Today I got sick again. I embraced my state as something that inevitably had to happen. I was waiting for it. My body gets infected every time I drain it with my enthusiastic behavior. Once in a while, it gets infected with different bacteria, viruses, and sometimes serious sickness that lasts for weeks. It always manifests as a fever that no Paracetamol in the world can solve, sharp pain in the kidneys or low back, and a sort of sadness.
I am very tired.
Today I sobbed after experiencing the drought syndrome I have been fighting for months. The long-awaited cry was performed on my kitchen floor while cutting the leaves of my grandma’s tea and sorting it out in the small jars. I gave the names after their purpose. For instance, the ”Kantarion Diary” killed the viruses in my body many times. I drink two extremely hot cups that almost burnt and melted my fingers. The pain felt very good. I enjoyed my fingertips embracing the heat while igniting the whole body.
And then I sang.
I sang so loud while screaming the words deep down from my stomach, the words that neither mean something nor actually exist. Sounds are being transmitted through my tight skin, through my body floating on the fever for the 10th hour today. It felt like I am flying on my kitchen table with the small tea forest surrounding me, barefoot, weak, and lost. It was my own crying stage that stopped right on time before somebody visited my world. Confused and scared, the visitor offered help. I rejected and proudly said: ”Today, I finally cried”.
“Compact” is the obvious name I called this short documentary, composed of documentary footage from Damascus’s biggest bus station located beneath “The Bridge of The President”, and the surrounding streets and other three short films.
Majd who is an instructor at the faculty of Fine Arts documents some minutes of his trip to the University. Later a very important addition came, three videos made by the street photographer Mohammad Nammour showcasing what is happening inside the public transportation.
The importance of the material is simply because raising a camera or a cellphone in public places in Syria is not an allowed activity, therefore to do it, while walking in the streets as Majd did, or sitting at a very close distance from other strangers as Nammour did, may have severe consequences. Without this kind of inside observation, no matter how short or reduced it is, the real suffering of the Syrian street will always be lost and unacknowledged.
In one of these videos, we see a very awkward argument between a passenger and a microbus Driver reflecting the heavy impacts of the economical catastrophe in Syria. Witnessing how the Syrian lira value is dropping continuously until it is treated like an old piece of paper that everyone is trying to get rid of.
In this video three artists based in Damascus attempt to present to you some of what it feels like, not just the traffic, but everything else we guess.
“Even when you are made uncomfortable by a situation, you can still find it hard to get out of it. We learn from how hard it can be to do what you need to do to protect yourself. Who you are taught to be, how you are taught to be, polite, considerate, not troublesome, as a girl, as a student, is how you become more vulnerable, less willing or able to stop someone from pushing the line you need to protect yourself. When you know that to say no is to be judged as antisocial, it is hard to say no.”
(Ahmed, 2021, pg. 183)
“HELLO, I AM HERE: An Identity Crisis on Paper” is my ongoing art project, in which I am processing and establishing my place in the world. The title comes from my professor: during a meeting, in which we were discussing my work, he noted that I had been trying to make my art “illustrative” and putting too much focus on creating pieces that were aesthetically pleasing. In trying to make beautiful artwork, I was not making anything that was true to who I was as a person. He told me to try drawing and writing without putting too much forethought into it, to make my mark, to say, “Hello, I am here!”
Naturally, this challenge sent me into a tailspin. Where was I supposed to begin? How could I even start to project my inner self onto the world around me? What did I want the world to know about me, and what would that look like?
So far, I still don’t really know, but the imagery that keeps emerging is painting a picture (if you’ll pardon the expression) of the parts of myself I have trouble reconciling with.
When I was 22, a therapist noticed that I struggled to maintain eye contact with her while I spoke about the challenges of working as a waitress, and how I was embarrassed about struggling to complete basic tasks in a stressful work environment. After a quick screening test, she referred me to another, outside organisation in order to test for autism.
It has been nearly three years since this referral (thanks to a hefty waiting list), and nearly every day since has been spent picking up the pieces of this bombshell. Finally, I felt as though I understood myself on a much deeper level. It became easier to forgive myself for the explosions of anger over tiny inconveniences (God help the poor soul who would change my plans at the last moment), for my thin skin and for the routines and rituals that were once thought of as “childish”. It didn’t matter that I was not formally diagnosed (nor that I am still waiting to this day): this was the key to letting myself heal from years of confusion and self-hatred.
