CRITICAL THINKING, ENGLISH, READINGS

Pandemics to remember

The World Memorial to the Pandemic, not only the present one, in Montevideo, Uruguay is another wake-up call. Humans are not the centre of the universe and certainly not its masters as we’ve learned for so long.

Remember: “we tamed nature, we harnessed the energy of the atom, we conquered space and outer space”. We are so arrogant as a species and the universe so indifferent to us.

We are subordinate to nature and should constantly remember we are on borrowed time. The underlying philosophy of the project is presented by its lead architect:

“Although its construction stems from the experience of this pandemic, its purpose is to build a collective consciousness that reminds us that mankind is not the center of the ecosystem in which it lives but that we will always be subordinate to nature itself.”

Can we ever learn?

CRITICAL THINKING, ENGLISH, LIFE, READINGS

Statues – fallen or standing

We go (again and again) through a period of demolishing statues. In Romania, but not only, we’ve been somehow used to tearing down and wiping out parts of our history. It’s a primitive mechanism of both revenge on what had been unfair and oppressive to those who are now in the position to be able to order the offensive pieces away and of “if I don’t see it, it never existed”.

It’s just that this happens today in places which we used to admire for their balanced, objective and generally democratic capacity to discuss, analyse and preserve public records so that history does not repeat itself. Well, not anymore it seems. And I do hope I’m wrong. This article, on “What the Removal of a K.G.B. Statue Can Teach America”, raises some thought-provoking questions.

However, what happens to the statues that are no longer desirable? According to Joshua Yaffa, a Moscow correspondent for The New Yorker, they are dumped or, if you prefer, preserved in the Muzeon, the Fallen Monument Park. Is this because they are nostalgic, or just want to revive the old times or … you can imagine as many scenarios as you are capable of imagining.

However, in another article, another journalist is quoted as having said that waging war on bronze men doesn’t make your life any more moral or just. “It does nothing really.” An interesting point coming from an anti-communist expert.

But the most interesting point is made by the granddaughter of Nikita Khrushchev, Nina. “Denouncing Stalin was Khrushchev’s greatest achievement, but removing him from all public spaces, trying to delete that history, was a big mistake,” Nina Khrushcheva said. “Once you demolish somebody’s hero you only incite hatred and force feelings underground.”

And the article goes on giving the example of the Ukraine who tore down the statues reminding them of the Soviets, but the effects has not been beneficial. On the contrary it seems.  

We have our own stories of dealing with our past. The three pictures above are emblematic. The sources for them are below.

However, have we learnt our lesson/s?

1. https://www.agerpres.ro/documentare/2020/03/05/romania-post-revolutie-1990-demontarea-statuii-lui-v-i-lenin-din-fosta-piata-a-scanteii–460114?fbclid=IwAR2-886NZXcU1qLteQqAFQEDZ0-DfgSLn40KLkB4FPL-xXN4BBCn9xqPnQ8

2. https://www.forbes.ro/cover-story-100-cool-ioana-ciocan-transgenerationarul_0_5813-13007

3. http://ioanaciocan.com/