rainer maria rilke – from “requiem for a friend” (1908)

… That’s what you had to come back for: the lament that we omitted. Can you hear me? I would like to fling my voice out like a cloth over the fragments of your death, and keep pulling at it until it is torn to pieces, and all my words would have to walk around shivering, in the tatters of that voice; as if lament were enough.

But now I must accuse: not the man who withdrew you from yourself (I cannot find him; he looks like everyone), but in this one man, I accuse: all men. When somewhere, from deep within me, there arises the vivid sense of having been a child, the purity and essence of that childhood where I once lived: then I don’t want to know it. I want to form an angel from that sense and hurl him upward, into the front row of angels who scream out, reminding God.

For this suffering has lasted far too long; none of us can bear it; it is too heavy — this tangled suffering of spurious love which, building on convention like a habit, calls itself just, and fattens on injustice. Show me a man with a right to his possession. Who can possess what cannot hold its own self, but only, now and then, will blissfully catch itself, then quickly throw itself away, like a child playing with a ball. As little as a captain can hold the carved Nike facing outward from his ship’s prow when the lightness of her godhead suddenly lifts her up, into the bright sea-wind: so little can one of us call back the woman who, now no longer seeing us, walks on along the narrow strip of her existence as though by miracle, in perfect safety — unless, that is, he wishes to do wrong. For this is wrong, if anything is wrong: not to enlarge the freedom of a love with all the inner freedom one can summon. We need, in love, to practice only this: letting each other go. For holding on comes easily; we do not need to learn it.

sulamith wolfling – the little mermaid

Are you still here? Are you standing in some corner? You knew so much of all this, you were able to do so much; you passed through life so open to all things, like an early morning. I know: women suffer; for love means being alone; and artists in their work sometimes intuit that they must keep transforming, where they love. You began both; both exist in that which any fame takes from you and disfigures. Oh you were far beyond all fame; were almost invisible; had withdrawn your beauty, softly, as one would lower a brightly colored flag on the gray morning after a holiday. You had just one desire: a year’s long work — which was never finished; was somehow never finished. If you are still here with me, if in this darkness there is still some place where your spirit resonates on the shallow sound waves stirred up by my voice: hear me: help me. We can so easily slip back from what we have struggled to attain, abruptly, into a life we never wanted; can find that we are trapped, as in a dream, and die there, without ever waking up. This can occur. Anyone who has lifted his blood into a years-long work may find that he can’t sustain it, the force of gravity is irresistible, and it falls back, worthless. For somewhere there is an ancient enmity between our daily life and the great work. Help me, in saying it, to understand it.

Do not return. If you can bear to, stay dead with the dead. The dead have their own tasks. But help me, if you can without distraction, since in me what is most distant sometimes helps.

[Translator: Stephen Mitchell]

fyodor dostoevsky on lying

fyodor-dostoevsky_6

“A man who lies to himself, and believes his own lies, becomes unable to recognise truth, either in himself or in anyone else, and he ends up losing respect for himself and for others. When he has no respect for anyone, he can no longer love, and in him, he yields to his impulses, indulges in the lowest form of pleasure, and behaves in the end like an animal in satisfying his vices. And it all comes from lying–to others and to yourself.”

— Fyodor Dostoevsky (1821-1881), from The Brothers Karamazov

musical satire in the age of “alternative facts”

Just been thinking it’s really interesting how a lot of the satire I’ve seen about Trumpfest has taken the shape of musical/cabaret… The musical is an OTT form that foregrounds its own fabrication, bombastically, and also the stylised regression to past constructions of nationalist, individualist, whitecishetpatriarchal identity–the American cheesecake nostalgic dream as nightmare for those it doesn’t include. I think it’s a perfect medium for this work.

against purity politics

‘“If we want a world with less suffering and more flourishing, it would be useful to perceive complexity and complicity as the constitutive situation of our lives, rather than as things we should avoid,” she writes. We can’t help that we’ve inherited these problems—a warming Earth, institutional racism, increasingly antibiotic-resistant bacteria—nor can we help sometimes perpetuating them. Better to stop pretending at purity, own up to our imperfections, and try to create a morality that works with them.’

READ THIS ARTICLE.

love & sincerity – holy screaming (1993)

Off Come Again II, a Japanese noise compilation released on Furnace Records in 1993, put together by Michio Teshima, head of Vanilla Records, who released the Tawamure – Come Again compilation in 1991.

