Sunday, September 12, 2010

A Wall

These are a few images from last week, which was a bit tough for me. I realize I've come to this country with such Western entitlements, and while I also mean that in a general sense, I'm specifically thinking about rule of law and our entitlements to civil liberties, expectations which, to some extent, dissolve once you cross the International Date Line, as you move from West to East, from global North to South.

At one point last week, I was sitting poolside with a colleague, a Canadian lawyer, waiting for the rain to let up, munching on hot frites and listening to the Fleetwood Mac tunes on perpetual loop, when the discussion of torture and detention came up. This time, it wasn't an abstract, academic exercise; it wasn't a debate, but a looming reality for someone we both knew. And I watched her lips move, heard the words come out, and tried to digest them whole.

But I could not. Instead, for days after, I ran the scenario in my head, even tried to justify it with Western logic, all the while struggling with the wall before me.

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