|Photograph Republic of South Africa|
Show Me Your Life. Umthombo, South Africa
Show Me Your Life
The cameras have arrived in South Africa! Yes! We are looking forward to doing this. I think the guys here in the States are going to learn a lot from this collaborative effort. And it will be fun. About right now, they would love to be anywhere near a surfboard. — tim
Umthombo was founded by Tom Hewitt, MBE
This past week, the Show Me Your Life Cinematheque group that is in the States has been dealing with the issue of how can we put together a video that speaks not just to either vulnerability, or even neglect, or AIDS and homelessness, but to how these issues are connected in real subtle ways to people who have preexisting disabilities.
How those disabilities can be nuanced in ways that outsiders do not necessarily see or understand; how all of that can lead someone off the edge into living rough where homelessness begins to cease being anything like an adventure, but is more like a looming way of life.
With any luck, we will be able to finish shooting some connecting the dots clips and the editing tomorrow.
They have called this video: THESE CARDS OURSELVES.
Visually, the challenge is to take overt images of the metaphors of destruction and disintegration and suggest that when these icons become internalized what we see in people are their externalized conditions — such as their diseases — versus their humanity.
So far, I do not think anyone in the video has even said the words: AIDS. But the idea of it is there embedded in the idea of the abandonment they see as such a part and parcel of Western culture.
I have had very little to do with this video. It’s their baby. They are loving the Kodak PlaySport.
We are trying not to make any sort of claim that we have the answers to these social issues. But we are at the same time saying that until you can wrap your head around the way people see themselves, you’ll never in a million years begin the process of creating any kind of a culture where tolerance becomes anything other than an idea. To turn it into a reality for the disabled and the homeless, we have to see beyond the disability or the disease into the inherent worth individuals bring to the cultures and sub-cultures they live in that exists beyond the limited definitions of who has a home and who is normal and who is well.
To that end, we reach into our camera and editing bag of tricks and we pull up the music of Eminem and urban scenes of extraordinary neglect, suggesting the crumbling of society itself, and we transpose those images — juxtaposed against the slow way one particular kid who lives on the street verbally begins to disintegrate right before our eyes (to my mind he seems to exhibit Turrets syndrome) into the background of other homeless kids on the street talking about the way they survive.
So it’s always a collage of images overlapping and interacting that symbolize the telling of the stories of our lives.
These Cards Ourselves (Eminem)
Lately, I’ve been hard to reach
I’ve been too long on my own
Everybody has a private world where they can be alone
Are you calling me
Are you trying to get through
Are you reaching out for me, like I’m reaching out for you?
I’m just so fuckin’ depressed, I just can seem to get out this slump
If I could just get over this hump
But I need something to pull me out this dump,
I took my bruises, took my lumps
Fell down and I got right back up
But I need that spark to get psyched back up
In order for me to pick the mic back up
I don’t know how or why or when I ended up in this position I’m in
I’m starting to feel distant again
So I decided just to pick this pen
Up and try to make an attempt to vent
But I just can’t admit
Or come to grips with the fact that I may be done with rap
I need a new outlet, I know some shit’s so hard to swallow
And I just can’t sit back and wallow
In my own sorrow
But I know one fact I’ll be one tough act to follow
One tough act to follow
I’ll be one tough act to follow
Here today, gone tomorrow
But you have to walk a thousand miles
In my shoes, just to see
What it’s like, to be me
I’ll be you, let’s trade shoes
Just to see what it’d be like to
Feel your pain, you feel mine
Go inside each other’s mind
Just to see what we find
Look at shit through each other’s eyes
But don’t let ‘em say you ain’t beautiful, oh
They can all get fucked.
Just stay true to you
So don’t let ‘em say you ain’t beautiful
Oh, they can all get fucked.
Just stay true to you
I think I’m starting to lose my sense of humor
Everything is so tense and gloom
I almost feel like I gotta check the temperature in the room
Just as soon as I walk in
It’s like all eyes on me
So I try to avoid any eye contact
‘cause if I do that then it opens a door for conversation
Like I want that… I’m not looking for extra attention
I just want to be just like you
Blend in with the rest of the room
Maybe just point me to the closest restroom
I don’t need no fucking man servant
Trying to follow me around and wipe my ass
Laugh at every single joke I crack
And half of them ain’t even funny like
“Ah, Marshall, you’re so funny man, you should be a comedian, god damn”
Unfortunately I am, but I just hide behind the tears of a clown
So why don’t you all sit down?
Listen to the tale I’m about to tell
Hell, we don’t gotta trade our shoes
And you ain’t gotta walk no thousand miles
But don’t let ‘em say you ain’t beautiful
Oh They can all get fucked.
Just stay true to you so
Don’t let ‘em say you ain’t beautiful
Oh They can all get fucked. Just stay true to you so
Nobody asked for life to deal us
With these bullshit hands we’re dealt
We have to take these cards ourselves
And flip them, don’t expect no help
Now I could have either just
Sat on my ass and pissed and moaned
Or take this situation in which I’m placed in
And get up and get my own
I was never the type of kid
To wait by the door and pack his bags
Who sat on the porch and hoped and prayed
For a dad to show up who never did
I just wanted to fit in
At every single place
Every school I went
I dreamed of being that cool kid
Even if it meant acting stupid
Aunt Edna always told me keep makin’ that face it’ll get stuck like that
Meanwhile I’m just standin’ there
Holdin’ my tongue tryna talk like this
‘Til I stuck my tongue on that frozen stop sign poll at 8 years old
I learned my lesson then cause I wasn’t tryna impress my friends no mo’
But I already told you my whole life story
Not just based on my description
‘cause where you see it from where you’re sitting
Is probably 110% different
I guess we would have to walk a mile
In each other’s shoes, at least
What size you wear? I wear tens
Let’s see if you can fit your feet
Lately I’ve been hard to reach, I’ve been too long on my own
Everybody has a private world where they can be alone…
So are you calling me, are you trying to get through, oh?
Are you reaching out for me, I’m reaching out for you?
So oh oh
Yea… To my babies. Stay strong.
Daddy will be home soon
And to the rest of the world, god gave you the shoes
That fit you, so put ‘em on and wear ‘em
And be yourself, man, be proud of who you are
Even if it sounds corny,
Don’t ever let no one tell you, you ain’t beautiful