La Culture

As always, the music industry continues onward to churn out 4 minute pop songs. I go to the gym, or walk by someone who’s playing the car radio trop fort, go to a bar….there is no escape! Of course as far as popular movies and TV and music go, there are differences between the French and the Americans as to which show/film/group enjoys more ubiquitous popularity, which is to be expected. For example most Americans don’t know (or at least I didn’t know) that Hugh Laurie has a jazz band, but it’s more well known in France. Call Me Maybe was even more popular here, believe it or not. The French adore James Bond; he’s truly the male ideal here (meanwhile, the same cannot be said for Russia).

But hidden between the branches and thickets is the Marchutz School of Art, where music accompanies us as we paint still lifes. Something I discovered is that I really like sacred music, especially Arvo Pärt, and occasionally some good ol’ Gregorian chant. The still lifes are now done. I painted many a plate of grapes, a vase of flowers, and a bowl of lemons. Alas! How time flies!

Today two men came to IAU to do a workshop with some of us. One is Israeli, and one is a Palestinian, and they met each other in Ireland, where they happened to be neighbors. We played various games designed to use the body to fuel creativity while working together. The Israeli (Idan) wrote a play called Bassam, based on the struggle that a Palestinian man went through after his 10 year old daughter was killed by an Israeli soldier in 2007. The Palestinian guy (Fadl) performed the one hour play by himself. It was well done. I asked both of them about playwriting, and they each gave me one useful tip: to use the body as an extension of the imagination (instead of just sitting in an attic or basement and writing/typing away), and second: make sure the actors can get into the role without any bias. Fadl mentioned after the play that an Irish actor was able to perform the role perfectly well, but it just wasn’t real enough, since he wasn’t Palestinian.

The whole thing ended with a positive note on the hope for peaceful resolution. Naturally some people likely left unconvinced given that the Israeli campaign is still ongoing…



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