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NUDES > WORLD > WORLD > THE FLEMISH SESSIONS > WINTER IN FLANDERS - FOR SYRIA


Winter

 

A few days ago, Wednesday 13th March 2013, I drove back from Bratislava to Belgium, a 1.200 km drive with beautiful memories of the 3x3x3 exhibition and the new sessions, continuing snow showers on the Autobahn and the hits and news items of Austrian and German radio as my companions. 

 

Three main items on the radio: a young man convicted to life sentence for brutally having killed his parents-in-law. By following the right path in prison, there is a possibility he will be released within 15 years.
Still black smoke on the Vatican conclave. It wasn't untill I arrived home that Franciscus was elected. He seemed to bring humility into the Vatican. Hope he'll succeed.

At the Syrian borders, thens of thousands of children live in refugee camps. Every day, hundreds more arrive. Raped, beaten, traumatised by living and witnessing unspeakable atrocities. Spokes(wo)men of Unicef already expressed words as 'a lost generation'. It was hard to concentrate on the road. War, Germany, my father's stories being a member of the Belgian resistance, the manuscript of that German lady I stayed with in 1999, cruelly expelled from 'Sudetenland' by the Russian troops in 1945. Vae victis, as the Romans already said. So many people injured, humiliated, killed. For what?

 

Thursday,14th March, the snow in Flanders starts melting quickly. Gone are the fairy tale qualities of fresh snow in the trees. 
I asked Nele if she would mind doing our snow session on the British military graveyard, not far from my place. Asked her to express respect, grieve. She accepted. She has lost two men in her life. 

We drive to Heverlee, following the signs of the British War Cemetery. We find 2 cemeteries, one for the nuns of the convent/school for girls, one a bit further for British soldiers killed in WW II. Both make deep sense for Nele, and for me.

The cemeteries haven't been visited in days, hardly any marks in the snow. I start thinking if I should feel guilty. Am I unrespectful? The quietness and honesty during our session tells me the contrary. This session feels like a prayer. Nele goes far, forgets the cold. I feel grateful.

 

 

I don't want these images to be spectacular. I'd want them to make you think, feel, act. If you feel offended, let me know. If you are touched and want to do something, donate to Unicef; there is more than 30 million € needed to give basic support to these Syrian children. Every euro makes a difference. 

 

Pascal.  

 

All reactions are welcome at pascal@pascalbaetens.com