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raios  

 

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Photo by João Manso.

 

The Maasai women… 

by Miguel-Manso

 

The Maasai women. The Libreville fruit market. The grasslands of Burundi, and the long antlers, raised up, sluggish, bleached from the heat. Such names that are broad and black, names that are enormous. A gorilla is sitting in the Congo and so too is a poet, here, somewhere in Europe. Both of them weaving in their own inaudible language a kind of dirge, punctuated with sighs. In high and verdant lands, on remote plateaus, in arid savannas stripped bare, in dormant conic volcanoes, along dried-up riverbeds, in the hollow ochre of termitaria, inside the termitaria, outside the termitaria, enveloping the yellow pelt of the lioness, in the sad crusts of sleep in the sad eyes of the scant elephant, in the outskirts of Merca, and in the outline of animal flocks, seen from the sky in Djibouti (these the nomads of the highest rank) – through all these things blows a fictitious dreamt-up fossil wind, cleaving everything open and exposing it. Like in the echoes from tribes, and bonfires through the night. Like the quadrupedal beating of a rhinocerine heart, sleeping on the grass in the National Park. But equally like the furtive, covert, greedy heart of a human trophy-hunter. Like the red pigment the Samburu – the butterfly people – use to smother their bodies. And like how, someplace far away, they eat sorghum and millet, grains that ripen in the autumn. Or like the muddled fumes rising from large human settlements. But, most of all, like the Sisyphean resolve with which the beetle nudges forward his ball of dung, and with which I, likewise, bear these words onward.

 

Miguel-Manso 

translated by Thomas Dervan. 

A Flower Amid the Rubble is the first Writing Working Unit carried out under the initiative Mode Diaries. It is a self-imposed written and visual exercise by Miguel-Manso, poet, and João Manso, filmmaker, in which they intend to produce, separately and during the course of a year, a joint collection of morning and everyday compositions in text and image that follow the same ritual regularly published on Instagram.

 

Miguel-Manso is a poet. Published since 2008, his work is included in the portfolio of several publishers and appeared in a significant number of anthologies and literary magazines. João Manso has worked as a director, assistant director and video editor since 2007, and his work has been shown at national and international film festivals. 

 

Based on diary-keeping as a form of writing, the Mode Diaries initiative creates a field of interpretative potentialities within the context of maat Mode 2020, a public, experimental and participatory exhibition and activity programme under the motto “Prototyping the museum”. This is the scope that justifies and enables the twisting of the meaning commonly attributed to the term “diary” by transforming what’s individualised into collective, private into public, singular into plural, etc.