I take it personally: deciphering the ethical responsibilities in journalistic practices

Page 1

I take it personally deciphering the ethical responsibilities in journalistic practices

by Sofia Topi

Dear reader, The following pages constitute the body of a theoretical, empirical, and self-reflective research. To make the reading feasible, there are some points, regarding the hows and whys, in need of clarification. The core material of the research can be found in the main chapters. In between them, there are complementary texts (light blue pages). They represent a brief report on the process of thinking before and after the execution of the research. Most importantly, they are performing as the conductor to the main chapters, and as such, they are articulated with references to the performance and the stasimoni. This is by analogy with the thoughts, that do not proceed in a linear way, but they maintain a rhythm of vibrating patterns. They go back and forth. They make abrupt jumps. They proceed with raced speed and in reverse. They collide and coalesce. Instead of just seeing the succeeding words, read the text by following the conductor. Sound here is used as a metaphor for articulating voices, similar to how speech is articulated, as an experiment in how parallel readings of different texts can hold a rhythm and generate melody or even harmony. Ultimately, the aim is to equalize the role of the actor in public (thinking aloud, here refers to the author) and the role of the recipient (thinking in silence, here refers to you, the reader). The fusion of texts is a venture to depict underlying questions related to the research questions, as they are formulated in the first chapters. This is to propose that the act of publishing is directly proportional to the act of reading. The value lies in the relationship between the two actors, the author and the audience, and their in between; the published. What is an act of publishing you may ask? In these pages, it is considered any thought, comment, or idea conveyed in public through representational mediums, such as text, image, or design. It is a process of objectifying concepts and making them available. The very essence of their existence is begotten at this threshold, as it signifies their potentialities for becoming. Potentialities for becoming constitute agents of shaping and re-regulating culture, social progress, and histories.

This is not a call for the erasure of authorship. On the contrary, it is a proposal for re-negotiation of the ethical responsibilities involved in making public. To this end, it is worth noting that journalism, one of the primary acts of publishing, is used here as an example to trigger similar questions pertaining to other public practices that work as cultural resources, such as exhibition, journals, and documentary films. Finally, the following pages respond to a series of hypotheses identified by the writer of these pages. With the following text, these hypotheses were published; that, faithful to the context, (the publication) is both the time of the writing and the time of the reading. This may seem like a contradiction in terms; however, it is in compliance with the threshold state of the writer of these lines: the state of aporiaii, that avows thought as a variable. Thus, these words can only be situated in the present.

Chapters Prologue 6 Silent Phrase no.1 10 Silent Phrase no. 2 (On Truth) 12 What is possibly going on 14 Silent Phrase no. 3 (On Journalism) 16 When do I actually know 22 Silent Phrase no. 4 30 Where am I able to look 32 Silent Phrase no. 5 40 How it possibly feels like 42 Silent Phrase no.6 (On Ecstatic Truth) 48 What if I partially know 50 Apologue 58 Silent Phrase no. 7 66 Epilogue 70 Visual essay 76 Spatial exploration 82 Bibliography 86 Endnotes 90

Prologue I start by proposing the possibility of us, you and I, being in a situation. Where nothing new has happened or something interesting has just emerged.

Where every word speaks about events, events of us being among and with one another. Where every silence also signifies the distinction of knowing and understanding how the meaning-full gained substance in the first place and what exactly is this substance asking from the course of the events. I am proposing a situation where shared possibilities reveal themselves; possibilities of each of us having a view, a view of what is going on. I am starting with a hypothesis, an expectation of reaching a point. My hypothesis can only be placed in this moment. A time that, admittedly, cannot be defined. A time that is constantly interlinked with the previous time. A time that can only exist because of the past. Because of the past, “the past that isn’t through with us”1. Us, particles of humanity, a humanity that has reached this time, now, with such a richness of dialectics, by necessity connected with the past. This time, now, that many theorists define as postmodernity. This time, now, that no clarity on the question of what is going on can be given and no clarity on the question of what is going on is envisaged. Our perspective has geared towards asking what is possibly going on. I say possibly, as, namely, I am speaking about the possibilities of what is possibly going on. My hypothesis can only be placed in the space we inhabit. A space that has qualities and measurements, that naturally we know due to our physicality, our body. The body that enables us to see, think, imagine, and be. The body that, due to its qualities, provides us with a view of what is possibly going on. The body, that because of time and because of space, keeps us together and divides us together, in a way that we can only assume that something is going on; even when we have a distance—in time and in space—from the something that is going on. Speaking of bodies, let me skip forward and remark the inseparable aspect of sociality to the body; the social body. I mean this with regards to the requirement of materialization, for the body to exist. In the contemporary environment, location is integrated with society, and, because of this, the body is interdependent and entangled with other bodies. How society treats the body is explained through social phenomena, whereby the individual is constantly being influenced and evolving. The body carries social meanings, while new social meanings are penetrating it.


“It (the body) is not however, a mere surface upon which social meanings are inscribed, but that which suffers, enjoys, and responds to the exteriority of the world, an exteriority that defines its disposition, its passivity and activity.”2 In extension of this, I suggest that the intimacy of our emotions is self-referential and social-referential at the same time. In this sense, the question of what is possibly going on leads to and reflects on the question of how it possibly feels like.


Before I allow my hypotheses to lead my thoughts any further, I enclose them with the final addition; The possibilities of having a view of what is possibly going on and of how it possibly feels like are enabled and shared, in time and in space, through an act of publishing—as the practice of the journalist. If the eyes and the mind of journalists are what give light to our realities, then what are the ethical responsibilities and emotional implications entailed in the act of publishing?

1 Judith Butler, interview by Mikkel Krause Frantzen, “The Culture of Grief: Philosophy, Ecology and Politics of Loss in the Twentyfirst Century”, The research centre The Culture of Grief, Aalborg University, December 3, 2020, video footage of the online event, 04:12:00–05:06:00, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0JBPQik2x8&feature=emb_title&ab_channel=GistrupFilm. 2 Judith Butler, Frames of War: When is Life Grievable? (London: Verso, 2009), 33-34.


Silent Phrase no.1 The actor is offstage, sleeping. But thoughts are awakened, and they perform as a conductor. Setting the mood and the tone of the story, indicating at the same time how the story should be read. This can only start in this time and in this place, by the I. (notation) (.)—natural breath (,)—short breath (;)—abrupt short pause (>>)—faster(/>>) (II>)—slower(/II>)

Read in descending volume in voice and in a slur.