With this monumental relief, however, came an entirely new set of challenges. A discerning lack of validation, for one. It became remarkably easy for those around me to dismiss my newfound diagnosis, primarily on the basis that I “didn’t seem autistic”. Many times I heard the old adage, “Everyone is on the spectrum!”, always from well-meaning people, probably unsure of how to respond to such a bombastic statement as “I have autism”.
Upon further reflection, I can see how such a statement could be seen as a complaint. This quote from the book “COMPLAINT!” by Sara Ahmed resonated with me:
“Correction is often heard as complaint: as being negative, assertive, demanding. Coming out can involve an intentional disclosure, but that’s not always how coming out happens. Sometimes you have to admit something to yourself before you can admit something to others…”
(Ahmed, 2021, pg.119)
This project is my concentrated effort to be assertive, to gently remind my friends and loved ones to handle me with care.
Big gratitude to all those enthusiastic people that have made complaining such a rewarding activity.
T.Kalleinen & O.Kochta Kalleinen
Opening the door of the radical wardrobe
From the very beginning of my professional complaining career in winter 2021, I traveled with the book of S.Ahmed and my little diary through everyday situations. At first, I took advantage of the Complainitivism blog to store there everything I could not in other places. Safe-travels blogging. I embraced the chance to hang out in the cheap hostels in Cairo, my WG in Weimar, and different flats and places I inhabited since that stimulated my writings. I remember most of my life I was so loud in complaining, loving it, and hating it simultaneously. On the other hand, it was such a good tool to protect not just me, but also somebody who could be bullied due to no voice. It means transforming the voice into something useful instead of using it for something that empowers the ego. Me, the protector, the rescuer – the one that provides space, I pictured. It already happened – entering the world of displeasure through the texts, and diving into the whole new world of complaining as art practice. There was the moment when the book divider cut Sara Ahmed’s piece in half, somewhere around Occupiedspaces in Part IV, and I felt precisely the task I had – to take care of the voices pragmatically instead of theoretically. To give complaints somewhere to go and open the door. The same day I decided to propose a project called Bauhaus Complaints Choir.
Something itchy decisively and loudly screams from the bodies of these young people – I thought after the first Complaintivsm live session. Emotions and openness were splashing the walls of the institution, group therapy as if nothing will exist after it. The respect for my wonderful colleagues, it is my true pleasure to share the walls with them, while pretending that the walls do not exist. How will we proceed? How to root out the issues we mentioned there and eradicate the origin of the problem? This was the basis for the cabinet I imagined creating. The place of the singing drawers, a closet full of thoughts. The words that gravitate towards the reform and aim to dissolve the complex procedures.
BCC (Bauhaus Complaints Choir) is an experimental chorus aiming to structure and coordinate the complaints within the institution. While giving a space for the voices of the students, professors, and all employees of our university, I and my colleague Margarita Garcia decided on creating the lyrics out of the complaints we receive. Making a complaint within the institution often requires reflecting on it. BCC is a cabinet for both institutionally and privately held complaints. Allof them are welcome. The music follows the dynamics of the writings, combining global, indigenous, dispossessed, classic, and experimental.
I must share a sort of disappointment regarding the response within the BCC (Bauhaus Complaints Choir) open call, that weirdly hurt me. My fragile ego was mixing the anger, protest, sadness, and actual result of the call. For weeks there was no complaint on the form. I wondered what is the problem? There must be something standing between a person who is about to voice their displeasure and me building a cabinet and waiting for it. Is there a bug in the system, a mistake in the approach?
‘’Hey Nadja, this rocks. ‘’ ‘’Bravo, I hope you get a lot of complaints.’’ ‘’This is such an important project! ‘’ ‘’Girl, this is what this university needs.’’
…but no complaint was appearing on our form, nor being dropped in the mail. No letter, no notification, no displeasure. It might be that I have made a piece of marketing, a product, and lost its actual objective on the way. One person even texted me that she would like to participate, but she really does not have anything to complain about. Even an apology followed this statement. I was feeding the air, the social media, and idea, but not the people, I suppose. On the other hand, there was this question: Are we so overwhelmed with the individual, inner complaints that the task to complain somewhere else, outside, feels like one more errand? I do understand this. I do not blame. I am, myself, having way too many on my list.
However, some complaints made BCC’s idea fight for its existence in my head, still taking the failure as the legitimate and integral part of the process. At some point, the letters started appearing – the response came from the crowd.
“If you have to complain because of failed processes, you have to enter yet more failed processes.” S.Ahmed
If I am about to create a real cabinet for the complaints, I should take care of it in the best possible way. I have to learn from the empty spaces in the form, as much from the filled ones. Moreover, it is just the beginning of BCC’s radical wardrobe, and the door has just opened.
