Dear Friends here and around the World,
Levure littéraire 12
invites you to discover the creations of its 200 international artists.
THEME FOR DISCUSSION:
THE CAMPS OF RESISTANCE & FIELDS OF CONSCIOUSNESS
The Camps of Resistance and Fields of Consciousness, is the theme of this issue. A wide field! A multifaceted theme that addresses many aspects of our time.
When we chose this theme, we did not yet realize that the future contributions would be so inspired by the present and focus on specific aspects, such as (e)migration, exile, escape.
The drama of flight, losing one´s home and a country – but even the ambivalent feelings toward the refugees- are the main aspects that have emerged from our topic. Many of our writers have dealt with the theme in an artistic, essayistic, philosophical form.
Impressive contributions resulted. Among others, even interdisciplinary projects were created, such as the cooperation between the Irish-American writer Emer Martin and the Indian-American artist Moitreyee Chowdhury, a joint video art, poetry and painting contribution. Or the contributions from Gesine Palmer, Sabine Haupt, Peter O’Neill – just to name a few out of the abundance of outstanding contributions.
Some contributions deal with the fear of the ever-increasing amount of war zones and therewith the consequences. Among others, the war zones heavily influenced by religion that endanger humanity by forcing them to act in violence, protest or to flee. The fear of new wars, violence–and terrorism. Implicit questions are asked about the consequences of war and poverty that result from the mass migration. The fear of the established political systems and lifestyles collapsing. The fear of cultures, religions and interests colliding and clashing. But also the aftereffects of ecological exploitation and natural disasters.
The radical changes that humanity is facing in a globalizaed life time: religious violence and wars with weapons of mass destruction threaten to separate communities, countries–and even spirits–politically and economically connected partnerships. Break apart. The changes affect all of our lives, and probably even, to a greater extent, our future. They are the biggest challenges humanity has ever been exposed to on our planet.
The conclusion that we could concur from the diversity of contributions is quite obvious and clear––but also a little frightening: We all have to deal with these challenges together as a collective issue, regardless of social, political or religious differences. Rich and poor, religious and non-religious, all bear responsibility together. This is the only chance for the survival of our planet.
Carmen-Francesca Banciu (Berlin, Germany)
Minor etymological surgery!
The French word résistance comes from the ecclesiastical Latin resistentia (resistance). Toward the end of the fourteenth century, the Christian Latin verb resistere gave us the French verb résister.
At the end of the thirteenth century, the French word « résistence » referred to a quality through which anybody resists the action of another body.
In 1375, résistence already had a semantic sister, « résistance, » and the two words competed within the same family of meanings. Résistance is a force that is opposed to or eliminates the effect of another force. These two words evolved together, one next to the other, one behind the other to symbolize a power, a resistant action.
In 1404, résistence acquired a military sense, defined as defense through arms, physical opposition to a person or group that uses force or duress.
Around 1527, Marguerite de Navarre, in Nouvelles Lettres, explained résistance as an « action of resisting morally to what one is subjected to » and résistence as an action of resisting an established authority. Around 1529, the same Marguerite de Navarre in Heptaméron gave the word résistence a new meaning: the action of resisting someone’s amorous entreaties.
In 1842, the political meaning began to emerge and interest people. Le Parti de la Résistance appeared, designating statesmen who were afraid of getting involved in new approaches, and who opposed with a force of inertia any attempts at reform.
In the forties, we saw the creation in France of Mouvements unis de la Résistance (MUR) and the Armée secrète (AS). In 1940, in France, during the Second World War, De Gaulle kept the flame of the Résistance française burning.
Résistance intérieure française and clandestine intelligence networks, sabotage and military operations against the occupation troops (mostly German), as well as the forces of the Vichy Regime.
Throughout modern history, every continent, every country, every people have had resistance and resisters.
The great Resistance of Nations, in Europe. Meaning and Memory.
The struggles of resistance against the Nazi occupiers. Resistance in the concentration camps by political deportees, in Auschwitz, Haguenau, Dachau, Buchenwald, etc. Resistance in the concentration camps by young people, and in the transit camps and the various other camps during the period of the Third Reich.
How does one resist, how does one survive, by resisting, in a concentration camp or in a mixed camp (forced labour and extermination camps)? How does one resist in slaughterhouses for humans, such as Sobibor? It seems impossible or unreal!
Do we need to talk about these acts of barbarism of the past, so that they are never repeated!?
How does one resist in an immediate extermination centre?
However, men and women had the courage to do it and many of them paid with their blood and their lives.
How does one resist in the death factories? This Resistance took many forms, but the goal was always to escape, or to help escape or save those destined to end their days as guinea pigs of Nazi cruelty and atrocities.
How does one escape Massacres? The concentration camps were supposed to contribute to the « security of the Reich » by breaking morally and weakening physically the individuals considered harmful to the German people, either for political reasons, or because they « polluted the German race » (homosexuals and criminals).
In those camps, the Nazis mixed haphazardly German opponents of the Third Reich and resisters from occupied countries who had had important responsibilities, Spanish Republicans, Soviet officers and commissars, Polish elites…
The extermination camps in Europe were mainly intended for the genocide of Jews and Gypsies, but were also used for the murder of other prisoners, such as Soviet prisoners of war.