I imagine the ominous situation inside an event where neither naming nor debating happens. This is silence, right? In silence you don’t know, you might feel or guess or miss, but you cannot know. (II>) Yo u n e e d n o i s e , u p r o a r as you like it, to i nduce bei ng and feel i ng bl ended am ong bodi es, to be s s o

m any

y n c hronized in the buzzing of the things, t hi n g s

t hat then you might know. (Short pause)

(Short pause Minimum voice volume)

at you

t he hear

s am e

ti m e,

n o t h i n g ; (/II>)


A situation like not hearing, or pretending not to hear, is how I remember Odysseus escaping from the captivating song of the sirens. And how Kafka spoke about silence as a weapon;iii the silence, light or diaphanous, the silence that is revealing the possibilities of the perfect captivating song, (>>) overflowed with enticing information and knowledge, far more flawless than the reality of the siren’s songs could ever be. (/>>)


One cannot simply escape from the thought of Kafka. Like his Gregoriv, a man transformed into an insect. A storytelling that instrumentalizes the utter reduction in the name of simplicity in one single idea. (>>) Such an undue, radical interpretation, overtly infused with imagination, that serves to transfigure a complex situation into a transparent, yet absurd observation about an extremely familiar situation. (/>>)


Silent Phrase no.2 (On Truth)

Read in sharp pitch, stable pace, and calm breathing.


In order to understand the term Truth—or at least the cognitive way I refer to it—I need to resort to my native language. In Greek, Truth is translated to the word Αλήθεια, or, to be more accurate (since I am using Greek as my solid reference to retrieve my ground of speaking), Truth is the translation of the word Αλήθεια (/Alētheia/). The morphemes of this word are α (privative affix) and λήθη (lethe, oblivion): non-oblivion. These words suggest that Truth is not-forgetfulness. Not forgetting succeeds remembering. In this sense, not forgetting cannot be but tied to the characteristics of memory. In order to remember, or not to forget, I need to inscribe a subject in my memory. For the sake of making a point here, let us neglect all the other ways of remembering. And to better depict this thought, I also introduce here the idea that the act of recording memories (in text, video, audio, etc.) implies that memory is the predecessor of any act of recording. Memory is what enables and reinforces any type of record. In this respect, Truth, not at the momentary level but at length, is a workable consolidation that stays with us. Thus, it is strictly referential to memory, as it happens in the human brain, and not to the documentation of this memory. (What happens with the documentation that is taking place while the events occur is not included in this stream of thought.) Strikingly enough, I am tempted to consider Truth as an internal process; as something that is admittedly fed and marked by external actors but retained in our personal sphere. It rests there as something undeniable, under no circumstances questionable, but also by any means unprovable with tangible evidence. Correct. Yet, memory does not imply a consensus, rather it makes compromises or conforms with relativism. It does not follow standardized reductions, but favors a shared, or social, acceptance. However, memory does not need a generally shared validity. Thus, in a social context, Truth, as it is experienced by many, cannot refer to a singular consolidation of reality. Alternatively, Truth pertains to personal sincerity, wherein it may deviate from historicity and, occasionally, crush relativity. Most importantly, Truth does not stand side-by-side with the scientific position. This, I contend, leaves the door open for the Ecstatic Truth (which we will return to examine in detail in a later Silent Phrase).


What is possibly going on Returning to the question of what possibly is going on, we will not have an answer until the what is going on, the event, is mediated through a form.

When an event takes a communicative shape, it is encoded through representation in the interest of the public. In the same manner, the representation enters the event, and, in turn, it constitutes it. While I understand that this is a rather reductive systematization that fails to include all the steps of the process, it serves the purpose of these pages, so I shall continue. Eventually, and hopefully, the representation, the mediated form that is built upon subjective interpretation, leads to the mediation of a meaning—or of a multitude of meanings. Meanings that make the world intelligible and allow a making a sense of the world by indicating that something indeed is going on. Of course, I do not imply that a world view can solely be provided by journalism. Simply, I argue that “Nothing meaningful exists outside the discourse.”3 Primarily, this suggests the idea that we need a discourse4 (in public) to negotiate with a meaning. This discourse is a signifying practice; a practice that produces public meanings, a practice that necessarily leads to a sort of publishing. Publishing is a broad set of practices that includes journalism. There is a vivid relationship in this process, between the receiver, the journalist, and the representation, that seems to keep flashing and beating rhythmically from the edges of the three. If we reverse the order of the previous paragraph, just a few lines above, we might agree that a meaning is what is (somehow) given to the event as it is depicted by the representation. By all means, journalism is performed within the values system and cultures we share. They operate within postmodernity which guarantees no singular truth and no fixed meaning. Postmodernity accepts no grand narrative, no “big picture”. Instead, it affirms a multiplicity of realities. In respect to journalism, this time has begotten the fragmentation of reality to such extent that journalists are instructed to speculate before reporting on an impossible situation; uncertainty. “It seems unlikely that a paradigm or worldview will ever again emerge. There are too many centers of knowledge, too little established and acknowledged leadership, too much information about the world which is changing too fast for anything to become rooted.”6 Fighting against the disarming traps of relativism, journalists, empowered by their authority, are still attempting to report on the truth of reality. Instead of constant doubt and regression, their response has been to


prejudge their point of view, so as to clearly position their understanding and knowledge, and publish their empirical truth, as dependent on their own historical and cultural environment. This idea must have its roots in the style of news writing and journalism called “New Journalism”, as it emerged in the 1960s and 1970s in the USA. Expounded and realized by master journalists and writers, this movement soon became synonymous with unconventional documentation and reporting on counterculture. Its elaboration provided fruitful insights into how integrated techniques of combining fiction and journalism could implicitly stimulate thinking and engagement within the public. “Even solid scientists must have a visionary spirit and be able to ‘think the impossible’ in order to be able to push the limits of our knowledge reality.”7 When Joan Didion, a dynamic protagonist of “New Journalism”, was called to reflect on morality8, while the USA was involved in the Vietnam War and the Civil Rights movement was gaining steam, she conveyed her ideas through concrete stories. She wrote, for instance, about a car accident, quoting an involved nurse she interviewed and taking us by hand to “see” the question of morality, by experiencing the event through the reading of her words and sentences. She reached the end of the story by stating her own perspective on the event in question, providing the audience with her interior state and personal considerations. In doing so, she illustrates both her consciousness of and trust in her subjectivity. “I admire objectivity very much, but I fail to see how it can be achieved if the reader does not understand the writer’s particular bias. For the writer to pretend that he has none lends the entire venture a mendacity that has never infected the Wall Street Journals and does not yet infect the underground press.”9

times, which embrace feelings of ambiguity at the event and endorse the subjective exegesis. The uniqueness and value of empirical reporting assumes that journalists cannot provide a universal understanding of events, while they can indeed provide a methodology of understanding of what possibly is going on. Keeping the example of Joan Didion and the lessons of the “New Journalism” on the methods of representing, reporting, and communicating, I move on with one thought: Journalistic reports are linguistic and cultural acts that depend upon trust (see also S.P. no.3). Trust to accept that there are questions regarding the narrative strategies and the empirical validity of a journalist, and to address them directly, so as to allow meaning to flow and circulate in the public. It is exactly this trust that journalists ask from the audience; to trust their judgement on and description of how history happens, in the present of every event. To trust their dedication to ethics and to let them guiding us, the recipients, through the events and in the choice of our personal viewpoint over them. To trust them as educationalists “… in a world in which there is no consensus about a frame of reference to explain ‘what it all means’”11. The where do we look of the question what is possibly going on is of inimitable significance to the way our perspective towards social life is shaped. However, with regards to the central question of this thesis, this line of argument can only take us so far. To this end, I slither on down the road of analysis towards the beating heart of the relationship between the recipient, the journalist, and the representation, as well as investigation of the role of each part. Namely, I direct this ample theoretical research to specific case studies, knowing in advance that this more practical perspective will lead to some decisions that can only make sense by reflecting upon theory once again.

