I haven’t written anything for the last two months because after my last post I had a burnout. Actually, it turns out I was working on burnout since February. It isn’t that I was doing too much, though I was, but I was doing too much of the same thing and a stressful one for that matter. Put that aside, but then I focused on one other thing alone, and that wasn’t good either. Took a forced two weeks break from almost anything, except dancing. I guess physical effort when you suffer from mental burnout could be good.
Since then I can’t write. I wanted to, but it’s hard to focus on my ideas. So, I decided to summarize a few topics that are on my mind lately, mostly because I need to take them out of my head.
Romani people’s history
As I was interested by flamenco for my current project and took a dive in to better understand the culture, I surpassed my scope somewhat, partly out of curiosity. The thing is that all I knew about Romani people were the stereotypes I was raised with and the behavior I’ve seen while being in direct contact with them, which I never stoped to wonder why they are the way they are. Well, now I have and I didn’t like what I found out. Their history isn’t pretty. They were persecuted for being different, and either driven away under penalty of death (Switzerland), used as canon shield in wars (France and Spain), deported (Portugal), enslaved (Romania) or subjected to forces assimilation to the point they lost most of their culture in the process (Spain). Particularly I am affected by their Romanian path as I live here. We were always told that Romani people cannot be educated because they refuse to, but I have encountered recently such people that are very well educated and they do not seem to be an exception, but rather people with a certain strength of character that were able to push the stereotypes they were themselves raised with, question them and realize they aren’t true, therefore allowing them the freedom to chose their own path and fight others people’s views of them. Most of them are women. They also seem to have understood that people cannot be forced to change. It takes time. A lot of it, unfortunately.
More on their history:
This led me to think about how marginalization of people and disconnection leads to crime. A person that feels connected is less likely to commit a crime. I was never a fan of cancel culture, because denying access to ideas that are not popular at a certain time in history and cenzorship are the weapons of the church, and whoever wants to fight against the stereotypes and the patriarchy, in general, should not use their same weapons. This will not solve anything on the long term. Ideas that are marginalized now can resurface in a din way and become popular later, especially in a time of economic distress when people are vulnerable. Also, it amuses me that in some states in USA the republicans are banning books on sexuality and gender because they are not according to the “states values”, pretty much the same way books and movies that are considered misogynistic or racist are removed from streaming platforms and libraries in other parts of the world. See, same attitude. Inclusion, but only if you think like us.
Two weeks ago I went to see a performance by a Romanian artist, Sergiu Chihaia, who is doing eco-art. His performance was just him making an installation, which is nice. I like to see the work process of an artist. I also talked to him a little bit. I have mixed feelings about recycling since I am doing recycling art. I was happy to find while talking to Sergiu an idea I can stand by: recycling is a reaction not a solution to the problem of pollution. The bad news in this is that the solution is we should stop polluting. Turns out a person dumps 600 kg of garbage each year. Feels like that can be reduced. I have no idea how, but it is something I want to explore.
Family’s history and traditions
During my documentation on flamenco, I realized I know more about the family’s history of some of the most reprezentative artists of flamenco then I know about my own family. It is true I felt disconnected from my family for most of my life and I do not care much about families, they are a burden to me, rather then a support. However, I got curious about my family history and asked my parents. They also feel disconnected from the rest of the family, either because they moved to different cities or because of falling out with certain members of the family. It is something I want to explore more.
This made me wonder how many of my friends know something about their great grandparents. Some know their names, but nothing else. Some not even that. And most don’t care. I have at least two people in my Facebook feeds who are comemorating their grandparents and parents by writing down memories of them, mostly good. Some talk about their parents, but as part of healing from childhood trauma. Those memories will stay there and be accessible to their children if they will choose to have any. We didn’t have this during past generations, and it turns out that word of mouth is lost within two generations useless it is something really extraordinary that those people did and they are remembered by others then their family.
I guess the meaning of traditions and local habits was also lost within two generations, but people continued to do them as it is easier to copy a prescribed behaviour than to think for yourself. Also, those traditions and habits worked as long as things stayed more or less the same, but once they started to change in the XIX century traditions lost any point except for entertainment. I have friends who say traditions are nice, but unfortunately those traditions come with stereotypes and perpetuate a world order that no longer serves our needs. I am all for not losing traditions, but they belong in museums and festivals, especially religious ones, not in our lives pretending to be something meaningful we can guide ourselves by.
I am reading a book about the history of contraception, but I will write about it when I finish it … hopefully 😊