Thursday, August 20, 2009
Friday, July 31, 2009
"The Burka Machine" is my installation developed for "Build, Break, and Broadcast", a thematic project on do-it-yourself hacking and recycling of electronic hardware. This project was presented as my first-year final project under the course MA Networked Media: Media Design and Communication @ the CBK Rotterdam, from the 3rd till the 12th of July 2009. This exhibition, titled "Networked Media", showcased works of the 8 graduates and 5 first-year students.
Being rather new to the western world, and facing a series of frustrations, and kicking and punching through this sea of new ways of life, trying to find my roots, trying to connect somewhere - in vain: there was a lot more happening around my own nucleus. There was something happening that had something to do with my background, against this new world I was (am) trying to penetrate. It's a difficult situation to be amidst strangers and to have to explain and talk about something that you're against and it belongs to YOU. The burka is one of those things. I do not appreciate or promote the burka, but I also do not appreciate others going against it who have no sense of balance *Pat Condell*. Aren't the burka and bikini/nudists examples of two extremes? And haven't we agreed upon fighting against extremism? Then why this bias to just go attacking one side of it ... no ... then why this bias of attacking one side of it and promoting the other? Since when is breaking more boundaries, and creating a limitless life the new CORRECT way? Who decides upon the correct? It's human life we are dealing with, not an internet connection!
But having said all that, my installation was more about the western-viewer than the lady in burka. The installation was created to project a cliché we (they) live each day. The apprehensions projected on television about the burka, and then it being banned in France, is completely absurd in my eyes. But then I also understand that when they don't respect their own symbols worthy of respect, how would they respect someone else??
To them, the burka is a symbol of oppression, of gloom, of anything but life. No matter how many documentaries there may be created trying to shift this distorted view, by their own folks, it seems impossible to create any flexibility.
The installation projected 3 states. Each state generated an audio/visual response according to the distance between the viewer and the burka. State one: the viewer being farthest, generated a colorful display with happy sounds. State two: the viewer within an alert zone, generated a black/white display with sorrowful sounds. State three: the viewer within red zone, generated a red display with sounds of anger and fright. All sounds were basically ripped audio from bollywood movies (gathered from youtube), each clip ranging between 10 seconds and a 100 seconds. The idea was to have as much female sound as possible, and cut out any possible male sounds.
No woman, that we see on streets, is ever crying or projecting an image that she is oppressed. They all seem happy and content. I've seen burka-clad women even smoke in street corners in groups, which is rather more shocking to me, since personally in my culture, women who smoke are seen as those with a loose character: so the burka and the cigarette is a strange juxtaposition for me. So the point is, from a distance they all look happy. It is their psychology for the next two stages, which I feel, is extremely media-generated. The problem is, the image of an Islamic woman in the eyes of the non-Islamic world, and a lot times also within Islamic world, is so drastically non-Islamic, it does erupt questions for where this ideology is coming from, and who is responsible? I have often seen such strange questions on forums like inter-religious relationships, they drive me nuts. Muslim women shouldn't talk. Muslim women don't have fun. Muslim women don't hang-out. Is it possible to go out on a date with a Muslim woman? Can I offer a drink to a Muslim woman? Muslim women are not human!!?? ugh! Such a distorted spectrum of views. Who has created this?
There is a very nice book that was put together by John L. Esposito and Dalia Mogahed: "Who Speaks for Islam?: What a billion Muslims really think." This was a result of a mass poll that was taken from Islamic countries, in which the Muslim opinion on various aspects of life was questioned. I feel it really puts forth the reality - even the bad parts, which undoubtedly and unfortunately DO exist.
A Jewish turned Muslim, Muhammad Asad is also an interesting figure to mention at this point. He has done a lot of study about Islam; written his translation of the Qur'an, which is considered rather unique and better in most cases; done a study about how head-cover for a woman has nothing to do with Islam; etc. Like everything else, why isn't it possible to believe that there have been figures in history who have not been able to change the literal word of the Qur'an, but have obviously corrupted it's essence and meaning. And the rest of the public is lazy enough to not investigate themselves and just follow blindly; not to mention the lower literacy rate in most Muslim countries.
