Sunday, September 21

Uganda: The Butcher Shop

Mityana, Uganda, a couple of weeks ago on August 9, 2014… Here's a butcher shop at mid-day on Saturday. There's something compelling about the grit… the texture… the moody aura of wispy, shimmery, hues.

The men cut hunks to order… wrapped them in banana leaves… Notice, no scales! And their body language… They're friends laughing with buddies. Social shopping. Was this a painting? Did my brushes better shape and suck at this feeling? Hmmmm…
Click on this version.
Sometimes an image is floaty, misty… You know? Poetry's always ambiguous, right? It's the nature of a poem to poke tack-clear meaning into your feelings. So do paintings, particularly oils. But pull out a tool from your logical toolkit and you just can't crack into the things. 

Over the next while, I'm going to try to tell you feelings about Uganda. We visited there between August 7-14th. People come back from Africa with photo cards crammed full of stereotypes. You know, the dancing, barefooted, scar-faced warriors in bones, furs, and piercings. Or bare-breasted, neon-skirted women, snowcapped mountains, smirking terrorists, fat-bellied, fly-eyed, starving infants… Odd foliage, rainbow birds, screeching monkeys, you know, those exotic muscles packaged inside of tough hides and pelts. Man-eaters. And yeah, those are African things. But...

Those aren't what I found either in Ugandan cities, or deep in the equatorial countryside… WHERE THERE IS NO JUNGLE! Jungles are all gone in most of this country. Nope. This butcher shop's what's there. These guys are probably cutting up goat or cows, not some sort of lion, hippo, snake, or monkey. They mostly eat what we eat coated with local spices surrounded by native veggies. 

And they dress like these men. They mostly speak the same English like once-British colonialists do all over the world, including here in the states. Lots, perhaps a majority, of adults carry cell phones, many smart phones. They watch American movies, TV, listen to American music, and read sensational tabloids. 

Me? I came back with pieces of feelings… This butcher shop… It's one. Maybe it ought to be a painting like this second image? Dunno. You think? Maybe Africa is better communicated with poems and brushes. I'm going to see as this series rolls out. 


Cedric Canard said...

I am fascinated that you went to Uganda. It is not a common destination for most people. I like the image. The story it tells is certainly astute and pertinent. Stimulating even. There is no mistaking that these are real people going about their daily lives. I can't help you with which rendition serves the delivery of the message best. Both do so equally well and neither adds or loses something on the other. Perhaps the subject matter over-powers the medium in this case.
I'm looking forward to seeing more images from your trip and reading about your experiences.

Ted said...

The frustration of technology is that it gives us so many paths… And you can choose many of them. Leaving us with "finished" works but no easy decision. Odd to whine about a time of plenty, eh?

Uganda, like Everest was there. You know what I mean?