As Didion, many others of her generation proposed open invitations to readers to place their trust in the authority of the writer’s participatory method and grounded observations. In effect, their storytelling is constructed by narration, built from experience, facticity, and judgment, which allows for reflection, evaluation, and criticism within the text, while it deprives them of factuality.10 This latter is an answer to ethnographic and cultural qualities of our


References/What is possibly going on

3 Stuart Hall, Representation: Cultural Representations and Signifying Practices (London: Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage, Open University, 1977), 45. 4 Discourse, as defined by Foucault, refers to the ways of constituting knowledge, together with the social practices, forms of subjectivity, and power relations, which inhere in such knowledges and relations between them. Discourses are more than ways of thinking and producing meaning. They constitute the “nature” of the body, the unconscious and conscious mind, and the emotional life of the subjects they seek to govern. (Weedon, 1987), 108. 5 Jean-François Lyotard, The Postmodern Condition (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1984). 6 Alan Macfarlane, “A World Without a World View: the condition of post-modernity” (Prof Alan Macfarlane – Ayabaya, March 2014), 6:587:20, ttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OIrnud6X2qU&feature=emb_ title&ab_channel=ProfAlanMacfarlane-Ayabaya. 7 Nele Wynants (ed.), When Fact is Fiction: Documentary Art in the Post-Truth Era (Amsterdam: Valiz, 2020), 18. 8 Joan Didion, “On Morality”, in Slouching Towards Bethlehem (New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux,1968), 106, (Appeared first in 1965 in The American Scholar magazine under the title “The Insidious Ethic of Conscience”). 9 Joan Didion, “Alicia and the Underground Press”, Saturday Evening Post, January 13, 1968, as quoted in Mark Royden Winchell, Joan Didion (Boston: Twayne, 1980), quoted in Debora Nelson, Tough Enough (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2017), 148. 10 This sentence demands clarification. In the 20th century philosophy, facticity is distinct from factuality, although it can also refer to it. Facticity, as mostly Martin Heidegger supported (Being and Time, 1927), relates to human living, speaking, and being. Factuality, on the other hand, represents merely solid historical situations, namely facts. 11 David L. Eason, “The New Journalism and the ImageWorld: Two Modes of Organizing Experience” (Critical Studies in Mass Communication, 1984), 52.


Silent Phrase no.3

Read in sharp pitch, stable pace, and calm breathing.

(On Journalism)


Within these pages, I use the term Journalism to describe a specific aspect of the many practices of the discipline as we theoretically know it and as we encounter it daily. But I would rather speak about the higher importance of Journalism, be it in diffusion and repetition. I am now thinking of journalists as if they use their ‘I’ to connect their internal to the external world; as if they keep a short leash on their criticality, lucidly and precisely; as if they object to complacency and ratify vigor of public confidence and moral courage; as if they risk speaking of unwelcomed or not-yetpopular interests audaciously; as if they swim against the stream of social apathy; as if they fearlessly arrest the attention of the inert members of society; as if they restore and maintain democratic values and morality; as if they are processing information and transmitting their knowledge; as if they provide a structured overview of ordinary life; as if they leave space for our imagination, for us to understand and create the reality around us; as if they stoke our interests in redefining and re-establishing the ways we explore and map our surroundings; as if they provide authenticity. And as if they do all these, with relentless severity. It is not didactics nor the Right or Wrong that I am exulting here. Rather, I am claiming that Journalism pertains to “… brains, conscience, character working out into public service.”v Journalists have a decisive influence in shaping cultures and histories, nearly as pivotal events themselves. Above all, they mirror the empathetic heart and soul of public life. Their stories are comments on the way our world empirically is, or the way our world normatively should be, in the awakenings of our minds and hands. Their stories are filled with aesthetics because of the subjective and personal mode of address. But they are also endowed with the skills of weaving words into sentences, paragraphs, and narrations that hold meaningful entanglements with meanings, making the arrival of further meanings possible. They applaud ephemerality, only to develop historical archives that engage with the default meaning-making apparatus of history. In this respect, they are no different from the writer of literature; except in terseness, immediacy, and promptness. It might be argued that the above are romanticized values of exalted theories that do not meet at any point routine encounters with journalistic practices, but one can only hope to keep challenging the standards in discourse up to the ideal—so let’s have it.


When do I actually know The length and speed of time prove to be more elucidative than any momentary observation and interpretation of events could ever be.12 Yet, we cannot resist or surrender; we systematically keep on striving to figure out immediately what is possibly going on.

My first case study is a deeply sensitive, socio-political event in the context of my home country and thus familiar to me. It initiated on 17 September 2013 in Greece, with the murder of an individual, during the night in the streets of Athens.13 I was in my home when the event happened and as the story was unveiling over the following 7 years. Due to personal interest, I was following the news (in social media, blogs, and television news) and I had already formed my own, biased, opinion when the legal case to bring the culprits to justice concluded in September 2020. Based on the trial verdict that was announced in October 2020 (in a heavily guarded court, with tens of thousands of people roaring outside the complex), it is now believed that this story has a great symbolic significance, not only for Greece, but also for the European history of justice and social responsibility. It is now clear that the particularity of the case was forced to orbit around possibilities to reach an abstract generalization of what happened. An event was unfolding around me, like banks of a river expanding as though in flood, redefining dimensions of its historic court ruling. This expansion of import implied the scale of national exceptionalism and political exemplification of this case over other concurrent happenings. It is quite impossible not to wonder how this event came to be a carrier of such meaning and symbolism within the ongoing outbreak of socio-political issues that plague the contemporary society of Europe. As far as I am a member of this multifaceted Greek and European society, the ecology of this story is coherent and ambiguous at the same time. There is a peremptory opacity to my perspective, indicating that the story is what it is, with possibilities to be more, while there is no conclusive reason whatsoever for it being what it is. It is quite absurd. The meaningful truth is derived from incidental events, while it is this exact haphazardness of subsequent events that updates individual opinions in the present and constitutes the course of humanity’s past and future. As Hannah Arendt remarkably said, “It is true that in retrospect—that is, in historical perspective—every sequence of events looks as though it could not have happened otherwise, but this is an optical, or, rather, an existential, illusion: nothing could ever happen if reality did not kill, by definition, all the other potentialities originally inherent in any given situation.”14