Valituskuoro: Who sings the things?
Valituskuoro: Who sings the things?
The world of diverse voices amazes me. From the collective art performances to the theater stage happening, I was always a big devotee and admirer of this kind of noise. Except for the melody of the crow, I am in love with complaining as a sport of choice. Therefore, I started searching for enthusiasts in the same field.
In the Finnish vocabulary, there is the expression “Valituskuoro (literally ‘’Complaints Choir’’) and it is used to describe situations where a lot of people are complaining simultaneously. In my research, I found the two names that are taking this expression seriously.
It is my true pleasure to introduce the artist duo Oliver Kochta-Kalleinen and Tellervo Kalleinen, Helsinki-based contemporary artists working with cinema, installation, performance, and events. In their practice, they attempt to merge the languages and approaches of several disciplines, such as film, performance, game design, experimental education, facilitation, social architecture, and alternative economies. They construct situations and invite people to join her for collective adventures.
Complaints choirs took place in primary schools, streets, churches, villages, and big cities… Complainers started their movement worldwide. Better said, they occupied spaces.
Another example is The Resistance Revival Chorus from New York that introduces themselves as activists exploring music and musicians exploring activism. RRC is a collective of more than 60 women and non-binary singers, who join together to breathe joy and song into the resistance and to uplift and center women’s voices. Chorus members are touring musicians, film and television actors, Broadway performers, solo recording artists, gospel singers, political activists, educators, filmmakers, artists, and more, representing a multitude of identities, professions, creative backgrounds, and activist causes. And we have now the BCC (Bauhaus Complaints Choir) that exists in specific time and space. We are students, designers, artists, filmmakers, supervisors, tutors, professors, activists, protesters, everyday people. We are the diverse voices of a particular context and we aim to voice up.
Say complaint – and there I am, building my professional complaining career.
To participate in the Bauhaus Complaints Choir, please enter here.
What does it feel like inhabiting your complaint? How do you experience, as the complainer, your body becoming a testimony of the work of complaint?1 Where do you feel the process of having to prove that you are or were underlying an experience of injustice and that were you were harmed? And how does it feel to find no support and no way out of this situation? Where do you feel it in your body? How does it manifest losing their sense of clarity and no longer being able to trust your body to tell you what is right or wrong?
1 See: Ahmed, S. (2021): Complaint!. Durham: Duke University Press, p.39.
An attempt to visualize:
Ahmed, S. (2021): Complaint!. Durham: Duke University Press:
The less backing you have, the more weight you have to bear. (p.39)
You swallow it. (p.48)
A complaint can feel sticky: the longer it takes to make, the more it sticks to you. (p.117)
In the thick of it. (p.103)
Being shattered is not always a place from which we can speak. (p.14)
You are trying to hold yourself together. (p.117)
The lack of clarity of the process becomes the world you inhabit: nothing is clear. (p.44)
Complaints, wherever they go, often end up in filling cabinets, those handy containers. We too can become containers. (p.117)
Bodies can also store what minds file away, which is how we come to feel the truth of something in our bones. (p.108)
“Sometimes you have to shout because you are not heard. If you have to shout because you are not heard, you are heard as shouting. If you are heard as shouting, you are not heard” (Ahmed, 2021, p.89)
I remember it was the last year of my undergrad. We had to find a thesis advisor, I had no idea who to choose. One of my best friends started working with one of the professors, one of the most renowned, he was famous and sold very well. I remember sitting on River Boulevard one night. She was telling us how her meetings with the professor were going. She told us something that seemed strange but that night she gave us no more clues that something really odd was going on. One day, we were both in the exhibit hall at the university. I was helping her set up the lights for the opening of her thesis. Somewhere between thin tears she turned to me and said:
-I am planning to file a complaint. Something serious has happened with xxxxxx -.
I went into shock. To think that months before I wanted to be in her position.
We gave each other a hug as if holding each other, comforting each other. It was not the first time this had happened to her and I had also been a victim of another man and his masculine arrogance. We knew that surely, this was not going to be the last time either.
To this day I think about this situation with fear, with rage. I am not even able to use his real name. I’m afraid that his academic, work and even spiritual connections will grab me with one of his tentacles and pull me under, just for talking-just for thinking about it. But when I write it here, for a moment it feels like I can escape him (all of them) and his power.
This fairytale is a well-established concept, an interpretation, and the invention of the main protagonist of the story.