At the end, this installation was an effort to only put a mirror - a mirror to the ongoing psychology and attitude. Although the subject is so difficult, if it helped even half a man to understand anything, I'll feel my work is done.
Hardware: arduino board, ultrasonic distance detector, projector, speakers
Software: processing, arduino alpha 0015
Technically I have to admit I had to face a lot of drawbacks.
-The space I had to work with was quite challenging since my detector was not 007-perfect, and the narrow hallway walls kept coming in the way.
-My system was rather slow in respect to the memory my program was using. It was H-O-T that day, and even more hot in my thick black-fabric lined space, and it was effecting the working of my system, as it would automatically shut-down after the fan quit o_O
-Although some effort was made to heal this, the system still kept getting jammed every 2-3 hours and had to be restarted =(
-The gallery was also not very compromising: weak ceiling didn't let me hang anything from it, and the oh-so-special walls were not to be touched.
-Had to build extra wooden structures to close ends off with fabric as I really wanted a dark interior. Shortage of money and a huge window on one side ... not very amusing!
-AND on the other side of my installation was the "special" space for performances, so mine had to be kept quiet for a while.
hmmm ... what else?!?! I'll make sure to write each down as I remember!
Monday, June 15, 2009
In the video below Wilders says he has nothing against the people of Islam, but he wants to deport millions of Muslims who have a certain ideology. He is incapable of answering the simple question of exactly how many Muslims are there who in fact pose a threat to the society and are part of criminal activities and are a burden on the government of the Netherlands. Who is he fighting against? Or is he just a punkass attention seeker!
He can't even speak properly! What is wrong with the Dutch people that they make him into such a large political party?!
Saturday, June 13, 2009
I came across this rather outstanding article just now about a breakthrough in medicine regarding the brain. Apparently the scientists in New York claim to have produced a drug that can erase memory! Now this is quite heavy information! The article fairly covers the pros and cons of such a drug, click here to read it.
Facebook quizzes reveal what an "anti-everything" I am :P ... so here I am talking against something yet again. I agree that this drug could serve as great help for some medical cases, namely those suffering some kind of post-traumatic stress or Alzheimer's. Then again, the possibilities and abuse of this drug are so vast that just knowing a drug can do this is insane. I agree with the statement in the article: "Memories serve an evolutionary purpose, reminding us what's unsafe about a certain situation, person, setting." Everything that happens in life, gives something towards creating the person that we are today. Our bad choices lead us into bad consequences, and these are just repercussions that we have to live with, and this is exactly what we call L-I-F-E - it doesn't come with a second chance. The memory may be erased from a single person's mind, but what about other's related to that memory? Does everybody have to have that drug then? Or do you then live a lie, only to help someone else?
And politically speaking. These darn governments are so freaking untrustworthy, we better stop inventing, or create a public secret society only to exclude the government. This drug would only serve as a catalyst towards the wonderful *sublimely sarcastic* New World Order!
Monday, May 18, 2009
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
"While Amazon's Kindle is a bestseller in the United States, Europe seems still a bit slow in taking up e-readers. Producers prepare for conquering the European market. The introduction of e-book readers and their eventual effective diffusion will transform the publishing industry. An international conference organized by Florian Cramer from Rotterdam-based Piet Zwart Institute revolves around the future of publishing, paper and the transformation of reading and the book in the digital age. The program is packed with exceedingly interesting presentations by designers, publishing experts, and researchers from the cutting-edge front of media development."
Quite a two-day conference I must admit, and an interesting divide of presentations over the past 48 hours. The first day full of e-reading utilities, e-x, e-y, e-z .. easy? Not to mention how the screen is turning half the world's population blind. I will have to place my interest in the second day, and in Alessandro Ludovico's (of neural.it) talk - paper, paper, paper!
Maybe it's me, but I am sure more artists/designers have this: have you ever felt this obsession with any visual/text/image that you want to HAVE it, HOLD it, HUG it? I have. Yes we all have internet and I can watch my favorite image anytime, it's just a matter of going online and loading it. But it isn't quite satisfying; it's not real enough - it lacks weight, substance and the MATERIAL essence. Aren't we material beings?
