It is that time of the year again when the radio prepares everyone for the New Year as if the old one can be ushered out so easily. The outreach of many different ideological forces all riding the wave of a popular saying that all politicians are corrupt, and therefore they turn against the state although they wish to be safeguarded by such an institution, has made the public truth and public good into scarce values. It is also not clearly criticized what privatization as applied for example as reform demand of Greece having a state debt crisis since 2009-2010 really means.
Undoubtedly all of this has led to a confusion as to the meaning of bringing gifts. Forgotten is quite often that the greatest of all gifts is peace. It should come along with freedom to live happily as a human being.
There was much afoot during 2016 with many people now more afraid about what will give shape to world security and peace in 2017. Aleppo in Syria has burned itself into the mind of those who had experienced something similar in Sarajevo. There is also BREXIT which shattered the confidence in the EU, and the ongoing problems in Ukraine.
As for the United States of America, the BBC has made out five landmines which can explode any time in the face of President elect Donald Trump. One of the potential conflicts is doing too much and at the same time nothing. Already his ready use of the Twitter is spreading more confusion than reassurance that he is the man who shall get things done. China is saying after his phone call with the President of Taiwan, that he should stop playing the political rocky. Unfortunately he has no political experience whatsoever and, therefore, can behave like a bull in a China shop. Likewise his disrespect for certain rules like having only one president should have meant until his inaugeration he should have kept quiet rather than contradict Obama with regards to Israel and Putin.
In Europe things have been twisting and turning with always the voters throwing hard balls at the politicians. However, this was not the case in Austria when not right wing candidate Hofer won, but the soft spoken Green candidate van der Bellen.
Another case happens to be the outcome of the Italian referendum when Renzi lost and had to conclude a reform process before leaving office. He made way for another politician to safeguard Italy from a huge banking crisis in the making.
At the same time, Hollande in France took everyone by surprise since he will not stand for re-election. That is unusual for a standing president but his ranking in the opinion polls is so low that he saw no chance for a vindication of his efforts while in office. It seems that the wrong people get the worst punishment for attempting to do a decent job. But getting a decent paid job especially by the young is completely another story not only in France, but throughout Europe.
In the meantime, Merkel stands firmly as candidate of the Christian Democrats as cancellor candidate for the upcoming federal elections in September 2017. That firm stance has translated itself into ever harsher measures being taken to ward off a refugee crisis, and thereby it will definitely undermine the key riding horse of the AfD (Alternative for Germany) party by which they hope to solicit votes.
However, the attack on the Christmas market by the Memorial Church in Berlin on 19th of December 2016 has posed one true question which resonates with everyone who have no ready answers why this arbitrary violence too readily called 'terrorism' as if it deserves some upgrading. The question in German is 'warum'? Why?
2020 Rijeka in Croatia
2021 In Greece Eleusis, Kalamata and Rhodes had been short listed, Eleusis 2021 was selected on 11.11.2016.
2021 Timisoara 2021 in Rumania and Nova Said 2021 in Serbia will also be ECoCs.
Search for peace
Deutschland / Germany
Siehe auch Bericht von Andreas Müller-Hermann über die Arbeit der Freiwilligen auf Lesbos:
CAPITALS is a poetry anthology on the capital cities of the world edited by Abhay K and published by Bloomsbury in 2016. Available here. It will be launched in NY at Poets House on 5th Jan 2017. Contributors: Berlin- Hatto Fischer
Untamed Life – Αδάμαστη Ζωή
Sculptures by David Fine
David Fine Horses
Part of a set of four men surrounding a lamb for sacrifice
Kids' Guernica / Guernica Youth
On 5th of February 2017, there shall take place at the Municipality of Haidari the public showing of a new peace which will have been painted by 15 refugee children and 15 Greek children on the theme of peace, understanding and diversity.
Thomas Economacos will coordinate the children. Contact has also been taken up by him Takuya Kaneda in Japan, in order to inform him about this action.
At the start of this event the President of the Republic of Greece, Procopis Pavlopoulos will come and speak.
The plan is to make further attempts to involve the Municipalities of Egalio, St.Barbara, Aspropyrogo, Athens – who are located along the Iera Odos ('Sacred Road) for their children also to paint on a canvas; and then in Eleusina there will be an exhibition of the canvases. Eleusina has been designated to be European Capital of Culture in 2021 and plans to display a canvas of her own.
President Procopis Pavlopoulos will put under his aegis the entire project relating to the Iera Odos ('Sacred Road') connecting Athens to Eleusis. Who knows if not these actions will transform the 'Sacred Road' into a 'Road of Peace'.
Children and war
The children of the Memorandum experience no longer early adulthood, for the transition from a life with promises for the future to a life in misery understood not in an abstract, but concrete sense from child/youth to being the elderlies of society has been captured in one poem.
The Way We Live Now
The way we live now is
The Bogota lecture by Hatto Fischer about the relationship between Greece and Germany
A Soul for Europe @ iwEU: jien l-Ewropa/aħna l-Ewropa
26 January 2017 (Valletta, Malta) "A Soul for Europe" will be participating in the cultural programme for the Malta EU Presidency 2017. MEP Therese Comodini Cachia is hosting two prestigious events for the cultural programme in the framework of 2017 Maltese Presidency of the Council of the EU. “Forum Valletta” consists of a series of provocations and reactions addressing issues of cultural governance and public engagement followed by a debate involving artists, scholars, cultural critics, and the general public. The Forum will look at a how cultures, people, cities, and regions function in relation to each other and how these generate systems of governance which in turn determine the lives of people and the places they inhabit. Entrance to the iwEU events is free. To book send an email to email@example.com Further information at www.comodinicachia.eu/iweu
8-10 Feb. LA RENCONTRE DE BRUXELLES:WHAT KIND OF EUROPE FOR THE FUTURE?
Publications by POIEIN KAI PRATTEIN
Catalogue "Imperishable Water", 2012 with Haroula Hadjinicilou, Anna Arvanitaki, Hatto Fischer (ed.), Athens ISBN 978-618-80160-0-2
Hatto Fischer: The poem 'Destiny still flows' by Katerina Anghelaki Rooke - this concerns a discussion of the poem which inspired the action on Rhodes last year
"Nation and Identity" by Kreisau-Initiative, with introduction by Hatto Fischer is crucial for answering the question whether or not Patriotism is an alternative to Nationalism. Youth met first in Kreisau, Poland and were inspired by this example set by the Kreisau Circle which went into resistance against Hitler on the basis of a non discriminatory approach for the day after Hitler fell.
Article by Anna Arvanitaki and Haroula Hadjinicolaou, "Action on Rhodes" in Journal "Nissides" (small islands). Rhodos, Vol. 9, 2012
The poem "strong images" by Hatto Fischer was published on August 18, 2015. See http://labloga.blogspot.com/search?q=hatto+fischer.
Poiein kai Prattein is member of the Mediterranean Directory organized by the
René Seydoux Foundation
Currently a group of poets with Yiorgos Chouliaras and Hatto Fischer as editors are preparing a READER about Greece to be published by Paperwall, Mumbai, India in 2016.
Kultur Kalendar / Cultural Calendar for 2017
Eröffnung einer Sonderausstellung am 20. Januar um 14:00 Uhr im Haus der Wannsee-Konferenz.
Die Ausstellung erzählt vom großen Engagement einzelner Menschen und Initiativen für eine angemessene Erinnerungskultur in West-Berlin. Sie wird für ein halbes Jahr in der Gedenkstätte zu sehen.
Photograph: Andreas Lang