“My poor little Nadja, I wish I could scoop up your remains every time you fall apart,” she said, addressing herself, facing the text her thoughts had just woven.
The story consists of a bunch of words in English, many complaints, self-criticism, world criticism, global politics, conflicts, and personal reflections. Its content is not actually a story at all. It is more of a fake, fictional etymology of the Serbian word “beznadje” which started all this textual fuss.
ONE AND ONLY CHAPTER: ALL THE LET’S
Neoliberal capitalism breeds charming little monsters. My name is Nadja, welcome to my overexistence.
There is a word in my mother tongue, a word in which I had planted my ego years ago and have watered it ever since. In Serbian, we say beznadje / beznađe meaning hopelessness or more precisely: without hope. This compound combines the word bez (without) with my beautiful name (Nadja), by coincidence. The world without Nadja makes me sad. Sometimes I blame my small, generous family for splashing so much love onto me. You are guilty of my ego plantation and egocentric perspective. You made me overexist. There are times when I miss them so much that being so far away from their warm, loving bodies tears me apart. Time has shown me that they are the creators of the most beautiful and disgusting things that my being consists of. Let’s discuss it in my monologue.
My anxiety is reversed. Instead of, as a hedgehog or a snail, squeezing my face inwards, I go for more of what makes me anxious in the first place. Instead of covering my face with an emergency blanket, I apply for a new open call, I make a new friend, and I make new art. I overwhelm myself, volunteering for my own destruction. I stretch my body on the ceilings of contexts I do not even belong. It hurts so damn much being a captive of your own brain. It makes me feel trapped, stupid, unable to progress. I have been hanging on this clothesline ever since, and it seems I won’t pick up my clothes soon. Let me dry.
I am tired of being excited. Recently I asked my mom if I was born like this. I believe I was: strongly into everything along the way, wanting, eager for everywhere and everyone, not belonging, not existing for real, never loving anybody but their love for me, never accepting anything that does not benefit me in some way… The vicious cycle of every, any, every. The excited monster always wants to see another garden and love another flower. I am a factory. My production is unbelievably fast, so is my consumption. However, I do understand this method of mine very well, I simply fear not having the options. If I get one NO, there is something about to be a YES. If he leaves me, there is another HE loving me in the background. If you make me choose just one, I will disappear from it, whatever it is. I am a union of the contexts and queen of my clothing. I am not one, but plural. Let me be swallowed by my monsters, it is the only way to survive.
I thought about the book title that I might write if I switch from art to popular psychology book title copywriting. “How to plant, cultivate, and water your multiple egos”. Best-seller, right? I would give a course on multitasking, productive puma advice, and self-destruction, inevitably. And what is with me and this puma thing? I do compare myself to a black panther on a daily basis. Let me be the best there is in the capitalist jungle.
Yesterday I cried my face off while jogging through a German landscape. It felt like it was about to explode. I am not sure what exactly, but I felt its shape right above my bladder, growing and pulsing. Like a creature. I gave birth inside my belly. The pregnant puma is starting to feel the pain. It hurts so much. It pierces and paralyzes me. I cannot do this anymore. Stretched over my red sofa, I tried to collect the puzzle pieces and get through the fog I found myself surrounded with. It felt so blurry that I didn’t even know how to carry myself from the sofa over to my bed in the corner. It took my excited body and it suffocated me. How can I live in this world without Nadja? If she becomes tired and sad, what is this all about? She hurts me, she is killing me. I want her to calm down and pick up the fucking clothes.
The summary was urging to be done and therefore, we are coming back to the roots: the place where the complaints were planted, watered, and let out by the complainer-creator, to the#0.
I do wonder sometimes why I have started voicing the itchiness I encountered. The following question would be why I do art. Then again, after rereading the displeasures once in a while I always bump into the satisfying answer. Moreover, I love my army of complaints. The question would pop up: how is it possible to have an emotional connection to the displeasure? I might not be able to explain it well, but assume that for me it comes from the joy of complaining, the power of reflecting, something very personal, one-man therapy, the empathy with the protagonists of my story, and most importantly, being able to be vulnerable somewhere, more than anywhere else. The topics that I touched through my displeasures are a good base to realize what are the itchy places and triggers, more precisely the base for future complaints and that is, my complainers, what I was looking for a while. I might be my own feminist ear.
