As an introduction to my retrospective of the year 2011 in photos, I would like to speak of Gwen Bell, one of the authors that I discovered in 2011, who had a big impact on the way I write, take photos, interact on the web or even in real life. She has a very atypical approach to blogging, bringing in also her experience as yoga teacher. For once, she blank slated her very successful blog (meaning that she deleted the archive and started again from zero; now you can only read her by subscribing to her website by email) and she took a digital sabbatical (no facebook, no chatting, no reading this and that on the internet etc) of 6 months (can you imagine that?!). The result of this is a very personal and thought provoking book – Digital Warriorship – asking many uneasy questions and – as she puts it “Digital Warriorship shows a way to cultivate presence so that we may be align within ourselves and discerning in our interactions with the world”.
Why I am speaking of this? One of the questions she asks is “Who are we without the archive? (page 21). For me this is a scary thought, that I might one day loose all my emails or my house would burn and all the memories would be gone. The idea that I might loose all these traces of my life terrifies me.
This makes me think what would we be without photos? When I was looking in the archive, choosing the photos for this post, I realized that I wouldn’t have known what I did on the 29th of January 2011, for example. When I looked at the photo I took that day in the Ardennes, a lot of memories related to it came back, that otherwise would slowly drown into confusion or oblivion. I feel the same when I meet with people I’ve known for many years.
I leave you pondering on these questions, just as I do, and here follow the photos.
I went to Ardennes (yes, this is what I was doing on the 29th of January 2011, strolling in this beautiful forest in the South of Belgium)
And I was also breathless at the sights in Ronda
In April I went to Romania and made a short trip to Herculane, one of my favorite places ever (that’s why it gets two photos in my story 🙂
In May I went to London, but I didn’t take my camera with me, so there are no photos to document it. But then In June I went to Lisbon. Listened to fado and afro beats, talked to a lot of foreigners staying in the hostel, indulged in eating too much pasteis, got sunburnt while surfing for the first time in my life (bloody difficult, but I loved it!)
I revisited Prague and Cesky Krumlov and I became very nostalgic about the year I spent in Czech Republic back in 2007. I even remembered many Czech words and the wonderful taste of the Starobrno beer 🙂
I started a great online course – Unravelling: Ways of seeing myself – that made me turn my camera on myself (something I rarely do) and it was a great opportunity for introspection, writing and creative outbursts.
See you in 2012 and…thanks for baring with me 🙂
Question: How was 2011 for you?