Stumbling Blocks

Stumbling blocks: communication is unlikely – and still it is exactly the permanently happening communication that may give another perspective to our thinking about Paradise Lost – not in the understanding of John Milton’s poem. Nor in the perspective offered by the exhibition in the gallery Istanbul Modern which

explores the way contemporary artists address a number of topical issues related to nature, the animal world and the major ecological changes that have affected the world in recent years.

Paradise Lost is centered on the idea that nature has been lost, has disappeared, and may be impossible to rediscover. Nature is defined as a reality that is shaped and transformed by culture and has not yet been replaced by an alternative.

It is about the loss of communication – I mentioned Niklas Luhmann. And communication here has a new dimension. Just two days ago I came across it, trying to open a website and facing the message:

The decision no 2011/345 dated 27/04/2011, which is given about this website ( within the context of protection measure , of Ankara 12. SULH CM has been implemented by ” Telekomünikasyon İletişim Başkanlığı”

I will then not have the opportunity to communicate, or even hear about the INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE on The Global Crisis and Hegemonic Dilemmas Michael mentions on his facebook site.

And on Sunday, sitting in one of the places next to Taksim Meydanı, I hear the angry voices, claiming ‘freedom to click’.


The presentation I am still preparing for the Globalistics conference makes more or less at the beginning reference to Frederick Engels written in 1884. In the preface to the first edition of the Origins of the Family, Private Property, and the State He says

According to the materialistic conception, the determining factor in history is, in the final instance, the production and reproduction of the immediate essentials of life. This, again, is of a twofold character. On the one side, the production of the means of existence, of articles of food and clothing, dwellings, and of the tools necessary for that production; on the other side, the production of human beings themselves, the propagation of the species. The social organization under which the people of a particular historical epoch and a particular country live is determined by both kinds of production: by the stage of development of labor on the one hand and of the family on the other.


Small shops – not offering the variety, the choices we find in the Carrefour, the Tesco, the Real …, not the choice in goods, but another choice. – Only Sunday, strolling reasonably early a little bit on my own through the streets and alleys, I am getting aware of the real meaning of the question I asked Baerbel the day before. I asked her if there wouldn’t be any supermarkets – I hadn’t seen them up to then – came only across small shops only, but plenty of them – the Pazar-like atmosphere: trading, exchanging as part of production. Sure, commodities and their exchange play a role in these small shops, but not less important had been the production of social relationships.

The importance of the barber – I remember more or less recently I went  to a barber in Lisboa. A small place, in a back road – the guy had been from Algeria. It took him a long time to trim my short and few hairs, take care of the little bit beard – and it had been just a pleasure, sitting there, being looked after in such a gentle way, sipping the tea he offered me, and chatting at least a little bit, using an amalgamation of German, English, Portuguese and Italian. The only somewhat embarrassing part came at the end, when I had to pay. – In many places you may just be allowed to touch the doorknob.

Though we know it is not the (entire) reality, it seems to be a game – and indeed, here in Istanbul – like for instance on the ground-floor in the social centre on ODTUe-campus – it is so common to see people, sipping their tea and playing board games (in particular Backgammon), sometimes having a beautifully ornamented table producing … – time, relationships, and perhaps some form of peace.

You remember Schiller’s words?

Real being …

I write: had been as this changed and changes of course. Now we communicate – and produce ourselves in a different way: Consumo ergo sum – The thinking, performed during play had to make place. Idealism had been followed by idealisation – the idealised world of standardised products: yes, I can use the washing machine in my apartment back in Ankara: all in Turkish …

And the supermarkets do exist, a little bit aside from the old centre – and as hypermarkets and ‘global shopping centres, even more outside ….

We need them: complexities as stepping stones to a dance ….. – and we always have to think about stumbling blocks. A trinity of stones: kerbstones, stepping stones and stumbling blocks. – Quartum non datur?

The engine of the aircraft revs – TK 0415 istanbul – moscow.

I lean back – the lyrics of one of the Abba-songs I listened to while I had been jogging comes back to my mind:

Dance while the music still goes on
Don’t think about tomorrow
Dance and forget our time is gone
Tonight’s a night we borrow
Let’s make it a memory, a night of our own
A thing to remember when we’re all alone
So dance, it’s our way to say goodbye
Yes, all we have to do is
Dance while the music still goes on

Quartrum non datur? I close the eyes – and it opens the view on a plane, on open field, wide, bright, the Russian term for it: Ясная поляна – jasnaja poljana

Un pensiero riguardo “Stumbling Blocks


Inserisci i tuoi dati qui sotto o clicca su un'icona per effettuare l'accesso:

Logo di

Stai commentando usando il tuo account Chiudi sessione /  Modifica )

Foto di Facebook

Stai commentando usando il tuo account Facebook. Chiudi sessione /  Modifica )

Connessione a %s...