Peace Corps year 1


I feel I should provide some context for one of today’s uploads:

Shopboy and Osama

These photo albums are a pretty common sight in boutiques around Tamba, as are Osama shirts and stickers. There are also World Trade Center-themed items, such as American flag/WTC flip-flops and table lamps I’ve seen in Thiès and Dakar that have pictures of the Towers printed on translucent panels.

I’m not sure how to interpret them—do the Senegalese buy these things to make a statement of anti-American sentiment, or are they just cool because they’re people and places that are in the news? Americans aren’t particularly hated here; the country’s 94% Muslim, but the government is friendly with the US and has diplomatic relations with Israel. The only political discussions that seem to come up concern George Bush and how much he loves wars. That and the occasional “Who won the election? John Kerry?” question.

So I view these things as weird cultural artifacts, more entertaining than disturbing, and certainly not threatening.

4 replies on “osama”

hi clare,

i’m writing for a couple of reasons.
1. new blogs, i’ve stopped the livejournal one.
two new ones: (the main one) and an offshoot project:

2. i had a dream about you the other night. i’ve been really stressed lately and for some reason you were this incredibly peaceful and calming force. i don’t even remember if you spoke to me in the dream or what happened. just having a flash of seeing you, with this enormous sky behind you and there was something really special happening around me. and i felt really calm. and you looked really beautiful and alive. (not like.. as opposed to dead, more like.. just glowing.)

also. I’ve been meaning to write for a while, actually I’ve been meaning to send you an ACTUAL letter for a while, because that seemed more appropriate… but it never seems to happen. but I just want to tell you that I’m in awe right now of your life. of your heart and spirit. of where and who you are.

I’m proud to know you. I read your blog and look at the pictures and keep up with it. I’ve never stopped reading it, and I just thought you should know that and that I still think of you often and smile.

take care.

Bonnie –

Fantastic to hear from you…

1. The new blog looks pretty swanky. Your link over there on the right has been updated.

2. Yay for invading your subconscious in a good way… If the sky was Senegalese, there weren’t any clouds but there was a really hot wind. And I may have been asleep instead of calm 😉

um… i’m scared. i feel like the first time i commented on your blog in ages opened up some kind of portal to spam hell!

what happened??!!!???

i promise not to post ever again, clare, i’m sorry!

heh, don’t worry, just takes a few minutes to delete them. i won’t hold you personally responsible for the evils of the internet. that’s reserved for seth 😉

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