Dissertation notes August 11th 2011
Violence in its many forms accompanies many through life in nightmares, personal relationships, the experience of being a citizen when you see civil liberties and previously taken as certain rights of privacy and healthcare, security and movement. Violence begins with Coyote’s killing of the Road Runner http://www.metacafe.com/watch/2610460/coyote_kill_road_runner/, nightmares of unnamable threats, often in the shape of forest bandits or wild and deformed animals, the knowledge about the violence of the division of my home country http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nch5MbnvTqY, the expanding knowledge about the Holocaust, which as a child felt very long ago and I now know was still very fresh and recent, beginning to see violence in the actions of people in my surroundings, principally an encounter with twin brothers who without provocation pushed my throat shut with a firm grip, an event I found entirely bewildering. The stories of lurking danger from the darkness of unnamed strangers became more belivable , more fearsome from then on.
So one grows up, into a combination made-up reality of pretend-security and comfort instilled by Heidi, justice just as cowboy-s honour depicts it where nobody ever gets shot in the back and honesty held weight and won the day with it’s nonsensical flipside being the ever possible threat of the stranger who could be of danger, the realization that doing the right thing doesn’t stop others from attacking you.
Violence and Fear. Still for a long time one believes that dialogue and diplomacy can win the day, until one day you wonder if that really is so, because the evidence seems to be pointing into other directions, seems to contest this idea, which maybe is a phantasy.
Growing up I felt excluded from any conversation about the Holocaust, it felt to me that all I could be permitted to say was: ‘it was unjust, it was bad, it was criminal of Germany’. It felt like there was nothing to say, especially as I was German. The question of how did this happen was raised but it remained in my awareness on a superficial level, until I visited the Angkor Wat Photography festival in Cambodia. This festival presents a large number of documentary photography projects from around the world. I learn to see, accept and ask differently. Some years after this I arrived in Goldsmiths and with the question “Why are you interested in Folk Tales/Fairy tales/Mythological Tales?” And the ‘this work is whimsical” re-awoke my search for more understanding and a departure from the intuitive and the superficial understanding. I am not sure how deep I got, it seems to me that what I did was scratch the surface, cover a lot of ground looking at a wide range of violence issues. What interested me in the Tales was their root in reality, their root in present as past realities of life. The intrinsic range and truth of human nature, the human condition which I still can not understand how it can be contested but I am still searching for the understanding. I began on a quest to see what unites humans and with respect to security, status, strength, health, individual future found much that divides them.
I read about child torture, witchhunts that happen in Nigeria (?) and India, the excorcism of evil or witchcraft in children resident in the UK – just when I thought that witchhunts were a horror of the past and fabric of fairy tales I would find them right here in the UK and at least in India and Nigeria(?).
I read about interrogation techniques, about torture of political prisoners, of detainees who have not even the status of prisoner and fall outside the Geneva Convention, their status as human protected by nobody. I read about political events around the world, tried to understand their mechanisms, tried to understand their repercussions. One exceptionally violent repercussion of an apparently enlightening event: the fall of the Soviet Union, is the incredible boom in human trade. Specifically the trading of women for sale for sex. The further I dug the more I fell under the impression that we stopped living in under the umbrella of the 21st century and regressed to live in not the Middle Ages but the Dark Ages with the modern day addition of all manner of pc related gadgetry and i-pads, i-pods, i-macs, i=phones, which incidentally contain an ingredient which fuels the militia in Congo, who in turn gang rape babies, children and women of all ages right into their 80s, rupturing their bodies, dislocating their hips as so many militia force themselves upon them.. The images of Dante’s hell are no longer strong enough to capture the living hell, the hell that is today in many minds, places, homes, cities and countries.
When the evil step-mother is placed into a barrel which has sharp nails hammered into it so that when the barrel, containing the evil step-mother, is rolled down the hill she will be punctured with a thousand excruciating pricks, her flesh tenderized, then this reflects not merely the imagination of humans but also their ability to act out that same imagination. This particular punishment reminds me of the Japanese death by a thousand cuts, the slow and torturous death of an accused, a prisoner a victim. When in Fairy tales we read how an evil person is torturously punished then this reflects a past and present reality of a person’s tortured suffering, note the absence of evil.
Past and present / ts eliot
Evil is a conveniently emotive word, an amplification of emotion useful to motivate and make compliant the “enacters” of punishments, invasions, racist actions. Evil rarely is actually evil, like the word sublime it is very rarely used in it’s correct sense.
Human kind can not bear very much reality / ts eliot
and age where humans lose their spirit entirely