The liners to the second Come Again compilation call the Japanese noise genre “an exorcism of limits as performed under the clever disguise of music,” a description which effectively negates the idea that the bands which fall under this banner are all about aggression.

anohni – marrow (2016)

In the, in the countryside, under the stream
Suck the, suck the marrow out of her bones
Inject, inject, inject me with chemotherapies
Suck the, suck the money out of her face

We are, we are all Americans now

Africa, Iceland, Europe and Brazil
China, Thailand, India and Great Britain
Australia, Borneo and Nigeria

We are, we are all Americans now

Suck the, suck the oil out of her face
Burn her, burn her hair, boil her skin

We are, we are all Americans now

cosey fanni tutti on georges bataille (1984)

coseyA TEST IN TRUST

“For a brief moment my belief in myself is yours to take and assimilate as you will. My innermost thoughts and private ideals are laid before you in trust.”

I still believe we are sensitive. To hide behind defensive faces for so long has buried our souls. The need to communicate feelings and express experience is, for some, becoming more difficult. Suppressing the natural instincts leads to eventual emotional breakdown. Our only true way to communicate is through our emotions. I only give you what I believe, what I know and what I live. We can all offer something to one another.

I have always thought of Georges Bataille’s work as being very private, yet he shared it with us all, somehow retaining that private feeling that only you had read this piece. Not sensationalist when it could so easily have been. He has always left me with a feeling of warmth and reassurance that life is as complicated as I began to believe but still worth living to the full, experiencing more and more as you grow older, not less and less. A fine writer to me, he communicates guiltless fantasy.

— Cosey Fanni Tutti for Georges Bataille Festival, Violent Silence,1984.

listen, my white friends

If we want to be in solidarity, to support change,
Our centuries-old vampirism must die.
Beyond the pale of empire’s pronouncements,
We need to stop feeding off the pain of others,
Stop sucking it up and spitting it back in our projects, our projections.
Your voice cannot undo its own violence. It can only stop continuing it.
So drive a stake through your tongue before you speak in public, and swallow your own blood, privately, and
Listen.

Listening, not offering your perspective, not taking up space, is the act of revolutionary solidarity that will change the status quo now. We have a multigenerational debt of attention to pay. This is not immaterial.

Show up, be fully present but stay out of the fucking spotlight. You accomplish this by putting your ego aside and listening, quietly, intentionally. It’s quite simple, so why do so many of us find it so hard?

lisa hannigan – we, the drowned (live, paste studios, nyc, 8 september 2016)

We, the drowned
Hold our hollow hearted ground
Til we swallow ourselves down
Again

We, the ashes,
We spent our days like matches
And burned ourselves as black as
The end.

We know not the fire in which we burn
But we sing and we sing
And the flames grow higher.
We read not the pages which we turn
But we sing, and we sing, and we sing, and we sing

We, the wrong,
We the sewn up and long gone,
Were before and all along
Like this

We, the drowned
The lost and found out,
We are all finished again.

on the politics and approaches to shutdown

“What might begin as a space whose protest action aims to form humanising culture where Black disabled, trans, queer, and womxn’s bodies are safe and heard, is very quickly appropriated by the anti-blackness of up high – a force that polarises the complexity of oppression and attempts to direct and contain action into the physically violent (inherently colonialist) form that it understands best. In this sense, the state functions to direct the protest politik into the Afropessimistic voice, one that we know disinherits those who do not immediately come to mind when we say the word “black” (ie: black disabled, trans, queer, and womxn’s bodies) and one that abandons the pursuit of humanity, in favour of unhealthy martyrdom and recklessness.

“So apart from the predictability of state-sanctioned physical violence in the form of stun grenades, teargas, rubber bullets, arrest and jail time, it is important to understand this state provocation as incredibly strategic in the way it seeks to awaken retaliation in the same form. It begs us for physical retaliation – the kind that re-confirms black people as bodies, the kind that forces the “you can’t kill us all” mantra – basically the kind of protest that black able-bodied cis-heterosexual men happen to be good at leading and controlling, the kind that does not challenge structural power, but fulfils the fantasy of Fanon’s black man in replacing his white master.”

Read this discussion.

khaçadur avedisyan – oratoryo

From the soundtrack of the film Gelecek Uzun Sürer (Future Lasts Forever) (Turkey, 2011).

Synopsis from IMDB: Sumru is doing music research at a university in Istanbul. To work on her thesis on gathering and recording an exhaustive collection of Anatolian elegies she sets off for the south-east of the country for a few months. The brief trip turns out to be the longest journey of her life. During the trip, Sumru crosses paths with Ahmet, a young guy who sells bootleg DVDs on the streets of Diyarbakir, with Antranik, the ageing and solitary warden of a crumbling church in the city and with various characters who witness the ongoing ‘unnamed war’. During her three-month stay in Diyarbakir, while looking for the stories of the elegies, she finds herself confronting an agony from her own past.

arundhati roy – excerpt from ‘war talk’ (2003)

Arundhati_RoyOur strategy should be not only to confront empire, but to lay siege to it. To deprive it of oxygen. To shame it. To mock it. With our art, our music, our literature, our stubbornness, our joy, our brilliance, our sheer relentlessness – and our ability to tell our own stories. Stories that are different from the ones we’re being brainwashed to believe.