I am broke and I feel sad that I can't buy books. Then I download my ever-friendly torrent, and the counter never goes above 1 of me opening that file. I am going blind, the screen hurts my eyes, I want to hold my text and sing lullaby to it.
But getting back to the conference which is about publishing. I, being an artist/designer, felt sweetly excluded. I left the conference questioning, can the Sony e-reader or print-on-demand provide me the pleasure of the romanticism an exclusive art-book lying on a walnut-wood coffee-table definitely can? Or is it the death of romanticism we are compromising? Hmm ... may I remind how we are turning into robots ... I really don't want Ray Kurzweil to be correct ... YET AGAIN!
Watch in high-res here.
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
"Family planning campaigners welcomed the news and said they hoped an injection would give couples more choice and enable men to take a greater share of the responsibility for contraception." On one hand, one may say it is a good thing that men can share this burden of continuing/planning the cycle of life, on the other hand, I am not so excited about this either. A woman's body is created to withstand the drastic physical and chemical changes that it undergoes. I don't even want to begin thinking about the horrors it might bring of swooping distorted male behavior - as if it isn't distorted enough already!
They say, "Previous attempts to develop an effective and convenient male contraceptive have encountered problems over reliability and side effects, such as mood swings and a lowered sex drive." Well of course, and this is exactly my concern. Imagine a man, in his general parameters, of how he functions and behaves, and then superimpose him with mood swings ... pretty picture? I don't think so!
In the West there is a high risk of unwanted pregnancies precisely because of the ECP (emergency control pill); because men know they have something to fall back on, they don't care enough to use protection. And it is only repetitive to talk about the effects of constant ECP usage.
There is also a chance that men with a thing for needles may not even mind taking these injections, but the whole point is how it effects the social behavior and social growth of men within a society, rather than how useful the injection proves in that given situation of a needed contraception.
Read more here.
Posted by Farrah at 1:30 PM
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
2 things. I have an opinion about them - I AM DISGUSTED.
1. Shariah Law implemented in Somalia, and the first thing they do in celebration is: stone a 13 years old little girl to death after her father reported to the police of his daughter being raped by 3 men!
2. The brilliant walk-out of 30 nations from the United Nations, Geneva conference, after the Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad started his speech, labeled as "hate speech". News holds that some countries boycotted the conference completely and did not attend after knowing that Ahmedinejad will be attending and speaking.
I love Ban Ki-Moon for being the secretary at this point, as he stands as a third party, and is better at position to condemn this walk-out.
And on a rather hilarious note. lol.
What do you do if you receive a stack of papers that have cost $27.55 to deliver, and then find out it's your $26K mobile bill? ahaha ...
I want to see the face of this guy! Read the story here.
Sunday, April 19, 2009
All's good, but I'm still skeptical of the supercomputer part. The entire technological singularity debate is back and Google is being one of its supporters, but in order to create this supercomputer, we need a superhuman first to create that. The Great Human Being is growing intelligent as well, although I'd also like to point out that majority of them is going dumber!
I am on the side that there will always be a more intelligent human.
Visit my school's homepage to see a little mapping I did of political history vs technological advancements since the 20th century.
Saturday, April 18, 2009
Eendrachtsweg is a beautiful road in Rotterdam, somewhere between the ErasmusMC and the city center. There is some great Dutch architecture alongside the road, lush greenery, and something called a singel: a Dutch word to which I don't know the translation of, but that's what they call these lake/channel-like water features around the country. It's on the way to my school, and today I came about a rather interesting effort. I am not sure how I should define it. Create your own story.
Perhaps it was there all along, and I never noticed it, considering the button-eyes I have :D ... does that term make any sense to English-speakers? It's something my mother used to call me all the time in Urdu. It basically means to have big eyes but still not be able to see things around. And I am rather bad at this. Things right in front of me tend to disappear out of my sight!
Allah Made Me Funny is an excellent effort made by emerging stand-up Muslim comedians in America. They challenge the stereotypes, laugh at themselves, and help others laugh and create a tension-free environment. A great video. A must watch.