Certain theoretical interests led me to ponder on how journalists from the USA spoke about the case in their articles. Among the many, it was Helena Smith, a Guardian correspondent in Greece, Turkey, and Cyprus, who drew my attention. She first wrote about the far-right political party, called “Golden Dawn”, and their criminal activity in 2012.15 Many articles followed until 2013, when she reported intensively on their involvement in the individual’s murder mentioned above. Looking back from the enlightening position of the late 2020—wherein all the facts and associations of this event are now publicly available—I continue with three different articles from Helena Smith, dating from 2014, 2015, and 2020 (see Figure 1).

structure of the three texts, I was able to distinguish certain meanings—at least by my subjective cognition. These meanings are associated with Greek society and culture, the position of Europe and the European counteractions, and reflect upon the social classification and human rights values, attaining an importance on a global level (see Figure 2). Without a doubt, this specific association and attribution of meanings to this case were rendered through the lens of this medium and the journalist. The impartial position and lack of utilitarianism were presumed. Yet and beyond, this meaning-full act of reporting created a condition of care. While the impact on the bigger race to form default meanings in the course of history is still beyond my reach.

Figure 1 The titles of the three articles as they were published on the Observer, by The Guardian, and as they were processed for the case study.

“He alone reads history aright who, observing how powerfully circumstances influence the feelings and opinions of men, how often virtues pass into vices and paradoxes into axioms, learns to distinguish what is accidental and transitory in human nature from what is essential and immutable.”16 My quest now concerned how her story was built up through time and how her particular understanding of the facts was translated into commentary and meanings, so as to respond to the question of what is possibly going on. All while evidence, and the consequences of what they prove as facts, were gradually accumulating. I investigated the textual structure, phrases, and words used. Through the identification of patterns within the









“For half a year they have sat in their sevent-floor office, probing the murky depths of Europe’s most violent political force...” Helena Smith, 2014



“...Now allowed to roam freely, in an atmosphere of growing austerity-driven poverty and despair...” Helena Smith, 2015

“...Human rights groups are sounding the alarm...” Helena Smith, 2015







“...Such was the brazenness of tactics that across Europe the right, including Marine Le Pen’s Front National, looked on with thinly disguised dain...” Helena Smith, 2020

“The country hopes for epoch-defining catharsis this week as a five-year trial of neo-fascist party concludes” Helena Smith, 2020



“...While an alarming rise in attacks on migrants elicited condemnation from international human rights groups, Greek parties and intellectuals remained eerily quiet...” Helena Smith, 2014


“...the rise and fall of the fascist outfit offers a cautionary tale...” Helena Smith, 2020

Figure 2 Process of interpreting the meanings in time and in location, by connecting the phrases used by Helena Smith in the three articles.

References/When do I actually know

12 This was inspired by Felix Mendelssohn’s lyrical compositions, for example, Song without Words in F sharp minor Op 67 No 2, from “Songs without Words”, 1843-45. 13 Pavlos Fyssas was a popular Greek musician, rapper, and anti-fascism activist. He was murdered on the night of 17 September 2013 by Giorgos Roupakias, a member of the Neo-Nazi criminal organization Golden Dawn (previously recognized as a national political party). Following the incident, protests took place throughout Greece, aiming to fight Golden Dawn and the associated rise of the far-right, and many of them ended violently. On 7 October 2020, sixty-eight members of Golden Dawn were declared to be involved in a criminal organization and fifteen out of the seventeen members, that were accused in Pavlos’s murder, were convicted. 14 Hannah Arendt, Between Past and Future: Eight Exercise in Political Thought (Penguin Books, 1977), 243. 15 Helena Smith, “Greece’s neo-Nazi Golden Dawn goes global with political ambitions”, The Guardian, April 1, 2013, https:// www.theguardian.com/world/2013/apr/01/greece-golden-dawn-globalambitions. 16 Macaulay, as quoted by Joseph Pulitzer, The School of Journalism in Columbia University: The Power of Public Opinion (Sagwan Press, 2018), 34.


Silent Phrase no.4

Read in ascending pitch and double volume in voice.

(Read while holding the words length with decaying volume) (Short pause Minimum voice volume)


The linearity of time and the tangibility of space strike me both as grounds of a nature so persuasive, upon which arguments can be built nearly infallibly. Susan Sontag somehow confirms that, “Ti m e e x i s t s (II>) i n order that everythi ng doesn’t happen a l l a t o n c e … And space ex i sts so that i t doesn’t al l happen to y o u .” vi (/II>) I am reading a story about a reality that is not near me, it is not mine. It is a displaced reality that meets mine on the surface. What comes along with the knowing of the reality is an imperative confusion; slowly moving inside me, moving to take up a space, like a rock, solid it becomes, letting me know that we are together. Whether it happens to me or not, is not to say whether it affects me or not. For I am in analogy with we, in the way that I am defined and confined only by the we. Because of your body, I am a body, of flesh and blood and soul, only because of your body and the distance between our bodies. I and you are particles bound, linked in a connection; frail though it may be.


Knowing about a reality doesn’t necessarily mean understanding. It is a matter of duration and diffusion. (>>) Understanding happens along with thinking, and can easily converge with feeling. But when emotions emerge, I start immersing myself in my body, as if I am organizing my incompetence towards the happening in the world. (/>>) I encounter my values in the words of others, and I internalize them to build my intimate doctrine, conceived as though in a finished state of being. There is no formality to the logic of doing so. Besides, no reasoning belongs to this state or the ways that I think and feel in it. The trajectory I follow is deepening, as if a spiral of emotions is unraveling from outside towards their core. To plunge me in stagnation; in melancholia. It is a persistent state that manages to perpetuate my impotence in the course of events.


Seeing the misery of the world brings primordial fear and great sorrow, that my memory holds to unmask my deepest injuries, as I feel and be inside the misery. (>>) A paralyzing effect that results in an even more painful desire for distance and detachment. (/>>) But I, before reaching indifference, fall into nothingness if I am not aware of the misery. This explains how it feels to live in a world where there is no formation of what it all means.


Where am I able to look What do I actually know about the occurrences of the event catalogued in my case study and how do I perceive these occurrences and the knowledge of them? I posed that question before reading the selected articles and I ask the same now that I have compared what I think I know and what I think I understand, after analyzing the interpretation of the journalist, and silently contemplating on other illustrative versions of the story I encountered in the meanwhile.

