Arts in the Heart of Augusta was not hurricane plagued the way last year’s was, and was a great weekend of good food, performances, and generally great chances to take pictures.
Each year opens with a parade to celebrate the diverse set of communities that have settled in and around Augusta.
Drummers from the Chinese community welcomed everyone to the annual opening parade. Representatives from various communities waiting their turn. Children from the Lebanese community. And at the end of the parade everyone dances.
The whole event is built around artists selling their work. They manage to pull in people from a fairly large area, but also make space for young local artists to try to get started selling their work.
For us, and for many others, the variety of ethic foods available for purchase is a large part of the draw.
It’s also a great event for just plain people watching. Between watching the various performances, enjoying the vendors, and the many activities, there are lots of chances to watch people having a good time with their friends and family.
Mixed in with the vendors, food, family activities, stages, and other goes on are always a mix of street performers.
He said he had picked her up at the rescue that morning. Because where else to you take your new parrot?
There are several stages setup throughout the event, spanning several city blocks. The performances range from local signers to dance troops, street performers
Until next year…
This week marks the 20th Anniversary of the Hague Appeal for Peace.
This week marks the 20th anniversary of the
Hague Appeal for Peace and everything that happened (and didn’t) as part of that event and since, I decided to post some of my pictures from that adventure.
In my post
on being an activist back in March I mentioned attending the Hague Appeal and the peace walk that followed. I was part of a delegation from Philadelphia Yearly Meeting; a group mostly made up of college students and a few older high school students, along with a few adults who handled the logistics and kept us on track more or less.
I have ten boxes of slides, and a few years ago I scanned them as best I could but frankly the scans aren’t great. The slides, which were more than ten years old at the time, had already started to fade and color shift as a result of their age. I did some color correction as I prepped them for this, but I also like the feel of some being somewhat faded and shifted with time. There are shared here full frame, and some are roughly cropped, but none carefully realigned. Since they are now pushing twenty I decided that I wanted to leave them all at or near full size and try to capture a bit of the way I saw the world then, and less of how I would edit it now. I like the rough visual feel they have as part of reflected on partially faded memories.
My guide and canvas bag from Hague Appeal for Peace. Wayne features in lots of these pictures, and still has a spot on my desk.
Kofi Annan gave one of the key note speeches (closing I think).
Aung San Suu Kyi was still under house arrest, back before she left the Rohingya to die, and gave a recorded speech that was smuggled out for us to see.
This was the first time I saw Desmond Tutu speak in person. He was one of the bigger draws for his sessions.
I also learned that Tutu has a great sense of humor, making fun of all the people taking his picture.
HAP happened during the US intervention into the was in the Balkins, and some attendees became concerned that the Russia might join the conflict with Nuclear weapons. So a protest sign was created and a march planned in a bar one night.
Lots of people signed the banner when it was set out near the entrance.
People signed from their own perspectives.
The banner was carried to the Peace Palace, home of the international court of justice.
At the Peace Palace survivors of the Hiroshima bombing were invited to speak to share their stories.
I got to wander by the Peace Palace a couple times to took a feature pictures.
There was a group of monks who walked for peace on a daily basis. They eventually joined the walk to Brussels.
There was a group, from East Timor I think, who came on bikes.
There were lots of presentations by various groups, often with cultural song and dance included.
I don’t take a lot of self-portraits, but I like this one taken near where our group stayed on the coast of the North Sea
We stayed on the coast of the North Sea and had great sun sets. I managed to get this picture there one evening.
Some of the folks from the PYM group sitting around chatting.
The walk to the Hague started the day after the main conference ended. This banner was carried in front for most of the distance.
We walked in all kinds of settings from highways, to bridges, to fields (just missed tulip season so didn’t see many in bloom).
This was actually taken the first evening, I’ve always liked this image of the bike by the lake.
As we progressed we’d stop and hold public presentations and random die ins.
One of the survivors of the blast in Hiroshima came along with his daughter and shared his story of survival during several of the stops.
This young man from India knew more about international politics by 18 than I’m likely to really ever understand. It often was carrying this UN flag.
This little guy also made the walk with us.
Meals were provided a group that provided a small mobile kitchen for such events across western Europe. They would drive ahead of us, setup with a lunch of sandwiches and soup, and then meet us for dinner at the main camp site.
Wayne posed for a couple pictures with our meals. The bread, and much of the rest was donated or bought locally in towns.
