[-empyre-] Vor dem Gesetz/Before the Law, hoveringly

Johannes Birringer Johannes.Birringer at brunel.ac.uk
Fri Nov 21 08:57:19 EST 2014

dear all

So much to ponder, in your postings, that one doesn't know where to go, following Simon's dark pronouncement of our dilemma, and the fear projected onto us all?

>Is it possible to talk about a political intention in accelerating violent imagery, collapsing historical precedence, dividing societies by reversing meanings, that debt will be credit, that risk and danger will be security, that wars are humanitarian, that is eradicating rights because they threaten democracy, privatising and marketising weapons manufacture, including nuclear arms, while directing their deployment in a controlled market of the senseless consumption of living flesh, enslaving governments to corporations, while violently overthrowing states who fail to surrender sovereignty or economic self-determination?> [Simon]

The reversing of meanings, or the crossing over (inside/outside, before/after) the Law, also haunts me after reading Andreas' letter.  And yet, last night, I felt encouraged to think of poetry, yes, and the power of "accents" in the very ambiguity, unassimilated to power, towards law and power, also the power of joke     - thank you Murat for the text you linked us to [http://ziyalan.com/marmara/murat_nemet_nejat3.html]  - I laughed loud, and cried as well as you recount your wild dissimulations and "self-immolations" , migrating to an Am-erika without poetic continuities (and thus no anxiety of influence..of rights or rites);
and I had to think of Rustom Bharucha's last chapter as well, where he struggles to explain Ghandi's training to die, training the body to become the proper source of sacrifice (Terror and Performance, p. 156), training non-violence in Ghandi's Hindu understanding of 'ahimsa' (non-violence) and 'satya' (truth)....  but thus also training to be sacrificed, to be beaten

and to my horror Rustom then engages a longer discussion of the performatives of suicide bombers who record their video testimonials, auto-erotically preparing the destruction of self, before the act of killing, or 'martyrdom.'   The Jihadists  of ISIS, in interviews, are not sick in the sense in which the US secretary of state thinks they are. They knew their camera work too, in the videos, and two of them, believed to have been recruited from France and Britain, spoke yesterday of their 'spectacular' mission, perfectly ready, as Maxime Hauchard is quoted, for "martyrdom, obviously." 

After reading Monika's powerful plea for healing, lamenting as pollution and indictment of public space-against-forgetting-and-in-need-of-communal enunciation-rituals, and Ana's resigned response that there is too much un-health -- it occurred to me that quite a few here amongst our participants, including Christina and Mine, who insist on the arts as educational techniques, and Murat, Rustom and Monika, and also Fereshteh with her new play, and of course Alan when he makes music and writes apocalyptic poetry -- are probing performance and theatre along a potential line -- maybe also considered spatial/physical practice -  that can rupture emotionally (as briefly evoked last night in my reading of Hamed Taheri's lost home) and aurally the terrible "legal spectacle" , the "thick liquid undecidablity," as Andreas ponders. 

Fereshteh,  what were you (not) able to take from there to there, what accent do you speak in now?  what garden do you tend now?

And as a small but not irrespectful question to Monika, which was on my tongue last night when I ran into Olga Danylyuk, the question of speaking for others or of voice. 

[Monika schreibt] > Leila  Sadat, a scholar of international crime and law ... would travel around the globe, she would see and meet the communities, the individuals, the whole generations and nations affected, mourning, in suspension of trauma, but not fully mourning. What voice do they have, she asked me. Where does it live, the voice>  < This is why subjectivity appears as witness; this is why it can speak for those who cannot speak’ >

When I mentioned this to Olga, her reply was  - what if someone does not want to speak?  What do you do (for) when someone does not need to speak?

Johannes Birringer

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