Longyearbyen / Spitsbergen / Norway / 03.09.2019
If you want to walk about outside the city limits, you must have a gun. That’s the recommendation and the law on Spitsbergen. There are 3,000 polar bears per 2,000 inhabitants in the whole archipelago. You’re required to rent a gun, take a short test and achieve a sense of security. Test first. With your eyes closed, insert the lock and unlock the gun. Then three shots one after one as quickly as possible in the half loaded position. After an hour, we have the gun, just a few more comments on how to behave when we see a bear. The first piece of advice was given to us by a Norwegian at the gun rental. “If you see a bear, it’s too late. He’s been tracking you for a long time. Turn around and get out of his way as fast as you can. And if he follows you, it’s over.” In self defence, you can kill a bear from no more than 40 meters away. Otherwise, there are very high penalties and an investigation by the governor of the island. A bear can run 40 meters in three seconds. In the meantime, you have to hit him in the heart preferably three times. “Don’t shoot at the head because the skull is very hard. Goodbye.” Full of hope that we won’t meet bears, we set out towards the Pyramid. On the catamaran, we get a second piece of advice from the Russians on how to behave in the event of a bear encounter. You have to start making noises, make yourself seem bigger to chase Teddy away. The third nugget of advice comes from the Poles at the Adam Mickiewicz University’s Polish camp – “When you see a bear, don’t pay any attention to it. Do your thing. 1, 2, 3: you’re it!
Nice / France / 28.06.2019
Michael Jackson is eternally alive. We got stuck in this place because of him. He was preparing for the show so long that everyone suspected him of vanity. First the sound equipment didn’t work, then the costume wouldn’t fit, then the hem of the skirt. Obstacles piled up, and the audience, curious, gathered and scattered again. Tall, skinny, angular, a costume pretending to be the original, shoes, character, almost all in line with the original. Only that he would stumble before he got up to speed, and after a while he disappeared a few times in an attempt to encourage an appetite for Michael. All this along a heavily peopled avenue where a tram glided constantly in silence, cutting the almost perfect symmetry of the street and its hot, stagnant air. Michael didn’t sing.