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

Ana Valdés agora158 at gmail.com
Fri Nov 21 15:21:58 EST 2014

Dear Johannes my answer was not resigned at all (I am not the kind of
resigned people :) but wondered if our dilemma was not a typical
dilemma risen from Modernity, to make Humanity happier and more
enlightened with the help of education, health and good housing...The
rethoric trap of progress, linear developing and shiny ny motorways
but with the cost of diversity and ancient forests being cut down and
ancient peoples losing their cultures and their habitat.
I saw tonight a great documentary movie made by two Swedish directors
about the politician and prime minister of Sweden, murdered by unknown
in February 1986. I lived in Sweden at that time and we were all in
schocked, should this crime be the end of the open society, wherer the
prime minister and his wife could attend a film in a central
movietheater without body guards?
It was not, in shock but the Swedes coped with the loss of the
inocence. Some years later their Foreign Minister, Anna Lindh, was
murdered by a Serb in a store where she went with a friend to buy some
The violence didn't succed in transforming the society, still today in
Sweden the ministers travel in the subway and live in unguarded
It's quite similar here in Uruguay where our own president drives his
old battered Wolkswagen to work and live in a shackle outside

On Thu, Nov 20, 2014 at 9:03 PM, Christina Spiesel
<christina.spiesel at yale.edu> wrote:
> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
> Dear All --
> I have been writing about education in the arts/humanities as critical in
> resisting technocratic culture's limited interest in human capacity.  So I
> see cultural production. and not just education about it,  as a form of
> resistance. Yes, it is mind-boggling the extent to which performance is
> being used as adjunct to bad acts -- or maybe essentially a warped picture
> is the envelope in which some actors feel they need to operate. So while it
> is hard to match advanced weaponry, it is easy for people who feel powerless
> to address it through violent performance. And so we watch it all unfolding.
> So what can mere mortals do? For starters, name what is going on which I
> have experienced this conversation as doing. Be makers. Protect what we can.
> Small acts make ripples.
> CS
> On 11/20/2014 4:57 PM, Johannes Birringer wrote:
>> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
>> 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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