What's Going On

I do not have much time to spare, but as is often the case, I keep adding things to my agenda.

Firstly, I have begun working for Zoo Digital, translating and subtitling film and television. It is interesting work, although the quality of viewing is motley. To say the least.

Secondly, I have moved into a big house which requires gardening skills (which I'm trying to acquire) and a lot more time for tidying and so forth. Good thing is I now have a proper working space in the cellar.

Thirdly, I now have a producer interested in two of my film projects and I'm trying to work closely with him in procuring funds for research and script development.

And lastly, I have begun working on a book of photographs...

As far as the PhD goes, I'm getting closer and closer to solemnly saying, 'Fuck Academia'. 

Who Knows Where the Time Goes?

So what to do in limbo? What to do with all this new-found time? An excellent Dante-esque question! I have been trying to work more with my photography and design through the web-based company Redbubble. You know, one of these companies that offer independent artists an opportunity to sell their designs without having to deal with taxes, printing, shipping et cetera. It is a rather good deal, if you ask me.

Click the button above to have a look. I will keep adding ideas, some thought through, others not. Like everything else, it is a stream-of-conciousness sort of thing.

Apart from selected photographic prints, there are textual matters. Most sardonic, or ironic, or parodical. Most negative, albeit with a humorous twinkle. Such as:

Or this one, if you are feeling a bit more risqué... 

No Time Like the Present (Blog)

This blog started out as a PhD blog.

At the moment, I will just call it a 'blog'.

Since July, 2016, I have been on what one might call an 'academic hiatus'. Being a doctorate candidate in London, while living and teaching part-time in Sweden, and being a parent, finally took its toll on me. I felt, in lieu of a better word, homeless. I had a home, but I rarely felt present; I had a home institution, but I was rarely there; and I had a part-time job teaching, but my mind was not really there.

Time off and just part-time work has enabled me to recuperate and given me new strength. Unfortunately (mostly in regard to my future CV), I do not think I will be able to return to King's College London, what used to be my school, and therefore I have begun new PhD candidate applications, much much closer to home.

So in other words, this blog post is written from the place which is known as in limbo. At my age, I am supposed to be all orderly and have most things figured out. But I have always been a seeker, an adventurer of sorts, and a small part of me enjoys this uncertainty. 

My wish is however, as always, to move into a way of life where my zest for writing and research can somehow be combined with my ever-growing love of photography.

David

No Rest For the PhD Students

Everywhere I go, I am reminded of the work ahead of me.

At the Jönköping museum I noticed this painting, hanging, despite its size, somewhat hidden.

It is called Utflykt i det gröna (The Luncheon on the Grass), 1972, by Swedish artist Gerhard Nordström (b. 1925). From the suite “Sommaren 1970” (”Summer, 1970"), oil on masonite, 190 x 435 cm.

It is reminiscent of Le Déjeuner sur l'herbe (The Luncheon on the Grass) by Édouard Manet from 1862/1863. To the left of the frame the artist has included victims from the My Lai massacre, something he said he could not leave out of the idyllic scene after hearing about it, and seeing the photographs.

The painting, and its peripheral place in the museum, speaks volumes about memory and forgetting.

A Brief Interlude Between Literature Review and Methodology

Despite my being completely ignorant about all things practical, we (that is my wife and I) are trying to renovate the old house we usually stay in during the summer months.

The task at hand is new floors in the two rooms visible in the photo.

Although far removed from my customary duties – reading and writing about memory –, there are nevertheless distinct similarities which I enjoy immensely. For instance, digging into the ground and uncovering layer upon layer of memories. The remnants of a shoe, an old newspaper, pottery. Hardly archaeological in any real sense, it is however, in principle, not that dissimilar. And it is a welcome, albeit brief, interlude between literature review and methodology.

Field Notes

When I started this blog, I wanted it to be field notes. I wanted to publish thoughts and ideas publicly for others to read. And, more importantly, for me to read. Too often, one forgets to actually read one's own texts.

However, my first year as PhD student at King's College London has been extremely difficult. On one level, it has to do with balancing studies with family life and extracurricular work (teaching at a local high school) to put food on the table, at least once in a while. On another level, it has been my project itself which has been difficult to pin down, narrow down, and get down to. Luckily I feel that my last session with my wonderful! supervisors solved many of these problems, and once again I feel positive and excited. My work at the high school is almost over, and I'm looking forward to spending the summer with my family and my books. This fall, we have planned a three-month research trip to Australia.

Therefore I hope that this blog will become what I initially wanted: field notes and ideas, a brief update on my progress. Even though I have a distinct feeling that I am one of very few readers, I will try to update it from time to time in order to be able to go back and actually 'read myself'.

After a Brief Respite

Life has a way of letting you know you are not in charge, despite what you may think. Your level of ambition might not actually match what is humanly possible to achieve during the 24 hours we are given each day.

After a brief stint in the sickbed, I am finally able to work at full speed again.

Unfortunately, I missed my latest appointment in London, and have been forced to get a part-time job at a local secondary school (I teach language and literature). This has, on the other hand, given me a much-needed schedule which is otherwise quite difficult to maintain. I have a lot of work ahead of me, but I do feel positive.

At the moment I am busy writing my ”Discourse of Forgetting” pertaining to the Russell Tribunal having been relegated to the fringes of history (as well as the ever-present grant applications). This is, of course, an abstract phenomenon to begin with.

To further complicate the idea of forgetting, we must ask ourselves what was once known and/or, if only, briefly remembered, i.e. what could possibly be expected to be remembered today but is not? It is in this hypothetical discrepancy forgetting potentially looms; a perpetuated neglect of repetition and recontextualisation risks making a crevasse of this discrepancy as the distance between ‘then’ and ‘now’, an original memory and a seemingly lacking present, grows with it. Of course, many times the lacking present is not aware of its ’loss’; the forgetting discourse aims to manifest, as well as analyse, the loss of memory and the forces at work, both then and now. Adjacent to this line of reasoning are questions of why we should remember, or rather re-remember, that which was once forgotten.

 (Photo: Warsaw, 1946. Michael Nash AP)

(Photo: Warsaw, 1946. Michael Nash AP)