saturday morning, friday night
last night we ended talking with big z, a made gangster from detroit. before we left to meet him, some of our friends gave us some judgmental faces, when they found out where we were heading. i'm starting to get used to the dynamics of detroit, the bipolarity of it. when oneself is faced to an issue, theres only two choices; or you love it or you hate it. it seems to be very little space inbetween. and this, only splits the few that haven't left the city, into two factions, always.
somehow, i respect this man. in all his dark past, he survived detroit for the last 60 years without breaking. and he did good. and for sure bad as well, but when survival is an issue, ethics become a luxury, as much as the ability to have a choice and make decisions.
in an attempt of asking about how the riots started in detroit, he ended talking about many other things, such as 'when an entity takes power, the first ones to be imprisoned and killed are the politicians, the religious leaders and the artists, and thats why i like you folks, you bring change, you might not believe me, but, i like you guys because of that, you freed my people, from mental slavery, from the shackles that were put into our minds'
i kept trying to steer the conversation into the riots, but we ended again talking about something else, south africa... he praised nelson mandela for his life endurance till regaining power of his country, and i replied that it was a dirty job, that those who colonized south africa for so many years, privatized all the state companies the week before the transfer of power, and left the mandela's government with very little but the country's financial debt.
he replied: 'that doesnt matter! what really matters is that the people regained hope. and with that, you can do anything!'
its saturday morning and i drive back from a failed celebration of the 67's riots, since the rain kept most people by their home porches.
as i drive through, alone in both mine and the city's silence, i cannot stop but wonder. how can hope return to this city and what can one do to build trust into a near future.
during the refreshing wet and hot-humid attempt to celebrate the day, we put up jeff's fab lab, which ended outlasting all the other activities
(by the time the trailer was towed away, the street had been deserted for quite some hours)
, we met:
the owner of caribbean carnival shop around the block
, two cops on the beat, one ex-narcotics, the other beat cop, from the 11th precinct
, joe, teacher and medic, constructor, farmer, mechanic and survivor, and his kid PJ
, two random dudes
i met G, which had just graduated from the univ. of michigan in industrial design. facing the reality of starting off in the professional world, and having to pay off his debt on study loans of the last 4 years of college, he is moving to chicago (IL). maybe after he managed to make a room of one's own, he will come back to detroit. he smiled when we talked about that idea; 'its always good to have a room to go back to, that you can close the door when you need'
while talking we
, laser cut a plate for advertising Joe's free classes on saturdays (a coaching program for graduates/post-graduates in medicine)
, two vinyl stickers of 'punisher' for PJ's dirt bike and
one primitive drum machine out of a subwoofer. the outside case looks like it can become a deluxe bird house.
design: Nicolas Collins, subwoofer version joão negro
jeff's fablab and OmniCorpDetroit will be this coming 31st of july at: