söndag, februari 24, 2008

Djävulselixiret/Die Elixiere des Teufels

Har nu avslutat läsningen av Djävulselixiret (Die Elixiere des Teufels) av E.T.A. Hoffman.

Denna bok har varit en del av läsningen som ingår i den lilla 'bokklubb' på Facebook (svenska nätverket) som vi kallar 'Shakespeare & Co', vilket dock inte explicit har med Shakespeare att skaffa.

Boken kan ses som en resa genom den kristna dogmatiken rörande bl.a. läran om arvsynden.
Vi kan här se att man tillmäter den kristna arvsyndsläran stor relevans i det att Hoffmann gör gällande att den synd fadern gjort sig skyldig också är avgörande för de synder som sönerna gör sig skyldiga till.
Dock måste detta ses inte explicit som 'faderns synder' utan den synd som vi alla bär på som emanerar från 'den första människans', Adams, synd.
I denna Adams 'syndiga' handling lades fröet till den synd som vi alla är bärare av och som vi aldrig kan bli av med.
Däremot erbjuder den 'andre Adam', Jesus Kristus (i kristen tradition självfallet) en förlåtelse för den 'skuld' vi bär på för den 'syndiga själ' vi alla är 'kontaminerade' med.
På samma gång finns här ett frö till tanken om den sociala miljöns inverkan på en individ.
Uppfostran, det goda exemplet anförs som en motkraft mot arvsyndens fördärvliga inverkan.
Medardus brottas ju hela tiden mot sin 'ondska', sin destruktiva sida och lyckas till slut försonas med sig själv, sitt liv och Gud.

Här finns också offertanken, det ställföreträdande lidandet representerat.
Mot slutet av boken, då Aurelia/Rosalia dör, först då inträder den känsla av försoning hos Medardus som han så länge sökt.
Det krävdes alltså hennes offerdöd, symboliskt framför altaret, för att Medardus skulle nå sin 'frihalsning', sin frälsning från det 'onda'.
Aurelias död skedde också framför altaret men inte altaret som ett verkligt offerlamm, eftersom den kristna tron endast erkänner existensen av ett specifikt offerlamm som försonat allas våra synder, nämligen Jesus Kristus ('Agnus Dei')

I allt detta finns också tanken om kvinnan som 'fresterskan', precis som i lustgården där Eva frestade Adam med äpplet. Här är det Aurelia som en gång frestat den då förhållandevs fromme Medardus att 'avfalla' från tron och den rätta vägen genom sin kärleksförklaring till honom.
Hoffmann ger här till del Aurelia skulden för Medardus 'syndafall' genom att hon via sin kärleksförklaring i bikten, lockade fram de 'syndfulla' idéer som sedan kom att invadera Medardus tanke- och känsloliv.
Precis som i Lustgården, har här kvinnan som förförare (förförerska)/frestare (fresterska) alltså en framträdande roll.
Här laborerar Hoffmann med en myckenhet av kristet tankegods och dogmatik. Arvsyndsläran, dödssynderna, det ställföreträdande lidandet. Allt detta blandar han samman i en cocktail där vi får följa Medardus på en pilgrimsresa bland törnen, fyllt av motgångar och destruktiva handlingar men samtidigt mötandes individer som bär på 'goda' tendenser, människor vilka försöker locka honom tillbaka till ett liv i kristi efterföljelse - Imitatio Christi idealet - som också är ett tema.

En viss kritik mot kyrka och kloster anser jag mig kunna förmärka samtidigt som Hoffmann vill visa att det bland påstått fromma eller troende finns alla kategorier människor, allt från dem som till synes lever i enlighet med de höga ideal som en kristen eller annan tro innefattar, till dem som lever i en gråzon däremellan och dem som likt Medardus vandrar bort från det goda för att följa sina egoistiska instinkter och endast tillfredsställa sitt behov av njutning. "Det goda som jag vill, det gör jag inte, men det onda som jag inte vill, det gör jag" (Rom. 7:19).

Man skulle kunna säga att idealisten ställs mot libertinen (libertinisten). Här är idealet den kristna trons grundvalar som ställs mot dess raka motsats - så som man ser det i kristen tro - det utsvävande, egoistiska, självförhärligande livet med alla dess nöjen och frestelser. Dock är ju också en libertin en person med ideal men inte kanske just kristna ideal.

I det stora hela är det en intressant idéroman med inslag av det bisarra, det mystika och en hög grad av förväxlingsproblematik om vi ser till de olika i berättelsen invävda figurerna och deras inbördes förhållanden.
Jag kan dock tycka att det finns en hel del unket tankegods som gör att betyget dras ned en aning.

onsdag, februari 20, 2008

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights 60 years


In 2008 The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is celebrating it's 60th anniversary.

We should ask ourself if this declaration have had any impact at all on the situation in the world.
As all written documents signed by different parties it's not worth the paper it's written on if the leaders and citizens of the countries who signed this treaty, don't find it worth fighting for, as seem to be the case with the Declaration of Human Rights.
In this case we can see that there has been more killing and violation - quantitatively - after the Second World War than during that very same period of war.
Democracy has not been a steadfast ground for not going to war and these wars have often been very unjust wars.
One can always argue that all wars are unjust as it strikes against civilians, not always directly involved in the 'political games' of different countries.
However some wars seem to be necessary to fight in order to prevent an ever worse scenario, as in the case of the two World Wars.
This is of course easier said than done and as being a Swede with no experience of war, this might seem like looking at this issue 'from above' and I present my excuses to those feeling hurt in this part.
Another problem is also the pragmatic policy conducted by politicians in all countries in the world.
Sometimes one criticize a dictatorship and sometimes one support it with weapons depending on what political leaders think they can gain from an action like that in each and every case.

The UN is also a very weak organization dependant on the cooperation between countries with their own agenda concerning each and every question.
The UN is also dependant on the economic support from, not least, the major economical powers in the world and we know that this has not always worked out to well.

I don't know if the 60th anniversary of this declaration is worth celebrating.
What's the use of a declaration that very few respect on a deeper level?
Ask people in countries like Rwanda, Burundi, Iraq, Cuba, North Korea, Zimbabwe, Congo, Tibet and many, many more if they have felt that they have been supported by this declaration and the work carried out by the United Nations.
The answer is obvious.

The question is of course, how to implement all the good resolutions in this text.
The answer to that question rest with us all. It's not a question we shall let politicians handle on their own.
First of all we all need some change in mentality and devote ourself to a certain self critic on a everyday basis, meaning that I have to be able to criticize my own ideas, the ideas of my nation, its politicians, avoiding being bound by to strong bonds linking me to different kinds of ideologies.
I have to be able to open my eyes for other ways of living and thinking, implying an interest for other people, nations and their traditions, manners and habits.
One can't stay content in the corner where one lives, saying that this is the best way of life and nothing else could be better or as good as this.

I personally believe that it's extremely important to diminish the sense of belonging to a certain country or region.
We have all to many nationalists in the world and to few cosmopolitans.

This was only a few ideas but of course it's much more complicated than this as life is very complexed in itself - thank God!

Pakistan

For the government in Pakistan the election was a great disappointment.

Will Pervez Musharraf accept the result of the election and step down?
If so will the opposition parties be able to create peace and order in the country.
The new general for the army has said that the military no longer should interfer in politics but work with the issues for which they are trained, namely protect the country from potential threats from other countries.

What will happen with the tight bonds between Pakistan and the USA?
A new leadership here and soon a new leadership in the USA. Will this mean anything for the relationship between these two countries?

A lot of questions without any answers - yet.


(Picture map Pakistan copied from: http://www.islamic-relief.ch/irv19/IMG/jpg/pakistan_map.jpg)
(Photo Pervez Musharraf copied from: http://www.ikhwanweb.com/uploads/2007/12/30/Musharraf.jpg)

Kosovo

Kosovo has declared themselves independent from Serbia.

-Will the rest of the world reconize this and if so, how many countries?
Russia - no;
Serbia - no.
-Will there be problems for this the newest country in Europe?
The economy will be the greatest problem and building up a functioning infrastructure when it comes to decision making etc.
-Will other potential countries follow this example? Probably.
-Will there be another war on the Balkans? Serbia has promised not to use violence.
-We will see.

lördag, februari 16, 2008

Stately runned schools for Muslim imams in Sweden?

Now the government propose that the education of muslim religious leaders should be stately runned and supervised. This in order to put a stop to radical Islam.
I dont't think this is a good idea.

Well, maybe the idea of trying to neutralize the growth of radicalism is a good idea in itself. However then we also must try to neutralize growing radicalism within Christian, Jewish and other communities. This is also a growing problem if we look at it from a societal point of view.