The main objective of resisters was and is to save lives.
Claudine Cardon-Hamet, in her doctoral thesis on resistance in the Nazi camps (May 2010), writes:
« In the concentration camps, it was a matter of helping the greatest number possible to survive, of conserving one’s strength and of maintaining one’s identity and dignity. After that, the question that needs to be defined more precisely is what do we mean here by resist. How, for example, do we distinguish between Resistance and simple acts of self-defence? Saving in oneself what constitutes humanity, the achievements of civilization in the face of bestiality, of the savagery to which the SS wanted to reduce the prisoners and the barbarism of their own practices, is part of Resistance. What about gestures of solidarity? Considering others as brothers and sisters, giving them a helping hand, giving them advice that could increase their chances of survival or simply words of comfort, making them little objects from reclaimed materials, as so many women did in Ravensbrück, sharing a little bit of your portion of soup or bread when you’re dying of hunger yourself, hiding from the SS administration food or warm clothing at the risk of being severely punished and losing your place in a ‘good Kommando,’ helping someone get into a less difficult Kommando, showing sympathy for a Jew at the risk of being beaten by an SS guard or a Kapo, trying to keep alive the infants born in Ravensbrück, were all acts of Resistance. Solidarity was all the more important in the camps where the conditions were the most destructive. It was sometimes the only form of resistance that could be exercised. It should be pointed out, in this regard, that efforts to maintain one’s dignity and practice charity or solidarity by an individual were always prerequisites for joining a clandestine group. Only such behaviour permitted resisters to recognize each other among the new arrivals.
« The means to broaden this solidarity and decrease mortality was to change the general climate of the camp. From this perspective, occupying key positions in the administration by political prisoners, those wearing red triangles, was decisive in most camps. This way, resisters could use the power afforded by their positions to help their fellow prisoners: this was vital to reducing brutality, humiliations, thefts, racketeering, the diversion of food, and murders. It was a matter of replacing the professional criminals, those wearing green triangles, with honest men. These struggles between ‘Reds’ and ‘Greens’ did not always result in the triumph of the former, but they benefited, starting in 1943, from the needs of the SS for competent personnel, for example, Kapos capable of effectively directing the Kommandos doing war work, and from orders from Berlin to reduce mortality among the concentration camp labour force.
Changing the general atmosphere in the camps also came about through the dissemination among the prisoners of news of German defeats after Stalingrad and information from the frontlines, obtained by listening to secret radios and secretly reading the newspapers of the SS.
The positions especially targeted by the Resistance were hospitals, kitchens, administrative and Gestapo offices, the labour service that managed the distribution of prisoners in the Kommandos and transfers to other camps (where the survival rate could be better or worse). Orderlies and doctors could hide the sick or switch their numbers with those of dead prisoners to avoid them being eliminated physically as ‘unfit to work!' »
Through various periods of history, each nation has had its forms of resistance and opposition to power and political changes through force. For example, in Romania, after the coup d’état of September 1940, the resistance movement brought the Iron Guard and Marshal Antonescu to power.
Acts of resistance to destructive military regimes were occurring more and more in many countries: remember the Polish resistance movements during the Second World War, the secret missions of Soviet partisans against the armies of Hitler.
The word resistance encompasses new sociopolitical meanings and at times, strategic nonsense and misinterpretations! From the resistance in the Nazi concentration camps, it was just one step to resistance in the socialist concentration camps.
From re-education camps to the anti-Semitic pogroms and the gulag. Deportations to the USSR. The gulags of mysterious disappearances. The reign of famine, terror and death for prisoners sentenced to forced labour. The gulag spread like an ideological flagellum: from the Russian (Stalinist) gulag to the Chinese gulag, the Korean gulag (North Korea). Resistance tried to resist by any means possible! Resistance combined with the time and place of the suffering.
THE TERROR OF POLITICAL, ETHNIC AND RELIGION PERSECUTORS! MILITARY PRESSURES…
Resist violence of any kind, exploitation, defamations, exterminations and massive exclusions! Resist dogmas, and dogmatic theories and theologies!
The « 500 years of resistance » campaign, to mark the fifth centenary of Spanish colonization in 1992, saw the emergence of native movements against imperial and oligarchic domination. It was probably one of the most decisive events in the recent history of Latin America. After that, in Equator then in Bolivia and more broadly at the regional level, native movements asserted themselves more and more as true social and political actors. Memory as resistance in Colombia. The great waves of Colombian migration in the 20th century. Political violence and migratory movements. There were also the « years of lead » in Europe. Black resistance in the sixties. The resistance to totalitarian regimes in the eighties and nineties, the revolutions in Europe to break the chains of imposed communism.
Resistance of identity. Republican Resistance. Resistance to Evil and Hardship. Resistance to corruption. Resistance to globalization. Resistance to the decline of contemporary society! Religious crises and wars. The exodus of civilian populations due to wars and natural catastrophes!!