This little girl and her parents where along for the journey as well. They would literally clown around with make up, costumes, stiltes, and juggling.
I was never clear on the idea of the juggling and other acts, but it was a nice distraction – which may have been the point.
Group meetings were a regular feature of our walk.
Wayne enjoying some of the treats I picked up along the way.
We camped each night in a town park or similar arrangement. Tents were moved by truck and bus between each stop so we only had to carry day packs.
Several people from PYM started the walk. Some had to leave before the end, so we took this picture before the first of us had to depart.
Much of the walk was low key along small roads through various towns and cities.
Even Wayne needed a break at times. It was a lot of walking.
This is one of two guys I talked to a lot along the way and whose names I cannot remember. I think they were both IT techs or programmers.
This is the second of the two. I’m pretty sure of the general advice I’ve followed in my career was based on things they told me, but the details are largely lost.
In Brussels we were protesting in front of Nato headquarters, and we took some time to practice basic passive resistance strategies for those planning to get arrested.
Practice also involved mock police trying to antagonize people.
A group of Indian farmers joined for the last few days. It had taken a while to get their visa’s cleared. I honestly have no idea what they thought they were joining, but that were good fun to have along.
The final approach to Nato headquarters involved lot of excitement and nervousness.
These three kids were from a community in Columbia, and were the only minors at the final protest. My job would becoming keeping them out of trouble and getting them back to our lodgings safely. The boy in the red shirt elected to ignore me and got arrested.
There was a heavy police presence, and concertina wire strung to keep clear boundaries. But early on things were relaxed. These guys were taking our pictures so I took theirs.
This got decided to get naked for some reason. Didn’t really make sense to me at the time, or now, but he had a nice time (and was charged with public nudity).
This was also the first time I ran into the Raelians. Even a group of anti-nuclear marchers thought them a bit odd, but we welcomed their support (this was before they started to work on human cloning).
In Europe they don’t have to associations we do with water cannon so they had two deployed, and were used to move people that started to cut and cross the wire.
This is just after the best picture I didn’t take. Bill, a Friend from Brooklyn Meeting, he stood between the streams of the cannon shaking his fist as they tried to knock him down. He withstood their pressure but I missed the image.
They tried for a while to dislodge a group that grew the more they tried to move it. They positioned the second truck to create a crossfire, but then changed approaches.
After an initial round of tension, water cannon bursts, and a few arrests, we all settled in for lunch in the shade. We debated politics with these offices and gave them some of our watermelon. Everyone seemed to get along most of the time, the police and protesters all encouraged calm from one another.
When the mounted police started down one side, it didn’t take a great military mind to spot a flanking maneuver, so I started to move myself and my charges away from the action.
I nearly did get swept up but this line, but got through with the help of the event organizer who used his connections to make sure those who didn’t want to get arrested could leave.
That trip was an important few weeks in my life, and I’ve been having a great time going back through the pictures. If you were with me on that trip and wonder if I have other pictures of you kicking around I might so send me a note and I’ll try to see what’s around and sent some your way.
For Christmas this year my wife and I took off and went to Belize. I took some 2,500 pictures and I’m working my way through them. The gallery below will get captions, alt-text, etc soon.