I think however that the radicalism in Sweden among muslim believers is a very rare phenomenon. Of course someone could argue that this is not common today but will be in the future.
I have seen a Swedish documentary about radical muslim groups and people in Sweden so of course it exists, as any other form of radicalism, extremism or fundamentalism, religious or not.
I think though that most muslims in Sweden as well as in other countries want to live their life in peace and practice their believes.

If the government decide to give money to schools educating imams and other religious muslim leaders they should leave the schools to decide how the education should be organized.
From a equality perspective of course the educational system in our country should finance this educations as well as if finances the education for Christian Lutheran clergymen in Sweden. Previously this was defended by the fact that the church in Sweden was stately controlled but since many years now it is not.

Radicalism within any belief system is best fought with knowledge and intellectual clarity combined with openess towards other believers and ideological ideas.

When I worked in a church here in Stockholm many years ago the best thing to be among some believers was a 'burning Christian' not a 'lukewarm' one. Being a 'burning Christian' implied not accepting other peoples believes and thoughts but only strive for the spread of the 'only truth', namely Christiansism! I preferred being 'lukewarm'!

(Photo imam Abd al Haqq Kielan copied from: http://photoimagine.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/imam.jpg)

onsdag, februari 13, 2008

Sweden and Europe


The Declaration of Foreign Policy by the Swedish government through Foreign Minister Carl Bildt, were centered around the importance of the European Union and it's peace keeping ability.

Carl Bildt declared that the most important instrument for the Swedish foreign policy and for the work for peace, freedom and reconciliation is the EU.
The extension of the EU is very important according to Carl Bildt and the government.
They stress the importance of getting Turkey and the Balkan countries to join the EU as quickly as possible. In this case they have quite a different opinion compared to France for example.

Carl Bildt also expressed his concern about Russia and the tendencies towards a more totalitarian rule.
In connection to this he mentioned that he thought that Sweden should join the European Union Battlegroups but the opposition didn't agree. They thought it better to try to solve the economical problems within the military defence in Sweden trying to keep it together, hence being able to cope with the tasks we already are involved in.

Very little was actually said about the situation on a global scale, at least not any substantially important suggestions. These questions were discussed by other members of the government, not the foreing minister himself.

The recurrent question:
Is the EU actually such a strong unit as to be able to play an important role in foreign policies and are the countries within the EU able to agree on a mutual plan for the international commitment, economically and military?
I don't think so yet.
My experience is that the only country able to act in different crisis around the world is the USA. This though the decisions and intentions of the USA often are dubious (as with other countries). They left Somalia in the 1990's claiming that they were not prepared for the guerilla warfare they faced. This is of course nonsense. They would have stayed on if they had seen that they could have gained something out of it, like oil for example.

However when it comes to the EU and the UN they always hesitate, engaging in endless theoretical discussions while people are being slaughtered and this is of course not good.
We all remember the situation in Rwanda/Burundi in the 1990's and now concerning Sudan/Darfur.
The EU and the UN have to be more effective and one can't blame others.
People are being slaughtered, innocent children are being raped, tortured and murdered!
During this circumstances it's not the right time to sit down and discuss wether a conflict can be regarded as genocide or not.

Act and act now! Don't wait until we've got indisputable proofs!
Below a video about integration in Sweden and particularly Malmö in the south of Sweden with more than 50 000 muslims.



(Photo Carl Bildt copied from: http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3431/3265479903_2df9706ff5.jpg)

Foreign policy debate in the Swedish Parliament

Today the Swedish foreign minister Carl Bildt is going to address the Swedish Parliament and outline the most important features in Swedish foreign police the next few years.

He is also going to explain how he looks upon the Swedish foreign policy during his time in office.

After his speach there will be a debate between him and other members of Parliament representing the different parties.


(Photo Carl Bildt copied from: http://previous.presstv.ir/photo/20101206/mdavari20101206174729170.jpg)

Muhammed in Berlingske again

The Danish newspaper Berlingske Tidende has published the drawing of Muhammed with a bomb in his turban. On the turban is also written a holy text.

This is said to be a response to the murder threats towards the artist who made these drawings.
Berlingske says they want to protest against the threats towards people when they execute their right to speak and write freely, as is the custom in a democratic society.

If this is a good way to react we will see in the coming days.
I doubt it in the short run but on a long term basis, it might have an impact. It depends of course on what the newspaper wants to achieve with its publication.

Other newspapers in Denmark and Sweden are also going to publish the drawing.

