Ποιειν Και Πραττειν - create and do

Newsletter December 2012


Detail of graffiti at the back of bookstore 'Poems and Crime'              October 15, 2012

Place where Poiein kai Prattein made a presentation of the catalogue "Imperishable water and the open question of development".


When the poets are silent, then the graffiti screams off the walls! That can be one way of putting the situation in Athens when perceived through a street art which includes not merely graffiti but also a tagging of walls. Yet the poet Yiorgos Chouliaras does not to agree. This has prompted a discussion about 'Graffiti and the silence of poets' together with George Fragopoulos. The latter has written about the Graffiti scene in Athens and how a poem 'The refuge' by Yiorgos Chouliaras has found its way into one of these graffitis. Indeed, it can link to a subconscious solidarity with Greece being displayed of all places in Zürich where a friend spotted a graffiti with the heading "money creates loneliness - solidarity with Spain and Greece." 
Of interest is that Yiorgos Chouliaras draws ones attention to the poet Manolis Anagnostakis who went apparently silent as a poet towards the end of his life, but did continue to write essays and other kinds of articles. Of interest is to go with Manolis Anagnostakis through his life experiences since he wishes to speak to the younger generation of protesters. He underlines that writing has at different times quite another meaning. During German occupation writing meant resistance, but when the Greek Junta ruled, then writing (and publishing) was the equivalent to collaboration. That is important to remember in times like these when protests against austerity measures express themselves no longer just in demonstrations, but in search of a new life based on a very different definition of especially 'mental health'. The youth has to cope a lot and the questions ahead are getting tougher to understand in their true nature.
There is the youth project 'Nation and Identity' which asked the question whether Patriotism is an alternative to Nationalism. A recurring theme of technocrats having become politicians by virtue of being financial experts like Monti is that Patriotism as a form is needed since it can evoke people to make sacrifices for the sake of stabilizing the budget. It can mean literally an entire generation is going to be lost due to having new perspectives within this society having accummulated all kinds of richness in an one sided way. The latter is best demonstrated by advocating just one kind of success model. So 'Occupy Wall Street' has become after Sandy Storm 'Occupy Sandy' while there is a still more shrill message once it is realized that 'Occupy Mind' can be the counter strategy of those following a refined neo Liberal policy of hardships for the sake of economic insanity.
For this reason poets all over the world are active, even if in their own quiet way, whether now this is Gabriel Rosenstock in Ireland, Dileep Jhaveri and Rati Saxena in India, Germain Droogenbroodt in Spain or Merlie Alunan in the Philippine. Or else Philip Meersmann and his Slam Poetry Competition in Brussels can bring to the fore how acting and speaking makes poetry into a dance of words according to a certain rhythm. And there we have this word: 'certain'.
In the last newsletter, the editorial began with the observation that if anything has a voice, then 'uncertainty'. Recently there was an article in the International Herald Tribune (in the week of November 19 - 24), in which reference was made to 'certainty' having returned with regards to business expectations. Presumably it is meant that the re-election of Barack Obama in the United States has helped to stabilize something, and may these be political expectations despite the 'fiscal cliff' in need to be resolved before the end of the year.
At the same time, the Ministers in Europe could not decide about the budget for 2013 and thus the European Union is once again on a limb despite having agreed to give Greece finally the financial support needed, in order to avoid default. And that means even while some measures undertaken by the current coalition government in Athens is being honored, uncertainty is beginning to creep into the minds and veins of many in France and elsewhere. The Economist has even named France the real time bomb ticking away. No wonder. A simple beer costs in Paris 8.50 Euros. A lot would help already if instead of cutting wages, prices would be lowered so that people can afford things at reasonable prices. As a matter of fact, everyone encounters staggering prices while incomes melt away as rapidly the ice in Grönland.
Climate change as metaphor for the prevailing atmosphere in Europe can best be described as a result of the European Commission having becoming a cold force, in order to meet up with the resistance it is experiencing not only from the UK or farmers, but also from the cultural sector. The 'no' against instrumentalization of culture is growing stronger. This was expressed at the recent conference organized by Les Rencontres in Paris (Nov. 21 - 24, 2012).
As for the Arab world, there people of all walks of life go again into the streets in Cairo and elsewhere in Egypt out of protest of what Morsi, the current President, thought he could get away with after having successfully brokered a truce between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza strip. It simply says democracy is not self understood but the protesters of the land of the 'blue bird' show one year later that they have understood freedom gained can easily be lost once again. There is still the ongoing civil war in Syria while in Tunesia some government officials of the moderate fraction seek to get out of the strangle hold of Extremists. The latter would like to impose a law build on a religious authority which cannot be questioned, therefore should not be challenged and is designed to reign as supreme like a God.
This reinvention of the absolute is in reality a confession that nothing seems to work if the others are given a chance to express their opinions in freedom. Yet as Bart Verschaffel has outlined in his essay 'public space and public truth', it does take a tremendous cultural development to learn to express one's own opinion in freedom and allow it to be challenged by others.
Indeed it can happen, for example, that the Platform for Intercultural Europe set-up to facilitate a dialogue between Commission and Civil Society, starts to rely on a kind of formal authoritarian assertiveness. One interpretation has it that it is done out of an egocentrist wish not to be questioned by an ordinary member on how rules are used to safeguard the decisions made by the Steering group together with the Secretary General. In such a top-down attribution of self styled power becomes visible an unwillingness to share resources to fulfill the mission of the Platform. That makes it into still another typical example of bad practice. That then is the real failure of the European Union, namely the inability to combine top-down with bottom-up communication processes. The more exclusive practices grip those close to power, the more elusive becomes for them the future of Europe. Instead of integration, the EU norm of political correctness ensures no unpleasant truths are heard.

