Taming of the Screw*
Mapu ñuke – Mother Earth
Mapu ñuke, mapu ñuke
tami rewkvleci jawe
coyvmkey kom puh ka kom antv
fvxa kuifi kakerume fvh,
wefkey bewfv reke
ka dewkey pehoykvleci xayen,
alofkvleci wagvben keciley,
fij kuyfike kekerumeci folil.
Mapu ñuke, mapu ñuke
mi pu pvxa jeqkey pu mapuce,
naqvn antv meu ka pu liwen
Lelfvn mew ka mawida mew,
xiwe, peweh ka foye
leliwvlnieygvn ta kaifvwenu,
wixapvray tami pu toki
mi kisu gvnewam ka mi rumekagenuam
ka tami poyeatew ka ayvatew
in your undulating body
the eternal germs
pullulate at day and night.
like rivers they debouch
and outpour in cascades
of enigmatic stars
sprouting, burgeoning –
the roots of the ancestors.
in permanent change
elevating from dusk and daybreak
your inmost bears Mapuces.
In the valleys, in the mountains
Rewes, Pewenes and Canelos are standing
the countenance directed to the sky,
raise the Tokis
to liberate you, to protect you
to love you fondly.
(Rayen Kvyeh; translation P.H.)
A study trip – officially it came to its end on Friday night, when UCC’s Higher Diploma Course in Social Policy went together for dinner, returning to Cork then on Saturday lunchtime. For my part, I could not join, some work still needs to be done.
And as part of this I date the end of the study trip on Sunday afternoon – Orhan Akman, deputy of Die Linke in the city council in Munich, whom the student group met on Friday morning in the town hall, is again my host. This time it is in the building of the Trade Union – and it is on an entirely different occasion. The title of the event is
Struggle for Freedom, self determination and human dignity by Kurds and Mapuche.
While I go there I read Frigga Haug’s Die Vier-in-Einem-Perspektive. Politik von Frauen für eine Neue Linke (Four-in-One-Perspective. Politics by Women for a New Left). The book is a plea for recognising the need to approach different facets: employment, reproduction, politics and culture as organic whole.
Orhan welcomes me – as I am arrived before the official beginning I have the opportunity to talk a little bit with him. And also with Rayen Kvyeh, the writer, poet and activist of the Mapuche.
It is such a difference: the meetings during the week, all in their own way highly political, the reading of Frigga’s book – surely radical but nevertheless very much so much dealing with the reality as we know it from our daily experience – and now the confrontation with an apparently entirely different array. After Orhan’s general opening remarks – the personal welcomes of some participants and the speakers, after giving an outline of the event: the presentations, the open discussion and the ‘cultural event’ at the end – he gives a brief introduction into the topic, namely ….
Chile under Fire
…., the student movement, the massive protests against an educational system which is by its high costs extremely exclusive, not allowing ordinary people to access it … – and the fact that the students are expressing their solidarity with the Mapuche. But who did ever hear about the Mapuche, who knows that it is a minority living to a large extent in Chile, having been dispelled from their own land, resisting and asking to be recognised as ethnic group, claiming as such the recognition of their own rights. A people who resisted the conquest – first by Christobal Colón who arrived by a navigation error in 1492 in the Americas rather than in India, the subsequent ‘import of capitalism’. They resisted and continue to resist not least by maintaining collective property and sustainable economic development.
A people of the moon rather than the sun – the first being female, the second being male; a people not knowing pyramids – triangular, hierarchical constructions – but maintaining ‘levelled structures’ of collective governance. As such their resistance is not least geared against the establishment of reservations aiming on reocupación – re-occupation. – Rings a bell?
Something they have in common with the Kurds …, they have in common like the
Luna of Ashes
The eyes, blinded with a black bandage
the air compressed into a meter by a meter
captivated, tormented silence
between cables, bashes and blood
My comprehension goes astray
in endless labyrinths
made of the raw realities and its dark imaginations
Sweating cold, rage shivering
spans across the flayed skeleton
it begins leaving is life behind itself
in slow, pertinacious agony
My children are calling for me
under the chime they call
immersing my eyes, engrossing in drifty flood
my body purifying, laving in the warmth
my moribund thoughts
step by step, a small step
my blinded eyes stride
the narrow paths of my soil
Aside the loom
my grandmother gins the maize
a kiss from the auricaria, you are collecting
sweating in the oven
you shed tears
the streets conquered by the military forces
A forest of affection strikes roots
in my body
and gives raise
to a rebellious fruit.
(Rayen Kvyeh; translation P.H.)
A song concludes the first presentation – the sounds of Victor Jara.
Songül Karabulut, member of the board of the Kurdish National Congress, presents: the history of the Kurds, making the point that a people living according to their origins cannot be easily erased. As people of freedom they first contributed – during the Ottoman wars and the dissolution of the Empire between 1908 and 1918 – to the liberation of Turkey. However, it meant laying the ground for their own oppression by the new Turkish regime, the fate they shared with the communists. Genocide, psycho-genocide, assimilation – the traditions of the divide et impera – against the Mesopotamian people who stood at the crèche of civilisation.
On the way back I remember Frigga’s book, her reference to Marx’ Grundrisse, where he states that it is finally the economy of time that is at the core of all economy. She argues against glorifying the past, rebukes the neglects of developing the productive forces.
However, the oppression of women, structurally linked to the dominance of increasing profit as Leitmotif has to be limited in favour of “goals of quality of life”. (116)
It had been a long day – the conclusion of the study trip in its own way. Surely the end of a week with diverse impressions:
- A quick overview over four-hundred year’s of Western arts: the development of Western culture in a nutshell: From Duerer’s Four Apostles to the work by Chamberlain.
- The confrontation with the most barbarian derailing which may be the most pronounced culmination of the ambiguity of a modernism which turned a people of thinkers and poets into a people of judges and hangmen (a Volk of Dichter und Denker wurde zum Volk der Richter und Henker)
- The various impressions of The Taming of the Screw*: the well-ordered system, its success peaking in the fact that Lenin described by saying that there surely will not be a revolution starting n Germany as the German’s will first buy a ticket for the Platform before they conquer the railway lines
- And the insights in silent revolutions – germs of resistance, confessions and the adaption of rational rules in order to change …
A circle coming to a close – on a personal level: Monday it will come to a close, providing a stage for new steps. Not as means of strangulation but as point allowing a new departure: The collaboration on Human Rights I started with Mehmet from ODTUe some time ago; this Monday’s meeting with Lorena from the MPI, hoping that we develop cooperation on this topic and linking it to her country: Bolivia. Drawing a bow between the three of us – and in some way brought together by the activists: Rayen and Orhan.
Many facets, laboriously and playfully coming together like the different individual bars and melodies in a symphony. A process of relational appropriation – it may be a machine of alienation and oppression but it also may evolve as an artful symphony which allows individuals to develop with their own timbre, merging to a gorgeous masterpiece of humanism.
There is a good reason for thinking more about what taming may mean.
by any means we should erase any negative undertone when talking of a screw, highlight instead the independence and resistance.