Museo de la Cuarentena – Petr Barabakaa Photography

“When you skate you are out on the streets. You speak a mutual language with the city. In some ways, it erases the fear of interacting with life. Skaters are impudent and self-confident. A lot of the time, you need these qualities for street photography as well.” ~ PETR BARABAKAA

It’s a language I may not yet be fluent in, despite any considerable amount of time in the streets, but my skills are growing. It’s not something you can go to school for. There are no independent study courses that teach it. It could just be that survival within my milieu has never required it. It’s more a curiosity than a necessity. Barabakaa clearly has a skill for at least this particular language.

The fear of interacting with life… That’s everything, really. I spoke briefly yesterday with a man named Xavier, down on The Bowery. Yes, those elements that brought the name of the street into the national lexicon are still there. Xavier was interesting. His face was somewhat off center but it was hard to tell if it was a temporary, alcohol-related melt, or some permanent affliction. He was a lovely gentleman really, with no hustle going. He just wanted to connect. He grabbed me by the shoulder and spun be to the west and encouraged me to look up.

What do you see?

I see buildings across the street, Xavier.

Nawwww look up at the blue sky! That’s what you got today. You got blue sky!

Xavier could have been a lovely subject and I considered asking for a photo, even a selfie of the two of us, but couldn’t bring myself to interact with life that deeply. I was afraid. It was a rare opportunity and it was missed. Next time maybe? We shall see.

But back to Muscovite Petr Barabakaa. This is a man who has clearly overcome fear, at least this particular fear. He has overcome fear of the very, very real. Well done, man! Well done!

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