What inspired me Friday 20 August 2021
I went to the final days of the exhibition The Plague at our local museum.
And it was so timely.
It was very impressive to see, and realize, the tremendous suffering the plague has caused to all our ancestors, who have been living with the plague which came in waves from before BC (Asia and Greece) until the 19th century, when a cure was found and all areas with access to medicine have been able to neutralize it.
It put a welcome perspective to our current pandemic, and to see that “we’ve had worse”.
Although a word of caution;
Just like with the aids epidemic in Africa, pandemics and how badly they are felt is often so closely related to wealth.
If good food is scarce, that is always the most important problem.
But it is not only about feeling gratitude that Covid itself is less deadly, and that we in The Netherlands do not have that level of poverty medieval Europe had;
It’s also a sense of being happy we know so much more about hygiene now.
In African cultures and also in Jewish culture, hygiene has been at a much higher plane, throughout history. And this has provided protection.
But Medieval Europe had an oppressive, unnatural, ruling style, that kept the church in power and that demonized other knowledge such as natural medicine.
You could be burned at the stake for that.
Medieval Europe was a place devoid of natural, local wisdom, which could have provided hygiene and rules of living, that would have been able to limit the impact.
Just like the African and Jewish cultures had, and have, their wisdom, protecting them.
While we lived, I think, in an absolute hellhole.
When the Renaissance came, which had less to do with enlightenment and was more like Middle-Ages The Sequel, the church was ultimately thrown out, but not before they successfully executed their most ruthless killing spree of witches.
But ultimately, yes, science did take over.
During this pandemic we now look to modern medicine, with the same devotion as we once did to the church.
We make them all powerful, and typing this I do wonder what we’d have in place if the local wisdom had been able to develop here too.
Instead of having it wiped out, and then almost artificially replaced by science.
After the exhibition I went to this hall with the oldest remains of civilization.
On the photo you see a horse and a horseman, objects from the Batavi, who lived from 50 BC to 300 AD.
These object where found in Nijmegen, where the Batavi largely co-existed with the Romans.
I wonder how life in 2021 would have looked, if the Batavi had had a say in how we live today.
Instead of basically, having replaced one church for another.
Next episode of Time Capsules
This is the first time capsule dedicated to one topic, and I really liked that, since it allowed me to dig in a little deeper.
I expect to write the next time capsule tomorrow, Monday 23 August.
An unexamined life is not worth living
ABOUT TIME CAPSULES
My time capsules are a written out collection of things that I have come into contact with, and that will influence my art.
The project is inspired by Warhol, who created one time capsule (box) a month, collecting physical objects.