Friday, May 6, 2016

I forgot who I am

I forgot who I am. Over and over for the past couple of years. I have become better at it. It has done me good. It has shown me many places and faces that mirrored my purest essence and echoed tunes of my yearnings. Suddenly aware of my attachement, I sold my bag of emotions to the first buyer at a vanity store. Henceforth, my only worry shall be waking up again!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

A letter of peace

You are going to hate me for writing this but my jet lag has kept me up and gave me a taste of some of the nauseating posts and ignorant comments that the recent horrible events have rippled into my facebook feeds. Forgive me for puking a couple of extra thoughts into that disgusting pool of immature and vain finger-pointing that will get us nowhere.
To my friends in Paris, France, and the Western world, I send you my condolences and pray for your peace. You are free to mourn your people as you please, but comparing peoples' lives and tagging them with values as if some mattered more than others, is none of our business and it won't help us attain peace. Be kind to one another and pray for those who suffer today for you never know when this massive complex and unpredictable machinery we live in will turn against you one day and you will be in need of those who are safe and in position of helping you. Do not rush into blaming your government(s) for what happened and for taking the decisions they took for you have no idea what an alternative government you idealise would have done instead. On the contrary, be grateful for all the days of peace we have enjoyed until last week and thank the people putting their lives on the line to protect you. The safety we once knew in Paris has been a valuable commodity, but we had it at a certain price. If you and everyone were to be stopped and searched every hour at every public place or station then you might feel secure but not at peace. That would be ridiculous.
To my friends in Beirut, Lebanon and the neighbouring countries, I send you my condolences and pray for your peace. You have the right to be upset for not getting any media attention or social network coverage. However, think of it that way: Had it not been for Paris getting its coverage, Beirut would have never had the chance of making it to the headlines. I am proud of you for fighting for your rights an making yourself heard once opportunity rang your bell. However, now that your voice is heard and the world is all ears, be careful of what you wish for, of what you say and treat others with kindness. Beirut was Paris of the middle east and they certainly knew where it hurts the most when they hit us. Stay united, be grateful and join your sister, Paris, against terror.
To my friends all over the world, before pointing your fingers at a state, a government or a person, whether it is about your government not protecting you, or about a certain state of belief system threatening you, or about your friend putting a flag in support of a country and not another, or whether someone's comment mentioned some people in their prayers and forgot others, think of how this action will influence the zeitgeist and whether it will eventually buy you and the rest of us peace or not. We are all selfish and insecure to a certain extent, but don't let that hurt others for the sake of some personal security. Now is the time we put all this behind and focus on our more basic survival and existential security because it's at stake. Empathise! Spend time with the ones you love and you still have around you. Will you blame the government if they ever reach out to your family through internet and TV, if they convert your kids and brainwash them while you are busy taking sides and pointing fingers? That's what's happening! That's what has been happening and will keep happening unless you stop it!
I have lived in Lebanon during the war, in the US after 9/11 and I now live in Paris after having been expatriated for about 15 years. I cannot tell you how frustrating that is, especially now that I am close to acquiring a French citizenship (my application is being examined) and finally enjoying human rights that is really a matter of luck based on where you were born. That is heart-breaking, however, I am thankful that my family and friends are safe and that the local government is working hard to protect us and I shall do my best with arts and science, cinema and logic, words and prayers, your help and your imagination to make this nation a safer world. Of course, I will need your help! If you step outside your door and greet a stranger, you are helping me build this place! If you have more money, food or shelter than you need and you know that someone can make use of your kindness then you are helping me build that place. I have created several platforms to show and share this idea ALAgrApHY 1001 faces Pass a smile ... but I will need your help!
I hate getting involved in politics for it's a nasty business but think of who is the final benefiter from all our fights over the silliest and most worthless of things. I hope that my message will echo first and foremost in the minds and hearts of those with doubts about their current governments, those not knowing who to vote for during the elections or those who were just convinced by the current events to vote for an alternative government, those tempted to blame it on a religion or a political party, those unsure about their friends' behaviours on social networks, those who lost someone and those who have not... If you will not discover love, forgiveness and tolerance NOW, in those most tumultuous of times, then you shall never ever know it. Peace to all mankind!

Thursday, October 15, 2015


Almost 3 years ago, I did my first short film thinking it would allow me take photography a step further and help me tell more meaningful stories and share them with the rest of the world. Last year, on my way to Iceland, I had to flip a coin to decide whether to brave the erupting barbargunda volcano and all the consequences of being stuck on a distant Island or cancel my trip. I finally went and witnessed the most beautiful aurora borealis, geysers, waterfalls... I could not come back empty handed. This Sunday at 10.30 am, the short film I made in Iceland is screening at the Northwave film festival in a fishing village 2 hours off Reykjavik and Sunday after it's screening in Paris at the Brasilian Theater. I would love to share it with you and thank all those who participated in its completion.

