Project: Upon turning 50 years old on August 16, 2020, Dave Olson (me, hello) is posting a photo (or maybe photos) a day / per year – starting with 1970 with intent of chronicling existence through various primary evidence sourced from studio portraits, class photos, ID / passport photos, or occasionally other “casual/group/random” shots when the above don’t exist in my archive (note: not “artificial intelligence,” really me, pulled from shoeboxes, journals, wallets and whatnot – diligently scanned and dated via glasses and haircuts, lightly annotated).
On Remembrance Day, Nov. 11 2019, as there are no memorial cenotaphs in my home area of Okayama, i set out on a wander to find a calm place to reflect about war and whatnot.
Along the way, i documented a few slices of every day life, plus visited Okayama castle which was destroyed in WW2 by bombs and rebuilt in 1960-s. I ate lunch, dressed up in a cool outfit, wandered from the top to the bottom of the castle, checked out outbuildings and foundations… then walked to the library to find it closed so rode the bus home.
These images were captured along the way, with minor annotations added from time to time.
Coffee, castles and contemplation about all the victims of war… No Remembrance Day cenotaph here in Okayama (where its 11/11/1) so headed out to find a calm place￼ (and coffee) for remembering with my handcrafted poppy (imo white or red is appropriate).
Of course i remember the fallen – of “the Great War” and all other, and of course the wounded – these delicate humans, and those who followed after them, deserve all the assistance society can render.
I also remember￼ their mothers, their children, the folks who diligently toiled to provide, the resistance fighters thwarting plans & gathering intell at great risk, indeed the service horses and ponies… i think about the burned villages, destroyed cities, unfulfilled dreams, the opportunity cost of loss, the growing up too fast, the growing up not at all, mental afflictions, physical violence, undeserved.
I also acknowledge with contempt ￼the hubris of “Royals” who pushed unknown youth into the brink, the conceited generals, ￼the wealth grabbers, the power-hungry, the opportunists, the carpet baggers, those meaning to subjugate by redrawing borders, the liars to allies, the ulterior motives purveyors, the devious schemers… All this is on you.
The best respect we can give the fallen is peace, always and forever, peace.￼
11/11/1 11:11 from Okayama with respect
Arriving in India via Cochin (Kochi), Kerala, bound for an extended stay in an Ayurvedic clinic in Tripunitura, i snapped impressions along the way, capturing the washes of colours and shapes of everyday life. Also a trek into Fort Kochi on Remembrance Day to pay respects at a cenotaph (documented in a B&W photo essay and a Remembrance day podcast and a peace ramble video)
Snapped with a Lomo La Sardina (sardine can) camera with expired 35mm film, presented “as-is” with no edits and limited context, for your amusement and my memory.
This recent #remembranceday, I released another in my irregular but extended series called “white poppies for remembrance” in the “Postcards from Gravelly Beach” #podcast series.
From an olden church and (otherwise vacant) cenotaph at Fort Cochin, Kerala, India, Dave O – acknowledging an extended medical and death related hiatus – discusses the local history of colonization by Portuguese explorers, Dutch traders, then British Raj in the context of the colonization leading to exploitation, conscription and war with no meaning to local populace.
Plus the meaning of reparations and the conflict of peaceful resistance – evidenced my Mahatma Gandhi beach a stone’s throw away – contrasted with continued wars throughout the world, shadowed by disposable tourism, economic and racial caste systems.
Recorded Nov. 11, 2016, Released 11:11 Nov. 11, 2017
Gather Round for Remembrance Day with Vasco’s Bones – Postcard #63 (37:11, .mp3, 192k, 58MB, stereo)
Also of note:
Vasco da Gama’s bones, black knee-high socks, French generational losses, siege of Leningrad, Churchill’s mishaps, lost human potential of engineers, poets and lovers, MacArthur’s folly, Australia’s vulnerability, the emergence of regions over nation-states, Brexit for British Columbia + Cascadia, Catalonia and Scottish successions, work of raising a child, trappings of hubris, death by disease and guns, aggressive use of intelligence, forethought and diplomacy, and unfiltered view of sacrifice and life.
Cover art photo: By Dave Olson at Fort Cochin, taken by Lomo Sardine can camera with expired B&W film.
11:11, 11/11, in Cochin, India, Dave – wearing a handmade poppy on Mahatma Gandhi beach by Chinese fishing nets – riffs about sacrifices of soldiers, sailors, flyers, resistance fighters, parents. Plus discusses the importance of avoiding jingoism which leads to war and death and name-checks Henry David Thoreau, condemns greed, and encourages peace and diplomacy and compassion.
Visual observations on Remembrance Day in Fort Kochi / Cochin, Kerala, including: St. Francis Church (India’s first European church built in the 15th century by Catholic Portuguese and later re-consecrated by Protestant Dutch); a Cenoptah commemorating Armistice of “Great War” in 1918; and, an historic Dutch cemetery. Inside church is where remains of Portuguese explorer Vasco de Gamma were interred for several years before being repatriated by his son. Also captured are a nearby former armoury and parade ground, as well as Mahatma Gandhi Beach with myriad fishing boats and Chinese fishing nets. All of which i found to be contemplative metaphors for Remembrance Day.
Note: Snapped Lomo cork-covered, “sardine can” camera with expired b&w film (posted with very minor corrections).
A few snippets of South Australia including: Riding the historic “Cockle Train” to Victor Harbour, plus other historic train while drinking a porch beer, plus a commuter train from Outer Harbour, watching a cruise ship port, having porch beer, watching sand-moving equipment, and attending a Remembrance Day ceremony near Semaphore / Port Adelaide.