New Work

Sifting Through The Memory Banks pt.1...

Day 1 of Total Recall…

3/14/10

Arrival. 

Spent the first 45 minutes in Customs talking with a native who was living in LA, we talked about some of the spots I had been to during the weeklong trip I had taken back in January. Turns out the guy is a pharmacist, so we joked that if I got sick here in Managua I’d know someone who has the good drugs to take care of me. 

We finally grabbed our bags and loaded up the school bus type van, where we were helped by two children, very disheveled looking; one who was either high on drugs or deaf because he was not very responsive to instructions even in Spanish. Debbie ran into a college student named Colin, who was on vacation from school (Harvard… ahem..) he was supposed to meet up with a group of other students but none of them made it. So Debbie offered him to join our group and spend the night with us, he was incredibly grateful. Once we were all packed and ready we drove off into the hot muggy Managua night…

The original hostel we were going to be staying at was at capacity so we ended up just down the road. It was really a very nice place, lush with foliage, basic not luxurious but still very nice. We had our own private guest houses, so Gabe, Corey, Colin and I grabbed a house. 

Gabe, Corey, Colin and I went for a water run because the water wasn’t safe to drink. 

The smells remind me of India, the burning garbage, the clinging sweaty steel and blood mixture that hugs your nostrils…

We walked down the Pan-American Highway for about 10 minutes and winded our way up a few back-roads and found our way to the other hostel named Cairo. We met up with a woman named Elena, who it turns out is a friend of Debbie’s who helps as a liaison of sorts in Managua for some of the programs that Debbie is involved in. She was actually the woman who was arranging us to stay there that night, had there not been 100 college students from Manchester, MA in the house…  

She was kind enough to give us a 5 gallon drum of water and a lift back to our hostel in the back of her pickup truck. 

I was foolish and decided to leave my camera back at the hostel, neglecting to bring my camera with me I can take advantage of what is really one of the main focuses of my trip, which is learning how to become a better story teller both with and without the camera. Sometimes its very neccary to put the camera away as I have found, because what ends up happening is that I try to fit the world into the viewfinder, instead of opening to the larger experience of the world and everything that is presently happening. Sometimes I hide behind the camera because it takes the force of the emotional impact in a given situation, it may give me the pause to be able to rationalize or step out of my own experience, but this can also be detrimental to the point of covering a story or reporting on an event. How can I be authentically embodied, present and able to tell a story from my own perspective as well as in relationship with the larger experience of those similarly living in the environment and moment and fit these perspectives into the larger picture? No pun intended. How can I without my camera record the images I see with my mind? I can write out the shots I see to inspire me in the future…

Shot:

Corey, Gabe and Colin - Wind in faces, as the dark fuchsia sky encroaches in the background and is shattered by the glare of streaking streetlights.

The Journey has just begun. Tomorrow the work begins. 

Scott KaplanComment