(Picture Muhammed copied from: http://extremecentre.org/wp-content/JP011005MuhammedWesterga.jpg)

Falstaff for only 1 €

I have written on this subject on the Aurore & Gunnar-blog but this is a recurrent phenomena nowadays I think, namely the tickets to operas at The Royal Opera House costing only 10 Skr, equivalent to 1 €.

This time it's the dress rehearsal of 'Falstaff' by Verdi and earler in December 2007 we watched 'Orphée' by Gluck with tickets at the same price as these ones.

Not a bad idea if the Opera House wants to attract 'new customers'. Hopefully they (the 'newcomers') will come back and find it interesting enough to do so.
This is of course (being a truism) dependant on the skill of the singers, musicians and others working with the performances at The Royal Opera House in Stockholm.

söndag, februari 10, 2008

Istanbul, Orhan Pamuk

Nu har jag läst igenom 'Istanbul' av Orhan Pamuk och uppskattade den långt mer än förra boken av en Nobelpristagare jag läste: 'Den femte sanningen' ('The Golden Notebook') av Doris Lessing.

I Pamuk's bok förekommer som ni kanske vet ordet 'melankoli' ('hüzün') i större utsträckning än något annat uttryck i denna bok.
Detta begrepp har många betydelser och Pamuk försöker bringa klarhet i vad just han menar med detta ord eller vad det kan sägas ha för övergripande betydelse i det Istanbul som är hans och som är han.
Han förstår det som en 'stads-själ', som samtidigt är ett uttryck för den själ som även är Istanbulbons, vilken ibland kan vara och många gånger tycks vara en och densamma.

Melankoli och det franska begreppet 'tristesse' analyseras och han jämför dessa uttryck med varandra.
Emedan sistnämnda i den franska litteraturen, så som Flaubert eller Gautier beskriver den, inte kan sägas utgöra ett begrepp fyllt med positiva konnotationer är begreppet hüzün mer komplext.

Pamuk talar även om den förening av eller blandning mellan öst och väst som kan sägas innebära att se det 'östliga' Istanbul med 'västliga' ögon. Här nämner han bl.a. memoarskrivaren Abdüllhak Sinasi Hisar, poeten Yahya Kemal, romanförfattaren Ahmet Tanpinar och historikern och journalisten Resat Ekrem Kocu. Dessa kallar han 'melankoliska' författare vilka ser på sitt Istanbul med 'andras ögon' (mitt uttryck).

Här inbegrips också såvitt jag kan förstå den ovilja att se det gamla samhället - den gamla staden - raseras och se det nya bryta in. Det gäller här raserandet eller förändringen av både folkliga tradtioner, kultur, arkitektur samt de äldre delarnas pågående förfall.
Samtidigt som det gamla byggnaderna var i ett rivningsfärdigt skick, var detta att riva och bygga nytt till del att rasera en del av den hüzün som bottnade i den historia de vittnade om.
En ärorik historia då Istanbul/Konstantinopel utgjorde det stolta omanska riket.

Pamuks beskrivningar av människor, deras vanor, deras utseenden, deras sociokulturella och ekonomiska hemvister, deras uppgång och fall är synnerligen fängslande vill jag påstå.
Hans iakttagelser av sina egna reaktioner inför vissa typer av människor beroende på i vilken relation de står till hans familj eller vilken hierarkisk ordning de har i samhället är både uppriktiga och fyllda av självkritik, en retroaktiv självkritik.
Till detta kan läggas hans berättelser om fadern, modern och brodern, deras förtjänster och brister, familjens utåt upprätthållna fasad av en lycklig, rik och välmående familj sammanhållen av starka familjeband. Denna bild kontrasteras av hans 'rapporter inifrån' (mitt uttryck) som går stick i stäv med en officiella bilden av familjen Pamuk.

