[-empyre-] from a distance

O Danylyuk danylyuk at gmail.com
Wed Nov 19 23:14:14 EST 2014

In my previous post I introduced the speculative thought which suggests
wrestling with the 'hard' religious text of Islam. It seams we have been
there before, nevertheless the ideological vacuum of contemporary world
gives way to the new search for the meaning of life in major monotheistic
religions: Judaism, Eastern Orthodoxy and Islam. I am certainly more
knowledgeable about Eastern orthodox Christianity and its tremendous
influence in Russia and Ukraine than about Islam fundamentalisms. It looks
like ISIS uses secrete services strategies of interrogation and terror
wrapped in the fundamentalist ideology. The seeds of new ideology are sown,
especially the concept of *Ummah-* supra-national community or a Common
wealth of believers. Years ago I went to Central Mosque in London, I just
wanted to experience religious ceremony. I was surprised how inclusive this
community is, they welcome everybody with the open arms...I probably
gravitated away from the topic of violence. But on the other hand it brings
me to the idea of Bennett (2005) that sign ' is felt, rather than
recognised or perceived through cognition'. What sign is expressing is not
concerned with communication of information, more likely it is a material
impression reached through our senses. The idea is taken further by
Massumi's refiguration of communicational models of expression to
understanding of how sign can produce a 'shock to thought'. Or in the
Brecht's sense: instead of identifying with characters, the audience should
be educated (?) to be astonished at the circumstances under which they

On 15 November 2014 20:03, O Danylyuk <danylyuk at gmail.com> wrote:

> Thanks for your discussions that stir so many thoughts for me. I'd like to
> add some of my observations. I wish for the theatrical responses that has a
> power to crystallise the matters, to make things more clear, because
> despite the postmodern scepticism I still want to make sense of this world.
> The subject of war actually renew my interest in realism in performance
> practice. As Erikson stated the one needs protagonist and antagonist
> represented with some plausibility and understanding to make the argument.
> It might be dismissed as a naive claim, yet from my observation, also
> supported by personal experience of Maidan protests in Ukraine and the
> interviewees' statements about the war experience it seems that the pure
> attraction to violence is a rare course for the recruits to get involved
> into fighting. There is a strong ideological impetus, mainly to do
> something important, something worse risking you life for... This ideology
> or faith can be completely misguided, evoking parable of blind leading the
> blind, though I usually try  to understand the roots of the phenomenon
>  before demonising it beyond any comprehension. The 'empathy with the
> enemy' is a hard strategy to conceive. But is there any other  route for
> negotiation, the alternative for war against war approach? I came across
> the interview with the former chief rabbi Jonathan  Sacks ( Spectator,
> November issue), which suggests that in order to separate religion and
> power ( when religion moved from power to influence) as Judaism and
> Christianity in Europe have done in the different times in history, Islam
> has to wrestle with it's 'hard' texts. In his view this process 'happens 15
> centuries into the history of Judaism and roughly 15 century into history
> of Christianity, which explains why it hasn't happened within Islam yet'.
> I allow myself one more quote:
> People want to be able to say I am religious but I feel that my faith, the
> leaders of my faith, have done that hard work in talking us from an age
> where most people lived in close proximity to people who are like them and
> have done the hard work in translation that to an age where we have to live
> with more difference in one mile of work [...] than a 17th century
> anthropologies would have seen in a lifetime.
> --
> Olga Danylyuk
> Director, designer
> PhD candidate, Central School of Speech and Drama
> London, UK
> +447971341395
> +380664086948

Olga Danylyuk
Director, designer
PhD candidate, Central School of Speech and Drama
London, UK
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