The (de facto past) event continues to exist by the sequences of happenings and in the published interpretations of it through the years, and I continue to delve into deciphering the meaning it carries, all while the event replenishes in light of new interpretations. This rolling exercise encourages me to expand my research in time. This, however, makes no sense, when I consider the fleeting temporality of journalism and the nature of an event that points out the innate relevancy of synchronicity. Or, perhaps, it matches perfectly with the (n)ever-ending process of understanding. Furthermore, my case study is also fluctuating in its spatial properties. There is a certain dislocation occurring between the experience and the report of the event. Taking the above observation as an addition to my understanding, I conclude, for now, that the way a journalist is reporting on an event addresses her or his culture and physical position and the resulted report is indissolubly bounded to them. More importantly though, the spatial location of the journalist is what may reason well—or, in a similar way, contempt—his or her interpretation and judgment. In 1993, after the war in Bosnia had started (1992 –95), and for the next three years, Susan Sontag spent time in Sarajevo, where she experienced for herself what war is like.17 Being a critic and essayist (by this I underline her understanding of the power of images and language), the eye witnessing experience provided her with insights into the ways pain is inflicted and refracted when it is represented. To this end, the act of witness seems to be not simply an ethical gesture, but an active intervention. And in Sontag’s case, her visit to this war zone, besides a series of writings and publications, transmuted into cultural involvements (as, for instance, when she directed a group of local actors in the staging of Beckett’s “Waiting for Godot”). Naturally, any type of experience brings information. The sequence and accumulation of it can in turn be transformed into knowledge. The fundamental concept of knowledge is situated in history and culture. Or, I shall say, knowledge as knowing, as it is more about the moment of happening and the subsequent process of development, made within the body, rather than an inanimate body of history.


Similarly, D.E. Smith proposes, “To know is to always know on some terms and the paradox of knowing is that we discover in its object the lineaments of what we already know.” Nearly one century ago, sociology was infused with the idea that all knowledge is situationally determined.19 More recently, feminist studies of the late 20th century suggest that knowledge is situated. Knowledge reflects the conditions, the social identities, and the social location of its occupant. Situated knowledge20 attributes the occupant with sincerity and answerability towards the constitution of a state of affairs, since she or he acknowledges her or his partial perspective21. What the occupant knows is bounded to the being of the body and its limited location. The sociality of which releases knowing from the closed system of oneself and entitles it to exist and interrelate to a web of knowings. “The moral is simple: only partial perspective promises objective vision. All Western cultural narratives about objectivity are allegories of the ideologies governing the relations of what we call mind and body, distance and responsibility. Feminist objectivity is about limited location and situated knowledge, not about transcendence and splitting of subject and object. It allows us to become answerable for what we learn how to see.”22 While knowing expresses the right to know, ideology provides a sort of arrangement of the information concerning an experience of an event and its social structure. This is the silent aspect of ideology, that solidifies boundaries and properties, and thus differs from knowledge and its perpetuate becoming. In this sense, ideological procedures, like political and scientific ones, intensify the framing of information and knowledge of events, while ideological sensibilities affect the perception of social realities. Let us bring back at this point the idea of the social body (see also Prologue), to which I suggest the addition of the social actor. If the knowledge of the journalist is concomitant with her or his ideology, then these both constitute her or his report on events, that, in turn, constructs what we know and what we do not know. By extension, her or his method of reporting influences our conception of society and our activation within it. As Karen Barad avows, “‘Things don’t pre-exist; they are agentially enacted and become determinately bounded and propertied within phenomena.”23 And I shall add that it

is not the report itself, nor the words of the report, but the attachment of them to social events that generates the meaning. The generation of the meaning is the ambition of the process of knowing, for which Susan Sontag writes, “We can’t imagine how dreadful, how terrifying war is; and how normal it becomes. Can’t understand, can’t imagine. That’s what every soldier, and every journalist and aid worker and independent observer who has put in time under fire, and had the luck to elude the death that struck down others nearby, stubbornly feels. And they are right.”24 Jean Baudrillard, while being in Paris, openly objected to Sontag’s ideas regarding the meaning of the Bosnian war, as she performed them in 1993 and meticulously expressed them in an article written in 1995.25 He particularly disapproved of the idea of feeling and transmitting solidarity. He regards acts of solidarity within a war that is inherently connected to human rights26, as “… the image of a Western conscience racked by its impotence …”.27 Expressing pity for the suffering of a nation only meets Western values28 and feeds their proliferation, while it fails to attack the deeper source of the suffering, in all its universality; that which is evil. “Now, all commiseration is part of the logic of suffering. To refer to misfortune, if only to combat it, is to give it a base for objective reproduction in perpetuity. When fighting against anything whatever, we have to start out from the evil to be combated, never from the misfortune produced.”29 The difference here, between the viewpoint of Sontag and the one of Baudrillard, is their situated positioning. The core problem of this is that one can never have a holistic view of what is happening and, in extension, what should happen as a response. The two ways of knowing, in proximity and in distance, provide ovnly intense observations and contemplations that constitute the paradox of our reality. On the one hand, we experience the immersion and “normalization” of suffering, with sympathy (for Sontag), and on the other hand, we theorize and idealize the suffering, with empathy (for Baudrillard). These two extremes exhibit the two ways of knowing about a reality, that does not involve us, yet affects us; they encompass a tormenting, nearly discernible emotional state in the depths of being. That is, that the felt reality unifies us in paralysis and forced, inescapable human misery.


fro m


pr o



(being inside the event)

gies e olo


at io n


n atio


fo r








(mediating the event)



(knowing about the event)



depths of emotions

Figure 3 The operating spheres of the three agents and the mediating role of the journalist.




