Blauwdruk Europa ~ Interview met Alicja Gescinksa



Filosoof Alicja Gescinksa houdt een vurig pleidooi voor meer moraal in het openbare discours. We kunnen niet zonder moraal in het gesprek en moeten duidelijk zijn over welke waarden we willen uitdragen, zoals de ander erkennen, geïnspireerd zijn door verschillende culturen, en solidariteit creëren. Het is geen statisch gegeven, maar een eeuwigdurend proces: vrijheid moet je elke dag opnieuw veroveren. Erkenning van de wisselwerking tussen
verschillende landen, erfgoed e.d. is noodzakelijk, evenals een politieke vertaalslag. We hebben de EU nodig als overkoepelend orgaan, maar moeten wel sceptisch blijven kijken naar haar functioneren.

Geschinska heeft zelf een migrantenachtergrond, en moest leren loyaal te zijn in haar nieuwe land België. “Maar als je niet weet waar je vandaan komt, weet je niet waar je naar toe gaat.”

Blauwdruk Europa – Alicja Gescinska, interview Linda Bouws – 23 april 2013

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Critique Of Heaven And Earth Equality ~ Religion And Political Emancipation According To Karl Marx


Introduction
Both left-wing and right-wing parties and movements claim to defend Western Values while demonstrating against Islam or against Islamophobia and Populism. From both sides we hear words like Liberty and Equality. Both sides are pointing to the Enlightenment as the core of European Values. When defending ‘European Civilisation’, everyone points to the French Revolution and its Manifesto, the Declaration of Human Rights. The French struggle against privilege, for equal political rights was the start of the political emancipation of the citizens that after 1789 spread all over Europe.

I think we all agree that the legacy of the French Revolution is worth to be defended, but there is a new struggle going on about its Interpretation: do the European Values come in a ready-made package, to be accepted and implemented by the whole world or at least by everyone coming to Europe? Or is the French Revolution still an unfinished business and do we still have to struggle for the realisation of equality and liberty in our societies? I would like to show you why I am of the opinion that the latter is the case, by looking more closely into the heritage of this project for liberty and equality from the 18th century.
I will do so, using a text of the German thinker Karl Marx. (Trier, 5 may 1818 – Londen, 14 march 1883) He is mainly known for his economical ideas about Capital and Labour, but his political texts are in no means less insightful.

If you want to know how equal and free a society is, it is always a good idea to look at the rights of those who are looked upon as ‘different’ from everybody else. Those who claim equal treatment because they are being discriminated against. Marx does exactly this. He addresses an issue that was debated fiercely during the 19th century, just like it is today. I am talking about the relation between State and Religion. Back then the big issue was the position of Jews in society. The state was not secular, but Christian, and Jews were second-class citizens with less rights than our minorities have now. Things are different today, but we can still recognize the questions of the 19th century: does Jews have to renounce their religion in order to obtain full citizenship? Are Jews a threat to society because of their different customs and religious practices? Today, we would never pose these questions in relation to Jews. But they are openly discussed in relation to Muslims.

Marx, of Jewish origin himself, intervenes in 1843 in the debate, publishing the essay Zur Judenfrage. On the Jewish Question, is written 24 years before Capital. In this text, he laid a fundament for his later work. The text is a polemic reaction to an earlier article called Jewish Question from Bruno Bauer, who belonged to the same philosophical-political group as Marx, the Hegelians.
His first point, which is crucial, is a change of perspective: while discussing the Jewish Question, do not look at the behaviour and aspirations of the Jews, but look at the role of the State. Marx uses the Jewish Question to analyse the mechanism of political emancipation in a modern society. In this endeavour, the criticism of religion is the condition of a criticism of politics.

Criticism of religion: what religion and political emancipation have in common
What are we talking about? We are talking about human rights. We have to realise that the original Declaration from 1789 was called Declaration of the rights of Man and of the Citizen (French: Déclaration des droits de l’homme et du citoyen) In 1948, when the UN adopted the Declaration it became the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Citizen disappeared.
That is striking, since the core of the analysis by Marx lies in the difference between ‘Man’ and Citizen’. In his words, between emancipation as such and political emancipation. By letting the Man and the Citizen fuse into the Human, an essential procedure of political emancipation is covered up. Who is this ‘Man’ in the Declaration?

Niemand anders als das Mitglied der bürgerlichen Gesellschaft. Warum wird das Mitglied der bürgerlichen Gesellschaft ‘Mensch’, Mensch schlechthin, warum werden seine Rechte Menschenrechte genannt? Woraus erklären wir dies Faktum? Aus dem Verhältnis des politischen Staats zur bürgerlichen Gesellschaft, aus dem Wesen der politischen Emanzipation. (p.363-364)
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Felix Meritis 2003 ~ Georgische week ~ Repetitie Supra!


In 2003 vond in Felix Meritis de Georgische week plaats, een uitwisselingsprogramma tussen Nederland en Georgië.
Onderdeel was de voorstelling Supra!, een co-productie van Ferrie de Geus & Noortje Bijvoets met dansers van de wereldberoemde volksdansschool in Kutaisi en acteurs van het Kutaisi Drama Theatre.

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Studio Meritis MaKOM


Foto: Ilya Rabinovich

Studio Meritis MaKOM (Joseph Semah and Linda Bouws) is aware of the urgent need to add new perspectives to the dominant Western traditional way of thinking in our globalizing world.
The Western world has been predominately manifested by iconic works of art, literature, film, theatre, philosophy, often related to traditional Christianity.
But culture is not static, it is always changing: today’s culture is tomorrow’s heritage.

Seen from this perspective, it is necessary to take a critical look at how Western culture and art are presented and why. It is also important to recognize and accept sources and traditions of other cultures.
We will be searching for new structures and a new conceptual vision which will better reflect the reality of our pluralistic society. This will require thinking out of the box, whereby the artist’s scrutiny on the creative processes in the West will play an important role.

Mission
Studio Meritis MaKOM is committed to investigate and encourage different views on the current artistic research into Western culture. New research into the existing way of thinking will lead to new and maybe forgotten information, representations and interpretations. We will develop these, analyse them and provide them with a podium.
Our aim is to stimulate a collective commitment and to make a contribution to the debate on Western art and culture by also including non-Western art and culture.

Studio Meritis MaKOM reflects and provides context for art and culture.

Studio Meritis MaKOM focuses on
– Current global developments and discussions on Western art
– Contextualization of Western art
– The significance, relevance and representation of Western art, culture and politics in a complex world of interculturalism.

© Metropool Foundation International Art Projects

www.metropool-projects.com
www.josephsemah.nl

Contact: lindabouws@gmail.com
Mob: +31(0) 620132195

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