I am broken-hearted. I cannot find words that will do justice to what I feel about David Bowie’s passing; neither about his death nor about how much his artistry influenced my life. He is the first person (and one of the only ones) I ever saw who showed that what you produce and show to the world can be anything: music, acting, a life of artistry in general and to the full extent of the word. One does not need limit oneself to being one thing in order to say something meaningful to the world, reverting the modern dogma that specializing and only focusing in one thing is the only thing we can do with our lives and artistry if we want to say something meaningful. In Bowie’s case, his life, work and inspiration was more than the simple sum of its parts. His whole life was performance and art, and it inspired millions who grew up listening to his music and those millions who will know about him in the future, either when they discover his legacy by themselves or when their parents listen to his music.
For me, the fact that I am a sociologist, but that I also find ways to create through photography, or that I look at art, popular culture, music, mass media and/or poetry for inspiration and incorporate it into my research is a direct consequence of my love for Bowie’s work and his musical production. These are not small things, they mean my life and what I can say originally about the world. The fact that a person who inspired me deeply like this is suddenly gone begs the question within me “what is death in light of this life?” Does it matter, for those who are inspired, that Bowie himself is gone? I feel broken-hearted but I’m also deeply thankful for having had the opportunity of growing up listening to his music, today I will just listen a bit closer. Rest in peace Space Oddity, Ziggy Stardust, Thin White Duke… In the afterlife, I hope to listen to another collaboration with Freddie Mercury you might write there. If not, I will just listen to what you left us here until the day I too die.