First sighting of Belize on the flight in. GJ’s Restaurant picked by our driver on the way from Belize City to San Ignacio. His guy came running when he spotted customers. We stayed at Midas Resort in San Ignacio, which we’d recommend. “Husky” the Midas office husky was an important part of our visit. Midas has two large male green iguanas roaming the property. Our room at Midas Midas was also home to several Agouti. This hand powered ferry coveys everyone going to Xunantunich The main temple at Xunantunich from the main plaza This Iguana spends the day watching tourists explore his home on the temple at Xuanatunich The frieze on the side of the temple (larger version below). People looking out from the top of the temple A view from the furthest building at Xunantunich back toward the temple. A view from Belize from the top of the temple. The Howler monkeys were yelling from tree tops when we arrived, but quietly feeding later in the morning. One of the buildings at Cahal Pach in San Ignasio. The central, but smaller, plaza at Cahal Pach. My wife walking through one of the passages at Cahal Pach. Belikin the beer of Belize served in standard style. The tonic was pink which threw me off at first. San Ignasio is home of a large and busy open air market. All the way to Belize to watch my first Sixers game of the year. The east temple from Complex Q at Tikal. My wife walking down from the top of the east temple. The two of us on the steps to the east temple. First view we got of Temple I The back of Temple I The buildings from the main plaza in Tikal. Temple I from the plaza. The view from the top of Temple IV in Tikal. All ships leaving Yavin base pass through this scene. There were lots of people at the top, and that fence in the background was the only safety rail The spider monkeys were one of the coolest things we saw. This guy stopped to watch us for a bit. He scooped water out of a hole in the and drank upside down. We got really lucky to see this mother and baby passing by. This Coati was snuffling in the grass near the visitor center A green iguana from the rescue program in town. Another green iguana from the rescue program in town. The males turn orange to show off. My wife and I with one of the rescued iguana. This guy kept his distance and his eyes on us. The entrance to Barton cave. The view back out from the Barton creek cave. The Big Rock Waterfalls in the Pine Mountain reserve. Butterfly from the San Jose Succotz TrekStop Butterfly caretaker from the San Jose Succotz TrekStop Butterfly from the San Jose Succotz TrekStop We spent Christmas itself in San Pedro The view from our hotel room in San Pedro There are some nice views on San Pedro beaches. They were just enjoying people watching. This guy sells nice carvings like the ray he’s holding to visitors. Cause what else would Santa ride on a beach. There was a party in the town square Christmas morning starting at Midnight. I didn’t stay for much. Rode bikes out to Secret Beach which is anything but secret. There are at least two bars at Secret beach Machete, Coconut, and drinks. What could go wrong (nothing for her). Took bikes down to Marco Gonzalez Mayan site. The path looked like something from Myst. Marco Gonzalez is mostly still covered in jungle. Mayans here used Conch shells to build walls. They are kinda creepy 500 years later. Beatrice is one of three Black Iguanas with names at Marco Gonzalez Sun rise from our hotel room.
These panoramic pictures were created with a combination of my iPhone in pano mode and some that are stitched together with
Picture of Belize taken from the top of the temple at Xunantunich. Stitched with Hugin.
Same angle made with iPhone.
Picture of Guatemala from the other side of the temple at Xunantunich stitched with Hugin.
Another of Guatemala with the iPhone.
The frieze on the side of the temple. This is actually a cast created over the top of the original to protect it from weather.
The temple taken from the main plaza.
Taken from the side of the temple.
The main plaza at Cahal Pech ruins at the edge of San Ignacio
The main plaza at Tikal
Taken from the top of the observatory at Tikal.
Taken from the top of Temple IV at Tikal. Scenes from Yavin base in Star Wars were shot near this spot.
Another stitched image from Temple IV.
Dock on the beach in San Pedro.
A bit north of Secret Beach (which is anything but secret) we found a nice dock to enjoy our lunch.
We got out last night to the opening night of
Arts in the Heart of Augusta 2018. With hurricane Florence creeping over the region that’s probably all we’ll get to this year, but it was great to get a meal and enjoy a bit of the festival.
Update: we did manage to get back on Sunday for another meal and to see a few more performances.
This afternoon my wife and I went to the Families Belong Together protest at the
Unitarian Universalist Church of Augusta, and organized by a few of their members, Progressives for Democratic Reform, along with a few other like minded groups that think tearing families apart is repugnant (at best).
Joe made all this possible.
Thanks for Augusta Unitarian church for your support.
We took a couple days this weekend to relax and visit Savannah.
Mickve Israel neo-gothic sanctuary
Deer Skin Torah
Perhaps the oldest Torah in the United States from the 15th century on display at the Mickve Israel museum.
Steeples of St. Johns
The Cathedral of St. John the Baptist steeples.
The band's name was Random Acts and their performance matched their name.
The paddle wheel from the Georgia Queen.
The Georgia Queen with passengers mostly loaded for the afternoon tour.
Chocolate Covered Strawberry
Chocolate covered strawberry from the River Street Sweet Candy Store.
Giant jimmy covered candied apple from the River Street Sweet Candy Store.
Making Salt Water Taffy
Employee sorting River Street Sweet Candy Store's in house made salt water taffy.
Chart House and Dockside Seafood
Propeller Club Memorial
Memorial to the men and women who have built, serviced, and sailed ships out of Savannah.
The Waving Girl statue of Florence Martus.
Bride of Savannah
This bride appeared to be enjoying her photo session in the park.
I just loved the name of this place, even though much of their menu was meat pies.
The slave quarters from the Owens-Thomas House.
Owens-Thomas House garden
The back garden from the Owens-Thomas House and Slave Quarters. Nothing about it is authentic it's just to make visitors happy.
