Mountains, Risk, and Volume
1 day ago
|Severly Malnourished Child, Larkana, Sindh|
I haven't posted for a while, as I decided I'd make a move to learn a new part of the world. Life has been going well, I passed the academic year at Cambridge, and decided it was time to get on the road again. I'm personally burnt out on the Middle East, and everybody is now an 'expert'. I enjoyed my time there, but like everybody who has covered conflict, I suppose I spent too long going round in circles looking to recreate the effect Bosnia and Kosovo had on me. Never a day goes bye, and I don't think of the war years. I must confess I've never really got over them, and every mess I've made since then has been linked to this inability to move on and stop mourning the past, "my war gone bye, how I miss it so..."
Children living in a school building after loosing their home to the waters
So, a bit of soul searching and conversation with friends from the old days, I decided to learn South Asia, well to be more precise, Pakistan. I have a painful desire to go to Afghanistan, but have held off because of the level of control imposed on your movements, reporting, and what you can actually get. I will go, but Pakistan has always fascinated me, and here I am. Every province is like a conflict within a conflict, everything is different, but interlinked. What some guy threatens to do in the US decides if you can venture out from behind the wall. It is complex, fascinating, incredibley beautiful, there are mountains, and god, do I need mountains! The people are incredibly friendly, and at the same time the challenge can be how inaccessible the culture can be; it can be in front of you, but you may as well be a 1000 miles away at times. So the first chance that came, I took it and here I am, currently in Sukkur, trying to get my head round the tribal system and security risks in the areas towards Baluchistan.
The floods, which are on a scale that cannot even be comprehended, even don't sink in when you see them. You can think that as the human race is capable of mind numbing destruction, but in the end natural forces can obliterate all. It is deeply humbling to realise this. 21 million people have been affected, but you cannot see it all at once, so it doesn't really sink in. For now, people have survived, but they are reliant on assistance, and if that doesn't materialise, it will become unstable; this is the risk, the clock is ticking, but still malnutrition runs at 20% in the children in Upper Sindh. This can only get worse. So, as I stated, I planned to come here, to get to know and hopefully, dream of understanding Pakistan. Self desire faced with real tragedy makes for a brutal learning curve...
|Dave MacLeod swings like a true Celt only can in the Cairngorm National Park|
|Dave about to get into position in his traditional climbing garb|
|Starting out on a big swing...|
I've quickly added four images from a series of landscapes that I have been working on. I'll put the whole gallery on my website http://www.stevengordon.eu/ once I've finished them, but until then here is a preview. I'm working in colour, trying to haul myself away from my black and white obsession, but as ever, they tend to to be dark and stormy. This is one of several projects I'm currently working on, the other main one being a long term examination of Glasgow, and does she deserve her violent reputation that the statistics make out. I'll preview it as I go along, but in meantime here is the view after a late afternoon run up Curved Ridge on Buachaille Etive Mor. Enjoy!
|Looking to the head of Glen Coe.|
|Slightly cliche in the popular view of the Buachaille, but what the hell, the light was good!|
I am haunted by waters.”
|An Atlantic Salmon, released back into the Lochy, a truly remarkable visitor|
I have finally got round to dealing with the website, http://www.stevengordon.eu/ and will continue to put new galleries online. At present however, I'm once again lost to an attempt to generate my final essay for Cambridge, which will see me complete the first academic year in my Masters. It has a been a strange journey, with very mixed emotions from start to finish. On one front I still have the working class chip on my shoulder, very alienated by the experience. On the other side, it has allowed me to have a priveleged view of another world, a very long way away from Clydebank High School. I have met some wonderful friends, probably had more fun in my 3 months there than in my other 7 plus years of other further education. But still it is another world, in a still divided Britain, hence my heart when not in the mountains and rivers of Scotland is settled in Kosovo. It has taken a long time, but I finally know wher home is.
For now though, on with the struggle of representation, which is oddly what I'm writing about. I'll post regularly now and update the galleries on my website every two weeks. If you can point anyone else interested in my ramblings, please point them to the above link.