“They resembled each other, the decrepit moon and that crust of the earth which had been soldered into an amalgam of wreckage”
Now I can’t remember how many times I have read/heard something and said it reminded me of my favourite Calvino Short story. The daughters of the moon, who keep running in the city following a dying moon, a moon that is setting old and sad in the cities wasteland, where also old cars are dying, where the discarded create waves and tides calling out for a tired, dim moon..
This might be my favourite piece in the latest funambulist issue!
“There is a cloud.
It stretches for rows
Like cities within cities
and beyond cities.
Drenched with ambition
it does not how to float.”
By the tentative collective.
I understand there is a modern fascination by the discarded, the waste, and the residue. I have to admit the fever has caught me a little, as soon as I realised that there is nothing to be saved. Nothing will be saved.
It could be a mood inflicted by a sense of catastrophe that got me to be interested in the event we are having next week, accentuated by all the possible and liberate creativities that appear in the work of those who responded to the call- in a stark contrast to my sensibilities. It could be Reem Saad’s rare angry tweet:
يوما ما سنؤرخ للخراب وستحوي صفحة كل حاكم ما انتشر في عهده من امراض وما ضاع من أرض زراعية ومياه عزيزة وتراث وأثار ولكل منهم نصيبه من عار كبير
(she is never angry- in her tweets, she retains a quintessential Egyptian wit.. this one is angry, it is anger that I assume that comes out the rare fight to fight for the environment, for food sovereignty, for lives of humans, and architectural heritage under political authoritarian stupidity..a fight to halt all irreversible annihilation- the tweet goes that one day we will write political history as a history of ruin, each ruler will be known with the disease, with land gone, water wasted, heritage and monuments..)
A week later I started reading Sinan Antoon’s “Index”. A novel about 2003 Iraq. A Benjaminian novel that quotes the collector in its beginning and Klee’s angel of history it is end(s). It is an index of ruins, a very slow index of ruination, a process that assemblies in one moment. I wanted to write on the bomb. That explodes in a moment, and demolishes that which has been ruining for years, decades, centuries, millennia. The slow motion bomb, that leaves cosmic debris shot through the past. But Antoon has written his novel. Towards the latest entries in the index of ruins, a 90s military HQ building in Iraq is turned into a wasteland. The 90s military HQ has been a ruin for a decade. A garbage sifter child, goes through a pile of refuse. An american soldier hovers over. His information about the military building is outdated.