Watch the entire one hour length on google videos, or click here.
Yesterday, in fact, I was at this inter-religious debate between a Muslim and Jewish-Christian theologist - Shabir Ally and Ben Kok respectively - at the Islamic University of Rotterdam. Shabir is Canadian, and is currently doing his Ph.D in Quranic Exegesis and you can know more about him here. Ben is a Dutch pastor and an activist who doesn't like Islam very much, and you can find out more about him on his website here; unfortunately the site is in Dutch only.
I was really looking forward to this event, as I'd only seen the sort on TV. Unfortunately, and with no surprise, I experienced a repeat-pattern: almost no Christians or Jews, and a confused/incompetent non-Muslim speaker. This, I feel, is also unfair to the speaker, to be mobbed by the others and have a lack of general support.
The debate was about Peace and Violence in the Quran and the Bible. Ben started off by talking about his Jewish background, and how religion came across as a fairytale that made no sense, and then he found Jesus in his 20s. He explained violent events in the Bible comparable to a sincere father who punishes his children to make them better. Trinity, I don't know why he believes it and why he made a failed attempt to explain it, when throughout his lecture he encouraged going back to the original texts and letting go of dogmas. Then he made some TV and internet-inspired attacks on Islam, also of course, quoting the infamous verse 9:5, which he got the answer to as well. But to round it up, at the end I felt that he is still living in his fairytale of how lovely God and life is, and everything is pretty and beautiful and then prince charming comes on his white horse. I understand that as a Dutch it was not easy for him to speak in English, but overall his talk lacked historical and logical proof.
Shabir, on the other hand, gave a very concrete talk based on several logical statements, and he definitely captivated the audience at large with his wide knowledge of all three religions in questions. Something I expected.
To conclude this. Why are non-Muslims today trying to become experts of Islam and not their own religion so they can give a better debate on such occasions? Why is this information so vastly based on media? Why don't non-Muslim scholars/theologians ever answer logically and get out of the concept of "God can do everything!", and likewise, learn from logically given answers of the Muslim scholars?
I heard Hans Jansen was initially invited for this talk, but he refused because he was out of country. Perhaps he only finds it convenient to talk about his Islam-bashing ideas with "little pal" (makkertje) on Pauw&Witteman.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Fitna wasn't enough to satisfy Geert Wilders creative urges, and it didn't get him to the Oscars, or any red carpet. So he decides to give it another shot. He's making ANOTHER movie. Hurray!
Read the full article here.
There is only one more person I can recall who has such a stark resemblance to a pig! But Wilders definitely beats that person.
Remember how they say when you own a pet, you start looking like it. I'm beginning to strongly believe that he owns an entire pig farm!
Anyway. Blond isn't his shade. He needs a make-over. Maybe Robin can do him a favor. And while she is at it, Dr. Phil can give him a mental make-over!
This is in response to the motto of the exhibition that I am part of: Through Other Eyes, curated by Gerard Mermoz. The motto (the title of this post) is borrowed from J Swaminathan in his book Perceiving Fingers. Swaminathan ambitioned to create an art gallery with studios and workshops, in Bhopal, India, where folk, tribal and art-school-trained artists would work and exhibit side by side and engage in a productive dialogue with each other. The project failed as academic artists refused!
I am not precisely sure of the validity of my reply, and whether it falls within the required nature of an expected response. But this displacement of my Self, in a new society and culture has severely forced me to rethink and re-evaluate several issues that I had a strong opinion about before, and still do, but in a new light.
Art. Religion. Politics. For one, I feel these are heavily related terms, and cannot be taken apart, and consequently, of course, effect each other drastically. Art is not just a means of creating something pretty, its an “aesthetic” response to politics and religion. And it would be unwise to left it unsaid of how religion and politics have also had their fair share of using art for their purpose.
As for Swaminathan, his ambition, and the failed response comes strikingly close to the juxtaposition-ing of the under-developed within the developed. I'll just term it as yet another classic example of the human psyche – I'm laughing. It's the fear of the unknown, fear of being surpassed by the unknown, and of being conquered. We work towards our degrees, spend time and money towards earning a title, and earning money for our creations, it's unfair to put a tribal art-piece next to mine and judge it on similar grounds.