Pamuk är också uppriktig vad gäller det faktum att hans fars generation är den som raserar den Pamukska förmögenheten som skapats av förfäderna.
Faderns 'snedsprång' skildras också indirekt men däremot får man aldrig veta om inte också modern hade någon eller några relationer vid sidan om sin officiella relation med maken. Kanske en idealisering av Pamuk eller en snedvriden bild av fadern?
Orhan och broderns stridigheter, deras revirtänkande som utgörandes både en lek, allvar och ett sammansvetsande beteendemönster är också synnerligen väl skildrade. Ytterligare beskrivs också hans riktigt stora - första(?) - kärlek, den unga kvinna som han erbjuder sig att måla av och som han senare med stort besvär och mötandes många hinder, inleder en relation med. Denna relations utveckling byggs sakta upp under några sidor i boken men det blir aldrig långtråkigt utan mer en rar berättelse om ungdomlig blyg kärlek som också var omgärdad av hysch-hysch då omgivningen och traditionerna inte påbjöd att man för öppet visade sina känslor, en ung kvinna och ung man emellan.
Denna relation tar ett abrupt slut då hon skickas i väg för studier till Schweiz.
Pamuk skildrar även hans neddykande i den misär som är en del av Istanbul. Han vill även komma i kontakt med denna, kanske inspirerad av de franska författare och andra som tidigare besökte Istanbul och även skildrat fattigdomen, sjukdomarna, kriminaliteten och prostitutionen.

Han ger referenser till den store orientalisten Edward Said som han dock ger en mild skopa ovett för sina skildringar, så som jag uppfattar det.

Natur- och stadsskildringarna, miljöerna är också väl återgivna.
Bosporens inlopp, de stora fartygen som utgör en passion för honom, hans tecknande och målande, faderns uppskattande men samtidigt alltför lite uppfordrande komplimanger riktade till sonen oavsett vad denne företog sig, sätts i relation till moderns mer jordnära och kanske också mer realistiska uppmaningar om att försöka tänka på sin framtid vad gäller arbete och studier bl.a.
Fadern har ett större mått av laissez faire-attityd medan modern inte vill att sonen slösar bort sin tid på drömmerier som inte leder någon vart. Hon är mer pragmatisk, fadern ej så engagerad då hans arbete slukar mycket av hans tid och han uppenbarligen ej känner sig ha tid att engagera sig i sonens uppfostran och framtid.

På det hela taget fann jag denna bok mycket läsvärd och ser fram emot att läsa flera av Pamuks litterära alster.

(Photo Orhan Pamuk and 'Istanbul' copied from: http://www.balkantravellers.com/images/stories/useful_reads/pamuk.jpg)

lördag, februari 09, 2008

Moderna museet 50 years!


The Museum of Modern Art (Moderna museet) in Stockholm this year celebrates its fiftieth anniversary!
It was founded in 1958 by - among others - Pontus Hultén, our foremost and most famous individual inspirer within the world of museums. He was also the first director for the museum between 1960-73.
It's not an exaggeration to say that he has been the most important person for the international reputation Moderna museet received.

Unfortunately there is a discussion going on within the museum whether or not one will have the necessary resources to complete the work catalogizing his collection of art, a collection donated to the museum after his death.

This is rather typical for Sweden. We do have a person who is the single most important person for this museum and also a founder of and director of among other museums Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris.

In spite of this one discuss the necessity of completing this important work - or not.
A person working within the museum the other day said to me:
"It's as if the present management looks upon his collection as only 'a lot of work' in a negative way".

If this had been a museum of industrial achievements in Sweden, this discussion had never taken place. We are unfortunately a technological and technocratic conuntry where the humanities is of no interest, neither to the 'average' Swede, nor to the politicians - unless it generates money to the state, of course.
I hope - but hardly believe - that this attitude will change!






(Photo Moderna museet copied from: http://www.visitstockholm.com/ContentStoreFiles/Entity/872/moderna1_450x300.jpg)

(Photo 'Historieboken' copied from: http://www.brittonbritton.com/images/1745.jpg)
(Photo Niki de Saint Phalle copied from: http://www.brittonbritton.com/begood/image_db2.php?id=1713)
(Photo Le Corbusier copied from: http://www.brittonbritton.com/begood/image_db2.php?id=1776)
(Photo Marcel Duchamp and Ulf LInde copied from: http://www.brittonbritton.com/begood/image_db2.php?id=1731)
(Photo Joseph Beuys copied from: http://www.brittonbritton.com/begood/image_db2.php?id=1726)
(Photo Robert Rauschenberg copied from: http://www.brittonbritton.com/begood/image_db2.php?id=1736)
(Photo 'Monogram', Robert Rauschenberg copied from: http://www.modernamuseet.se/PageFiles/22086/Monogram.jpg)

Andy Warhol in Stockholm

I have already written on our communal blog, Aurore and mine, that there is now a large Andy Warhol-exhibition displayed at the Museum of Modern Art in Stockholm (Moderna museet).