d e> nc ta is

ity m xi

References/Where am I able to look

17 Benjamin Moser, “Sontag in Sarajevo,” The New York Review, September 9, 2019, https://www.nybooks.com/ daily/2019/09/09/sontag-in-sarajevo/. 18 Dorothy E. Smith, The Conceptual Practices of Power: A Feminist Sociology of Power (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1992), 149. 19 Many sociologists agree that this idea started with the publication of Karl Mannheim, Ideology and Utopia: An Introduction to the Sociology of Knowledge (New York, 1936). 20 The term “Situated knowledge” was coined by Donna Haraway (Situated Knowledges: The Science Question in Feminism and the Privilege of Partial Perspective, Feminist Studies, Vol. 14, No. 3, 1988) and many other theorists followed until today. 21 According to Donna Haraway, “I am arguing for politics and epistemologies of location, positioning, and situating, where partiality and not universality is the condition of being heard to make rational knowledge claims… We seek not the knowledges ruled by phallogocentrism (nostalgia for the presence of the one true Word) and disembodied vision. We seek those ruled by partial sight and limited voice-not partiality for its own sake but, rather, for the sake of the connections and unexpected openings situated knowledges make possible” (“Situated Knowledges: The Science Question in Feminism and the Privilege of Partial”, Feminist Studies, Inc.: Feminist Studies, Vol. 14, No. 3, 1988, 589, 590) 22 Donna Haraway, “Situated Knowledges: The Science Question in Feminism and the Privilege of Partial”, Feminist Studies, Inc.: Feminist Studies, Vol. 14, No. 3, 583. 23 Karen Barad, Meeting the Universe Halfway: Quantum Physics and the Entanglement of Matter and Meaning (Durham & London: Duke University Press, 2007), 150. 24 Susan Sontag, Regarding the Pain of Others (New York: Picador [Farrar, Straus, and Giroux], 2003), 125-26. 25 Susan Sontag, “‘There’ and ‘Here’: A Lament for Bosnia”, The Nation, December 25, 1995, Vol. 261, No. 22, 818-21. 26 Besides of the unthinkable violence of the Bosnian War, here I refer to the rejection of heterogeny, the discrimination, and the ethnic cleansing that occur along with the other criminal activities during this war. 27 Jean Baudrillard, trans. James Petterson, “No Pity for Sarajevo”, newspaper Liberation, January 7, 1993 (accessed in Screened Out. New York: Verso, 2000:45-50, 50). 28 As Hito Steyerl claimed, “Reporting the so-called truth about remote people and locations has been closely linked to their domination.” (“Documentary Uncertainty”, The Long Distance Runner: The Productive Unit Archive, No.72, Copenhgen: KunstFilmBiennale, 2007), 6. 29 Jean Baudrillard, trans. James Petterson, “No Pity for Sarajevo”, newspaper Liberation, January 7, 1993 (accessed in Screened Out. New York: Verso, 2000:45-50, 48).


Silent Phrase no.5

Read while increasing the volume by each word.

(Maximun voice volume) (Read with a slight speeding up, with as few breaths as possible) (Normal voice volume)


Being sunk in sorrow, however, means that I still have the ability to feel. Which may come in useful, as it means that I am ready to receive. And when the time comes, I will be able to hear the urgency of the other. (>>) Urgencies call out in crucial moments, moments that of course happenduring the vapidity of daily life. (/>>) In between the periodical pulsations of the clock, the tick-tock, you might encounter intensified pulses that occur from an expressed urgency of the other. This is a detail that you won’t find on the surface of the words you are reading, but in the underlining emotions that make the words illuminating and thus meaningful.



But yes, of course, to reach a m ean i n g fu l o b s e r v a t i o n , one must first w a t c h . (/II>) My eyes are setting my frame, but where do I look? I guess I focus on something that is captured by my lenses and attracts my curiosity. (II>) I a l s o g u e s s t h a t I s h o u l d n ’t ex p e ct something to just simply stimulate my focus. Unless I look for it. Unless my sense of r e s p o n









can overcome any form of indifference, indifference that might d r a i n m e , (/II>) inwardly and outwardly. Unless my search answers to a calling with such an overwhelming innate strength that defeats the force of nihilism in my existence.


How it possibly feels like I shall return to the question of how it possibly feels like. We (as the audience) are only looking at an event from a distance, through the secondary source a journalist provides.But we are, in actuality, looking at the evaluation of this observer as she or he surveys, measures, and values events and people in relation to a presumed center, a—national or global— “vantage point”.30

Only from her or his “vantage” perspective, that in course meets ours, are we able to form ideas about the possibilities of the event. However, we inevitably also form feelings. These feelings are not feelings produced by the experience of the event. They are produced by the mediated analysis of it. We simply cannot have the same overflow of feelings, or the same intensity of them, as the direct witnesses have, for example when we are encountered with war news or with a description of how refugees are living on a temporary campus via the news. Around this point, I am reminded that representation (or, in this context, a journalistic report) works by classifying the world, by measuring and identifying it, in a way that responds back to its politics31. It is a system of arrangements of participation and exclusion. What is said (included) is equally important as what is not said (excluded). Absence signifies as much as presence. I pass on the torch to the recipient. A reader or viewer that is receiving the reported information in silence, while knowing that what is not there evokes meanings too. We can see and then we touch, touch the core of a faraway shore of sores. Our ideology and our knowledge, (here, it is also worth restating the inner knowledge) are what constitute our judgment of good and evil, and this, I shall say, is inescapable. We have specified kinds of feelings that correspond to our position as social bodies. I say bodies, as we hold the position of the recipient, and because of this, we are subjects for emancipation and activation. If we dismiss the distinction between looking and acting32, then we might become social actors. “We all observe, select, compare, interpret and relate what we observe with the many other things we have observed on other stages, in other kind of spaces, and make our own poem with the poem performed in front of us.”33 In the absence of the directly involved actors, the primary witnesses, and the influence of the mediators (journalists), we use our own identity to hypothesize how it would feel if we were in a place that we are in fact not. With a dash of irony, this idea of dislocating the event by making it present to our minds and our feelings, by inwardly simulating how it feels, resonates with the very core of affective facts. This indicates all the assumptions made upon the variety of collected facts that, in our thinking, embody a potential threat to the balance of our direct reality34. It is indeed a speculative threat that, innately,


If not due to the words I used just before, but for what I mean to delineate here, let us wrestle a bit with the acttive voice (witness) and passive voice (be informed). Both positions are in our periphery of knowledge, as the journalist outlined (fig. 4, space of event) for us and we are still the addressed subject. Let me say now that

o eve ace nt sp

Yes, if we do not witness something, but still we are informed about it, we are in contact with it from a distance. But it is rather strange to think that I, for example, am in a distance. For my body is “shaking”. If I am informed, then I see, not what my visibility allows me to, not from the center of the one who witnessed, but from my own center.

e n co u n t e r

e n co u n t e r

of eve ace nt sp f

“For the visibility, unless it be the state of my eyesight, only permits me to see what is close beside me. I may add that my seat would appear to be somewhat elevated, in relation to the surrounding ground…With the result that, in order to obtain the optimum view of what takes place in front of me, I should have to lower my eyes a little. But I lower my eyes no more.”37

While the space for our unification (fig. 4, space of event) is created by the journalistic report and our connection by the written judgment of the journalist (fig. 4, encounter), the action is made by the informed (fig. 4, moving). The connection of our centers happens in the moment of the encounter, which underlines the moment of us receiving the responsibility of knowing, while the action is manifested after the decision of undertaking or rejecting the response-ability. The moment in between reception and action is the moment of revelation. An object (event) has been enlightened to us, in this context not by the light of a camera, but by the words of the journalist that appoint perceptual urgencies and sensibilities. We get sensibilized38 and, in a way, elevated to a higher level. At this level, the illuminated object (event) enters our Truth (see also S.P. no.2). And this moment, as Werner Herzog proposes, is a moment of Ecstatic Truth (see also S.P. no.6) and indicates our response to the received responsibility; over to keep “lowering our eyes” or not.