I regret to say that we aren't faced by religious and political boundaries, I see more personal distress boundaries instead. We are dealing with the first-mentioned ones pretty hard and strong, without much fear, though they do cause temporary hassle. Or perhaps I have a distorted view of religion and politics.
I am anti-globalization, and declare that I am not a world citizen. Why? Human psychology is a delicate thing, and it isn't programmed to automatically fall for the morally right, or the intuitionally correct. When through this youtube culture, or any mechanism that speeds up the process of transfer of information, it isn't possible for everyone to digest that information, and give a rational response. Globalization is not the solution to happily bring the world together, in my eyes. It has a tendency to set standards that everyone needs to comply with. Need I mention the Unabomber manifesto here.
But by saying that I am not a world citizen, it does not mean I am in denial of other cultures, but only more aware of the individual nature of other cultures in contrast to my own. I only encourage the coexistence of cultures when we understand the real story behind each, and not fall in the trap of the exotic; not give one advantage over the other on the basis of unique information; deal with information more realistically, although this can be quite a challenge.
To come back to the vocabulary of the topic – So I say YES. Include the art of the tribal man. Become a more inclusive culture rather than an exclusive. Give them the space they deserve on any normal basis, as any other individual would, and let the consequences be similar for all as well.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Utter Nonsense! And I am speechless at this outrageous staging of "superiority" of race and emotion. Such double standards!
Thursday, April 9, 2009
Now this is awesome! And this is what I'd been waiting to get my hands on! The Hardware! So this is officially my first self-built thing. officially becasue I have been opening things before but without knowing a tad bit of what I was doing. But yes the machine insides have always been a curious thing for me. This device that I made with a hobbyist-kit was a sound-meter with 5 LDs, with a sensitivity knob as well. And what you see right now in the video is how we (classmates) made all our gadgets work together. Besides mine, there were:
1. metal detector, producing light output.
2. light output, producing ... I can't remember.
3. decision maker; this produced an output if the answer is yes. It's random of course.
4. one produced sounds resembling those of the famous toy guns of the 90s.
5. sound converter; takes in any sound as an input and reproduces it whereby making it more robotic, hightening or lowering the pitch, etc.
So in the video, #4 is producing the sound, #5 is reproducing it, and mine is producing a digital/visual display of the sound.
Saturday, April 4, 2009
This is my view of politics:
It of course makes all human sense to me of how there is violence, suicide bombing and firing in Pakistan; we deserve it ... stupid, barbaric, backward, ignorant Muslim state. We are killing ourselves. Nobody is responsible. And of course it also makes sense that Pakistani ISLAMIC militants are firing in America; militants who are apparently Vietnamese.
I feel like screaming right now. I really do. But I try hard to stay composed only to prove to the filthy lunatics that there is a moderate Islam. But for how long? How long is a human supposed to stay calm and composed? For how long is it ok for the others to keep attacking and killing in the name of the utterly blind and deaf and senseless justice, and we see all this chaos quietly because we are trying to prove we are not barbarians?
But I am extremely not sorry for offending anyone who reads this of how extremely unbalanced the entire scenario right now is: Islam vs West. Israel gets great corporate/governmental support from around the world to find a a tiny amount of violent-people hidden amidst absolutely innocent people. But of course it is not ok for those innocent people to fight back for all the trouble caused to them, because then it's war. They must not squeak. And it is completely ok for the media to keep associating Islam with any terrorism and violence, because that is interesting to read. How are the Muslims supposed to denounce these so-called Islamist militants and jihadists? Do a pathetic peace march and get bombed while they are all together? What does the West want?
Let's just concentrate on Hirsi Ali about her interesting story of how because of Islam she lost her vagina and can't have sex. Or talk about Wafa Sultan who has completely lost her own brains while studying psychology. Crap!
Talking about extremism. I think the non-Muslims have completely surpassed the meaning of the word in their own behavior in comparison to that of the Muslims.
