Monday, 20 March 2017

Life While-You-Wait, by Wisława Szymborska

 Life While-You-Wait
 by Polish Nobel laureate Wisława Szymborska.
 * * *

Life While-You-Wait.
Performance without rehearsal.
Body without alterations.
Head without premeditation.

I know nothing of the role I play.
I only know it’s mine. I can’t exchange it.

I have to guess on the spot
just what this play’s all about.

Ill-prepared for the privilege of living,
I can barely keep up with the pace that the action demands.
I improvise, although I loathe improvisation.
I trip at every step over my own ignorance.
I can’t conceal my hayseed manners.
My instincts are for happy histrionics.
Stage fright makes excuses for me, which humiliate me more.
Extenuating circumstances strike me as cruel.

Words and impulses you can’t take back,
stars you’ll never get counted,
your character like a raincoat you button on the run –
the pitiful results of all this unexpectedness.

If only I could just rehearse one Wednesday in advance,
or repeat a single Thursday that has passed!
But here comes Friday with a script I haven’t seen.
Is it fair, I ask
(my voice a little hoarse,
since I couldn’t even clear my throat offstage).

You’d be wrong to think that it’s just a slapdash quiz
taken in makeshift accommodations. Oh no.
I’m standing on the set and I see how strong it is.
The props are surprisingly precise.
The machine rotating the stage has been around even longer.
The farthest galaxies have been turned on.
Oh no, there’s no question, this must be the premiere.
And whatever I do
will become forever what I’ve done.

An Anthem Against Silence

 Anthem Against Silence 1914
 by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Wilcox was an American poet.

To sin by silence, when we should protest,
Makes cowards out of men. The human race
Has climbed on protest. Had no voice been raised
Against injustice, ignorance, and lust,
The inquisition yet would serve the law,
And guillotines decide our least disputes.
The few who dare, must speak and speak again
To right the wrongs of many. Speech, thank God,
No vested power in this great day and land
Can gag or throttle. Press and voice may cry
Loud disapproval of existing ills;
May criticise oppression and condemn
The lawlessness of wealth-protecting laws
That let the children and childbearers toil
To purchase ease for idle millionaires.

Therefore I do protest against the boast
Of independence in this mighty land.
Call no chain strong, which holds one rusted link.
Call no land free, that holds one fettered slave.
Until the manacled slim wrists of babes
Are loosed to toss in childish sport and glee,
Until the mother bears no burden, save
The precious one beneath her heart, until
God’s soil is rescued from the clutch of greed
And given back to labor, let no man
Call this the land of freedom.


Thursday, 16 March 2017

Public diplomacy; The Norwegian Model( By K. S)

                                          The Art of Persuasion & Attraction


Silence and Powerlessness Go Hand In Hand ( R. S)

Silence and Powerlessness Go Hand In Hand
Rebecca Solnit

Silence is golden, or so I was told when I was young. Later, everything changed. Silence equals death, the queer activists fighting the neglect and repression around Aids shouted in the streets. Silence is the ocean of the unsaid, the unspeakable, the repressed, the erased, the unheard. It surrounds the scattered islands made up of those allowed to speak and of what can be said and who listens.

Silence occurs in many ways for many reasons; each of us has his or her own sea of unspoken words. English is full of overlapping words, but for the purposes of this essay, regard silence as what is imposed, and quiet as what is sought. The tranquillity of a quiet place, of quieting one’s own mind, of a retreat from words and bustle is acoustically the same as the silence of intimidation or repression, but psychically and politically something entirely different. What is unsaid because serenity and introspection are sought and what is not said because the threats are high or the barriers are great are as different as swimming is from drowning. Quiet is to noise as silence is to communication.
The quiet of the listener makes room for the speech of others, like the quiet of the reader taking in words on the page, like the white of the paper taking ink. “We are volcanoes,” Ursula Le Guin once remarked. “When we women offer our experience as our truth, as human truth, all the maps change. There are new mountains.” The new voices that are undersea volcanoes erupt in what was mistaken for open water, and new islands are born; it’s a furious business and a startling one. The world changes. Silence is what allows people to suffer without recourse, what allows hypocrisies and lies to grow and flourish, crimes to go unpunished. If our voices are essential aspects of our humanity, to be rendered voiceless is to be dehumanised or excluded from one’s humanity. And the history of silence is central to women’s history.
Words bring us together, and silence separates us, leaves us bereft of the help or solidarity or just communion that speech can solicit or elicit. Some species of trees spread root systems underground that interconnect the individual trunks and weave the individual trees into a more stable whole that can’t so easily be blown down in the wind. Stories and conversations are like those roots.