I resist, you resist, he, she resists, we resist, they resist, and most often one can no longer resist. So what? Does one give in, bow one’s head, stumble, fold? Does one fall? Does one fall and stay down, wounded, finished, sacrificed? Who is one? Us? Them? What about you? You are Us or (…)? As for them, weren’t they once You(…)? And wasn’t you once upon a time us (…)? Between past and present, between future and when the time comes, One is generations of victims confronted by generations of victimizers! One is an indefinite neutral pronoun that refers to one or more human individuals, the subject of a fight against an invader, an occupier or an undesirable regime.
ONE KNOWS – it is the importance of not keeping quiet, of reacting, of fighting, of going on, peaceably, along the path that is at minimum 3 generations per century.
Let us apprehend objectively, the external and internal phenomena of our own existence/consciousness.
Let us communicate to resist! Resistance is the active present of consciousness!
Writer and linguist, founder and general director of Levure littéraire
Intended as a ethical and aesthetic ferment, Levure is a space for creative initiatives and thoughts, without financial support, without hegemonic pretences, which favours the quality and originality of the constructive Act of Culture. In these times of economic crisis, and particularly of extreme moral crisis, when Peace, Education and Culture are being marginalized, since it is no longer in fashion to cultivate humanism, Levure persists in seeking with you the path to a secret bridge, toward a peaceful place conducive to meditation, beyond the barbarity and vulgarity of everyday life. With the intention of remaining in the tradition of the universal spirit of the Enlightenment!
A journal of information and education, Levure brings to your computer screens, 4 times a year, out-of-the-ordinary authors (100 to 200 per issue), themes and topics that are dealt with, tackled or exploited less often, agents and actors from the entire sociocultural spectrum (literature, visual arts, music, philosophy, ethnology, journalism, psycholinguistics, etc. – which by presenting countries and traditions, horizons rich in differences and similarities, likenesses, enrich us as they fascinate us. Through its thematic diversity, and through an impressive number of cultural players, Levure offers us and you a choice of many languages, sensibilities, tastes, needs for reading and information.
« Does saying that the other is my fellow being mean they are like me? »
In the Languages section, with its English title, you will find the source (maternal) languages, as well as the target languages (translations) of our collaborators, other than French, which is considered the basic language of this publication.
Levure littéraire no. 12 contains poetry, stories, excerpts from novels, pages from journals, literary essays, book reviews, traditional and philosophical tales, articles on psychoanalysis, painting, drawings, collages, sculpture, theatrical and cinematographic performances, music (jazz, rock, pop, folk, etc.), information related to international cultural events.
With the help of all the participants, we try to maintain and stimulate humanist exchange.
Our goal: reveal new authors, promote knowledge and the success of known authors, and give the perspectives of those who are at odds.
Culture helps us to better control and balance our destiny. Let us dare share it with the Others – Authors, those « strangers, » « soul thieves, » who always intrigue us a little… Let us recognize the identity of the Other, with their differences, while respecting their language, their traditions, their work and their culture.
Let us take part in the sharing of the innovative and liberating ideas of our cultures. Let us disrupt the manoeuvring of those who orchestrate the final fall of culture and society by maintaining insidiously its degradation for reasons as treacherous as they are Machiavellian and shameful.
Let us cultivate friendship! And friendship-love! To feed on culture is to live in harmony in the house of BEING, travel, migrate in artists’ frigates toward those « terra incognita » countries where unexpected Ways & Voices await us, with our hearts in offering.
Levure littéraire was created especially for all these talented people who have remained anonymous nationally or internationally, without connections, and without real possibilities of accessing fame…
Our journal has become multilingual precisely for those countries where the languages and cultures are ignored (forgotten in favour of the law of the offshore nabob and « group think »).
Without indulging in politics, we fight against those cultural predators who preach, arms crossed, mouths and pockets full, (the abolition) of culture. We condemn the lack of patronage and the cutting of culture budgets, and we denounce the perversion of the linguistic, human, aesthetic and ethical behaviours of our 21st century.
Let us protect art, while practising it with talent and confidence. Let us make art, while defending it with refinement and intelligence. Art has always helped us resist, to evolve with dignity, to love the world, and to believe in a better world. Art does not kill anyone. On the contrary, it elevates humanity. Let us not kill it, please! Let us not make it the subject of wild, sterile speculations and transform it into a mundane commercial product. The international art « business » … is not our art, but ANTIART, the « art » of diverting artists and their cultures from their paths and destinies! We refuse through art the immoral and suicidal laws of the « golden boys »!
Being contemporary does not mean adopting any crisis of the moment with its tides and whirlpools, without reflection, without both collective and selective consciousness. You have to belong to your epoch with lucidity, vigilance and perspicacity, while keeping a good distance, with spatial and temporal space, to better curtail troubles in the making. The contemporary does not substitute the present for the past. It seeks what the present contains in its future to come… without ignoring, however, the original foundations.
This latest issue of our journal will remain faithful to the positive energy it has shown since the beginning with respect to inventive creation. Quality content, in the face of the aggressiveness and vulgarity of the current world of politics that is monopolizing the stage in the media.
Translator: Howard Scott