-AB CITE (2013).
Featured at the Vid Eo Cite "Passages" projection on the walls of the Cite Internationale (and funded by the FIE) on the 24 and 25 of May 2013 projected in Cuidades Visibles in Cordoba, Argentina in 2013

-Drole de Drames (2014)
Selection/Awards: 48hfParis official Selection
Paris, Oct 2014: Cinema Action Christine, dans le cadre de faire un film en 48h

-Missed Connections (2013-2014)
Official Selection of the Viewster Film Festival
Official selection at the Festival CineRail
Amphitheatre de Jussieu, Paris, January 2014,
International Viewster Film Festival December 2014
Cinerail International Film Festival 16 December 2015

-I C Land (2014-2015)
Winner of the best experimental short film for the AFIMarché du Film - Festival de Cannes Cannes World Peace Initiative
The Northern Wave Film Festival Official Selection
Paris: 14 Dec 2014 (Maison de Portugal)
Cannes: 21 May 2015 (Marche du Film at the Cannes Film Festival)
Paris: 17 July 2015 (AntiCafe Innovation)
Iceland: 17 Oct 2015 ( I C LAND in ICELANDNorthwave International Film Festival)
Paris 25 Oct 2015 ( L'art du voyage corporel, mental et spirituel : Theatre Maison du Bresil avec la Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian et l’ambassade de Portugal en France)
I have something written for a feature film that will be announced shortly after the production is confirmed!

Posted by ALAgrApHY on Thursday, October 15, 2015

Monday, August 17, 2015

Let GO of the eGO: A New Meditation Method

If I were a licensed psychiatrist and you came to see me, I would tell you there is no need for such a formalism and I would immediately prescribe to you a week of doing nothing at all and thinking about nothing any more in a secluded area whether it is by a beach or a mountain.

Unlike my previous trips that aim at breaking the record of how many thousands of things I can do, see, taste and experience per day, last week has known nothing more than a couple of beaches by a natural reserve in Corsica. For a week, I would spend a whole day on the beach, with monotonous observations and no particular thoughts until I would start to remember my childhood memories -- memories so foreign that they seem from a dream or from a different life. 

This kind of meditation must certainly have a name and practitioners, otherwise I shall call it Al's Meditation Method (AMM) and it consists of experiencing one action, that could be tied to your childhood, repetitively and over a long period of time.  It could be  swimming, dancing, playing with animals, spending time with your parents or relatives... eventually, you would start to recall a huge deal of your childhood that will in turn set you free. You must be prepared for terrible childhood memories that you might have suppressed as a child. As a kid, like many kids, I did nothing but play. I had no issue with changing beach or exploring various sites. I would be happy to spend the whole summer on the same beach unknowing of an alternative which was blissful. If it is social networks that make us always unsatisfied with the plethora of choices we cannot afford to live, then we need to disconnect and let go of the ego. 

One day, I spent 7 hours in a park watching kids play, love each other, fight, be jealous. Kids are so natural. They never try to be other kids. They just do what they like and they would cry otherwise.  I have even been involved in the play as I fell asleep on one of the merry-go-round-ish swings that several kids have attempted to swing. I kept my eyes closed and enjoyed the ride. 

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Sweet Dreams

Sometimes, although very rarely, but still, sometimes, I learn something about myself and I go WAAAAAW!

For example, the other day I realised that not only have I lost interest in dreams and lucid dreams but I started forgetting all my dreams and even forgetting whether I was writing down my dreams upon waking up as if that part taking notes has agglomerated and become part of my dreams lost to OBLIVION!

OUBLIONS tout sauf le faite que nous oublions tout juste en cas ou nous avons envie de revenir en arrière un jour et nous demander qui sommes nous, au moins nous dirons nous l'avons oublié au lieu de croire que nous somme ce que nous ne somme pas.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Why I did a Cherry Ice Cream?

Today, I did a cherry ice cream to kill time, because the person in charge of my application for a work visa was absent,  because she saw pictures of her friends on Facebook enjoying their vacation and that made her ill, because she kept postponing her vacation for lack of ideas or desire, because fear taught her not to desire, because of negative consequences and social constructs, because when she was young she was bullied, because she was fat, because she binge ate cherry ice cream. 

Friday, May 29, 2015

Post-transhumanistic call for better introspective Shamans

The post-spiritual alan-watts-inspired-ish jobless phase is nearing its end today as I sit typing this facing the Sorbonne University in Paris after receiving a best experimental short film award through an overly indulging experience at the Cannes Film Festival. All these mixed feelings and contrasts intensify my fish-in-a-sea feeling that varies between owning the see with ineffable freedom, and the ephemeral transient feeling of no anchors or points or reference that challenge time, memory and even existence. Finding the perfect balance between these two extremes has been a life challenge.

In the meantime and at shorter introspective patterns of existence, when I consult google auto-complete for existential questions that I have not thought of asking, I wonder how much have we lost through the confidence we have given to the machine and its artificial intelligence that is a collective but not necessarily additive or adequate form of intelligence.

I often find myself praising my preYoutube and preGoogle creativity and the sense of satisfaction it offered. It now feels as if I have become aware of a box that I must think outside of it when there has never been a box.

Those who had the privilege of good schooling, traveling and did not have to worry much about anything to do whatever they wished, will one day find themselves in a midlife crisis asking existential questions about who they are and what keeps them going...

Terrence McKenna and Jason Silva (among others) refer to technology  and transhumanism as some kind of a shamanic entheogenic drug that could guide us spiritually to answer and ask more questions. But our very confidence in the machine of a collective artificial intelligence  with oracle predictive powers hinders our introspective soul-seeking explorations leaving us with a few voiced choices that we get to compare and choose from. In the long run, fewer and fewer media-imposed approximations dominate the fast-responding Oracles for impatient soul-seekers until one day we will become so impatiently eager to know about ourselves that we will be getting the same ever converging answer, that is we are one network of selves consisting a higher self of a collective intelligence interfaced through our big-brothers: google, facebook, amazon, microsoft, apple.

I wonder, I wonder, when this becomes known to everyone, what kind of questions will we be curious to ask and answer in the future. Will we continue to play hide and seek with reality to keep us entertained and surprised?