Ship In The Sand

music, fandom and photography

Archive for the ‘Death’ Category

‘With all my heart’

image ©  2012 Aline Giordano text © 2013 Aline Giordano The photos… the photos… She had ripped them apart to remove my mother and me. She didn’t even take scissors to cut us off. She just tore the paper. Was it in a fit of rage, or did she do it calmly, realising that she [...]

‘King’s crossing’

image © 2012 Aline Giordano text © 2012 Aline Giordano As I am reading these words: ‘It was natural, therefore, to keep up appearances in the face of the reality of death by preserving flesh and bones’, the ferry boat rolls and the music of Elliott Smith rocks me gently; a little closer to France [...]

‘So Slow’

image © 2004 Aline Giordano   ‘So slow‘ by Sophia   I turn off the light but leave the television talking no, tonight I don’t want to be alone I try to close my eyes, but I’m afraid of the dark I see you everywhere I see you everywhere but death comes so slow when [...]

‘Something vague’

image © 2008 Aline Giordano text © 2013 Aline Giordano The first time I heard ‘Something vague’, I was overwhelmed by my own feelings which had been awakened by the stark story that Conor Oberst sings about, written and delivered in such a way that it could be autobiographical. I remembered climbing the stairs to [...]

‘One hundred years’

image © 1989 Aline Giordano text © 2013 Aline Giordano The so-called groundbreaking typology of suicide devised by Emile Durkheim; I doubt it would have given mother much consolation after my brother killed himself, aged 21. I attempted to read Durkheim’s monograph, ‘Suicide’ then. I had to give it up. It didn’t add up. All [...]

‘Hard to be’

image © 2013 Aline Giordano text © 2013 Aline Giordano More than twenty years ago, when I was a student, I recorded three demo songs. I regularly listen to one of them, ‘merry christmas you are dead’, and I feel proud of myself. The guitar layers, all on overdrive and distorted to the maximum, sound [...]

Kurt Cobain

image © 1994 Aline Giordano text © 2011 Aline Giordano Many professional photographers have tried to capture the genius, the madness or the despair of Cobain. They photographed him posing with a gun, in a wheelchair, with oversized fashionable sunglasses and, more humanely, just slouching on a sofa playing his Fender guitar. They also pictured [...]

Bertrand Cantat

image © 1993 Aline Giordano text © 2011 Aline Giordano Bertrand Cantat was the lead singer of Noir Désir, one of the most successful French rock bands since the end of the 1980s, with a career that would be spanning nearly two decades. I interviewed Mr Cantat at the height of the band’s career in [...]

‘Right where it belongs’

  image © 2005 Aline Giordano text © 2013 Aline Giordano When I die I want to be burned. I want my ashes scattered in the sea off Korea, where I was born. I remember the trail of thoughts behind this decision very clearly. I thought: I was born in South Korea; abandoned when I [...]

Perfume Genius

image © 2012 Aline Giordano text © 2013 Aline Giordano Those of us working in higher education know this proverb by Mahatma Gandhi well: ‘Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.’ Today I am certainly living as if I were to die tomorrow. Tomorrow I am [...]


image © 2012 Aline Giordano text © 2013 Aline Giordano The culture of transnationally-adopted Koreans has most often been (re)presented thus far through affecting ethnographic investigations. The recurrence and concurrence of these ethnographies have strengthened the voice of those individuals given for adoption to other nations. Yet these studies typically focus on the adopted Korean [...]


image © 2006 Aline Giordano text © 2011 Aline Giordano Mark Linkous died on 6th March 2010. He shot himself in the heart. He knew Vic Chesnutt. When I look at Mark Linkous’ photograph I see the ‘primitive theatre’ to which Barthes (1980: 32) alludes and the ‘tableau vivant, a figuration of the motionless and [...]

Vic Chesnutt

image © 2005 Aline Giordano text © 2011 Aline Giordano What is so special about a bloke in a wheelchair whose face is not even in focus? The photograph brings to mind Roland Barthes’ Winter Garden photograph of his mother (1980:73): ‘It only exists for me. For [most of you], it would be nothing but [...]