Being unable to tell your story is a living death, and sometimes a literal one. If no one listens when you say your ex-husband is trying to kill you, if no one believes you when you say you are in pain, if no one hears you when you say help, if you don’t dare say help, if you have been trained not to bother people by saying help. If you are considered to be out of line when you speak up in a meeting, are not admitted into an institution of power, are subject to irrelevant criticism whose subtext is that women should not be here or heard.
Stories save your life. And stories are your life. We are our stories; stories that can be both prison and the crowbar to break open the door of that prison. We make stories to save ourselves or to trap ourselves or others – stories that lift us up or smash us against the stone wall of our own limits and fears. Liberation is always in part a storytelling process: breaking stories, breaking silences, making new stories. A free person tells her own story. A valued person lives in a society in which her story has a place.

Violence against women is often against our voices and our stories. It is a refusal of our voices, and of what a voice means: the right to self-determination, to participation, to consent or dissent; to live and participate, to interpret and narrate.

Sometimes just being able to speak, to be heard, to be believed, are crucial parts of membership in a society
A husband hits his wife to silence her. A date rapist or acquaintance rapist refuses to let the “no” of his victim mean what it should, that she alone has jurisdiction over her body. Rape culture asserts that women’s testimony is worthless, untrustworthy. Anti-abortion activists also seek to silence the self-determination of women. A murderer silences forever.

These are assertions that the victim has no rights, no value – is not an equal.

Other silencings take place in smaller ways: the people harassed and badgered into silence online, talked over and cut out in conversation, belittled, humiliated, dismissed.

Having a voice is crucial. It’s not all there is to human rights, but it’s central to them, and so you can consider the history of women’s rights and lack of rights as a history of silence and breaking silence. Speech, words, voices sometimes change things in themselves when they bring about inclusion, recognition: the rehumanisation that undoes dehumanisation. Sometimes they are only the preconditions to changing rules, laws, regimes to bring about justice and liberty.
Sometimes just being able to speak, to be heard, to be believed, are crucial parts of membership in a family, a community, a society. Sometimes our voices break those things apart; sometimes those things are prisons.

And then when words break through unspeakability, what was tolerated by a society sometimes becomes intolerable. Those not impacted can fail to see or feel the impact of segregation or police brutality or domestic violence; stories bring home the trouble and make it unavoidable.

By voice, I don’t mean only literal voice – the sound produced by the vocal cords in the ears of others – but the ability to speak up, to participate, to experience oneself and be experienced as a free person with rights. This includes the right not to speak, whether it’s the right against being tortured to confess, as political prisoners are, or not to be expected to service strangers who approach you, as some men do to young women, demanding attention and flattery and punishing their absence.

Who has been unheard? The sea is vast, and the surface of the ocean is unmappable. We know who has, mostly, been heard on the official subjects; who held office, commanded armies, served as judges and juries, wrote books, and ran empires over past several centuries. We know how it has changed somewhat, thanks to the countless revolutions of the 20th century and after – against colonialism, racism, misogyny, against the innumerable enforced silences homophobia imposed, and so much more. We know that in the US, class was levelled out to some extent in the 20th century and then reinforced towards the end, through income inequality and the withering away of social mobility and the rise of a new extreme elite. Poverty silences.

Silence is what allowed predators to rampage through the decades unchecked. It’s as though the voices of these prominent public men devoured the voices of others into nothingness, a narrative cannibalism. They rendered them voiceless to refuse and afflicted with unbelievable stories. Unbelievable means those with power did not want to know, to hear, to believe, did not want them to have voices. People died from being unheard.
If the right to speak, if having credibility, if being heard is a kind of wealth, that wealth is now being redistributed. There has long been an elite with audibility and credibility, and an underclass of the voiceless.

As the wealth is redistributed, the stunned incomprehension of the elites erupts over and over again, a fury and disbelief that this woman or child dared to speak up, that people deigned to believe her, that her voice counts for something, that her truth may end a powerful man’s reign. These voices, heard, upend power relations.

A hotel cleaner launched the beginning of the end of IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s career. Women have ended the careers of stars in many fields – or rather those stars have destroyed themselves by acts they engaged in, believing that they had the impunity that comes with their victims’ powerlessness. Many had impunity for years, some for lifetimes; many have now found they no longer do.

Who is heard and who is not defines the status quo. Those who embody it, often at the cost of extraordinary silences with themselves, move to the centre; those who embody what is not heard, or what violates those who rise on silence, are cast out.

By redefining whose voice is valued, we redefine our society and its values.

Rebecca Solnit, The Guardian
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/mar/08/silence-powerlessness-womens-voices-rebecca-solnit

Monday, 6 March 2017

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

The MFAs In The 21 Century


MFAs, By K. S

  High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs  F.  Mogherini, Iranian Foreign Minister M.J.  Zarif, 
 Iranian ambassador to IAE  A A. Salehi and  Russian Foreign Minister S. Lavrov,  
Britain's Foreign Secretary P. Hammond  and the US Secretary of State J. Kerry . Photograph:  Reuters





MD and Global Interdependence.By K. S


The World leaders from around the world meet for 
the Climate Change Conference. Paris, 2015.