Today I was planning to start talking about my photography library, not that is very vast but I’m proud of it and it’s my source of inspiration plus I’m not reading too much lately…
Instead I though it was the perfect day (week) to talk about this book, because I’ve been thinking about it lately and because of our (Marta’s, Bea’s and mine) adventure this week (which I’ll talk about later)
The Lonely londoners (written by Sam Selvon) was one of my favourite books when I was studying in the University. It caught my attention first because I had a little tiny worrying obsession with that city (don’t worry, I’m cured now) and afterwards because it draw the profile of what later on I’m very interested in: the individual, the relation of the individual with the other, the acceptance and the struggle to be who you want to be or who you really are. And this book is the struggle of Moses and Galahad, two boys from Trinidad who go to their motherland to make a living the first half of the 20th Cenury. But nothing is like what they thought it’d be, they are but two boys from Trinidad and like Moses says
“Nobody in London does really accept you. They tolerate you, yes, but you can’t go in their house and eat or sit down and talk”
The lonely londoners does not only apply to them… walking the streets lonely, with no real friends or people; but also to the real londoners, London people watching from inside, through their windows, keeping themselves isolated from the outside, with windows, manners… etc.
“The changing of the seasons, the cold slicing winds, the falling leaves, sunlight on green grass, snow on the land, London particular. Oh what it is and where it is and why it is, no one knows, but to have said: “I walked on Waterloo Bridge,” “I rendezvoused at Charing Cross,” “Piccadilly Circus is my playground,” to say these things, to have lived these things, to have lived in the great city of London, centre of the world. To one day lean against the wind walking up the Bayswater Road (destination unknown), to see the leaves swirl and dance and spin on the pavement (sight unseeing), to write a casual letter home beginning: “Last night in Trafalgar Square…”
What is it that a city have, that any place in the world have, that you get so much to like it you wouldn’t leave it for anywhere else?”
What each place means to you depends on who you are there, what’s the person you build in that place. It’s not only a matter of “place”… each city is a city with its walls and people… people’s character may help to help you feel more or less comfortable or even to understand some parts of you. Each place will be a memory and a role.
I had the chance to see London again, and it was pretty different to the one that 19 year old girl lived in. I have my memories and they are different to the streets I walked these days.
It’s been an interesting experience, going to London for only 16 hours (which is silly because I once went for only 9 hours when I was living in Bristol!) from Barcelona. Meeting Marta and sharing those happy moments with her… that was the best part of the whole trip and I really enjoy when I look at the person next to me and I see her/him enjoying, being truly happy.
(the only photograph from that day, taken with my mobile)
ps. Forgot to say… We named the project after this book, I remembered it and thought it was very easily applied to a photographic perspective. You can read more in this question we received.