Owens-Thomas House Inside window
I liked the way the light passed through this inside window at the Owens-Thomas House.
Owens-Thomas House Bridge
The Owens-Thomas House second floor as a bridge over the stairs. I bet the kids who grew up here loved it.
Portait of Kahlil Gibran
This portrait of Kahlil Gibran is on display at the Telfair Academy.
Boy and Donkey
This posed image of a boy resting on his donkey is part of a collection that caught my attention at the Telfair Academy.
The description of the collection of images that included the previous.
One of Savannah' many part fountains.
Telfair Museum stairs
Telfair's Jesop Center had a photography exhibit called Open Road at the top of their open stairs
The work by Ryan McGinley caught my eye.
Mystic Dispersion by Jon Kuhn is part of the Telfair collection.
Mystic Dispersion 2
Another angle of Mystic Dispersion by Jon Kuhn.
The bird girl statue relocated from the Bonaventure cemetery.
Bird Girl's face
Her thoughtful look is quite nice.
"Tweet Tweet" by Adolfo Alvarado
Path along the river by Tybee Island
These guys are a fun little addition to our beaches.
Yesterday my wife and I realized that there was a March for Our Lives being held here in Aiken. When we saw a friend of ours describe her 3-year-old’s first pre-school experience with an active shooter drill we realized that if the local teens could get up early on a Saturday to speak up for themselves, we could not justify staying home.
So I charged the camera battery, cleared the memory cards, and made sure I’d have pictures to share. Aiken is a small city in a state that’s hostile to gun control, so even a small crowd is an impressive turn out. The turn out was good, the people were energized, and the kids were clear in their ask: they want to be safe at school and they don’t think that should mean they have to be surrounded by armed guards (police or teachers).
Marcher with sign reading "Gun culture kills!" waiting for the march to start
Students from USCA prepare for the march.
Marcher with sign reading "Ban Assult Weapons" waiting for the march to start.
Marchers gathering, including local clergy.
Marchers gathering including the local pastor from the Unitarian church.
The student organizers getting things started.
Signs read: No more silence, end gun violence. And Arms are for hugging.
Local high school and college students with their signs.
More of the students gathered on the court house steps.
More student marchers with their signs on the court house steps.
Signs read: I'm not bulletproof.
The students offered a prayer before the march started.
Small children joined the march as well.
A younger participant with a sign asking to be kept safe.
The students also lead the signing of our national anthem.
The primary organizer leading the crowd in their selected chant: No more silence, end gun violence.
Stitched panorama of the crowd gathered at the Aiken county court house.
A marcher's sign reading "Thoughts and prayers are not enough."
The march being lead by local high school students.
Sign read: we need change.
The high school students were closely followed by the smaller children.
The students were followed by their parents, teachers, and other community members.
Group carrying a banner reading "Standing on the side of love"
More parents and other supporters marching with our local students.
March continued to Newberry St for speeches.
The adults listen to the speeches by local students and a few adult supporters.
Students sitting as they listen to friends share their stories and calls to action.
Local state house candidate Elise Fox attended with her family: https://elisefox.net/
Students from USCA spoke as well.
Kids of all ages stayed to watch and listen.
Another student speaking the gathered crowd.
Some dogs came to offer their support as well.
Sign reads: March for our lives
One counter marcher came in her NRA t-shirt calling for more resource officers and arming teachers. She was largely politely ignored.
The march helps bring the concerns of students into focus.
Woman holder her baby with a shirt that reads "Moms demand action."
The dog's collar was tagged "No one more. #enough"
My friend Brenda with her sign asks if your kid next on one side.
And "are my grandsons next" on the other.
Materials to register to vote were on hand for all those eligible and not already registered: https://www.usa.gov/register-to-vote
Students from all the local public high schools spoke.
Student shared their concern for the own safety, their teacher's safety, and their frustration at school administrators and politicians who don't support the movement.
The speaker were from several grade levels and represented several races, genders, and economic backgrounds.
Friends were often on hand to provide supportive hugs and words after students shared.
Different messages from different angles, but all concerned with making schools safe again.
Even the dogs needs to listen attentively.
Sign re-defines NRA as "No Rational Argument"
A small child showing a friendly dog some love.
This young man did much of the organizing for the march and the speakers, including sharing his own experiences and understand of legislation pending in South Carolina.
Students spoke their truth as they know it.
When people could no longer stand, they sat and kept listening.
A student Southern Wesleyan University shared about their own experiences and fears for siblings and loved ones.