From the Feuilletons


Frankfurter Rundschau, 07.10.2005

What culture are people actually referring to when they talk about the "European culture" which supposedly ends at the Bosporus? Hilal Sezgin's contribution to the paper's "My Europe" series reminds Europeans who they have to thank for their culture. "Europe proudly looks out at its concrete cities full of well-fed, literate inhabitants but nothing of this has European origins. Aside from Obelix's wild-boar-catching skills, Europe came up with very few things on its own. The construction of cities, agriculture, numbers and letters, legislation and all the religions which still have any relevance in Europe today came from the Middle East. Whether Christ is man, God or both was decided in Nicaea in Asia Minor, and it was from around here, too, that most of the philosophers of the ancient world and the poet Homer probably came. And England was a missionary station of a man from Carthage."

Die Welt, 07.10.2005

Publicist Zafer Senocak is astonished at that very German phenomenon: self-hate. "The relationship some Germans have to their own country – incidentally, this includes many commentators and spin doctors - is reminiscent of people with a line of failed marriages behind them who have distanced themselves from love. Fear of failure and longing for unachievable happiness cultivates a complex psychological foundation."

Süddeutsche Zeitung, 07.10.2005

The writer Ian McEwan talks to Lothar Müller about his novel "Saturday" and his empathy for its very contemporary protagonists. "Joy, awe, pity, oceanic feelings - all these exists without religion. I wanted to portray in Henry Perowne all the wealth of the materialistic world view, also its warmth, the fact that materialism doesn't have to be 'cold'. Like when he says: 'now we have a story of creation that is much more complex than the Christian or the Islamic version, and what's more, it has the advantage of being true...'"

Die Tageszeitung, 07.10.2005

Large contingents of the opposition in Belarus have agreed on an opposition candidate to President Alexander Lukaschenko in the run up to elections there in 2006. On the opinion page, Annette Jensen talks with Minsk Professor of Philosophy Gennadij Gruschewoj who has faith in the power of guerilla communication. "I think a lot can happen through mouth to mouth propaganda. My network of the 'Children of Chernobyl' foundation is effective in different regions of the country. If I send my representative extensive information about our candidate, I can inform tens of thousands of people in the province - and that's just me. This is our only real possibility. Media outlets like Deutsche Welle or Euro News will play a very small role in all this."

In the culture section, Katrin Bettina Müller writes about the "Migration Project" at the Kölnischer Kunstverein. Different artists attempt to tell stories from the perspective of the migration movement. The "Migration Project" takes a particular date as its starting point: the German-Italian post war recruitment agreement signed 50 years ago, which was followed by many others. Some twenty years later, we see what becomes of the oldest workers who followed this path. On entering the Kölnischer Kunstverein you are received by the inhabitants of a house in Munich, who were filmed in 1975 by Zelimir Zilni. They come down the stairs one by one, say their names and talk about their work in Italian and in German, then mention their rent. On the one hand the short film is an innocuous group portrait - everyone has his or her own role. On the other hand, it documents the workings of property speculation, which profited from guest workers:  exorbitant rents, ghettoisation and finally demolition."

Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 07.10.2005

Samuel Herzog was at the eighth art biennale in Lyon entitled "Experience de la duree", where he achieved a sense of "duree" by interacting with objects, playing a conch, for example, and viewing the works. He was impressed by the vast scope: "In the film 'My birds ... trash... the future...' by Paul Chan, we lose ourselves in the drawn expanses of a desert where a dried out tree becomes a stage for a psychedelic theatre. Kendell Geers grips us in his cryptic installation with satanic force, Tom Marione with beer and jokes, Jun Nguyen-Hatsushiba with poetry, Saadane Afif with the melancholy of guitar chords and in the case of Yoko Ono, it's John Lennon's smile which hypnotises us for minutes on end." - let's talk european