dissabte, 27 d’agost de 2016

Doris Wastl-Walter

(...) borders are still ubiquitous, are manifested in diverse ways, and have various functions and roles. They can be material or non-material and may appear in the form of a barbed-wire fence, a brick wall, a door, a heavily-armed border guard or as symbolic boundaries, that is, conceptual distinctions created by actors to categorize components of belonging and exclusion. Such manifestations of borders affect people in their freedom of action and are perceived differently by different actors and groups. For example, while a brick wall may represent security for some, for others, it may be a symbol of suppression of and limitation to their freedom.

("The Ashgate Research Companion to Border Studies" (2011), p. 2)

diumenge, 21 d’agost de 2016

The Museum and the Garage Sale

Consider the art museum as an image of classic ethnographies and the cultures they describe. Cultures stand as sacred images; they have an integrity and coherence that enables them to be studied, as they say, on their own terms, from within, from the "native" point of view. Not unlike the grand art of museums, each culture stands alone as an aesthetic object worthy of contemplation. Once canonized, all cultures appear to be equally great. Questions of relative merit will only wind up with imponderables, incomparables, and incommensurables. Just as the professional literary critic does not argue about whether Shakespeare is greater than Dante, the ethnographer does not debate the relative merits of the Kwakiutl of the northwest coast versus the Trobriand Islanders of the Pacific. Both cultures exist and both can sustain extensive cultural analysis.
Ethnographic monumentalism, however, should not be confused with that of high-culture humanism. Despite its problems, the ethnographic impulse to regard cultures as so many great works of art has a deeply democratic and egalitarian side.
In this pithy discussion of the current ferment in anthropology, Louis A. Sass cites an eminent anthropologist who worried that recent experimentation with ethnographic form could subvert the discipline's authority, leading to its fragmentation and eventual disappearance: "At a conference in 1980 on the crisis in anthropology, Cora Du Bois, a retired Harvard professor, spoke of the distance she felt from the 'complexity and disarray of what I once found a justifiable and challenging discipline... It has been like moving from a distinguished art museum into a garage sale." The images of the museum, for the classic period, and the garage sale, for the present, strike me as being quite apt, but I evaluate them rather differently than Du Bois. She feels nostalgia for the distinguished art museum with everything in its place, and I see it as a relic from the colonial past. She detests the chaos of the garage sale, and I find it provides a precise image for the postcolonial situation where cultural artifacts flow between unlikely places, and nothing is sacred permanent or sealed off.

Renato Rosaldo, 1989 [1993], pp 43 i 44.

Static Explosion versió costa.

dissabte, 6 d’agost de 2016

Dédée de Jongh

i le Reseau Comète (o ligne d'évasion), 1941-1944.

Andrée de Jongh was at the heart of it from the earliest days. Dédée, as she was known to her friends, was the younger daughter of the headmaster of a primary school in a Brussels suburb. The houselhold was idealistic but -unusually for the period- atheist. Frédéric de Jongh inspired his children with the story of Edith Cavell, the British nurse who stayed in Brussels to look after wounded soldiers during the German occupation of Belgium in the First World War, and helped some two hundred British troops to escape to the Netherlands (she was arrested by the Germans on treason charges and shot in 1915. The young Dédée dreamed of working in a leper colony in Africa, and trained as a nurse in the evenings while studying at art college. When the Nazis invaded Belgium in May 1940 Dédée gave up her job as a commercial artist and responded to the government's appeal for trained nurses.

She was sent to work in a hospital in Bruges. Some of her patients were wounded British soldiers, and according to Gilbert Renault (a French Resistance hero who operated under the code name "Rémy", and wrote and early history of the Comet Line under the same alias) this was where the idea of facilitating escapes first came to her. Dédée soon made contact with other members of "that small but uncommonly tough segment" of the Belgian population which refused to accept defeat, in particular with two young cousins called Henry de Blicquy and Arnold Deppe. Airey Neave, who was responsible for a passionate (and sometimes imaginative) biography of Dédée de Jongh, wrote that theyset up a network called "DDD", after the first letters of their surnames.

It cannot have lasted very long. According to Rémy, de Blicquy was arrested by the Germans just a few days after he had introduced Dédée to his cousin Arnold. But Dédée and Arnold Deppe continued to debate what they could do to frustrate the occupiers, and concluded that an escape line for British servicemen was the best option. Before the war Arnold Deppe had worked in St. Jean-de-Luz, just north of the Pyrenees on the French Atlantic coast, so he made a trip south in the hope that he could use friends and contacts to put a system in place for taking escapers over the border into Spain. (Stourton, 2013, p. 52)

dijous, 4 d’agost de 2016

les cortines ballen amb l'aire que exhalo amb les paraules que encara no t'he dit

no sóc a casa però sé que les finestres estan tancades i les persianes abaixades i que no hi entra ni la més lleugera brisa i sé, també, que...