Tag Archives: language

Graffiti in the West Bank


The recent completion of the spraying of an essay by Farid Esack, professor and anti-apartheid activist, onto the West Bank barrier is a strong example of the power of visual art to become a tool of resistance. Of course, this isn’t the first wall to be turned into a canvas, the Berlin Wall being just one example. In Palestine, local taggers Faris Arouri, Yousef Nijim, and Raji Najamare are funded through the Dutch organization Send a Message and for 30 they will spray a work of your choice onto the wall. Esack’s essay is their largest feat yet. At 1,998 words long, the piece consumed 500 cans of spray paint and 300 cans of white paint. Yet it occupied a mere mile of the 463 mile-long barrier. Esack writes:

Arriving in your land, the land of Palestine, the sense of deja vu is inescapable. I am struck by the similarities. In some ways, all of us are the children of our histories. Yet, we may also choose to be struck by the stories of others. Perhaps this ability is what is called morality. We cannot always act upon what we see but we always have the freedom to see and to be moved.

The Lost Art of Reading Aloud

Reading from Moliere

Sunday morning reading the New York Times. I read this one aloud:

Some Thoughts on the Lost Art of Reading Aloud by Verlyn Klinkenborg

“Reading aloud recaptures the physicality of words. To read with your lungs and diaphragm, with your tongue and lips, is very different than reading with your eyes alone. The language becomes a part of the body, which is why there is always a curious tenderness, almost an erotic quality, in those 18th- and 19th-century literary scenes where a book is being read aloud in mixed company. The words are not mere words. They are the breath and mind, perhaps even the soul, of the person who is reading.”