NAME:Greta Bellamacina
SPECIALISM:Poetry
LOCATION:Delta, Mississippi
MATERIALS:X 1 Poem / X 10 Photographs / X 1 Video

Overview of Voyage D'etudes

Greta Bellamacina is a poet, filmmaker and model who graduated from King’s College London in 2012, with a BA in English. She endeavours to understand the historical and global impact of the English language and feels this has given her a profound insight into the technical aspects of language; thriving on the written word as her principal tool for comprehending and expressing experiences. As part of her artistic journey, Greta worked for US Vogue gaining journalistic experience and more recently Greta was assigned as Poetry Editor for a new collection of poetry inspired by nature and beauty. This collection will be launched in March 2014, published by MACK. Along with her own poetry collection entitled A Devotion To She, Greta is currently represented by VIVA Model Management, which is based in London and Paris, on their talent board.

I started my journey in Texas, travelling to Jackson to stay with a friend and then through the Delta, giving poetry workshops along the way. I was deeply curious about discovering Jackson; a place of debutantes, members’ clubs, women’s luncheons and small neighborhoods surrounded by walls of security. This was in contrast to Mississippi Delta, lying between the Mississippi and Yazoo rivers. In the past, the region had been called “The Most Southern Place on Earth” because of its unique racial, cultural, and economic history. It was one of the richest cotton growing areas in the nation. Before the American Civil War (1861-1865), the region attracted many speculators who developed land for cotton plantations; they became wealthy planters dependent for labor on black slaves. As I drove through the winter landscape of the Delta MS with three friends all from Jackson, the flat and frosted cotton fields heighted my exploration into the globalization of the land. When travelling through, we discovered the people, their imaginings and poetry, which is left to drown in the heart of winter; when all is quiet the roads have become cold.

At night we hung out at the local Juke bars, which were often in someone’s house or in an unknown shed off the highway. This is an image with me and a guy called Poor Fast Eddie, a man who showed us around one night and took us to his grandma’s home to tell us stories and play the Blues. Under the stars, he told us his dreams, as we drank beer in tins.

Delta Voyages

Delta Highway

There were revelations

That filled the miles.

The empty cotton fields

That were fried between 5-9.

They were growing near roads

Calling beat the clock

Beat the clock

that greedy clock.

But those cars never did stop.

America was news in Jackson, unbless you.

The Delta lived old,

As far as, to live.

 

By Greta Bellamacina (A poem inspired by the haunting poverty found around the Delta Highways)

Conclusion

The Mississippi blues man’s revised Faustian deal with the devil is an apt metaphor for the promise of globalization. To be able to sing greatly of sadness! Such as those who live in ghost towns, in poverty, disconnected from the spoils and usurped by the dehumanizing presence of machines. Yet, globalization is fait accompli. We choose globalization despite the cautionary residue; we choose globalization even while celebrating the cautionary residue. It’s almost like the blues style and ethos has inoculated us against the discontents of globalization, only allowing us to appreciate its exploitative beauty and excess. We choose to make globalization happen. It’s infinitely bigger than we are, and being a spectator of this juggernaut, is our reward. Jean-Paul Sartre wrote that being seduced is the act of feeling small next to something. Globalization provides this seductive traction and isn’t burdened to provide anything deeper or more sustainable. The wasteland of the Mississippi River Delta is ground zero of modern globalization, the mecca. These pictures are the residues of a pilgrimage.

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