Yet, there is an alluring difference between us becoming social actors because we look, and us becoming social actors because we participate. And I sense by now that this difference is nullified in the actions of the journalist, who voices events in a way that the reality of us, the recipients, not only meets, but touches the reality of the others who are inside the event. The meeting happens within the act of publishing, while the touching is activated by the ability of the journalist to change this touch to a firm grasp. Along with this, the journalist provides the report that we accept by looking, and thus introduces us to the moral responsibility of knowing. This is, I suggest, the ability to understand what our role is in responding over the thing we know and to begin to grapple with the action of responding, that should inevitably involve a reworking and challenging of its meaning.

you are the witness and I am the one informed. Our centers are placed in relation to one another (by the journalist) that signifies that you and I are united. Herein, via this connection, we are social bodies in the same context. If we reduce our distance, were I, for example, come closer to you (moving), or were I to respond (action), then I, from being a social body, I become a social actor.


spans the body and shakes it. “Fear is the anticipatory reality in the present of a threatening future.”35 Our perspective is distinct from those who stand somewhere else. We are pondering on being somewhere we are not, and our produced feelings resemble empathy, and probably they are at this threshold, but we barely manage empathy. We are alerted and become sympathetic, but above all, we represent ourselves and our position.36

m ov i n

WITNESS WITNESS (being inside the event) (being inside the event) ECSTATIC TRUTH ECSTATIC TRUTH

g m ov i


JOURNALIST INFORMED JOURNALIST INFORMED (mediating the event) (knowing(knowing (mediating the event) about theabout event)the event) INTENSIFICATION INTENSIFICATION

Figure 4 From the urgency of the journalist to the reception of the response-ability of the informed one.


References/How it possibly feels like

30 Stefan Jonsson, “Facts of Aesthetics and Fictions of Journalism: The Logic of the Media in the Age of Globalization”, Linköping University, REMESO, January 2008, [online], Available at: https://www.nordicom.gu.se/sites/default/files/kapitelpdf/157_057-068.pdf 31 This argument owes tribute to Stefan Jonsson and his elegant advocacy of the journalistic impartiality on his essay “Facts of Aesthetics and Fictions of Journalism: The Logic of the Media in the Age of Globalization” (Linköping: Linköping University, 2008). 32 Jan Van Toorn, “A Passion for the Real”, MIT Press Journals, October 2009. 33 Sven Lütticken, “Abstract things”, New Left Review 54 (2008), 101. 34 Brian Massumi, The Affect Theory Reader (Durham & London: Duke University Press, 2010), 52-70. 35 Ibid, 54. 36 At this point, a distinction between the notion of empathy and sympathy needs to be made. Empathy signifies the ability to understand the feeling of the other (feel for the other), while sympathy is to take part in or to be inside the feeling of the other (feel with the other). 37 Samuel Beckett, Three Novels: Molly, Malone Dies, The Unnamable (New York: Grove Press, 1958), 291. 38 Here, sensitivity refers to the quality of being sensitive, while sensibility is introduced as the ability to sense, namely feel or perceive, especially the feeling of the other.


Silent Phrase no.6

Read in sharp pitch, stable pace, and calm breathing.

(On Ecstatic Truth)


If I come back to the suggestion that Truth is an inner dear quality of our constitution, or even of our human existence, then I move on by claiming that Truth lives in crescendo. It builds upon the things we know and keep as valid and invalid, within constant reevaluations. This is not achieved through normative ways of measuring—such as how an accountant keeps track of financial records. Well, we could not possibly trust any regulator of numbers and figures in the delimitation of Truth as we could not possibly desaturate Truth into something extremely factual, materialistic, or realistic. After all, the enormity of our beingvii is far beyond measure. Well, we could count it, but we would lose the prospect of keeping in touch with all the full spectrum of feeling alive. Every time we go above and beyond factual Truth, we open up possibilities within our experience of reality. A reality with a vast multiplicity of small details and happenings, that, if we look closely at the nuances, we deem them facts. We can tread on reality and move further. We might even awake the frozen sea of Kafkaviii, along with all the dormant substances within us. Ecstatic Truth, as Werner Herzogix envisioned it, is the acceptance and the illumination of the deeper strata of Truth. Here is a fine example, as found in one of his fiction films, Lessons of Darkness, which is in fact a documentary disguised as science fiction. “… Then the man, covered in oil and dirt, in exhaustion to put out the fire, smiles at the camera and lights the fire again. It’s about life without fire, it must be unbearable. Reign it again makes people happy. … Though throwing the torch back to the fire was needed, for technical reasons, to prevent lakes full of oil from catching and starting other fires.” This scene was filmed during Kuwaiti oil fires in 1991, which were presented on television with 15’’ clips and informative voice over, “193 fires burned out of control for more than six weeks.”x Werner did not say anything about the event per se. He translated the fact of the fires into the need for fire in our lives. He just presented it to us through his camera and let us attribute symbolism to this footage and allow our feelings towards the uniqueness of the event to elevate and burn inside us. Werner is ultimately convinced that Truth is value and that it is, above all, situated in our inner knowledge. I admit my wistful agreement.


What if I partially know On May 24 of 2020, The New York Times attempted to depict an elusive situation. To measure an “incalculable loss” by dedicating its entire Sunday front page to those who died from COVID-19 in the USA.39

The front page (fig.5) and three inside pages of the newspaper consist of columns with the names of the victims as death notices, accompanied with descriptive phrases that make the story not only about death but also about life. This latter bridges us, the living, to the ones who died. It is an assertive gesture that manages to transform an abstruse and invisible menace into graspable information and, most importantly, to diminish the difference between the “I” and “they”. Being confronted with the names, confronted by both life and death, I am faced with not just the public threat of a pandemic crisis, but also an imminent loss for “me”. It is exactly this confrontation that creates a contact zone among the social bodies and leaves emotional impressions to the “I”. Not just by asking “me” to mourn for the loss of the other, but also by allowing “me” to respond through a changing of proximity, by personalizing it and the effects of a damaging situation that is happening somewhere else, without unsealing the collective dimensions of it. As Sara Ahmed points out, even if the effects are not about the person, they are indeed personal and thus they give signs for something more.40 This, I submit, is a process of extracting the internal world from the social world, and sinking in the interiority of being, with possibilities to go back again to the social world. This is what creates the condition for consideration of what is real and essential, but also for the preservation of the loss. The loss that is embedded in our internal grief, where “… the world has become poor and empty, and in melancholia it is the ego itself.”41 While Freud refers to melancholia as the state of the wider range of struggles carried by the individual over grief, I choose here to abstract it to the unmitigated feelings of fear and sorrow. For I have no other words to describe the human misery than as such. But there is more.


