Thursday, February 13, 2003

Between the two poles of Baghdad and Paris
Haaretz’s weekend magazine has an interview with an impressive Israeli artist called Mosh Kashi, whom I find connected to a previous post of mine, because he is of Syrian and Iraqi parentage. You can see some of his art here.

He says something I liked in the Hebrew version of this article, which they cut in translation. Why do they always cut the passages that strike me the most?

“Provinciality,” he says (my own flawed translation), “is not a place, it’s a characteristic. … If you live a life of quality even in a place that is very limited and even if it is regarded problematic socio-economically, you learn to identify quality … Therefore I find all this talk of sectionalism and ethnic discrimination repulsive, because I believe you can make a detour around all of that out of choice. The problem is that not everyone can or wants to hear that choice, as a value, is the supreme value. You can be very wealthy and live in the center of New York and still be provincial, and you can go around the Valley of the Cross (in Jerusalem) and feel that you are walking in a valley of princes and kings.”