STICKY DATA: Complaints framed as self-damage
Is it, now when I opened these very personal, but very public questions and realized how sticky they are? Now, when I am aware of the damage that has been made? It can not be more of destruction than actually taking the words and bringing them into action. I and my displeasures are already here, which is, as I experienced, definitely not enough. Otherwise, Ahmed would call it a fatalist process (opened and started just in order to be initiated). But I would say that if my voices are burning now, there must be the next stage. Therefore, let me complete this action until it gets visible.
WHAT A LOVELY WAY TO BURN
After voicing displeasure #The Code of Visibility, I could finally cry my life off, after months of holding it back. The wonderful moment of being able to tell him how hurt I was is not the pathetic story about my father, as I always thought. It is the voice of all the girls in the world that were abandoned, living with the thought that they made a mistake. It is the voice of the anger, the spit of the tension that pierced my belly for years. Thinking about the children that are very present in my everyday life, I pictured the visibility that their complaints are creating: the contrast of being taken too seriously, or not at all. I have been observing both their creation of visibility and complaining in front of the authorities and I actually found something useful to apply in my own practice.
Never mentioned before that I have always been disguised and repelled by the way my family structure is described in the official documents. It gave many people the right to comment and construct their own perceptions of the two members of my nuclear family. I hated the way they victimized my mom seeing her as a tortured, poor woman, the single parent left alone. Once, in the report of a school psychologist, she wrote:the child’s lack of motivation due to the consequences of her broken family. Whatever would change in my behavior, that was considered weird, it was always attributed to the crack I was born in.
Once, I cried in front of a 5 years old girl I babysat because her toy/doll family construction matched mine very well. Instead of stopping the professional cry, I started the professional complaint in front of her and the game was successful. The feminist ear has no gender and no age.
voicing the burning
#The Professional Cry is a fusion that gravitates and connects displeasures written before and after it. It is, indeed very much connected to the first displeasure #Feminine Masculinity. Both empowered my female/male voice and helped me understand the NO complaint. I was not respecting my own body, and my own little girl cried inside me every time I gave it to them. I was sexually harassed, taken advantage of. I experienced verbal abuse not knowing that what has been happening is wrong. I never told that to anyone, because they would immediately give credit to the broken family situation: seeking love more than others, daddy issues, loneliness, not having a man figure to look after, etc. I am not saying that traces of the crack are not present, but how dare you? Developing masculine femininity is a process and I prefer saying that my deep voice is therefore a social construct.
#The Crying Honk was, on the other hand, at the beginning very general, global, touching something outside of my body. I started writing it after the second day of my trip to Egypt thinking about the reflection on the way. After a while, it became strongly personal and I noticed that this was the task of mine, the one this life urges me to have: I am the voice of the children. I always felt this whisper more than others and whatever is the context, I ended up working with kids. At least I know whom I inherited this complaining skill from. Therefore, the more honest and radical I was, the more visible I became. This might also be called radical softness because my words are written faster than my brain can check them. I am simply unloading and emptying my cabinets within each letter.
NOWHERE TO GO, BUT READY TO BURN
So, how to treat these empty pieces of furniture that are piling up? How to fold all these tears and screams-soaked napkins? Where to store them? The collection of the voices, cabinets of displeasure, university of ears, feminist laboratory, collective hug, complaining choir – (some)where to go?
I have a trillion questions while burning on my own and some of them are adding oil on fire, while some are swallowing me even more into the topic. I am asking:
What is the difference between psychotherapy (type of a feminist ear), official complaint (including administrative process e.g), and art practice here, for me? What am I proposing and voicing?What wouldhappen when the voices are heard and the cabinet is exposed, becoming visible? Will my writings hug the people, motivate them? What do the complainers need? Is it more of the introspection and individual complaining experiences or the instruction of how to make an act?
Until all of them are answered, until it all burns.
The sound of collective praying made me tremble. I heard the voice coming from the top of Ibn Tulun mosque communicating with the other voices, the choir of Al-Qāhirah. The collective vibration transmitted through the architecture gave birth to a sobbing city I had a chance to encounter.
Why are you crying? ارجوك لا تبكي.
All the best from the West
Scared for my white skin, I walk through the dusty bubble and pray for my white skin not to get dirty. For my white skin not to get raped. For my white skin not to experience poverty. My privileged, white body prays for the kids from this street, for the mango traders of Bazar, and the mothers feeding their newborns on the pedestrian zones, beyond the legs of passengers. The white privilege that I have not chosen but was given to me. With the whiteness and ability to wash my face after a long day on the streets, I dare to ask: how can we be part of the same planet? Me and this little girl in front of me, being alone on the street? We, small humans spreading inequality. We, mute humans, do not hear the cry.