The corporate revolution will collapse if we refuse to buy what they are selling – their ideas, their version of history, their wars, their weapons, their notion of inevitability. Remember this: We be many and they be few. They need us more than we need them.

Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. Maybe many of us won’t be here to greet her, but on a quiet day, if I listen very carefully, I can hear her breathing.

― Arundhati Roy, from War Talk (South End Press, 2003).

john perkins on empire’s power tools

“Fear and debt. The two most powerful tools of empire.”
– John Perkins

Image: #Umhlangano

Image: #Umhlangano

urgent call for help by art students under threat from paramilitary security on campus

#umhlangano

Dear Comrades, Allies and Supporters. 

WE NEED YOUR URGENT HELP. TOMORROW IS D-DAY FOR #UMHLANGANO

WE ALSO NEED VISIBLE SUPPORT OUTSIDE AND INSIDE  OUR CAMPUS TOMORROW. GATHER AT 5 AM, CAMPUS FORMERLY KNOWN AS HIDDINGH, ORANGE STREET, GARDENS. COME DRESSED PLAYFULLY. WE WANT A PLAYFUL, CREATIVE PERFORMANCE, THE MORE RIDICULOUS THE BETTER. WE DO NOT NEED TO BE BRUTALISED FOR THIS OKAY?

On Monday #october3 Max Price, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Cape Town says the he will send private security to #openUCT. Government has given the go-ahead to use force to reopen school. 

We, #Umhlangano, are in direct talks with the Dean of Humanities and the staff of Drama and Fine Art. 

We are intervening peacefully, making art, performance and play making on the Campus Formerly Known as Hiddingh. We are exploring non-violent responses to police brutality and private security occupation on our campuses. On Monday, the institution sends former soldiers, dressed in private security uniforms, in full body armour against us. For making art, for intervening peacefully, for doing the work that they just want us to study, but we guess, not actually practice.
Artists are expected to intervene in society. To make meaningful contribution, to shift the status quo. Nothing about this is right. Nothing about this is fair. Nothing about this is either democratic or reasonable. 
We are trying to make safe space to explore what a free decolonial education looks like after years of listening to how the institution just needs time to implement substantive reforms but never does. 
If Max Price and the UCT council get their way, on Monday none of us are safe on campus. We will be teargassed, brutalised and shot at. Even the sight of these weaponised security guards has triggered PTSD symptoms in most of us. We watched members of our collective crumbling before us. Those who had , the previous week, drew courage from the power of love and creativity now trembled and sobbed in the arms of their cadres. The action we took came from a belly-deep desperation to be heard, to be visible and regarded as equals.
If you visit the website of the privatised private security company that they will send against us. http://www.vetusschola.co.za to understand why we are so concerned. Why we have slept with one eye on the door and know why #october3 we will be finding creative ways to keep ourselves, and other vulnerable student safer, no matter what violence sent against us. We need your help, write letters, write emails, make facebook posts, tweet @uct_news and blow up Max Price’s email (vc@uct.ac.za) Please, no more violence. Please, no more teargas, stun grenades, no more bleeding brutalised students. USE WHATEVER CHANNEL YOU CAN. 
More love, more music, more art, more play, more collaboration. 

#UMHLANGANO 

#BLACKLIVESMATTER

PLEASE SHARE, WE NEED THIS VIRAL BEFORE TOMORROW MORNING.

lucky dube – monster (2006)

From his album Respect, released in 2006, the year before he was killed during a hijacking.

I had a dream last night
One that will stay with me for a long time
One that will stay with me,
For as long as I live.
We were living in a world, there was no pain
We were living in the world there were no hungry people
Everyone was at peace with one another

There was a man in my dream
He told me he’s from the future,
Coming to give something better [Repeat x3]
Even though I know that

[Chorus]
One monster dies another one comes alive.

I had a dream last night
It was my dream but I know it is a dream
Of a lot of people in the world
To be living in a world, with no homeless people
To be living in a world where little children
Don’t have to die, because their parents are poor
When we came to this world
We were prepared to fight a battle.
But we found a war
When we came to this world,
We were prepared to fight demons
But we found the devil himself

There was a man in my dream
He told me he’s here
To gimme something better
Even though I know that

[Chorus]
One monster dies another one comes alive.