Adonis Diaries

Archive for July 14th, 2011

I am celebrating my final departure: I am experiencing death while alive!

Ha Sun is 62 of age and wishes to feel what happens when he is inserted in a coffin. Why wait for death? Let me experience death while I am still alive and kicking.

Ha Sun wore the traditional “death yellow garment”, lay down in the coffin, felt at peace.  He had invited friends and relatives to celebrate his burying procedure.  The lid of the gasket was shut: The eternal dark is closing in.  Ha Sun said: “I was very relieved that this ceremony was a fake one. There is a single line to crossing between life and death, but this line is terrifying”

Ha Sun was one of 70 participants willing to practice “Dying in good style”, organized by a local association in the Capital Seaoul in South Korea.  The sessions include writing farewell letters such as: “Get along among one another. Stop ego trips…”

Suicide rate has increased dramatically in Korea since the financial fiasco in 1997, and it is among the highest among the developed States.  Suicide is the number one cause of death in South Korea. Do you think such an experience is helpful when the time comes to cross the terrible line? Is this opportunity a good method for assessing life and healthy condition more seriously?

One female participant said after easing her way out of the closed gasket: “I will communicate much better with my husband and daughters.  No more hoarding of futile possessions.”

There are designers interested in clothing the dead persons: That is an excellent business venture.  The cloth is designed to correspond to the departed characters and personality, and not what the religion demand for the cloth to look like.  The design uses appropriate clothing materials that withstand deterioration…More importantly, how about designing for the terminally ill persons?

Indeed, “How about designing cloths for the terminally ill individuals”, who refuses to die stoically like the wretched animals, who consider their terminal illness period as an opportunity to getting engaged polically and socially. 

The dress code will be an open invitation to communicate with the terminally ill: “Hey, I am dying.  You will die too.  My disease is not contagious. You will also die of one of those many non-contagious diseases anytime soon.  Would you like to know “How I feel”?  How I am coping with the last days of my life among the living?  Don’t be afraid of the dying taboo:  See, I am literally diagnozed as dead, but I am alive and kicking.  I have something to communicate to you, and you need to know something while you are still upbeat and thinking that you are healthy and immune to decrepitude…”

Wearing code dresses of the terminally ill persons is not meant for the benefit of encouraging the healthy people to engage conversation with the dying people, but rather to give the terminally ill a grip on their conditions.  Countless dying persons have said on their deathbed:

“I am pretty sure I know nothing of life and the universe. How time fled so fast! I never imagined that I have been so ignorant and helpless in matters that count most.  I never took time to reflect on my condition and the living species conditions.  Never felt that I should be engaged socially and politically to easing the plights of mankind.  A few serious engagements in issues that count in human rights, dignity to living adequately, and taking seriously the UN indicators of human development would have given me a sense of departing at peace, of having done my share…”

Note: This article was inspired by two pieces in the Lebanese daily Al Nahar

Shantytown gone: And Movie pictures stay. 

Where is this Mafrouza shantytown in Egypt?

Shantytown Mafrouza, in Alexandria (Egypt), by the Greco-Roman necropolis, is now long gone.

Luckily, between 1999 and 2003, Emmanuelle Demoris spent two years filming the shantytown and the daily living of these poor families.  The movie director Jean Gruault decided to produce the long 5 movies, two hours and a half long each!

Initially, the project of Emmanuelle Demoris was to capture the relationship between the living and the dead, and stumbled of the shantytown Mafrouza: How practical and handy for the subject.

Like the current reality TV series, the inhabitants in Mafrouza got used to the filming every day.  “She is filming you girl.  Is that why you are turning your back?” would say a woman.

The five long movies showed the inundations, wedding ceremonies, separations, baking of daily bread under the rain, amorous dates, daily routine of a shop, tentative of taking over a mosque by Moslem fundamentalists, resistance, births,…

Non-entity people, brothers and sisters, who learned to conquer their fears facing the monsters of video equipment that were taking pictures of the real living conditions…

Typical Mafrouza people:  Current events of “Arab Spring” revolts have uncovered these typical Mafrouza people, many who were filmed and no longer exist, vanished from the reality of the living, “gone with the wind”, still existing in movies they have never taken seriously, another dimension to their daily living…

Note 1: Mafrouza in the Arabic language means a Real Estate that is subdivided. The inhabitants of Mafrouza must have known that their shantytown is going to be demolished by the oligarchy in order to build luxury hotels with view to the sea.

Note 2: This article was inspired by a piece published in the French weekly Le Nouvel Obsevateur and written by critic Pascal Merigau




July 2011

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