On day 4, I slowly accepted these scenes as a part of the landscape and got used to poverty.
Honk for the existence
Being loud or visible has many purposes: from the simple joy of having attention to the emergency blankets, danger alert, and simple, everyday fear. I find the ambivalence of the honking orchestra here being disturbing and meditative simultaneously. The sound of confirming the presence on the road.Another form of crying, right? Traffic tears, polluted breath, screaming brakes.
Somehow, this typical Egyptian honking practice sounds very much like my own cry – hysteria, anger, the language of the unique emotions. Imagine honking as the only voice you can use. The honking makes you want to explode in your own anxiety and drown in your own tears. Or in mine, if you wish.
Who takes the pictures of the otherness and who is the otherness?
“The relationship between Occident and Orient is a relationship of power, of domination, of varying degrees of a complex hegemony.”
Said, Edward W. 2003. Orientalism
The postcolonial studies introduced us to the Westerns depicting the Orient as an irrational, strange, weak, feminized “Other”, contrasted with the rational, familiar, strong, masculine West. I would gladly comment on something that opposestheotherness, the one belonging to Orient (from the previous view), and reflect on my own, Occident otherness experience in Egypt. It is very important to underline my position here: I am not a scientific researcher on the topic, nor competent to discuss postcolonialism on any deeper level. The fact that these were my first steps out of Europe and the ways I used to experience each of them urged this reflection and made it very personal.
As I have already voiced in one of my displeasures, it feels that my everyday purpose is to be visible wherever I am and no matter what I do, say, or behave, my visibility was never so present (I dare to say even successful visibility in my case) like here. It is not me, Nadja, being exotic otherness in Egyptians eyes, but us, Nadjas that came to enjoy the heritage of their country and leave a few pounds more, possibly. And here I was even more white and prestigious, being considered a German within the group of German students I came with. What fascinates me among many things here is the way of communication that consists (besides the honking) of a couple of questions as where are you from; what is your name; and multiple versions of welcome to Egypt. These questions are never meant to actually be responded to, but to deepen the conversation, lead to the possible trade, and give them ”the promise”. Each word answering their conversation starter is a permission to enter the platonic friendship where you are the one promising to buy, to sit there and, necessary, come again. Such intensity in everything happenings. Welcome, to Cairo, they said.
What is your name?
My name is Nađa, that, according to Russians comes from Nadezhda (Надя) meaning hope. According to Arabs comes from Arabic Nadia (Nadiya) meaning moist; tender; delicate. One of the sellers from Bazar told me that the meaning is a short, but very fast river. I wanted to run aweay, that's true. So, you are Egyptian? I was asked.
The first time in this symbolic 25 years I exist in this world, somebody took the picture of me because I was different than everybody else there. I was the exotic, fascinating alien among the ordinary, everyday man on this continent. Instead of giving the superiority that attention usually does, I felt the opposite. I felt small and different in front of the whole world that I had no idea about. I felt the heaviness of the cloak of otherness that was worn by the people of color in Europe, Muslims praying on the street of the Orthodox country I came from, the women with hijabs, etc. Their unusual, extraordinary behavior or look was taking the attention of ”normal” white people and now, it is was me: an alluring, foreign subject.
I would revive the Serbian saying ”Šta je, jel igra bela mečka?‘ (eng. Is the white bear dancing or what?), the term we use for an event that evokes the curiosity of random passers-by. Apropo this saying, I wonder, who is the white bear and who is the spectator, actually? It might be that the white bear is the observer and he does not need to be tamed.
Gold-coated, crying city
Not goldening it more than it is, it is the fact that Egypt has been visited for its archeological heritage as a golden civilization that left magnificent traces dating back from the world we have no idea about. This golden coat kicked me after I left Cairo and woke up the following morning on the night train in Luxor. There I understood the massive tourism of the Serbs used to go to Hurgada every year, as well as other people visiting Egypt and seeing just Lux(or). Nobody enjoys truly the 67 layers of dust on their faces while being trapped in the traffic sandwich between the cars, buses, auto-rickshaws, and running pedestrians in Cairo. Rarely who want to live in these conditions. I do not. Yes, we are contributing through tourism and we should keep doing it. No, Egypt is not just a sandy kingdom and Giza. That is all I wanted to comment on.
Again, how to be sure that this is not one more reflection fabricated by a western explorer?
Now, poetry for the poor. (ref. Architecture for Poor, Hasan Fathy)