It starts today, Saturday 9th of February.
Go and look.
Last year there was a large retrospective with works by Robert Rauschenberg, who is very interesting to listen to when talking about his art.




(Photo Andy Warhol 'strangled' copied from: http://www.fokus.se/t/i/440/2008/02/kul_andy_warhol.jpg)
(Photo Andy Warhol as a woman copied from: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_FcqYd7PgIjk/R8BI-93DtWI/AAAAAAAAAHs/jKxMkzclkn8/s320/Andy+Warhol.jpg)

The Alban Berg quartet exist no more!


Regarded as one of the most famous string quartets, the Alban Berg quartet quit playing after almost forty years. They were constituted as a quartet in 1971.

One of the members - Tomas Kakuska - recently died and the rest of the musicians have found it hard to continue after this.
Some have said that a quartet becomes like a family.

Many musicians say that a string quartet is the most demanding form of playing ensemble music.
It requires both being good musicians as well as good friends.

It's also said - in connection to being an ensemble musician - that before having played together for twenty years, you are regarded as a beginner - a novice.

The Alban Berg-ensemble starts a farewell concert in London this week and they end with a concert in Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires in July.

Facebook again

Since I started to use Facebook my bloging has radically decreased. This is of course not - as some people claim - because you get 'addicted' to Facebook. I do have personal discipline and I don't blame neither the creators of Facebook nor other users for me having spent to much time there.
It's of course because this is a relatively (I say relatively as things in cyberspace tend to change more rapidly than anyone can keep track on) new phenomena and one can find people who share the same interests and ideas or with whom one can discuss more or less interesting subjects.
The response on FB is more direct than on a blog, unless you're not one of those bloggers who - for more or less good reasons (often less) - become renowned.

Unfortunately there are to many people intermittently sending ridiculous messages and applications and this is not the way I want to use FB. I have once - unfourtunately - been one of those .
On the other hand there are some very active groups or 'causes', discussing interesting subjects and sharing opinions and knowledge. I have tried to be as active as possible on those 'walls' too and this is of course much more interesting.

One of these 'causes' is 'Stop Global Warming' where discussions concerning GW and the impact of humans have been lively.
Another one I have joined is 'Support the Campaign for Cancer Research', a third 'Animal rights' and so on. All these groups change their name from time to time even if the content is the same.






















These are the 'Causes' but there are also the so called 'Groups' and here I participate (as one of many 'groups') in 'Shakespeare & Co' where we discuss different genres of literature, not only Shakespeare (so far not at all actually). We are for example reading one book from each and every Nobel laureate in litterature. We started with Doris Lessing and have now continued with Orhan Pamuk.


At the same time we also study older literature we regard as 'classics', books by Mark Twain or 'Die Elixiere des Teufels' by E. T. A. Hoffman e.g.

We also discuss film and music and arrange small contests.
Displaying your favourite music and studying other people's lists is sometimes quite interesting as you can 'steal' their favourites, making them yours and not lest discover music and artists previously unkown to your ear.

These are only a few examples of all the different groups and causes I participate in but I guess most people today know what Facebook is even though not everyone uses it's full potential.
On the contrary, a lot of time is spent on - as I said before - different kinds of 'games' or 'applications' and some users fill their pages with only this and forget to engage themselves in the much more interesting and stimulating discussions in the different 'groups' or 'causes'.
Maybe I shouldn't say forget because it's more a question of some people using Facebook to get in contact with potential friends and more specifically dates and 'bed-mates'.

Below Mark Zuckerberg trying to explain what FB is and what it can do (somewhat cut off):




(Facebook-logo copied from: http://www.gizmodo.fr/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/Facebook.png)
(Picture of a burning Earth copied from: http://users.skynet.be/jyce3d/global_warming.jpg)
(Photo Doris Lessing copied from: http://mondalire.pagesperso-orange.fr/Images/photos/LESSING.jpg)
(Photo Orhan Pamuk copied from: http://www.referandumrehberi.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/orhan-pamuk.jpg)

fredag, februari 08, 2008

Recolonize Africa?

It seems as if the conflicts on the African continent are impossible to solve.
When people in the different African countries themselves seized power and now tries to rule their countries they're evidentally not able to do so?

Should these countries be 'recolonized' and brought into European or foreign rule again?

We have not - since WWII - experienced war on the European continent, if we exclude former Yugoslavia. Maybe we have the political and other tools to maintain peace also in Africa?

