We live in an ever changing world. We can never stay in one place, because standing still is losing out to others that keep moving. We are losing if we are not winning.
This mentality is destroying the future. Our one planet is being exploited on a scale never before seen. We are genetically modifying plants, risking whole ecosystems. We are peeling layers of the earth, whole forests, to get to whatever resources lie underneath. Tar sands that help us fuel our cars that could have run on different energy if we’d been interested in researching alternatives. Bauxite to make aluminium to build weapons and cola cans, because we can’t be bothered to recycle.
But it’s not just the future we’re destroying. We are so focused on progress and profit that we won’t hesitate to destroy the past if a few bucks can be earned. Inner cities are neglected, left to degrade and are then sold to developers that bulldoze the whole thing and build luxury apartments for the few that can afford them. History and identity makes way for profit.
I just finished editing a video I shot on Saturday with the great singer-songwriter Rik van den Bosch. His message is so relevant, so strong, that I have decided to share the video here and now. It hasn’t been made public and I hope he will forgive me, but with Istanbul in the grips of massive riots because the government is out of sync with their people, I feel that this needs to be heard. They started out protesting against a public park being destroyed to build a shopping mall. Rik sings about his old neighbourhood being erased and the people having to relocate. We were standing in his old streets, looking at the boarded windows and graffiti. Him telling me about how his grandparents had met on that spot and about the old lady that used to… you get the idea. A street full of memories, waiting for the bulldozers.
Here is the first verse, and the video:
“I’m living on the ghost side of town
They’re turning everything upside down
They tear it down to the ground, when I’m not around
and the people they keep moving out, to the outskirts of town”