Loving the Peace

Gabriel Gbadamosi: Periodo Villa Villa, De La Guarda

De La Guarda’s Perioda Villa Villa

De La Guarda’s Perioda Villa Villa

It’s the first time that I’ve seen any public event involving Argentinians since that drowning war when my sister and her children went in fear. Someone had daubed “Argies live here” in guttural, ugly paint on the side wall of their council flat. It felt good that De La Guarda and I waited until that government was out.

They hung like corpses, drenched and dredged up to the ceiling, or stood on temporary, rigged platforms under pouring water calling, calling, calling. I wept for them.

I saw women and men in civilian clothes (knickers, skirts, ties—subterfuge in mufti, you could shoot them as spies). And a world in whose mores I would like to live—them kissing and hugging strangers in the moment’s trance of eye contact and desire. (The next moment we may have to kill.)

My friend had just made a film on concentration camp survivor, Simon Wiesenthal, when the doors closed on the claustrophobic crush and gas started coming from above. I turned to apologise and couldn’t see her. They didn’t make it easy on us. I wanted to call out, “I don’t want to live here”.

Then the room opened, and there was air, and we were loving the peace with the drowned waking above us and running through showers among us with (it’s in the detail) their socks fallen around their ankles.

Periodo Villa Villa, De La Guarda, Three Mills Island, June 19

RealTime issue #20 Aug-Sept 1997 pg. 46

© Gabriel Gbadamosi; for permission to reproduce apply to realtime@realtimearts.net

1 August 1997