[NetBehaviour] LAMU 2005

{ brad brace } bbrace at eskimo.com
Sat Feb 15 14:52:01 CET 2014

LAMU 2005: (2:18:44) No one ever said, "Hakuna Matata." I prefer this
small, nimble 176x144 mp4-film format: from a tiny, rare now, palm-sized
SD camera. Other earlier PDF publications and field recordings are a part
of this Global Islands Project: <http://bradbrace.net/id.html
http://bbrace.net/id.html> Lamu off eastern Kenya, was easily the most
hostile photo environment: in your viewfinder, the little speck of man in
his boat half a kilometer upstream would suddenly stand-up and begin
loudly berating you for not asking permission (or not paying)... and so it
went... the audio recordings were more successful/surreptitious... great
deliberate influx of mainland Christian musical entreaties in the main
town square versus the many established mosques that in all facing Mecca,
largely determined the  irregular maze/layout of the town, as did the
sequestered Islamic courtyards and rooftops --  (I was allowed to visit
two mosques only after privileged requests from the imans with great
difficulty: occasionally I paid very willing local children to take photos
inside and conduct tours) -- most of the added music is from purchased
casual-quality cassette bootlegs/mixes from the dusty local music outlet;
I added a drumtrack and superfluous sounds; the music was mostly from
Mombasa and probably more closely reflects that environment replete with
middle-aged European women (sex tourists): you'll spot a couple in the
film; but the pace and Kiswahili lingua is correct: there was always
something going on, especially in the town square -- the depicted
stick-dance is of course a rather depreciated enactment of a traditional
Islamic ritual -- the dhows, dugouts and motley assortment of other boats
occasionally stayed afloat, only with vigourous bailing: every craft had
at least one full-time bailer as the handmade vessels with seams stuffed
with resinous-rags, routinely took on water and many were submerged in the
harbor during choppy seas: but there was a definitive grace about a dhow
underway: no keel, so you see passengers hiked way out on long leeward
planks -- petrol was prohibitively expensive and there was only one
(police) vehicle on the island: the abused donkeys were the main means of
transport for men and very heavy loads of hand-hewn limestone bricks from
across the channel -- there was some undetermined major Islamic
gathering/meeting (depicted in the film) and fierce protests/parades
against the infamous Danish cartoonist while I was there: only a very few
white tourists (mzungu): once when out in the bush,  I was spotted by a
terrified/crying little black girl who would not be consoled by her mother
:)  [many stories from this visit] apparently, not so long ago muffled
screams from prisoners could be heard at night from the old British fort
in the town square: the present-day Kenyan police have their own
notoriety: prefaced by a shrill whistle, all activity had to stop in the
town for the raising and lowering of the flag -- this rule did not apply
to the outlying informal clusters of mostly crude structures loosely
designated by the residents' origin (Shella, Manda, Kashmiri, Bombay,
Kandahari, Mataoni) -- despite all the corruption and dysfunction, life
largely went on in the typically exuberant African fashion.



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