Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Talvin Singh Manhandled at Paris Airport

Mondomix.com reports on the realities of frontier-crossing and its risks, especially when you are brown, the color that is. On May 11, British Asian musician Talvin Singh, following a visit to the French capital to discuss with the press the release of his latest album (see Review), the virtuoso tabla player prepared to embark on the last Eurostar train back to his homebase in London. As he ambled towards the 8 :43 pm to Waterloo customs officers yanked open the black suitcase that held his precious tablas and began to toy with them unceremoniously. When Singh offered to dismantle them himself, he was jostled, thrown to the ground and manhandled. It was only when they saw that Singh held a British passport that the officers ended their aggression, but not before threatening to ban him from France. By then the train had left and Singh was left in Paris for a night to ponder over the selective French treatment reserved to people of a darker hue. Would the officers have treated his friends David Bowie or Bjork in the same way, he asked himself ?

On a side note, I can't wait to hear Talvin's new work--mondomix's review sounds pleasantly encourging.


Post a Comment

<< Home