And how can we talk about Islam without talking about the poor oppressed women in black things looking like ghosts. Oh yea, that is extremist, i agree. But the bikini is not extremist at all! It's the perfect symbol of the pro-libertarian-West.
Monday, March 30, 2009
Well well well. Finally the video is here. Quite a headache I tell you! It definitely was fun, but I think I'll stick with my static-image-love.
According to the Ada Lovelace deal, I was suppose to write about ONE woman in technology who I've been inspired by. After signing this pledge, I just knew I wanted to write about someone from Pakistan, but I didn't know who. So I delved into quite a thick search. Since technology is not so far ahead there as it is here in Netherlands, or the "West", so it's not possible to find women in this field easily. Well actually even talking about men then ... hmm ... I would've probably written about my digital-artist friend. Anyways. This is about women. So while doing my search, I was amazed at the information I had out of the blue landed myself upon. And I have to say I felt very proud of it all. The rush was so amazing to see all that information, that I was purely convinced that I have to include all these women somehow, as it is rare that we, as a nation, celebrate our courageous people, women!
Thus, the video.
Now here i'd like to say a couple of things. In my search, I also landed upon some very sad comments from different people within Pakistan, including women. The worst thing women can go through is hegemony! That's the worst of the worst things. One, you have a hard time convincing men of your capabilities, and upon that, you have good for nothing women discouraging you as well. This is especially in reference to Pakistani women who live abroad, who have perhaps never even been to Pakistan. As soon as we see some skin, we go crazy! The insane debate of how this is not representative of Pakistan because it is a Muslim state, and these women should not associate themselves with either Pakistan or Islam because they are only defaming them. I find it utterly ridiculous. We need to re-think what Islam is, what a Muslim is, and then, what are the basis of Pakistan? Pakistan was NOT formed for having an Islamic country, it was for the Muslims to have a separate homeland where there are no Hindus dominating them and ruling them. It was purely political. We see what the state of Indian Muslims is. Same goes for the flag of Pakistan. If it really was for the sake of Islam, then it should have been a complete green thing like that of Saudi Arabia. But it isn't, the white represents the minorities, and including them in the flag is about giving them the space and respect and a sense of belonging to the nation of Pakistan.
Now. While it is true that showing skin is not Islamic, but why do we have problems with women choosing such careers abroad? Why are we not also shouting against those also at home? Don't we have a fashion industry? Don't we have female singers? And here the MQM comes in who have completely lost it, and God help them! As if they have nothing better to do. I am not saying that it is ok for these women to go about topless, but we need to give each individual their space to behave however they want, and they are individually responsible. God ain't gonna question you for their actions! Isn't this why this life is in the first place? We have been given the free-will. Let people practice it.
I sense double-standards. Drink, go naked, attend late night concerts, whatever you can think of. But do it in the privacy of your home. Don't let anyone else know what's happening inside. Before we question someone else's morals, we need to take a look at ourselves. Are we so pure that we have the courage to point at someone else?
Everything aside. This video is a celebration of all women who have made it! Well not all, it's only a handful. there are so many more women who I could not find online. And all the small efforts that go unnoticed. This is just a grain.
But I respect all women initiatives and efforts. If someone is not in line with my moral code, that's their business.
Saturday, March 28, 2009
Earth Hour has officially begun in the Netherlands as of 3 minutes ago, and my lights are off. But my laptop is still on *raised eyebrow" ... is that cheating? haha!
I think this is a great initiative. People up in space should make a video of this! Must look so cool. Can you even see much from up there? Anyways. other than the visual aesthetic, of course it saves a lot and gives a loud enough message - ultrasound message!
With this green peace thing going on, I notice how I've almost turned my apartment into a rainforest! ahahaha. It's green everywhere. A plant here and there! Nice. I just got done with painting the first layer of big stripes on one of my walls. Now I just need to add splashes of mother nature's colors. I'm thinking pink! :D
Now. I've never made a movie before. I've never even bothered making a video out of an image collage. Video is not my thing. It's a medium, I feel, that you either feel it, or you don't. And I lean towards the latter. But I finally thought, why not. Let's give it a shot, and create a nice little image collage. Since I am not using my own laptop (it's the school's), and it's not something I know inside out, I didn't realize what a big shitty thing this can throw you in.
iMovie 5 is what's in my system by default, and I've been trying to make it obey me since the last 3 days, and I am at a verge of insanity (well no, insane already, there must be a next level). I've been trying to do upgrades, downloads, installs ... uuggghhhhh ... it doesn't LISTEN!
