free to be, be free.
Summer is nearing.
Cut-off jeans usually came into the wardrobe by – cutting off the old worn-out pair of jeans from previous seasons. Showing knees and thighs to the sun, not worring about wiping fruit-stained hands on them too much, as they were what they were – old pair of…
Nowadays you find them as a fashion item in the chain stores: brand new made as if they were cut off.
Friday afternoon early in May and I am hanging around the downtown Brussels. Coffee-me-cake-me-time. I pop at the Delirium Café to breathe in the atmosphere, as my recent story is placed in this famous beer place.
Not staying there long, not in a mood for beer, the early-party-lovers are already noisy and eager to embrace the necessary – a drunken state of mind.
I decide to see what is on in the film club nearby. Porn-film festival, alors, non. Even though the little crowd outside looks rather interesting, standing there, chatting in the suffocating smell from the nail studios that are all around – the smell of burning resin, it smells both biological and artificial. Why is this in vogue now?
I walk through another passage and stumble upon another cinema club: Brussels short-film festival is on. A selection of films by Iranian female makers on tonight. I go in, despite suspicion there will be images I won´t let off the mind easily. Yes, it is a mixture of what is good about film art: humor mocking stereotypes, showing a creeping fear of an individual caught in the state-police-country, cruelty of being trapped in the system without much chance to liberate oneself. Especially as a woman. Or a young girl.
The films leave me with a question: How come the regime lets artists make this highly critical and demasking films?
So I stay to ask, as two of the film-makers are present on the stage. One is dressed in a flowery skirt and sports a tiara of the same material in her dark hair. Relaxed energy and smile. The other has done all possible to mask her origin: short-cropped hair dyed almost white, funky spectacles, pants suit, more tense and dense atmosphere around her. The introduction is too lengthy and I am not very good at sitting long in one spot, so I leave without getting the answer to my question.
Falling asleep, I really need to shake off the visuals screening behind the closed eyes. If all the struggle, sorrow, hyper-sense of survival of Iran is written in the collective consciousness, then a lot of meditation is needed to counter-balance it. And an action needed to end/change/transform the regime?
Safety has little to do with police restrictions, barriers, walls, burkas. Black-clad, almost shapeless forms hide the full spectrum of emotions, potentials, possibilities.
Happy to cut off an old pair of – for this summer. Because I can. In Iran, women cannot.
The comic book Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi has been recently translated into Slovak. The black-and-white film based on it once got into my soul in a different cinema club in a different town.
A story from Delirium, not only: http://www.writingbrussels.com