Gabrielle Destroismaisons

Brief meeting : Gabrielle vue dans le miroir. Nelligan Hotel, Montreal.

 

Dwelling

Some things, scattered in time, touch me strangely in the same way. Like the little airplane in the sky, in Kota Kinabalu in February, barely visible in the photograph, and then in May, in Moscow, Hiraki Sawa`s film, `Dwelling`, that had me frozen in place in an empty room in a gallery for several minutes, watching on repeat—these are fragments of the same conversation. The little airplane, without a doubt, must have come from the building to the left. It`s comforting.

 

Hiraki Sawa. Dwelling

Thaipusam

Thaipusam is a religious Hindu celebration held in honor of Shiva’s son, which is especially important in Malaysia around Kuala Lumpur. During the ceremony the participants walk about 15km from the main temple Maha Mariamman, situated in the center of the city of Kuala Lumpur, to the temple in the Batu Caves, where they must then climb 272 steps to reach their destination. Many are in a state of religious trance and those who are loyal to the tradition pierce their cheeks and tongues with long needles and hooks adorn their torsos and backs with hanging limes, a symbol of purity. Some even choose to take on the “Kavadi“: a heavy steel structure decorated with flowers and festive coloured papers that is attached to the body by hooks and pins that penetrate the celebrant’s skin.

 

Visit the photo gallery: Portfolio/Storios/ Thaipusam

Muslyumovo

During the winter of 2007, I had the opportunity to spend a few days in the village of Muslyumovo, Russia. The living conditions there are special : in 1953, an accident that occurred at the Mayak factory resulted in the radiation contamination of the Techa river, an important source of water for the entire village. The affected area was evacuated after the incident, but, for some mysterious reasons, the residents of Musliumovo remained faithful to their homes and did not leave. Today, all is well in the village as it is in any other village of the area, with the exception that the majority of the residents, young and elderly, suffer from illnesses caused by the radiation pollution. Even though they have the opportunity to leave their village, one reason they choose to stay is because of an age old superstition where they are afraid of losing their connection with the native land which in turn will lead to a premature death. Other fears include starting a new life, finding themselves in a difficult financial situation as well as leaving the comfort of their familiar environment.

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