Monday, May 29, 2006

Remember Robin Taudevin

The purpose of this blog is to keep you updated on the events that are now in progress in the spirit of Robin.

A memorial was held in Timor Leste on the Friday after his death, by the sea. Well over a hundred people attended including his father, Lansell, who flew from Singapore, his mother, Noreen, who flew from Semarang in Java and myself, his most important and very favourite (and only) sister who flew from (randomly) Schleswig in North German, Olly Green (his best mate), Ian Green (his best mate's father and a man of super-human strength and clarity), and among many, many others who travelled from far and wide, the very beautiful and very wonderful and very, very strong,

The ceremony was an honest celebration of his life and everyone mentioned above spoke or sang. It is a Timorese custom to throw petals into the sea at a funeral, so, I sang a Gaelic song to the sea and started the ceremonial petal throwing, but as I stood in the sea, which is now my brother, shaking, I thought "who wants to stand on the beach and cry?" So I jumped in and, thankfully, Bree joined me and we laughed and swam and made Bree's very white clothes very see-through. Well, Robin and the fishes enjoyed the view.

The next morning we took a boat out to Robin's favourite diving spot and scattered some of his ashes as the sun came up over the open sea and the sparse, dry headland of Dili. The dawn was so perfect and so pure and so peaceful and for a moment the world seemed to make sense. There, in that breathtakingly beautiful spot, it all seemed to be perfect in a way that no words will ever describe. Reminding us all that our little lives are indeed so very little and so very insignificant. And that time is nothing. Who will we be in 30,000 years time? Who are we to think that we are the first and only to go through this awful pain? Life is pain. And death is life. And then the tears took hold and the blue sea - the colour of Robin's eyes winking and saying, "Go on, go on"- was just far too inviting. So in Bree and I dove again, followed by Olly, Matt (who flew out from the Sudan) and Eoghan (who works with UNDP in Dili and was on the beach when Robin drowned).

That was perhaps one of the last peaceful moments for beautiful Timor Leste as it's turmoil bubbles away. All "inessential" staff have been evacuated including Bree. (Mum, Dad and I left before the trouble really started) so Brees' plan to plant a frangipani tree - a tree synonymous with those that are lost, in the mountains where she and Robin first fell in love has been put on hold.

Mum is now back in Semarang (safe from the turmoil of the Jogjakarta earthquake where so much more life has been lost and so many more mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, loved ones are mourning and being mourned), Dad is safe in Singapore and I am based back in the UK after my mammoth European tour playing Piggy in Lord of the Flies.

We plan to hold a
memorial in Scotland in mid to late July. Bree and I and MY MUM will do a skydive and set some of Robin's ashes free into the air he loved to fly through before we all have simultaneous heart attacks. The day will then be open to those who wish to skydive too, and perhaps even be sponsored to do so? In the evening we plan to hold a memorial in Glasgow which will be an exhibition of all of his photographic work.

We have a date in Glasgow for the first exhibition of his work. His asylum seeker photographs are on permanent display and will be open to the public on the 23rd of June at Positive Action in Housing, 98 West George Street. GLASGOW G2 1PJ. It will also be open on the memorial day in July. We also plan to hold an exhibition of his work for Refugee Week in Glasgow at The Tron Theatre, 63 Trongate Glasgow, Monday 19 June 10am-6.00pm, Tue 20-Sat 24 June 10am-Late.

We are also in the process of setting up an account for donations which will go towards an East Timorese cause. Our original plan was to set up a photographic scholarship fund for East Timorese secondary school students, but in light of the current situation, perhaps the money would be better used in a clinic or Timorese organisation that can help
rebuild the country. More info on this as I get it.

So please keep checking this site for info on the memorial, the donation fund, the situation in Timor Leste and Robin's exhibitions. This is a global operation to allow everyone to say goodbye and keep remembering the best one of them all. There are just so many people who knew and loved Robin that it will be impossible for me to keep track of who I have told what, so I leave it up to YOU to keep yourself informed.

Be at Peace

Allison Julia


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