that we need to keep in mind, whether we favour Catalan separatism or not. Personally I do not, but if we are to discuss these matters, I think it’s only fair that we do so on the basis of facts.

Illustration: The Estelada blava. The Catalan flag. Blogger’s own drawing.

I posted the above picture last year, following our last visit to Prague, with an intention to look up the Museum of Communism the next time we visited the city – which turned out to happen sooner than I expected – about a week ago, to be precise. So made good on promise to self, and shot a few pictures (below).

I shan’t go into details, except maybe by drawing your attention to last week’s RTI Sunday special, Prague edition, in which I described the museum in some detail.

A classic Czech Čezeta 502 scooter, shot in the Národní galerie v Praze in Prague last week.

The original design of the Čezeta is unique amongst scooters. It is unusually long for a two-wheeled vehicle at 2 metres and has a distinctive torpedo-shaped body with full length running boards and a long seat that lifted to reveal a substantial luggage compartment, using space that in most scooters is occupied by the fuel tank. This made the Čezeta ideal for two people and popular with young Czechs and their lovers. The front mudguard is fixed to the body and fully streamlined into the leg shields. The fuel tank is positioned above the front wheel, with the headlight fitted into a recess and a luggage rack on the flat top surface.

From Wikipedia (click here for more).

Czech art

A very careful selection of Czech artists, from our visit in the Prague National Gallery the other day. More likely to follow, if not from the National Gallery.

P.S. Please note that some of the pictures were shot under challenging light conditions.