So i finally found the time to post something from our weekend trip. A little statistic: 2 people, 1 camera, 30 kilometers on foot, 38 degrees Celsius, 2 hitchhikes with two different cars, 3 brilliant but exhausting and adventurous days. There's also a part involving pepper spray, a swiss army knife and nocturnal bear hunting but that's another story really. Now pictures.
This weekend, my friend Bogdan and i decided to go back to our roots. We've packed our bags,checked train times and we're off to track down the capital of the Dacic people, who inhabited these parts around two thousand years ago.
It'll be a change from the ordinary. No trucks, no fuel, no transport other than walking from the train station to the ruins. 50 kilometers over two days. To assist, Ionut was kind enough to provide us with detailed military maps of the area, just to have a look at the roads and such.
We hope it'll be fine and we'll be back with loads of stuff to tell you, as well as pictures and articles - perhaps even a new project that might be born over this period.
Here's something Denisa sent me today. It's apparently becoming more and more annoying and police are just as useless as ever. We've had some pretty suspicious encounters with police where we were asked about cameras but seeing that we're photography students, we got of easier.
Still, who the hell do you think would take a medium format film camera to a surveillance shoot? What kind of Ansel Adams - infatuated terrorist do you really think exist in that country?
Important note to the police: THE TERRORISTS USE SILVER SONY CAMERAS AND ARE DISGUISED AS CHINESE TOURISTS. I SAW ONE PUT HIS MASK ON.
Now, the article:
Brit photographer who shot demolition of flyover arrested for terrorism
Alex took his camera out to photograph the demolition of a flyover (overpass) in Chatham, England. After refusing to give his identification to two plainclothes people who refused to identify themselves, he was arrested under Section 44 of the Terrorism Act (he did explain to the police and the mystery plainclothes people why he was there and what he had photographed, which is more than I would have done). The police officer put him in cuffs and led him down his town's main road and locked him in a police van. Once in the van, he was questioned about his views on terrorism. Later, a policewoman who said that he had caught her in one of his shots felt "intimidated" by him because he was tall (implying, I suppose, that he wouldn't have been arrested if he was shorter -- terrorists take note). Alex has complained to the police Professional Standards Department:
I believe the way I was treated was unjustified and wholly disproportionate. I assert that officer xxxxx misused her powers of arrest and demonstrated a poor understanding of the law in relation to arrest, the use of force, the use of detention, photography in public places, obstruction and the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2000. Furthermore I assert that officer xxxxx is unsuitable to act as a police officer or at the very least requires further training if she is intimidated by a male of an unremarkable stature taking a single picture with a camera pointed in her direction. I assert that officer xxxxx failed to follow the correct procedures when conducting his search of me and perpetuated the use of unreasonable force by refusing to release me from handcuffs. I assert that PCSO xxxxx demonstrated an unacceptable attitude by making a veiled threat towards me in relation to my future activities as an amateur photographer. I seek for these matters to be fully investigated, the process and outcomes of which I request to be shared with me. With regards to redress I seek a written apology in relation to any shortfalls identified with regards to the involved officer's conduct and consideration of compensation to be made to me for the upset, embarrassment and psychological trauma caused. I would also like Kent and Medway Police to liaise with Medway Council in order to identify the two unidentified men that initially stopped and questioned me. I seek for their conduct to also be fully investigated, the process and outcomes of which I request to be shared with me.
The race is now over and we're all back in civilization. It's been a hellish week, sleeping a few hours each night, getting food for more than 200 people in each camp, downloading trekkers and everything else there was to do. I have to admit that participating in the TAT is far far far easier than organizing it, and that now i would be much friendlier to any event organizers because i know where they come from and how much effort is put in every gathering of any sort. There's way too much to tell, so i will avoid it here. But i'll post links to the articles i'm going to write tonight and tomorrow so you can read a more detailed account. For now, images.