[-empyre-] the mouth of Duck river

Johannes Birringer Johannes.Birringer at brunel.ac.uk
Fri Feb 19 09:09:00 AEDT 2016

dear all

I enjoyed Ana's brief comment on languages
and broken english,; as I remember - not too long ago
during a month-long discussion I helped to moderate
we asked anyone, who wanted to, to post in the language
they are comfortable with. 

Pau Delgado's posts -  I hope to reply soon.....

More hands-on, Ana, today I would like to ask why we are not
more angry, bitter, and loud, screaming at our governments, the political
regimes that sell war and lead war, trade weapons or reap
benefits from the so-called refugee crisis (or the ongoing
movements of people), instability, the economic disparities? why are there
no organized protests, huge demonstrations against war, as they often happened
or used to happen (Vietnam War, first Iraq invasion, second
Iraq invasion, as examples, or the protests that the Mothers
of the Disappeared staged, etc)? The war was taken to Syria
and the fractured destabilization of the region benefits
capital, the regimes of the former west that call themselves
democratic; not much resistances here, shamefully. 
And poetic gestures? downloadable apps?  Today not sure.
(al jazeera called Ai Wei Wei a poser; "portrait of the artist as a dead boy";
the photo was posed for an Indian magazine)

The workshop we had yesterday was guided by Maria Kastrinou (anthropologist)  “’Either we'll survive the sea or we'll die:’ From Syria to War”- and 
Royona Mitra  (dancer/researcher): “Choreographing the Politics of Touch”.
After Royona's very evocative explorations of what she called "Touch-un-ability" (her interpretation of cultural codes in India and a caste system
she grew up in, extended to issues of touching/contact and sexual violence against woman), we then heard Maria describe her fieldwork on
the Greek island of Lesbos, a hotspot - and about the "processing" (EU border/refuge management and control) of Syrian migrants there, the touching
and fingerprinting (guards wearing gloves) that goes on, etc.  The degradations. 

Just to leave you with one strong impression:  what I learnt from Maria Kastrinou's numerous conversations with Syrians on Lesbos
was their desire to be treated as equals. They request to keep their dignity, and appeal to the codes of hospitality that have always existed in
Syrian culture. So when they travel (to flee the war) they see their coming to Greece and EU or elsewhere as a temporary, not permanent scenario,
they wish to be seen not as intruders or beggars. Maria told us the Syrian she spoke to offered her gifts, and spoke about how they value reciprocal
relations of the istikbal and haram.

They construct themselves as guests.

The workshop discussion delved into this fundamental idea, that refugees are guests; (an idea that stands against all kinds of other ideological projections
that necropolitics, states, and capitalist managers, and also charities and help NGOs,  will invoke). Pau might answer that (42 invited guests, to a country
as huge as Uruguay, abused the hospitality?). 

Johannes Birringer

I still tend to think "Kinopolitics" refers to Cinema/Kino.  Moving images?


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