Sunday, 24 November 2013

The non-consensual witness

"Oh, but you can be sure that the Norwegian political prisoners are not treated as well as this".

Norwegian political prisoners

In Scandinavia we have had no such thing as political prisoners since the time of my great-great-great-great-grandparents. The fact that the remark was in the tone from one who has seen too much, was an all too telling glimpse of the reality the young in this case Northern Africa is facing. Today Zwewla made a one-eyed happening to mark the brutal repression of last year's demonstration in Siliana against poverty and for the release of prisoners withheld since April 2011. 300 were injured, many of whom with serious eye-injuries. The strategy is the same every time, the protesters can easily be detected afterwards. Unless everyone wears an eye patch:

Photo: Zwewla, November 24, 2013.

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Of Necessity and Destruction

Photo: Abdelrhman Zin Eldin, November 18, 2013.

While protesters were busy destroying a new memorial at the Tahrir Square, the artists were no less occupied in the Mohamed Mahmoud Street demolishing their own works and those of their colleagues.

Demolishing is perhaps not the right word here. Camouflaging they call it in the vein of what the military does. Dazzle paint in pink, hiding the artworks just as the truth is hidden in Egypt by its men in power. Add to that that the artists have taken on the very action of their adversaries, a demonstration of who is has the upper hand.

Photo: Abdelrhman Zin Eldin, November 19, 2013.
- the day after, job done.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

"Cheap metal in the limbs"

Back in Ancient Rome when the Christians had to communicate in secret across the city they drew a fish as their symbol. "Fish", ichtus in Greek, is in sound fairly close to the name of Christ, while not easily figured out by the Romans since the fish and Christians are not a direct match.

The example above is but one of how to communicate within a group safe from the world outside. But in Syria the opposite situation is at hand.

Syrian Ironman
- cheap metal in the limbs, precious metals in his heart
Peace for the wounded

Aleppo, October 5, 2012.

Friday, 8 November 2013

A little outcry on a Friday

Et lille torsdags-skrig på en fredag


Nadia Khiari, WillisfromTunis, September 20, 2011:
 "- Well, Willis? How are you holding up against the pressure, the uncertainty,
the Bearded (the Salafists), the threats and political instability?
- I drug myself"
Willis in good company with Manet's Absinthe Drinker


I mange år har man, fejlagtigt ganske vist, ment og påstået og doceret at sport var sundt.
Eliteidræt ovenikøbet det allersundeste, både for udøvernes kroppe og folkets sjælelige sundhed.
Aldrig har jeg hørt mage til sludder.

Thursday, 7 November 2013

"my revolt, my freedom, and my passion"

"Thus I draw from the absurd three consequences, which are my revolt, my freedom, and my passion"

In Tunisia Willis has already tested the shock opening of Camus' The Myth of Sisyphus, whether life is worth living as the fundamental question. If the answer is no, then there after all is no reason for any further step in life or philosophy. Nadia Khiari qua Willis deliberately gave an ambiguous answer, but that had direct links to the socio-political circumstances she is addressing. Camus on the other hand found a rather happy conclusion in the pause given to Sisyphus each time his stone is rolling back down where it came from:

"That hour like a breathing-space which returns as surely as his suffering, that is the hour of consciousness. At each of those moments when he leaves the heights and gradually sinks toward the lairs of the gods, he is superior to his fate. He is stronger than his rock"

Per Marquard Otzen marks the centenary of the birth of Albert Camus with a drawing of three authors/philosophers at work. Drawing Camus, Sartre and Kierkegaard together is a troublesome task in that the two younger ones each defined himself as the antinomy of the other, but Per Marquard Otzen assigns the movement of the composition to the Camus and Kierkegaard busily working in opposite directions, while Sartre is left with the role of caddie:

Per Marquard Otzen: Sisyfos - en lykkelig mand:
Hvordan kan man undgå i Kierkegaards værker at finde tegn på en næsten frivillig lemlæstelse af sjælen?"
skriver Albert Camus i "Sisyfos-myten". Camus ville være fyldt hundrede år i dag" /
Sisyphus - a Happy Man: How can one fail to read in his works
 the signs of an almost intentional mutilation of the soul?
Albert Camus writes in The Myth of Sisyohus. Camus would have been 100 years old today. 

Politiken, November 7, 2013.

And yet Camus is looking back with understanding on his colleague in that The Myth of Sisyphus makes Kierkegaard come alive before us, with all his discrepancies, pseudonyms, opposed writings, trying to come to terms with life, refusing consolation, heading directly towards "his beloved scandals". Words to prove what a great author Camus was. Kierkegaard comes alive as that "Don Juan of the understanding" creating his very own myth of Sisyphus, "an almost intentional mutilation" - almost intentional! - "of the soul for a part of his existence at least". In short "(…) he does more than discover the absurd, he lives it":

"As for that thorn he feels in his heart, he is careful not to quiet its pain. On the contrary, he awakens it and, in the desperate joy of a man crucified and happy to be so, he builds up piece by piece—lucidity, refusal, make-believe—a category of the man possessed." 

And so "Kierkegaard likewise takes the leap". If Sisyphus is the absurd hero to Camus, Kierkegaard is a close second, facing his fears to a degree that Camus can even speak of truth and clarity to life. As he concludes "One must imagine Sisyphus happy".

Oh, and the only detail of the drawing left in white are the flips worn by Kierkegaard. In Danish they were called "Patricides" since they very nearly strangled their wearer.

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Actors on the historical stage

"Images are not just a particular kind of sign, but something like an actor on the historical stage"

Oh yes.

Doaa Eladl, Eyes Wide Shut; Egypt in the Eyes of the International Press!! 
16. august 2013.

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