The Ghetto Tarot

from Dangerous Minds:


Death

Welcome to the Ghetto Tarot, a project from award-winning documentary photographer Alice Smeets and a group of Haitian artists known as Atis Rezistans. The idea was to take the classic Rider-Waite tarot deck of 78 cards and create a photographic version of each card using settings and objects in the vibrant ghetto of Haiti.

As Smeets says, “The spirit of the Ghetto Tarot project is the inspiration to turn negative into positive while playing. The group of artists ‘Atiz Rezistans’ use trash to create art with their own visions that are a reflection of the beauty they see hidden within the waste. They are claiming the word ‘Ghetto,’ thus freeing themselves of its depreciating undertone and turning it into something beautiful.”

Smeets also related some of the memorable incidents while executing the photo shoots:

There have been plenty of little, funny moments. One example: when we were shooting the scene of the Death card, I asked the artists if they had real skulls to place them in the picture. Five minutes later, Claudel, one of the artists and my dearest assistant, came along holding a plastic bag filled with skulls in his hands as if it was the most normal thing in the world to carry dead peoples heads around.

It constantly surprised me how the artists almost always found immediately what I asked for. For the picture of the High Priestess, we needed horns to place them next to her feet. I hadn’t let them known beforehand that we would be in need of them. As soon as Claudel found out, he ran and came back a moment later with two horns in his hands. They never told me where they found all of the materials, they just happened to lay around somewhere in the Ghetto.

 

The Ghetto Tarot has been fully funded on indiegogo, and you can place an order for a full deck at the price of 32 euros (about $36).

(Clicking on any image in this post will spawn a larger image.)


The Nine of Cups


Justice


The Nine of Swords


The King of Swords


The Hanged Man


The Hermit


The Six of Swords


The Eight of Cups


The Five of Cups


The Sun


The Three of Swords

Eyes Without a Face

This macabre French-Italian film is one of my favorites because not only is the story fascinatingly awful, but the cinematography is breathtaking. I once saw a tap dance musical in Chicago based on this story which was, well, interesting, not great, but I had to give them kudos for trying. This film was met with praise and disgust when it premiered in 1960, which only gives it more value in my eyes, as I feel art in any form needs to move you in some way, even if it’s negative. It is an interesting story about ego, vanity, isolation, the helplessness of sentient beings, and obsession. The crushing vanities of the bourgeoisie?

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“For Amiri Baraka”

 ~ written by Diane Di Prima, January 10, 2014

 

amiri-baraka-290
Holding their daughter

 

don’ matter was it

yr left foot went bad

or yr right

don’ matter yr lungs

or yr heart

don’ matter if that

mass

on yr liver was

malignant

or what’s been wrong

so long

w/yr kidneys

don’t matter

drugs

or herbs

or acupuncture

or why you didn’t

go

to those appointments

don’t matter how much you drank

or if you drank

don’t matter you did or you didn’t

take drugs

meaning meds

or take drugs

meaning drugs

what matters now

what matters &

what’s gonna matter

a hundred

a thousand years

what matters when

what we wrote

what we thought

is lost

(& don’t kid yourself,

Ginsberg

it’s all of it

gonna be lost)

what matters:

every place

you read

every line

you wrote

every dog-eared book

or pamphlet

on somebody’s shelf

every skinny hopeful kid

you grinned that grin at

while they said

they thought they could write

they thought they could fight

they knew for sure

they could change the world

every human dream

you heard

or inspired

after the book-signing

after the reading

after one more

unspeakable

faculty dinner

after that god-awful flight

& the drive to the school

what matters:

the memory

of the poem

in thousands of minds

that quantum

of energy

passed over

passed

all the way over

to the other

to thousands

of others

what matters

Revolution

what matters

Revelation

what matters

the poem

taking root in

thousands

of minds …