Sunday, 18 August 2013

The Outlandish Traveller Guide: Snapshots of the Least Remarkable Landmarks. (Part two)


There is nothing outlandish in these pictures; actually, most of them are the very usual pictures you will find on travel blogs, even less exciting than many other articles written by others. 

If there’s anything or anyone out-landish here, that will be me, the person who took the pictures, in the sense of being a foreigner, a non-native witness of the scene.

You may recognize a few landmarks (like the Golden Gate Bridge, or Jamaa Lefna) but every time, something in them is undermined that you will not be able to recognize them without reading the caption. Sometimes its the wholeness of the scene, sometimes the angle from which the picture was taken.

There are people, animals, signs, but really, it’s all about places. All elements here are landmarks, but they are the least remarkable landmarks, so unexceptional that they seize to be landmarks at all.

All pictures were taken by my own camera, (sometimes a mobile phone). Very few of them were taken by other people, but all of them, without exception, were taken using my own devices.

Part 2: Animals:

How can those terrified vague fingers push
The feathered glory from her loosening thighs?
And how can body, laid in that white rush,
But feel the strange heart beating where it lies?

W.B. Yeats

The lines above, taken from Yeats' "Leda and the Swan", describe the lovemaking (or rape) scene between Leda, one of the beauties of Greek mythology, and a swan, which happens to be no one other than the infamous Zeus, the greatest seducer and rapist mythology has ever known. 

Mythology tells us Zeus, who is unable to conduct love affairs of equals and who happens to have a taste for women that he should not get involved with, will sometimes approach his victims after shapeshifting into an animal. 

The result of the union will be Helen of Troy, and maybe it is not a coincidence Zeus chooses to transform himself into a swan.  

Though the animal kingdom is often depicted as inferior to our own world, it has not always been like that. It interferes and crosses ways with the human world in every imaginable way. Art, mythology, literature, philosophy and a walk down the street will tell us so.

Squirrel in the grass. Syracuse, April 213.

A squirrel having a conversation with Nijmeh Ali. Niagara, May 2013.

Lonely seagull. San Francisco, March 2011.

Turtle on a rooftop. Marrakech, July 2012.

Seagull. San Francisco, March 2012.

Black bird. Houston, April 2011.

Big snake (anaconda?) Houston Aquarium, April 2011.

You cannot actually see it very well, but this is a white tiger. And a real one. Houston aquarium, April 2011.

Panthers. Washington DC zoo, March, 2011.

Proud flamingos. Washington DC zoo, March 2011.

Cat on a doorstep. Rabat, March 2009

click here to see part 1

1 comment:

  1. I enjoyed reading this ^_^
    I love the the bend of literature and mythology !
    Gonna follow you :D Youre invited to check my blog too and follow if you want :'3