[-empyre-] introducing week 3

Ana Valdés agora158 at gmail.com
Sun Nov 23 07:32:30 EST 2014

I am having the priviledge of speaking with Alicia Migdal (the joys of
the presenciality :), she is visiting me and we are speaking about the
topics of this month. Alicia says what happens now seems impossible to
reverse, not political acts not us. Alicia says nobody from the
symbolical field can change things. But what happens, I say, par
example, Picasso painted Gernica. His painting did not help one of the
dead in Gernica but for us the generations to come Guernica became a
symbol of the fascism and the resistance against it.
Alicia says when you paint or write the effect of your creation is
often delayed, maybe long time later others see in it the value of the
I am thinking about Peter Weiss marvelous book "The Esthetics of the
Resistance" when he reads the altar of Pergamus as a struggle between
workers and owners.
The altar was made for several thousands years ago and it's still
something valuable to be reinterpreted how many times you wish.
We were thinking of the Greek tragedies which had as explicit aim to
arouse pity and terror in the spectator, as methods to purge the soul.
They were warnings...

Ana and Alicia

On Sat, Nov 22, 2014 at 5:00 PM, Murat Nemet-Nejat <muratnn at gmail.com> wrote:
> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
> Ana,
> Let me put my question differently. Most of us respond to the extreme violence we experience around us, on TV or reading newspapers, etc., by writing a play or poem or creating a document. I am not clear how these activities help the victims of the violence. That is why I am asking if our acts are acts of self-preservation, attempts not to feel helpless, powerless. That is why the question of "powerlessness" interested me so much? Is there a process by which the powerlessness may become potent, a significant act?
> On Sat, Nov 22, 2014 at 12:54 PM, Aneta Stojnic <aneta.s7 at gmail.com> wrote:
>> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
>> Murat Nemet-Nejat <muratnn at gmail.com> wrote: ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
>> Welcome, Aneta.
>> All through our discussions during the last weeks, I find most of my reactions to different incarnations of "unspeakable" violence to occur on a moral level, on the level of an increase one's consciousness. Then I ask myself: is a moral reaction an act, or a response of self-preservation not to go insane? Are we doing something to help the sufferer? One should realize, at its root, art also is a moral response. I would appreciate others' opinion on this.
>> Thanx, Murat.
>> I am not sure if I understand correctly the dilemma, but I agree that art is a moral response, moreover I am convinced that if we want to be anyhow relevant when we do art, we need to be able to take the political position. Perhaps the more delicate question is not weather to act but how? There are also various ways of self-preservation and sometimes acting could be a form of self-preservation, and not acting a from of self-distraction, don't you think so?
>> It makes me think about the poem Ana quoted earlier in the discussion:
>> Ana Valdés <agora158 at gmail.com> wrote:----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
>> I remember quite well the words of the German pastor Martin Niemöller,
>> "When the Nazis came for the communists,
>> I did not speak out;
>> As I was not a communist.
>> When they locked up the social democrats,
>> I did not speak out;
>> I was not a social democrat.
>> When they came for the trade unionists,
>> I did not speak out;
>> As I was not a trade unionist.
>> When they came for the Jews,
>> I did not speak out;
>> As I was not a Jew.
>> When they came for me,
>> there was no one left to speak out."
>> All the best,
>> Aneta
>> _______________________________________________
>> empyre forum
>> empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
>> http://empyre.library.cornell.edu
> _______________________________________________
> empyre forum
> empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
> http://empyre.library.cornell.edu


cell Sweden +4670-3213370
cell Uruguay +598-99470758

"When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth
with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been and there you
will always long to return.
— Leonardo da Vinci

More information about the empyre mailing list