_please listen to Robert De Niro performing a migrant wandering through the hallways of Ellis Island’s abandoned hospital—the New York immigration gateway—
« But don’t get me wrong, I’m the ghost of all those who never got to get there. And the ghost of those who will never get there. »
I remember the sound of the wind as I was falling asleep. The tree branches scraping the roof like people whispering. I arrived here one winter morning or maybe it was spring. I can’t remember anymore. The mind plays tricks.
Papa had just died two weeks before. The ground was frozen where they dug his grave. Mama left a note in my suitcase telling me to do something that would make her proud. To be a good man. There were so many winters.
I came here because I wanted a home where I can find peace. Where I can be treated like anyone else. Where I can be anyone I want to be.
It wasn’t always empty. They all had to come down here. People would line up here, holding their suitcases and their children holding on to them for dear life. They were young people and old people, families, lots of them, they were completely alone.
They waited their turn to reach the guard at the end of the hall. The guard would stamp your book and say « Go over there and welcome ». I was one of them. When I got here I went into a huge room, doctors asking me these quick questions. A doctor comes to me and tells me « You’ve got to go back ». I say « Back where? », he says « Back where you came from ». I said « I’ve got to go to New York, I come for a new life ». He says « No, you can’t. You go to ‘back home' ». And I fight him. He doesn’t listen, he says « Five minutes » and walks away. I grab my suitcase and I went and hid in the closet behind all these dressing gowns. And when it was dark, I went and hid somewhere else. And somewhere else. I stayed where nobody could find me. And a week became a month.
I had only one thing in mind. One place to be. Like you could fly if you had the wings. You could swim there if the current wasn’t so hard. Lots of people try. And I tried lots of times to get there. I even tried to swim once but I only made a little way.
One night I met somebody else. She was hiding too. So we hid together. Living at night. And we talked about what we would be when got to the shore. What our lives were going to be like.
And one day she didn’t wake up. So I took her body and put it in the water and… watched it float to where she wanted to go.
And I was alone again. I’m sorry, it was so close.
There were all these millions of people who come through here. And I see them all. People of every color, shape and size. And I think about all those people who did. All of those that made it. Made it to some distant shore, where when they come up the beach or over a bridge or around to a road, they start to walk. And they start walking faster and faster. Then they are running. They made it. They were at last home. But don’t get me wrong, I’m the ghost of all those who never got to get there. And the ghost of those who will never get there.
Nils Frahm x Woodkid – Winter Morning II (with Robert De Niro)
_ma rentrée des classes est prévue pour le onze octobre, je démarre donc les cours d’arabe (une certaine hâte). il ne me manquera plus pour cette année que le tatouage en creux de la cage thoracique no borders.
Candice Nguyen, 28 septembre 2016
_et pour le reste, « the world is not simply some romantic postcards notion of life, it is difficult and sad, infused by death. it requires something from us but the world is also full of everyday moments that mean something, moments that connect us to one another, moments that we will remember forever, moments that might very well mean the world. » Kogonada, The World According to Koreeda Hirokazu :
mes quelques jours passés à genoa étaient de cet ordre-là.
Photographies prises avec le téléphone pourri : Genoa, Italie, septembre 2016
Notre chroniqueuse de l'ailleurs Candice Nguyen a quitté Paris sur un coup de tête pour Marseille où elle vit et travaille depuis 2008 dans l’éditorial et la communication digitale. Partage son temps entre la mer, les routes et l’aide à la diffusion d’artistes, à travers notamment la revue de photographie et d’arts PLATEFORM Magazine et son journal en ligne. Elle est en charge des chroniques pour L'Autre Quotidien.