ETH Zürich Graphische Sammlung
ETH Zürich Graphische Sammlung
Haus der Kulturen der Welt
Sozialismus des Kapitals
Mad Men, Death and the American Dream
Kerstin Stakemeier (ed.), Susanne Witzgall (ed.)
The contemporary seems to be a rare animal that can rotate on its own neck and exhibit different faces…
The contemporary seems to be a rare animal that can rotate on its own neck and exhibit different faces, depending on whether we think of it as a given or an uncertain achievement, as an empty, abstract, deceptive present or a springboard into the past and the untimeliness of creation. But if the contemporary is indeed Janus-faced, even the sadness of an encounter with its emptiness, with the semblance of radicalism, must still relate to the excitement of leaping into “now time” or starting to write. Is the present not necessarily empty and therefore always a cause for sadness, also in the case when, in acquiring the sense, or developing the instinct, that is required to venture into the past’s “now time,” we begin to depart from it? In one of his last letters to a young poet, dating from 1904, Rilke distinguishes between two forms of sadness, or rather...
Feeling insecure? Be reasonable. Defer your satisfaction to a more secure time of life. Work toward retirement.
We are enjoined to rational choice. We are taught that our freedom is one with the freedom of choice. We are told we become who we are by how we choose. We are assured that if we choose well, according to our own best interests, we will end up serving the interests of all. We are told that there is a mechanism in place to ensure this convergence between our interests and others’. Market is its name. Its “invisible hand” adjusts best choices to each other, its magic touch guided by the principle of competition. Competition weeds out suboptimal choices, selecting for efficiency. Efficiencies multiply each other, minimizing effort and maximizing profit for all. The market, we are further led to believe, is self-regulating. It has a natural inclination toward optimization. As political subjects, we are enjoined to vote, rationally, in its interests so that we may pursue our own,...
Do migrants develop more restless, mobile identities in general? Is language particularly essential with regard to finding identity?
Susanne Witzgall: One common point in your texts in that both of you describe migration as an incomplete process, as a practice that is not completed with the arrival at the destination, but perhaps even only finds its starting point, its beginning, there. For instance, you Christian Kravagna, have written in your essay that many migrants develop a practice of travelling back and forth, almost like commuting, a process in which there is no definitive home that one can return to. And the protagonists in The Bridge of the Golden Horn often move back and forth between Turkey and Germany or commute within Istanbul between the European and the Asian sides. Do migrants develop more restless, mobile identities in general? This at least seems to pertain to yourself, Ms Özdamar. You have moved back and forth between Germany and Turkey several times.
Emine Sevgi Özdamar: In the 1970s, when I was...