[-empyre-] The city as a skin -- Sparta and the helots / molecular revolution in process ?

Ana Valdés agora158 at gmail.com
Fri Mar 30 16:11:42 EST 2012

Dear Johannes, I apologize if I went too hard on you :( But I and my
fellows and friends here are a bit too sensitive with the issue exhumations.
I feel that death and mourning are related and if you deny someone the
mourning you are denying this person the grief, the reconciliation with the
death and the healing concerned.
The friends of mine who have missing relatives tell me about the infinite
despair you feel when you can't see the body or the ashes or the tombstone
where you know your relative is resting.
You are restless until the ceremonies of the death and mourning are
I remember Homeros, when Priamo goes to the Greek camp to reclaim the body
of Hector to mourn him or when Antigona want bury her brother and is ready
to die for it.
When I studied Anthropology I read a lot about the transition from the
collective death when the dead was accompanied by all the relatives and
neighboors to the "burgeois" death, when the death was private and only the
nearest kin was present.
It explains also the role of the graveyards or cemeteries in the city, they
were "outside" the city grid and they were used as a kind of "free
territories" where play, gamble and fornication were performed.
Today's graveyards are empty, serious and silent, the dead are not
accompanied by the living kin.

On Wed, Mar 28, 2012 at 10:39 PM, Johannes Birringer <
Johannes.Birringer at brunel.ac.uk> wrote:

> dear Ana
> sorry for the misunderstanding here;
> when i was writing, i was doing so in response to some the concerns we
> addressed regarding
> practices, and i was trying to respond to Alejandro and Aristide,
> regarding political, communal
> and eco/artistic practices, so when i said i would not know how to apply
> this to exhumation,
> i meant it in that sense, not that I had not "heard" of exhumations or was
> ignorant of
> mass graves.
> I tried to ask myself how  (when I discussed with Argentinian friends your
> example of Uruguayans waiting to hear from a government
> commission whether someone was/could or would be identified after being
> ex-humed) one could act upon that process, or
> on a grave, or on the ethical and political (and certainly psychological)
> challenges arising from trauma.
> I found no immediate answer, except thinking of the human rights activist
> processes people engaged in several territories
> recently, and then of the legal issues involved (remembering what we
> discussed here regarding "protocols" or what
> Aristide calls for -- reinvestigating "the value of the common legislative
> force".....
> I also tried to think critically, and skeptically of "performance" or
> performative healing, even if the value of ritual cannot be doubted,
> and I picked up, between the lines, a small reference in a footnote, in
> Alejandro Meitin's essay on "Urbanismo crítico, intervención bioregional y
> especies emergentes",
> to Lucy Lippard criticizing activist art flying into the area, the local
> territorio, to "ex-hume" or deal with the traumatized:
>   Alejandro schreibt:
> >>Lucy R. Lippard, cree que es necesario que los artistas colaboren,
> directa o indirectamente, con los movimientos ciudadanos pero sin intentar
> dirigir sus acciones ni apropiarse de sus discursos, evitando en todo
> momento cobrar un protagonismo excesivo o caer en una lectura meramente
> esteticista de la lucha social.>>
> >>Lucy R. Lippard believes that the artists need to collaborate directly
> or indirectly, with the citizens' movements without attempting to direct
> their actions or appropriating their speeches, avoiding any excessive
> charge a role or falling into a purely aesthetic reading of the social
> struggle...>>
> My concern arose remembering a performance practice (addressing trauma)
> choreographed by Norwegian researcher-artist Per Roar in Szrebenica, as i
> always felt somehwat ill at ease with the approach and the ethics or
> politics involved, hard for me here to explain. I published Per Roar's
> field report in a book on dance and madness last year ("Tanz und
> WahnSinn/Dance and Choreomania"), and you can find some photographs of the
> theatrical work Roar and his participants did in an abandoned, partly
> destroyed building in Vijecnica, Sarajevo (in 2006), if you go to the
> book's website: http://www.choreomania.org/Roar_abstract.html   &
> http://www.choreomania.org/maniavisuals5.html
> That work was entitled "An Unfinished Story" and dealt with "griefscapes"
> and ghostly matters.
> Again, I would ask Alejandro, or anyone, what  is a "hemispheric audience"
> -- ¿ lo que es esto público del hemisférico? --  in this or other cases
> (and Ana, you mentioned many, and you tend you dwell on notions of a
> "nation"-identity or you look selectively at ethnic/political perpetrators
> you seem to have identified, as you thought you identified me. I question
> such easy identifications), and is there a conceivable audience at all,
> when you think of the practices Alejandro positioned, or the everyday
> survival practices of our animalities evoked by Leandro:
> Leandro schreibt:
> >>
> That is why I think that resilience should be seen, observed and
> considered also in everyday practices of survival in the cities, practices
> that have nothing to do with broadcasted or spectacular events .... I would
> like to know how (and which of) these forms of painful resistance actually
> works out without the control of biopower (if it does) and how animality in
> all these examples shows and allows a relationship with humanity (if it
> does) different from all we can know and understand from our comfortable
> animal lives>>
> so, yes, i do not know well how to exhume
> and how to come to terms with the constant contradictions of the
> domesticated art produced; our obvious obscene traceability in the age of
> "post-civility" (?) locative media networks and, at the same time, the
> apparent untraceability of some of the disappeared.....
> respectfully
> Johannes Birringer
> ___________________________________
> >>>
> i can assure you I know nothing about exhumations
> and would not want to be an expert or lover in forensics.
> respectfully
> Johannes
> Ana schreibt:
> >>
> I am not sure if I grasp the sense of your statement. Are you being
> ironical or teasing me/us?
> Because my point was NOBODY today can be ignorant of the exhumations, they
> are nowadays as common as jail for dissents or genocide.
> We live in the century of genocide, the Turks killing Armenians, the Nazi
> killingJews, Rwanda, the Japanese killing Koreans, the Serbs killing
> Bosniaks...
> And we have political genocide, our own in Central and South America, in
> Africa, etc..
> And genocides cause massgraves and exhumations...
> Yes you can be someone without direct contact or information, but our
> "memes" pass the stories as part of our common heritage.
> >>
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