Photographs by Diab Alkarssifi
December in London – a month filled with celebrations, obligations, delights, and … emotions. For many Londoners, rich or poor, English or foreign, employed or unemployed, young or old, especially for those who feel vulnerable, it is the time when they might feel tested or would rather withdraw.
Self-reflection is a part of seasonal transformation. This transformation, prompted not only by contemporary religious calendars, but also more ancient and rational planetary movements, does affect every single one of us. As we rush around to get all those important things done before the end of a year, to meet all the people who we must see, to write to those who are away, to find gifts, to find food etc, we change…
In the familiar setting of yet another Christmas time, amongst the glimmering lights, sale signs and gift wrapped trimmings, we might think of years gone by. Yes, yet another year has gone, and here you are – rushing, growing, changing. To wander, to do what we want, to find balance, and to survive – from time to time – we all need to take ourselves out for a trip out (not an important trip, not a costly one, just a slightly out-of-our-normal-routine walk) to look around, to look up, to look inside.
Last Tuesday, a couple o participants of the Creative Space and myself – did just that. We jumped on a bus, looked at some art (contemporary and old), had some cakes, drunk coffee and talked and then made some art.
This might not sound news worthy in a grand scheme of things happening in the world, although when it comes to planning new healthy routines and New Year changes, I am happy to report, for those living at Arlington and working with the Creative Space – there will be more trips like that.
Someone once said to me: “Why would a homeless person need art in his life?” I repeated this question to one of my workshop’s participants. His answer was: ” I want to learn, I want to see how people who draw, sculpt, photograph, film, or paint see another life. That’s me, but it is true that many people who live in Arlington just eat, drink, sleep, and watch some TV. Still, what kind of a person would ask a question like that???”