On Death and Instagram: “The Right Filter For My Memory”

nadoune 3
My eyes raced to skim over the part of the text that was relevant to our current conversation in hopes of catching on to the gist of what was being discussed. Of course I was finding it impossible to formulate anything barely intelligent to contribute. As per the usual, and despite his general lack of insight, Micah’s hand bolted sky high. In a seminar of 11 graduate students he had somehow consistently missed all of the social and visual cues and extended his unusually long arm, fingers arrow straight towards the ceiling, as though he would combust if he could not speak.
 Death and Instagram
Dr. Meyer glanced at her watch and subtly but expertly waved Micah’s hand down, squinting her eyes and pursing her lips as if to say in that one brief facial expression.
Death and Instagram
“I know, we’ve run of out of time, I’m so sorry we’ll miss your gems of wisdom.”
Death and Instagram
Micah’s hand returned to the table and he nodded his head as if to respond, “You’re too right, I need more time to explain my genius to these folks.”
Before letting us go, she concluded: “In the corners of my mind are memories, deep in the archives, rarely if ever recalled. The truth is you have to train yourself in the art of that kind of excavation and it is work. You can easily rest your laurels on those moments prompted by a photo that has been sat in a dusty frame for eons, you can access it so readily that you begin to conflate the image for the history of the thing. Do you remember being there? What did you wear? How did you feel? You’re all so busy capturing the moment that you miss it. Do you remembering being there? Or texting, staring into your phone, applying filters? Do you remember being there?”
Death and Instagram
I chuckled thinking to myself. What does this old lady know about Instagram? Dr. Meyer was 68. Her probing questions anchored deep and roused me. I had covered over the covering over, forgotten what I had forgot, and there was a persistent gnawing, a dull reminiscent ache: the photos only captured so much, there were too few of them to ever imply an iota of the significance of your time and place here with me.
Death and Instagram
I don’t know when I lost you, really. Maybe it was when you moved, or maybe when you lost your leg; you had already begun to slip away. I couldn’t grasp your death until I saw you go into the ground.
Death and Instagram
Every now and then your face surfaces above the mossy mist. Your milk carton full of buttons had a very particular acrid smell, and the touch of your soft wrinkly skin felt like pure love; sewing needles kept in plastic film canisters and the fans you took to church. You are not far – I see you.

colour by Nadine Doune 

“Nadine est née à Montréal, d’une famille venant de s’installer d’Algérie. Elle grandit dans l’école buissonnière, une école dédiée à l’apprentissage par l’art. La musique et le visuel sont toujours présents dans sa vie, dès qu’elle le peut elle voyage avec son violon et ses poèmes/dessins au Mexique, dans l’ouest Canadien, et aux États-Unis où elle s’y installe un an. C’est une autodidacte qui apprend par les expériences, la rue est son terrain de jeu et où elle est le plus inspirée. Elle essaye de rendre la connaissance accessible en donnant plusieurs ateliers (notamment dans une coopérative d’art communautaire nommé le Milieu qu’elle essaye d’aider à bâtir). Elle est intervenante sociale, vend des popsicles artisanaux, et travaille présentement sur un projet de prise de parole chez les femmes immigrantes.”

“Nadine was born in Montréal to a family who arrived from Algeria. She grew up in the Buissonière School, where learning is achieved through art. Music and aesthetics are always present in her life, as she travels with her violin, her poems, and her drawings to Mexico, to Western Canada, and to the United States, punctually for years. The street and her experiences are her main sources of inspiration. She works to make education and art accessible by giving workshops – notably in Le Milieu, a community art cooperative that she’s involve in. She is currently working on a project that centers on the voices of immigrant women.”

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