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Frogs and Snakes

Jesse G & Nam Nguyen Thi

"Don't show me the frogs and snakes
And listen for my scream
If I'm afraid at all
It's only in my dreams"

- Maya Angelou (from the poem "Life Doesn't Frighten Me")

I probably could have picked any track by Q. I can just lie in bed or on the ground and close my eyes to any track and let the trip in my head start. I chose this track because of the lyrics and because it fits perfectly to the quote from the poem. Oftentimes, I ask myself how many times anxiety has stopped me from doing things in life and how things might be different, if my anxiety wasn't so dominant. When I talk about closing my eyes and letting the trip in my head start, I'm talking about the space that belongs only to me, where I can imagine anything without any boundaries. If anxiety is only in my head, it's in my head, I imagine I can dismantle it. I can visualize the music in my head. I remember when 'I Know There's Gonna Be (Good Times) by Jamie xx came out. It was Summer, I was 22 and had no idea what I was doing. It was this phase where you think you’re an adult, but you're actually really naive and basically just fucking around. When I watched the scene in 'Euphoria' where the song is playing in the background, it reminded me of that Summer. Rue has a trip and walks down a hallway that is turning. All of a sudden, it's not possible to distinguish reality from imagination and they become one. When I saw this scene and heard this song it created a feeling in me that I couldn't describe, but it's a feeling that reminds me to not be too serious all the time and that it's okay to let yourself go.

On a rainy day we decided to go to the exhibition of Wu Tsang 'There is no nonviolent way to look at somebody'. It was the end of summer and I realized that the last few months had been very work intense, and I felt empty and lost. I was happy to see her face. She makes me feel like I can relax in her presence. She bought a brightly colored umbrella on the way and we laughed about it. The ticket seller asked if we had danced the night away, we laughed about it and I thought it would be nice if we had. After watching the short film 'We hold where study' we could hardly speak because it fascinated us so much.

We then watched it two more times in a row. Two videos that overlap create a multitude of moments of touching, repulsion, strength and connection.

One of the tracks in the film is 'Adjust' by Bendik Giske from the album 'Surrender'. Music helps me better express my feelings in so many moments and it heals and gives me hope. Completely inspired and overwhelmed by the composition, content and music o f the film, we left the exhibition with more longings.

a person standing in front of turntables

Photocredits: Shot on 35mm film in Summer 2020 by Nam Nguyen.

Huong Nam Nguyen Thi (she/her) grew up in Berlin. Analog photographer capturing portraits, daily moods and moments of the political Asian-German movement.

Jesse G (she/her) is a Berlin based DJ and creative person who studies at HU Berlin and works in a record store. At the moment she co-hosts the radio show "Necton" and has a residency at HÖR Berlin.

Jesse G on Instagram
Jesse G on SoundCloud
Nam on Instagram