Aldo Matteucci   13 Jan 2013   Looking Sideways

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International meetings can be drudgery - we all know that. Most interventions are idle points for “home consumption”- or beside the point. Oversized egos show off his ignorance of the issues, or vent their prejudices. The rest is convention, mainstream, cliché. You know…

How to survive? My survival tactic was to slide single pages of poetry – haikus, sonnets, anything short and powerful – amidst the folders I’d place on the desk. I’d lean back in my chair – so the colleague could not see the tell-tale layout of the text – and read the lines intently. I called it “turbo-poetry”. It worked wonders, just like “turbo-sleep” at a rest place off the highway.

Everyone nowadays brings his PC into a meeting. So there is an alternative to poetry, for those who have enough of words. Here it is: stroll among citizens of the world – Ethiopia, India, Bhutan, Burma, Romania…

You can see the rest of these photos and more at

Or this one, if you prefer…


I’m sure the word “humankind” rolls easily off our diplomatic tongues – but what lives behind the bland abstraction? Leafing through hundreds of Dimitra’s photos from everywhere one begins to understand – and experience – the diversity which is all of us.

Dimitra hails from Greece – the country where abstraction was born. It is to her credit that her eyes (and lens) meet diversity head on and – a novel Herodotus – records it through well-constructed and vivid narrative images. Theoria, θεωρία, meant "a looking at, viewing, beholding”. The Orphics used the word "theory" to mean “passionate sympathetic contemplation” – I prefer a slightly different etymology: “to go about” – and pay attention.

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