Fleeing from my countrymen I have now made it to Finland. Friends I didn’t know yesterday put up a few beds in clean rooms. From the loudspeaker I can hear the victory messages of the scum. I study the map of the continent with curiosity. High above in Lapland right up to the Arctic Ocean I can still see a small door.
Bertolt Brecht, Steffinische Sammlung, 1940, translated on arts in exile
A happy new year to all my readers – at least I do whole-heartedly hope that it will become a happy year. Albeit neither the preceding year nor the beginning of this new year give much hope…
The image above was taken in an illegal settlement near our accomodation in Harare, and the remnant of a Ionic pillar replica, but even more the orderliness of the footpath between the shacks I found memorable. The latter I take as a sign that the people living here, roughly 200 adults and 60 children, do want to work for a better future for them and do not sit (and drink and gamble, as the current German minister for development insinuated) and wait for foreign aid. But the Zimbabwean government seems to not care about those illegal dwellers at all – it is all too much constricted in fighting for the biggest shares of the remaining richnesses and political influence and seems not to care at all that it has run down the country right to the bottom – meanwhile it has more or less destroyed for example the system of public schools (see wikipedia). The children in this informal settlement in a suburb of Harare don’t see any teacher, so they will have to work as unskilled day labourers as their parents did.
And whoever could blame someone living under such circumstances for taking any opportunity to leave such a country and try to find any other place to live in peace and hopefully find a better future for their kids.