Landscapes of Memory I

Charlene journal 6 Comments

Nordjylland, Danmark A year ago, I published the first of a little series over at the Kage Collective, made during my first visit to the area that Flemming calls home (where his father still lives). He’s lived outside of northern Jutland longer than he’s lived in it, but still identifies strongly with the place. He belongs to the land of his birth as much as I don’t belong to mine. …

Radio silence

Charlene journal 21 Comments

I’ve been blogging since 1999, when Blogspot was all the rage. Self publishing was a revelation, as was the ability to connect with people I would have otherwise never encountered. Once I started blogging, I couldn’t stop. Writing for the public, even if that public was three people, was my first taste of creative production, this thing we call “getting your work out there.” …

On resonance

Charlene journal 6 Comments

The other day I found Red Bull’s Singapore Seven series – a set of interviews with local movers and shakers about how they got to where they are, and what it is that keeps them going. I went through all 7 of them, back to back. Rapt for once: a non-standard response to internet video, which is usually accompanied by all the …

The High Road

Charlene journal 4 Comments

Singapore, December 2015 I haven’t lived in Singapore since 1999, but have spent a significant amount of time there in the last 3 years. It’s a topsy turvy process, confronting the strangeness of the superficially familiar. It’s easy for me to say “I’m Singaporean” everywhere, except in Singapore, because it’s there that the phrase makes no sense.

Street hawker

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I’ve never seen street hawkers in Singapore, where I grew up. By the time I was old enough to actively think about my surroundings, they were gone, relocated to ubiquitous hawker centers found all over the island. Scenes like this never fail to make me think of home though. Not the sense of place, but situation. A communal meal with my family in Kuala Lumpur or Malacca, where …

A night at the opera

Charlene journal 2 Comments

I came across a beautiful set of portraits that Chia Aik Beng made of the Teochew Opera troupe, Lao Sai Tao Yuan recently. I have returned to this series a number of times, compelled by the intimacy of his portraits, and this facet of Singapore I’ve had no contact with. Then chance stepped in. After some hours wandering around the Ramadan bazaar in Geyland Serai the other night, Flemming and I found ourselves in …

Time and tide, Tangier

Charlene journal 6 Comments

September 2013 In Switzerland, they have watches. In Morocco, we have time. They, and by extension, we, had time in Morocco. This is a place that where frequent periods of lengthy rumination have intrinsic value. The bustle, while ever present, never intrudes. There is time to read and write and sit and stare, watch the world go by, chat with a …