Hatto Fischer


Latest postings on website of Poiein kai Prattein (4.12.2012)

Mike van Graan: After the shooting of the miners - reflections by a playwright
After the killing of 44 miners, Mike van Graan reported that he nearly choked when giving his speech at the playwright forum in Stockholm, Sweden.

The criticism of Nationalism by Tagorea review of Tagore's thoughts on an important issue especially these days when the European crisis strokes once again the xenophobic and extreme Nationalist forces.
The doctor and poet Dileep Jhaveri adds to this his own Interpretation of Nationalism
while Rati Saxena believes

European Structural Fund - Studies on Funding of Culture - Cultural policy of Local and Regional Authorities
The studies on culture and Structural Funds, including the one on Greece by Hatto Fischer are available online on DG EAC’s website:
The conference on 'Cultural policy by local and regional authorities' held in Paris, Nov. 21 - 24 and organised by Les Rencontres underlined the need to fill the gap left at these levels by the EU 2020 vision.

European Capitals of Culture While Malta has decided already Valetta to be the ECoC for 2018, Holland needs still to select from the three alternatives on the short list who is going to be the ECoC in 2018.
Aarhus - received the title ECoC for 2017 over Sonderborg
Legacy of Berlin (West) 1988
Bruge, a decade later – the legacy of 2002
Poiein kai Prattein
Publication of the catalogue "Imperishable Water", 2012 with Haroula Hadjinicilou, Anna Arvanitaki, Hatto Fischer (ed.)
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

Publication of "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

Najet Adouani: The Arabic world viewed from her magic carpet

Gabriel Rosenstock: Haiku and his thoughts about 'poetry and language' and another articles about 'poetry and social relevance' while covering his inputs through a literary diary to document what issues touches this man every day and throughout his life while taking trips to Japan and India.

Indian Section
Kritya Festival organized by Rati Saxena
Gabriel Rosenstock: Travel to India – exerpt from his travelogue
Dileep Jhaveri – poems and interviews as well a philosophical follow up
Rati Saxena: Talking roofs - collection of poems translated from Hindi into English

Special introduction of Merlie M. Alunan in the Philippine
Start of discussion with Yiorgos Chouliaras and George Fragopoulos about 'graffiti and the silence of poets'

Jad Salman: "The beasts are hungry" - Exhibition at Weekend Gallery, Berlin, 7. - 29.Sept. 2012
Reflections of his works exhibited at Weekend Gallery by Hatto Fischer
Paris exhibition 'Anaerobie' in LaPlace, Nov. 2012
Mariusz Lukasik - Warszawa

Kids' Guernica
Memorial exhibition in Nagasaki, August 2012
Christa Kleinbub: Action at Helene Lange school in Mannheim, Germany The school is now preparing to support an action in Togo, Africa

Cultural Calendar for 2012



12 - 14.1.2012 Preparatory meeting of European Youth project 'Identity and Nation' coordinated by the Kreisau Initiative to be held in Berlin with 2 workshops to follow: 1st seminar in Krzyzowa, Poland 23-29.2.2012 and 2nd seminar in Padua, Italy (11 - 17.6.2012)

February 22 - 25  College Art Association, with the support of Getty Foundation, shall host international art historians at the CAA Centennial Conference in Los Angeles, Los Angeles Convention Center.

March 15 Delegation of World Poetry Movement visiting President Michael D. Higgins in Dublin, Ireland

March 21 Day of poetry organized by World Poetry Movement in Paris


vous invite à une lecture en collaboration avec

La Biennale des Poètes en Val de Marne

et L’Oreille du Loup

Le mercredi 21 mars 2012 à 19H

Au MOTif

6, villa MarcelLods, Passage de l’Atlas, 75019 Paris

Métro Belleville (lignes 2 et 11) / Bus ligne 26


Action in Athens: it's happening here, too:



March 20 - 24 in Gdansk EUROPEAN POETRY OF FREEDOM

March 24 - 27 World Poetry Movement delegation in Brussels - includes meeting with Commissioner Vassiliou on March 27th and poetry readings in Antwerp and at Passa Porta in Brussels on March 27th, 20.00

April 16 - 17 Conference in Paris - Marne-la-Vallee about "Building the urban future and Transit Orientated Development / rail and other modes, connecting with urban and regional development": http://www.aesop-planning.eu/news/en_GB/2011/09/14/readabout/call-for-abstract-building-the-urban-future-and-transit-oriented-development-rail-and-other-modes-connecting-with-urban-and-regional-development

April 19 - 21 Conference on 'History, Memory, Performance' organized by the Department of Theatre, University of Ottawa and the Carleton Centre for Public History, Carleton University.