When debating the domestic problems in many countries on the African continent, people say that the conflicts and war between different groups in Africa is due to the influence from countries outside Africa during the colonial period.
The colonizing countries in Europe and elsewhere didn't show any respect at all for the traditional way of living, the customs and former borders between different countries etc. and this has caused the troubles we see today.

I think this is right to a great extent but there are also differences between 'tribes' or people belonging to different socio-cultural strata in the African countries, differences in opinions and way of living existing long before the colonial powers came to this continent.
War between countries, ethnic groups or 'tribes' did exist in pre-colonial times.

Some say that one shouldn't focus on the issue with different 'tribes' but instead concentrate on how to reconcile different groups of people regardless of their background, ethnic belonging and so on.
This is of course a good aim but when listening to representatives from many countries in Africa, discussing their domestic problems, they often refer to ethnic groups and also 'tribes'.
This latter word is sometimes regarded as patronizing and maybe it is.
On the other hand it always occurs when debating issues that divide different ideas of governing.

I don't think that the exhortation of this headline is neither possible nor desirable but how should the problems in Africa be solved?
In some countries like Sudan and Somalia the governments doesn't like the outside world to interfer in their domestic problems or 'internal affairs' as so often is said.
At the same time hundreds of thousands of people are refugees in their own country or neighbouring countries. Almost the same amount of people have been killed the last few years in interior conflicts in Africa.
For these people the question is, how they are going to survive and I don't think they care who interfers in order to solve their problems. They want to return to their homes and former lifes and live in peace.

Of course we can see analogies in Europe.
The problems in former Yugoslavia for example was to a great extent due to the conflicts between ethnic groups and how these differences where politicized by the leaders in different parts of Yugoslavia, striving for independence.

We can see the same thing in Africa.

This is something that came to the attention of the world with the problems in Rwanda and Burundi between hutus and tutsi's in 1994.
There had been ethnical conflicts before but the amount of people killed or slaughtered here was - as we all know - enormous and the cruelties unthinkable.
The analyses afterwards concerning the roats to the conflict where legio. One explanation was the question of ethnicism and belonging.
Political leaders who refuse help from other countries when there are great domestic conflicts is not exclusively a problem in Africa but all around the world. This is the case whether or not they have the support of their people, particularly when they have not, of course.

Finally, people are suffering in many African countries and it's of course mostly those who already are poor and were suffering before who are struck the hardest.
This fact is something one have to attend to in a more serious and dedicated manner than is the case at this very moment.
Not least is this true when it comes to the work carried out by the UN.
This organisation always try to flee its responsibilities by saying that the conflicts are to sever, making it impossible to send military and other staff to countries in need of help. This way of handling the problems is counterproductive.
Soldiers and other personnel working for the UN must be prepared to risk their life in their efforts to support countries around the world. If not they should seek other less dangerous occupations elsewhere and the UN should rephrase their statutes.





(Picture Africa copied from: http://www.freewebs.com/lacyrichmond/africa-map.gif)
(Picture map former Yugoslavia copied from: http://www.at-rejse-er-at-leve.dk/kort/egne/eksjugoslavien.gif)
(Picture map Sudan copied from: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/aa/Sudan_political_map_2000.jpg/250px-Sudan_political_map_2000.jpg)
(Picture map Somalia copied from: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-nPFkQQGfDOA/TiV_syqFBOI/AAAAAAAABEA/9LJwOoK3G1E/s400/somalia-2.jpg)
(Picture map Rwanda copied from: http://crlgrn.files.wordpress.com/2010/05/rwanda.jpg)
(Picture map Burundi copied from: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/f/f2/By-map.png/250px-By-map.png)

onsdag, februari 06, 2008

Winston Churchill is dead!

After my marriage in France the 28th of December, I have started to dream a lot. The strange thing is that I remember my dreams, something I seldom did before.

A time ago I had this dream:

Winston Churchill had suffered a heart attack (cardiac infarct) and we (more or less me) had to take him to hospital. It seemed though as if the only way to do so was to carry him and I had to do it.
Besides me and Churchill there was an assistant to Churchill who never tried to help me carry the old prime minister. He only tried to encourage me by shouting: "Jolly good, keep it up...!".

I remember that I once fell down on one of my knees under the burden but through a strong burst of effort, I managed to continue.
We arrived at the hospital but there Churchill died, in spite of my attempts to save him.

I had my dream interpreted by my very good friend Siw-Marie .
Now she's given me an interpretation of the dream!