Wrong files, incompatible upgrades, moral warnings on torrents about copyrights, leaps of several faiths (this comes from python), stupendously slow download speeds, calling me a leecher ... this is crazy!
All I want to do is attach text to my image clips. But I bet there is something wrong with my iLife. On every tutorial or forum that I've been at, they all give the same method, BUT IT DOESN'T WORK. Things are MISSING.
Oh God blogging is frustration-releasing. Nice. I haven't given up hope still if you're wondering. I will make this crap happen!
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Okay. So I pledged to submit a blog entry about a woman in a technology-related field that inspires me. This was supposed to be done on 24th march, and I am 2 hours and 27 minutes late as of now. But as one of the e-mails said: on the internet, one day is 50 hours long, so it is still the 24th in some part of the world, and so I am safe :D
In the beginning I did not know who to write about, but I definitely wanted it to be someone from Pakistan. But women aren't really on a mega-fore-front of technology, and I hadn't really heard any big news. Being in the arts, I haven't really heard of any media-artists from within Pakistan. So I can safely for now say that I am an inspiration for myself, and others :D But please do correct me if any media-artist tends to be lurking around and stumbles upon my page, it would be a most welcome correction.
So I did some search, of what is happening on the "female" landscape of Pakistan! Viola! I found some nice things. So I decided, since women on that side of the world are often very sadly and mistakenly boxed under the stereotype of an "oppressed woman", to make a little video of some of the great women I found. It's still under construction, but I will definitely post it by tomorrow.
Another article I found about the progress of women in Pakistan, and there were some responses from our respected western counterparts of how progress is really associated only with the higher class and nothing is being done for the lower class. From one perspective, this is true, but looking at it more positively, no it's not. Little effort often goes unnoticed, and now there are innumerable efforts made on tinsy scales where women are encouraged to make their lives better on their own standing, sadly (or as are the rules of media) only the higher class, or outrageously controversial women (like Mukhtaran Mai) make it to the news.
There is more to what meets our ears and eyes these days, since WYSIWYG is pretty much relative considering our virtual world nowadays. Now that I am in the West, and I have some substantial material to compare my home with, it's not so bad. We're doing pretty awesome!
Coming back to my vdo ... yea ... by tomorrow for sure!
Posted by Farrah at 2:20 AM
Friday, March 20, 2009
Well, since I'm not from China or Thailand or Holland, biking doesn't run in my blood. It's a new deal for me. And when it comes to crossing the Erasmus bridge it is even bigger (not so much now, i've become stronger :D, besides, it's an awesome view.) The Maas tunnel tends to be a wiser option when you're not feeling so athletic, or it's rainy, cold, and windy. But lately the weather has been stupendously gorgeous.
So now that i can bike almost like a pro :D and the weather has been gracious, this needed to be taken advantage of. The clean air pulls you out. I have to admit it wouldn't be easy to bike in Lahore anyways; you'd come home with mutilated lungs and a chronic breathing disorder.
Anyway. This time the selected destination was south of Rotterdam: Waalhaven.
Now this was new to me in contrast to all that I've seen so far. It was very Dubai-esque. Dubai is also an interesting story, lol. Fits perfectly in my struggle to break free :P ... makes it more dramatic.
But yea. It's a new area, I've been told there wasn't much here 3 years ago (port-wise). It was quite surreal to bike through a very mustard/yellow, desert-like landscape with the sun shining bright; the containers piled high creating an urban feel. I can finally take my sunglasses out :D
I remember the first few days in Dubai I was aching to see some green - everything was so yellow(ground, buildings) and blue(water, glass), my eyes were longing for some far-spread, lush greenery. It was there that I realized how important green is for our eyes. But it was a similar feeling I experienced in this port area. It felt great this time - walk through memory lane. It's like you want to hold that moment, and KISS IT! :D
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Templates are cruel. Impersonal. Frustrating.
