Tag Archive for 'oral history'

‘GOA : some origins’ by Blond Peter

BMT & Company - Anjuna 1973

BMT & Company - Anjuna '73

Extract from a work in progress “ORIGINALLY…” .

GOA

“I know it sounds a bit bizarre,
But for one brief Shining moment
That’s how conditions were”.
(apologies to Camelot)

Swarming is a natural state in organisms, be they bees or people.  We all recognise the motivation of a Memorial Day march, the football crowd, the Mardi Gras Parade or the gatherers at a Khumba Mela.
By the time the nineteen-seventies were under way, we baby boomers thought we had invented swarming.  We kept getting away with the most outrageous stunts, like swarming through the streets to oppose a war that our elders had initiated.
I was working in New York City, but the East was still calling… there had to be more to life than this. Continue reading ‘‘GOA : some origins’ by Blond Peter’

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The Bamian Buddhas, Ali’s Dragon & Kohr-I-Baba Pass

On an Autumn morning of 1968 in Afghanistan two friends and I set out from Kabul in a Land Rover to spend a few days visiting the statues of Buddha at the valley of Bamian in the Hindu Kush Mountains.

Bamian Buddha destroyed by the Taliban in 2001.

Destroyed Bamian Buddha

Old Bamian Buddha Statue before destruction.

Old Bamian Buddha

The road out of Kabul is the same road leading over the Salang Pass and on to the town of Tashkarghan where it forks left to Mazar i Sharif and Uzbekistan, right to the towns of Faizabad, Kunduz, and up into Tajikistan and China. Traveling north from Kabul and some kilometres before the Salang Pass there is a dirt track leading off west from the village of Pul-i-Matak, it leads to Bamian Valley, up to the Band-i-Mir lakes and Maimana in the region of the Hazarat. This dirt track is strictly for animal caravans and four-wheel drive vehicles; it is the only route stretching across the centre of Afghanistan and only open from April to October. The drive from Pul-i-Matak to Bamian is some 150 kilometres through gorges and valleys and takes several hours to negotiate. Continue reading ‘The Bamian Buddhas, Ali’s Dragon & Kohr-I-Baba Pass’

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Jasper on Video – Kumbha Mela 2001

Jasper Newsome, aka Ram Giri Baba -  his last recorded exposition of what being a Baba meant to him; told at the heart of it, the Prayag Raj Kumbha Mela 2001.

Recorded at the Maha Maha Kumbha Mela 2001, held every 144 years, at Prayag, Allahabad, India.  Sixty million people took part, the largest spiritual gathering in the world. Celebrated at the confluence of three great rivers, only two of which are of this world; the third, the mythical Saraswati, joins the Ganga & the Yamuna at the confluence, Triveni Sangam, a sacred place, at a sacred time.

Continue reading ‘Jasper on Video – Kumbha Mela 2001′

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Dave Tomory & Oral History

Studs Terkel "Hard Times".So I ordered “Hard Times” from the London interlibrary system after my last meeting with Dave.  Studs Terkel seemed a good person to start my oral history research with.

But it didn’t arrive in time for this meeting and I had some vague questions about the different types of people who had gone to India and their reasons for doing so.

After rejecting my proposal “Beats, Buddhists, Freaks & Swamies” (‘I was too late for the Beats ….’ ) Dave patiently answered my incoherent queries; we ended up with five minutes of audio.

I would suggest to anyone interested in contemporary history that they read some Studs, or listen to one of his many audio recordings, a great communicator was he.

Five minute interview with Dave Tomory:

 

Download here:

Friday 28th August 2009 – North London, UK – podcast feed HERE

Oral History:

“Hard Times”, by Studs Terkel, is an oral history of the Great (American) Depression, published in 1970.  It is interesting to me that he wrote it 40 years after the Great Depression began in 1929. It seems that a generation space (30 to 40 years) is needed to achieve some distance from an oral history subject.

Continue reading ‘Dave Tomory & Oral History’

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Precursors – Alastair Morrison – Part I

NOTE ED: If you can not view the Quicktime video above, CLICK HERE.

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

In memoriam Alastair Morrison, born Peking, 25th August 1915, died Canberra, 4th August 2009.

(video courtesy Powerhouse Museum, Sydney, thanks to Dr Claire Roberts)
(poem copyright the estate of Dylan Thomas).

If you cannot view the video – please install Apple Quicktime Here.

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David Tomory – Seasons of Writing

Dave Tomory - London July 2009.

Dave Tomory - London July 2009.

On Friday (24/07/2009) afternoon I interviewed the writer Dave Tomory, author of  A Season in Heaven: True Tales from the Road to Kathmandu – to find out why he wrote the book and whether he had any tips for me with this web site.

As a diligent historian Dave counselled me to read Studs Terkel and work on strict plot lines.  Study oral history and be disciplined. He seemed to be enjoying himself.

Here he is with Rudyard Kipling on the wall behind him.

“I told them, I don’t need your real name, but I do want your real story”.

Podcast Dave Tomory interview (15 minutes 10mB .mp3):

 

Download here:


links:

A Season in Heaven

Remembering the Hippie Trail

Wikipedia – Studs Terkel

Hard Times: An Oral History of the Great Depression

Studs Terkel Dot Org

Sadly – Studs Terkel died 31 October 2008.

Oral History Society (UK)

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