Chirac’s Project

This past week I went to the new museum for “primitive” art, Quai Branly, which just opened and has been called Chirac’s project. Interesting that he should go on about “dialogue” accross cultures while immigrants are being treated so badly in France and while legislation has been passed that students without papers in schools can be deported. I thought the special exhibtion of Chiwara masks spoke to this contradiction. The way they were displayed silhouetted them against a window through which you could view the Paris skyline. I think this is a metaphor for the treatment of the “other” in a northern/western postcolonial nation- separate, an object of interest, curiosity, desire and maybe study, part of the society, but only in specific ways which are defined by the majority, relegated to their own separate places, objects to admire but not see as participants in a dialogue, and still a bit mysterious, weird and strange. Wait, sounds a lot like colonial nations.

Right now cries of “Allez les bleues!” ring out from everywhere. There is a quiet tension building up for the match this evening. Some kids have proposed a huge critical mass style bike ride through Paris while the streets are empty due to everyone watching the game. I will be watching though and not riding as I am spending the weekend at my sister’s house 60 km outside of Paris.

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