Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A problem child with painful past

In today's Toronto Star there is article by Peter Small with title "A problem child with painful past". I read it with great deal of interest. For two reasons: reason number one, I could not stop thinking, that although David Bragshaw is convicted murderer, his whole medical and life history is made public, and reason number two is that I could not stop thinking if his life could have been different if he was given accommodations for his special needs. Here is the link to the article:


Here is what I said in my letter to the editor:

A problem child with painful past
Toronto Star, September 29, 2009

Article by Peter Small gave us a glimpse into life of David Bagshaw. It makes me wonder if we will learn the lesson from this story. And the lesson to be learnt is that children at risk require early intervention, intensive support and empathy in dealing with their special needs. The system clearly failed David Bragshaw, and I say this not to find excuse for what he did. I say this because if the system worked, David Bragshaw could possibly have a chance not to become a murderer.

Monday, September 28, 2009

What happened to Mariam Makhniashvili?

It has been exactly two weeks today since Mariam Makhniashvili disappeared in thin air on her way to school. Last person to see her was younger brother George. No one else saw two of them walking to school. She did not make any friends in school in the first week of new school year. She was new to Toronto. She moved from Republic of Georgia in June. She is 17 years old. All what I know about Mariam is what I heard in media: she loves school, books and nature. I learned about her disappearance on September 17th, four days after the fact, although I live only steps away from Forest Hill Collegiate, the school that she attended together with her 16 years old brother George, apparently the last person to see her on that day. What happened to Mariam? Police is tight lipped, family avoids media, and the public, including the neighborhood of Bathurst and Eglinton, is speculating. Was she kidnapped for political reasons? Did she leave on her own accord? Was she abducted by sexual predator? Was she happy or unhappy? Did she make any secret friends online, or maybe during one of her frequent visits to the library? All of the theories are out there, and everyone can argue pro and con each and every one, since there is no evidence to support any of them. She simply disappeared without the trace.

Map of the neighborhood

Before you judge me, try hard to love me

"Before you judge me, try hard to love me," Michael sings in the video Have you seen my childhood? He sits on the grassy knoll, arms wrapped around his knees. His hair short and curly, like Peter Pan's. His face is rapt and full of wonder as he watches children - multiracial boys and girls - float through starry sky in little boats. If you want to know about my life, look at this video, he has said. What does he see? What do we? A man who wants to androgynous and beyond race? An artist of genius who has given us acute excitement and pleasure? A willful celebrity who wants everything his way, yet insists that everyone love him unconditionally? A man driven to shed his identity, while denying what pains him? Our man in the mirror? Or a creature we no longer wish to acknowledge? Michael Jackson speaks to and for the monstrous child in us all.

From the book:
On Michael Jackson, Margo Jefferson

What does this mean? Does the author condemn or accept Michael Jackson? Is it alright to be child-like when you are an adult? Is it alright to be able to go to the level of children, and understand them, not the way an adult understands a child, but to undestand them as if you were still a child? Is it possible? Is it healthy, or is it sick? I am just wondering. What does it mean to love children, to love playing with children, to enjoy children's company more than company of adults? Is the desire to be surrounded by children a sign on hidden peadofilia? I am just wondering. But, the author in the cited paraghraph also says something like: What does he see? Yep, what does he see? Can a person who never had a childhood be trapped in perpetual child? What was it like to be Michael Jackson when he was 5 years, 9 years, 12 years old? Do we know? Who knows? Everyone's experience is unique, but we know that Michael Jackson was denied to be a child. He said that he cried when he saw children just playing in the playground while he had to get ready to go on a tour. More than that, he was physically abused and verbally humiliated by his father for being himself, for looking the way he looked. There must be some agreement out there, that it was a horrible experience: not feeling loved, not feeling accepted, not feeling free. I am just wondering. The reason for that is the huge impact that Michael Jackson had on me and my life since he died. As if his energy just spread as a Big Bang all over the world, unifying those who knew him and those who did not so much, those who were die hard fans and those like me, who were just bystanders, unifying all of us and reminding us: Talk to the man in the mirror, do not be afraid to be a child again, and dance, dance, dance. Dance to the music that will lift your spirits up and make you the better person for the better world.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Selimov svet

Nedavno sam imala priliku, zahvaljujuci mojoj prijateljici Neveni, da pogledam kratke dokumentarne filmove koje je sezdesetih snimio njen otac, reziser Zarko Pesic. Na zalost, autor ovih umetnickih ostvarenja je poginuo u saobracajnoj nesreci 1968. godine. Uprkos tome, njegova izuzetna sposobnost da zabelezi trenutak, da ga osmisli i oboji toplinom ljudskog kazivanja je uspela da prevazidje prostorne i vremenske prepreke. Cetrdeset godina posle, i hiljade kilometara daleko, sedim u svojoj sobi i, bez da trepnem, ulazim u magicni svet, koji je postojao ili jos uvek postoji, negde daleko, sakriven od pogleda onih koji prolaze pored njega nezainteresovano. Selimov svet, i svet Pirotskog cilima. Skladno i sinhronizovano teku reci, muzika i slika. Zaboravljam na tugu za davno proslim vremenom, skolskim programom u kojem su obicno prikazivani ovakvi filmovi, tugu za nama koji vise ne postojimo tamo, a nasa deca stvaraju svoje uspomene na sasvim drugim koordinatama. Te misli dolaze tek posle, kao talas. Dok gledam film, sa nevericom pratim naraciju i pokusavam da nadjem neku gresku u ritmu, u sadrzaju, ali sve tece savrseno, prijemcivo i prirodno. Pravi umetnik, a opet praktican, sto je pokazao u svom filmu Prvenac gde prikazuje kako se prokopava jedan od tunela u Bosni, Zarko Pesic je svojim filmovima sacuvao jedno vreme i prostor od zaborava. Iako nase tuge zive zajedno sa njegovim filmovima, mi ih zaboravljamo bar dok gledamo. Kao dobra knjiga, kao lepa slika, kao muzika koja pleni, ovi dragulji kratkog dokumentarnog filma zasluzuju da zauvek budu sacuvani za one koji su zaintersovani da saznaju sta se krije u najdubljim slojevima ljudske duse, da saznaju tajnu.


IMS Zezelj (1969), Prvenac (1968), Zavetovani (1966), Selimov svet (1965), Pirotski cilimi (1964) and Poslednji grncari (1962)