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the ministry of the third culture
This is where they killed the students, says Luna.
We're looking behind us over the four-laner at a boring apartment block.
They have guns? says Ajo.
It's like a park, a ten acre rectangle with some dusty eucalyptus trees, broken walls, the sunken remains of foundations. I pan over the ruins towards a building with a cross on the roof.
This is the Plaza de las Tres Culturas, intones Luna
Buildings sit submerged in the gray smog everywhere you pan, some floating like deadheads in a swamp. One rises above it all, a tower in the obelisk style.
Who lives in there? I say. The police?
Luna is standing short between Ajo and Brutus, baseball cap concealing his bald head, scoop shading his eyes. Faint moustache, hook nose. Imagine him as a foot soldier in the army of Cortez.
That is the Ministry of the Third Culture, says Luna.
We pan from the obelisk back to the apartment block, look up at the roof.
How many they kill? says Ajo. A hundred?
Looking at a statue of the Pope, big, twenty, twenty five feet. Gold, the old tech color. Rosary peddlers circle or squat in the shade. A beggar works the crowd coming and going from the Cathedral. Birds speed over the prayer grounds. A kid drags two laughing amigos on a piece of cardboard.
Brutus stands in the sunlight, looking around. On the other side, Ajo having a smoke.
Is that your picture? whispers Luna. Your amigos and His Holiness?
We're inside the new building, looking out.
This door is like a frame, si? says Luna. Fantastic!
I lower the camera. Behind me, a bishop is monologuing in Spanish, the dim amphitheatre filled with pilgrims. Sporadic coughs, sighs, the shuffle of feet.
You know what this door represents? says Luna.
The City »»»
© Lawrence Russell
Culture Court 2000