In my old post you might have come across me whining about templates not working. Widgets going crazy. Guess what? The entire technological world is crazy and has its own mind. It is not running 24/7 to always comply with your wishes! It lives. Like a cat who loves you - only when it wants. I don't even like cats. They are annoying and demanding, and ruin everything. Template to cats? I'm probably over-drugged! No. Well.
So there was something probably wrong with Blogger, or just because it was my first time on it, so it was testing me out, of how strongly I want to stay here, and run my thoughts online, therefore it wasn't obeying me! But now randomly, just for the heck of it, I started trying out the templates I had saved from last time, and they worked! But I did not like them all around my text. Too distracting. They are all nice and everything, but it's not something I have designed, so probably it's me fighting against somebody else's stuff. I feel the basic template is pretty good, and let's you work around it.
But of course! After an hour of going through templates that I was so dying to plaster all over my page, when I returned to my basic page, all my personal settings were gone, and had to redo all of it. Not like there was much. But anyways.
Blogging is nicer than vlogging. V 4 vlog.
Monday, March 16, 2009
About Brussels. What excited me out of my shoes was this graffiti and these paintings that I saw around the city, as I find them really cool and they give a lot to the city. The portion that I saw, it was an effort done by Recyclart, so hats off to them. Nice, nice, nice.
As lazy a blogger that I've turned out to be, anyways!
Well this past Thursday (12/03) was a day dedicated to Brussels. I am living in Rotterdam right now, and as much of Holland I have seen, I have to admit how much the visual language differs across borders. Netherlands seems to be acquiring a 'barbie' identity - symbol of architectural/social perfection. In Dutch sites you will come across a list of reasons of why you should be in the Netherlands (well, they don't really want you actually :s), and one of them is that it is a country of young people - the youth lives here. Nice roads, rather clean. But then this contrast between what a city-with-real-people really looks like, the signs of aging, and usage. Never in the past couple of months have I missed the garbage of Lahore so much.
Europe seems to be exuding this almost Peter-Pan-esque mystique to the rest of the world (Joey approves of this - 'Friends'), but it is as much a part of this world as any third world country. It's, fortunately, not perfect - perfection is not human.
Anyways. This was supposed to be about Brussels. So yea. Very human. I really liked it's character. When you come from a place like the Indian sub-continent, then it kinda feels that festive color and folklore make up the culture. So it's difficult to dig where the culture is in this bricked, dark, rainy, gray part of the world. But this is the culture. Rain.
Posted by Farrah at 1:33 PM
Sunday, March 8, 2009
Posted by Farrah at 10:04 PM
I think this is completely hilarious and conveys my political agenda perfectly. Yes I do have online profiles as well, using one of them right now as I type. But I do openly vocalize my anti-virtual-identity point of view. And no I don't put images of characters or other better looking people or celebrities as my profile picture!
Thursday, March 5, 2009
I simply CANNOT stop myself from posting this.
1. It is unheard of;
2. It is unheard of;
3. It is unheard of in a country like Pakistan where the entire world think women are oppressed!
Posted by Farrah at 11:12 PM
Since I am desperately trying to somehow change the theme of this blog, shamelessly in vain, so I decided to at least change the header image. It is part of a sugar-lift print I did back during my Bachelors. The eyes are a Marilyn Monroe inspiration. Hmm ... in my study we are discussing Authorship. So in that event, should I say a Monroe inspiration, or Andy Warhol???
If one is a celebrity, does he/she lose right to ownership of his/her imagery? Since Andy is stepping over many rights (Campbell's soup cans!!), does he retain any rights anymore to his work?
While we are at talking about problems with blogger, can someone tell me why on earth can't i change the theme? All are in .xml and somewhere it was written to change the value of widgets from 1 to 2, or if it is already 2, then to 3. It doesnt seem to work. Although I did randomly have one of the themes working. Too bad I didn't like it enough and ditched it.