SERIES : Baghdad Today

 

In our series section we are presenting the works of Marieke van der Velden.

The general public is never in the news, so she traveled to Baghdad to ask everyone  “How are you ?”. In her series Baghdad Today, she puts faces to the news we hear, as she says in her feature on NYTimes: “In Holland, we don’t know anything about the Iraqi people,When we hear Iraqis are killed … if they have no face, then we feel no hurt.”

 

 

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If you could live in any time period, which would you choose and why?

I would love to go back in time, because I think I will understand the present better. Or I will  wonder that things change so much.The world is a very interesting place, with so many contrasts. There are some areas in history where I would love to be part of it (for a couple of months..not my life!), such as Eastern Berlin when the wall was existing, or Kabul around the seventies where the women were allowed to walk in skirts.

First thing you do when you wake up?

Most of the time, I wake up very early, around 6.30 or 7. and first thing I do is say good morning to my boyfriend. Open the windows to the balcony where the sun is early too. I hear the city is waking up too with trams and cars. Check Facebook and my mail on my Iphone, then while preparing a big plate with quark, muesli and maple syrup.

Favorite smell?

The smell of Africa, especially in the evening around 19. The people are preparing their food on a fire of wood. The little shops besides the streets also have their fire. That in combination with the warm air from the day gives a very heavy but natural and warm smell. I travelled a lot in Africa (Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique, Liberia, Uganda, Kenya, Burkina faso,  Gambia, Benin) and for this reason on one way or another it feels like home. It reminds me of all the trips I’ve made.

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