Monday, April 21, 2014

Artists and the lack of freedom to travel

I indeed find it tragic that young Iranian artists are often facing obstacles to obtain visas and that it is easier for their art to travel to international art markets than the artists themselves... Check this article in the Huffington Post:

Sunday, April 20, 2014

My heart is capable of any form (Ibn 'Arabi)

"My heart is capable of any form..." Ibn 'Arabi

Happy Ishtar - happy Easter - Frohe Ostern - مبارک ایسٹر - feliz Pascua - Joyeuses Pâques - عيد فصح سعيد - furaha Pasaka - عید پاک مبارک - feliz Páscoa - sásta na Cásca - Buona Pasqua - Христос воскрес - Ka hari Aranga - Lê Phục Sinh vui vẻ - Καλό Πάσχα - חג הפסחא שמח - İyi Paskalyalar - feliç Pasqua - 부활절 축복 받으세요 - Vrolijk Pasen - イースター、おめでとう - हैप्पी ईस्टर - சந்தோஷமாக ஈஸ்டர் - Glad Påsk - Selamat Paskah..

Photo by Rahal Eks - paseando

Thursday, April 17, 2014


Digital art by Rahal Eks - dancers pausing 1 - made in Turkey

Oh dear, I thought, as I was observing a handsome local dude in a gay bar in a small town somewhere on the Mediterranean coast during my recent time spent in lovely Spain. I love the people, usually also the weather, the language, and certain foods. In short, I utterly feel at home in Spain. It normally produces an instant sensation of acute happiness, including a feeling of belonging and that the minute I get off the plane. Even the air has this special smell I love, not to forget ever-green palm trees here and there. It's just to my liking. 

The friends I had come with got us some drinks from the bar and we sat down at a table, chilling, talking and watching the scene. We were early, the place was only gradually filling up. I realized that moment that it had been a while since I had visited a gay club. Nowadays they all look the same, regardless in which country or continent you happen to be, even most of the music sounds the same, another global affair. The same goes for what is expected to be worn and how your hair cut and the body ought to look. Somehow our global world seems less diversity friendly than different periods of time long gone by where local flavor could be easier detected. 

I sipped my drink and kept observing the handsome Spaniard on the dance floor. It was quite surreal to say the least: in one hand he held a drink, in the other a smart phone eagerly checking grindr and texting like a Speedy Gonzales with one thumb. At the same time he pretended to dance to the music and narcissistically check himself in the mirror from time to time. That's what I call multiple tasking and not being really in the here and now. This guy was more entranced by his mirror image and checking grindr pictures online than being aware of his environment. 

Other people began to come in. A lot of them holding on to their smart phones like for dear life - or pulling them out of their pockets the minute they sat down and had nothing to do. Instantly they were sending out text messages with great urgency or getting busy with cyber-cruising on grindr and similar apps, or checking e-mails as if there ain't no tomorrow. 

On the way to the toilette it was obligatory to pass through a darkroom section - at this relatively early hour of the night it was still deserted, only peopled by porn star projections on various video screens - all of them white with gym-trained bodies as if photocopied. No POC. Not even some Mediterranean types! 

Back out walking across the dance floor the local multiple tasking dude was actually saying "hola" to someone passing by he seemed to know and notice. 

I got inspired to dream of a film I'd like to do one day where nobody talks to each other, people just hammer away on their smart phones, indulging in sms orgies, in other words a silent movie of sorts. Have we lost organic human interaction and communication in a direct way? Is it so much safer to cruise behind a mask of an online profile, thundering out shorthand style chat messages that don't even add up to a complete sentence? What are people afraid of? Is it really so terrible to be real and diverse and not conform to some nutty global norms of uniformed gay vogue? 

Some may think I'm ungrateful or just bitchy - I'm not at all. We enjoy LGBT rights in many parts of the world and as a community some think we have advanced and made great progress and achieved supposed freedom of choice in how we present our identities to the world. Do we really? Are we truly a community? What is just our conditioned thinking? What are brain-washed induced pseudo-desires? What are just the effects of advertising? I know, sometimes I act as the devil's advocate and I quite like it. 

The issue is related to identity. Are we just the result of our genes, or the environment and society, or is it both? What about religion or the lack of it? Spirituality? Free will or destiny? Or could past lives have an additional impact on our current psychological make-up, on our personas, traumas, aspirations and dreams? 

It so happened that I experienced a two-day regression gig while in Spain. And I'm glad I did. It was an eye-opener to understand certain traumas and fears and transform them, achieving a lightness because a heavy weight of unwanted luggage was suddenly gone and buried. I was able to make peace on a deep level and move on. While some past lives released traumas and let me re-experience old dramas to understand certain things - others were uplifting and fun and helped to comprehend how I tick on a deep level across various lives. It was illuminating and helpful in more than one way, not to forget the liberating effect. For example, I was able to go way back to the roots of a conflict a long time ago with a certain person who almost murdered me in this life. To understand the reason helped to really let go and free myself of that very unpleasant and crazy episode. I learned about the multiple lessons the soul goes through in order to try and evolve. 

The regression sessions happened under hypnosis. Each lasting more than five hours. One part was going into actual past lives. Another was going to the level of in-between lives, meeting with the guide of my soul group and part of the quite huge soul group itself, as well as having an encounter with a spiritual council consisting of 7 elevated beings who answered some of my urgent questions, but not all. It was a most pleasant reality on the other side, so to speak. There were no deadlines, no stress or tension, only a blissful and peaceful "now" stretching into eternity joyously. Our 3-D hustles and worries and fears seemed ridiculous and funny, I laughed a lot and truly relaxed. At last my guide brought me into the divine presence which was a fountain of golden mist without beginning or end. Merging with it was ecstatic and produced a lasting healing of the soul vibrating on a high note of love. 

Ishq bashad, saludos Rahal

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

india recognizes third gender...

in a landmark ruling, the indian supreme court has recognized transgender persons as ‘third sex,’ which many in the community have welcomed.  the court recognized the ruling to be one of human rights, rather than social or medical ruling. 

further, the court ordered the government to treat the transgender community as any minority community, and to offer quotas in the job and education sectors, something other minorities such as various caste groups who has had longterm discrimination in the mainstream culture. 

the law suit was brought by the national legal services authority or nalsa, which has been set up through a 1987 act. the lawyer, anita shenoy, expressed welcoming words on behalf of the plaintiffs. laxmi narayan tripath, a well known figure in the transgender community and a member in the lawsuit, also welcomed the decision, saying she felt a proud indian. 

last december, the indian supreme court struck down a law that decriminalized non-heteronormative sexuality in 2009. this is a rather interesting development, because that law also would apply to some transgender persons, as the law has a broad effects on various communities. 

for more, visit:

Monday, April 14, 2014

lgbt-only prison will be built in turkey

bekir bozdağ, minister of justice, has announced turkey will have new prison exclusively for the lgbt convicts. turkey currently segregates the lgbt from the general population, and lgbt prisoners are guarded by “pink wards”. 

currently, the prison population who identify as lgbt are only about 81 persons. the minister divided 75 for being in for various crimes: 22 being convicted for homicide, 44 for robberies and stealing, 6 for drugs, 3 for sexual assault, 2 for trespassing, 2 for fraud, 1 for damaging public property and 1 for bodily harm.  

in the meantime, there has been a growing criticism about this, with intellectuals arguing that such a move would alienate lgbt persons from socializing enviornments. for example, mustafa eren, who’s with the CISST, a human rights organization dealing with inmates, such a move would be a breach of human rights. 

you can find the original article in turkish here: