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December 2014

Tunisia, port of Kraten in the Kerkennah Islands. May 19th 2013. At the port, fishermen spend long hours before and after their trips out to the sea untangling and fixing their expensive nets. Bottom trawling equipment often catches conventional nets, destroying them and towing them far away from where they were set by their owners. Fishermen in Kraten and other villages in Kerkennah have expressed their anger towards the government's inability to fight bottom trawling in their seas and have yet to see any concrete measures.
Food Finds

Food Finds: Marsaxlokk

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I have a confession. I tend to romanticize. Especially fishermen and the sea. Once, in passing, my mother, an islander, told me “When you live by the sea, once you leave it, you always miss it.” Ever since then I have been in love with anything nautical. Selkies, sirens, even that Looking Glass song about Brandy leave me dreaming and longing for that hauntingly beautiful, dauntingly vast and tremendously frightening mare.

My mare is not usually the warm and inviting waves of the Mediterranean — that cradle of European civilization that bore Odysseus, the Phoenicians and so many other explorers upon their waves. My mare or “sjøen” or ”havet” is the cold harsh ocean of the North, an ocean that is not to be loved, but feared and fought against. So too the seas inhabitants are different. These are not the warm waters that invite soft tentacled octopi to traverse the shallow ocean shore, but rather the prickly frightening hard-shelled king crab.

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Norwegian fisherman wearing the classic sydvest (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sou%27wester)

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Malta is distinguished by  towering cliffs on the one side of the island and coastal harbors on the other.
Malta

The Macro Lense

noun_29926_ccWhen your heart and palate have spent the last 8 months dreaming of wild fennel browned by the bright sun poking out of porous rocks and rabbit stewed in wine for hours, how do you call up those memories when these images leave your life. What do you do when these scenes and flavors that had been painted so brightly and clearly recede into the background and become abstract? A relationship ends and suddenly what you knew about the food and its people becomes foggy. What would you do if you already had a plane ticket? Would you go? I couldn’t resist. The tastes of Malta were calling me and with or without the Maltese painter, I would discover them. So too I will now learn to paint the Mediterranean colors myself. I will delve into Malta, and who knows, maybe the act of conjuring these tastes will sharpen that faded picture.

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