May 11 - 13 Second preparatory meeting of the EU Youth Project 'Nation and Identity' in Berlin

May 12  Freie Universität von Berlin: Ehrung der Doktoren

May 19th Cross-Border Movement of Cultural Goods - Conference at Acropolis Museum, start 10.30

June 5 / 6 Meeting of the Platform for Intercultural Europe in Brussels: "Participation and Citizenship: Can European Institutions lead the way? Should they?"

June 11 - 17  EU Youth Project 'Nation and Identity' meeting in Padua, Italy

June 17/18 European Capitals of culture: what past, what future? Conference in Avignon organized by Les Rencontres together with University Network of European Capitals of Culture
the site: http://www.lesrencontres.eu/

June 23 - 29 International Poetry Festival in Medellin, Colombia: Fernando Rendon, director, in conjunction with World Poetry Movement

August 5th - "Imperishable Water and the open question of development" - presentation by Poiein kai Prattein of the catalogue in Rhodes. Afterwards trail blazing action in Natura 2000 area

August 5 - 10 Kids' Guernica memorial exhibition in Nagasaki, Japan: Prof. Abe

7 Sept. Jad Salman's exhibition in Weekend Gallery, Berlin

21 Sept. UNESCO shall observe World Peace Day in New York

2-3 October 16th INTERNATIONAL CEMAT SYMPOSIUM and 12th Council of Europe Meeting of the Workshops for the implementation of the European Landscape Convention: Vision for the future of Europe on territorial democracy: Landscape as a new strategy for spatial planning” in Thessalonica, Greece.

October 15 Conference about the future of European Capitals of Culture in Brussels

October 16 - 17 The European Commission organises in Brussels an audience development conference, entitled "European audiences: 2020 and beyond"

October 18 - 21 6.ZEBRA Poetry Film Festival at Babylon in Berlin www.literaturwerkstatt.org

October 30 - In honor of Pablo Neruda


The World Poetry Movement asks organization you to joins in organizing the world tribute to poet Pablo Neruda, one of the greatest bards of the twentieth century. This tribute will take place next October 30th and will consist of poetry readings, lectures, film screenings, talks and other activities around the poetry of this top figure of the poetry world.

Nov. 21 - 24 Rafael Mandujano from Les Rencontres organizes "The European Campus of local and regional authorities for Culture"

1. December

'IMPERISHABLE WATER and the open question of development'

Public presentation of the catalogue at the bookshop 'Tree' in Rhodes

Last year curator Charoula Hadjinicolaou undertook in the name of Poiein kai Prattein the task of organizing a special action on Rhodes May/June 2011. The aim was to come to terms with 'water / wetland related issues and the open question of development.' Out of this emerged the publication of a catalogue which reflects the action as if dipping into a 'biotope of ideas'. The next public presentation of the catalogue shall take place at the bookshop 'Tree' in Rhodes, 1st of December 2012.

Η αστική μη κερδοσκοπική εταιρεία ΠΟΙΕΙΝ & ΠΡΑΤΤΕΙΝ και το βιβλιοπωλείο ΤΟ ΔΕΝΤΡΟ σας προσκαλούν σε εκδήλωση στο χώρο του βιβλιοπωλείου, Θεμιστοκλή Σοφούλη 127, το Σάββατο 1 Δεκεμβρίου 2012, ώρα 7.30 μμ., για την παρουσίαση του βιβλίου Άφθαρτα νερά. Φύση, τέχνη και συλλογική δράση στους υγροτόπους της Ρόδου.

Θα μιλήσουν οι επιμελήτριες της έκδοσης Άννα Αρβανιτάκη, χωροτάκτης-πολεοδόμος και Χαρούλα Χατζηνικολάου, ιστορικός τέχνης, η Μαριολίνα Corsini-Φωκά, βιολόγος, η Μαρία Μπακαρή, οργανωσιακή ψυχολόγος και ο Νίκος Κασέρης, φωτογράφος.

Θα ακολουθήσει συζήτηση για τις  περιβαλλοντικές προκλήσεις που αντιμετωπίζει το νησί και τις δυνατότητες ανάδειξης μιας εναλλακτικής αναπτυξιακής προοπτικής με τη συμβολή της τέχνης και του πολιτισμού.

Hatto Fischer

Athens 26.10.2012

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