Figure 5 “U.S. Deaths Near 100,000, an Incalculable Loss”, front page, The New York Times, printed newspaper, May 24, 2020.

What I am trying to say is that within these types of confrontations there is an immediate transition that is happening. The New York Times assistant Graphics desk editor behind the publication expressed the will “… to represent the number in a way that conveyed both the vastness and the variety of lives lost.”42 I recognize in this a transitioning, of a motion happening without necessarily moving, that it is not about “moving on” or “moving away”, but being moved and, thus, moving and transmitting the state of being moved. This is, “The transference of pathos from human to human and the acceptance of pathos. Or the repugnance.”43

debt that follows or results from a transaction but, rather, a debt that is the condition of possibility of giving/ receiving.”44

at emp hy

pat sym hy

p at h os

Figure 6 The transference of pathos.

The distance between the social bodies is indeterminate and amorphous; more like a void than a connection. But with this moving, the distance is no longer vacuous. It is filled with substance and thus substantiated by the very thing that loads it; the definite, bodily feelings. This type of movement is usually referred to as impact. I insist on calling it ongoing articulation, or simply moving. The space that the urgency of the journalist created is centered to the event and filled with her or his pathos. This pathos is transmitted to the social bodies, along with the state of being moved, and depending on the position of the social body, the event either gets interiorized in the body (empathy), or the body gets interiorized in the event (sympathy). The two states are converged by pathos—moving. My reading of Karen Barad essay “On Touching” supports this argument, as she writes, “’Individuals’ are infinitely indebted to all others, where indebtedness is about not a

Without further platitudes, here is a clear example of a perpetual moving that was initiated by a published story. A few years ago, Yiannis Behrakis45, the acclaimed photojournalist, was on an Aegean island, covering the refugee crisis. While he was working, he was attacked by a young volunteer coming from North Europe. She accused him of standing still and taking photographs, instead of helping people that had just reached the shore on refugee boats in extreme condition. The following day, the same woman came to him, crying and apologizing for her reaction. As she explained, she got informed of who he was, and she admitted that she arrived on the island only because one of Behrakis’ photos has affected and moved her to action and to join the team of volunteers. Her crying reverifies her moving because she was moved. Behrakis’ words epitomize the essential skeleton of this story being in this text: “My mission is to tell you the story so you can decide what you want to do. My mission is to ensure that no one can say ‘I did not know.’”46 Both Yiannis Behrakis’ and The New York Times’ missions call towards truth, not with a sober detachment from what they experienced, but with the desire to unfold it and discover more about it.47 Their “I” is constituted similarly to our “I” (in the social sense), and thus, their mission is to con sciously enter—I say consciously, as to say an action that entails the acknowledgment of the possibility of resulting in marks on the body—the deep intimate domain of the “I”, and to let the “I” decide if “I” could become connected with the “we”. This, I trust is what Beckett was implying when he asked, “Can one be ephectic48 otherwise than unaware?”49


References/What if I partially know

39 Dan Barry, Larry Buchanan, Clinton Cargill, Annie Daniel, Alain Delaquérière, Lazaro Gamio, Gabriel Gianordoli, Richard Harris, Barbara Harvey, John Haskins, Jon Huang, Simone Landon, Juliette Love, Grace Maalouf, Alex Matthews, Farah Mohamed, “U.S. Deaths Near 100,000, an Incalculable Loss”, The New York Times print newspaper edition, 24 May 2020. Digital Version Available: https://www.nytimes. com/interactive/2020/05/24/us/us-coronavirus-deaths-100000. html?searchResultPosition=1. 40 Slightly paraphrased words of Sara Ahmed in her thesis “The Cultural Politics of Emotion” (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2004), 198. 41 Sigmund Freud, Mourning and Melancholia (London: The Hogarth Press, 1917), 256. 42 Simone Landon, paraphrased by John Grippe, “The Project Behind a Front Page Full of Names”, The New York Times, May 23, 2020 [online] https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/23/reader-center/ coronavirus-new-york-times-front-page.html. 43 Dimitris Dimitriadis, Catalogues 1-4 (Athens: AGRA Publications), 1986, 47. Original text: «Η μεταβίβαση του πάθους από άνθρωπο σε άνθρωπο και η αποδοχή του πάθους. Ή η αποστροφή του.» 44 Karen Barad, “On Touching—The Inhuman That Therefore I Am (v1.1)” (Power of Material / Politics of Materiality, eds. Susanne Witzgall and Kerstin Stakemeier, Berlin: diaphanes, 2014), 7. 45 Yiannis Behrakis was a Greek photojournalist and the chief photographer of Reuters in Greece. He covered war zones around the war, immigration, and refugee crisis. I wrote the story as I remember hearing it by the journalist Prokopis Doukas, who broadcasted it on his radio show, on the Greek public radio channel Kosmos 93.6, in the beginning of March 2019. 46 Excerpt from Behrakis’ speech when he received the Pulitzer prize on behalf of the Reuters team working on the European refugee crisis, as read via areefsyn.gr (blog), in the article “The awardwinning photographer Yannis Behrakis died.”, March 3, 2019. Original text «Η αποστολή μου είναι να σας αφηγηθώ την ιστορία ώστε εσείς να αποφασίσετε τι θέλετε να κάνετε. Η αποστολή μου είναι να εξασφαλίσω ότι κανείς δεν θα μπορεί να πει ‘δεν γνώριζα’.» https://www.efsyn.gr/ellada/koinonia/185711_pethaneo-polybrabeymenos-fotografos-giannis-mpehrakis. 47 This idea owns a tribute to the opinions expressed by Leslie Hill on her reading Marguerite Duras’ writings (Marguerite Duras: Apocalyptic Desires, New York: Routledge, Inc, 1993. 123). 48 Ephectic (Ancient Greek: ἐφεκτικός, ephektikos), describes the practice of skepticism. 49 Samuel Beckett, Three Novels: Molly, Malone Dies, The Unnamable (New York: Grove Press, 1958), 285.


Apologue Even now, as I am writing this text, even I feel the responsibility of conveying what I know, although I realize at the same time that I do not fully understand what it is that I know. A Greek public saying has been haunting me for years and came to this day, faded and distorted, to echo again in my mind, Between the half-truth and the lie, I prefer silence.

I could wait for my understanding to grow in my head, as I allow it to inhabit my thinking; but I dread the idea of having it residing in some other space, an accessible place where someone can meet it. I could wait for someone else, someone more daring than me, to fill the space by sharing her or his knowledge and ideas. But knowing is enough to recognize that there are things that need to be said. Sometimes in fact, it occurs that the moment of knowing calls for an immediate response to the thing known. This seems now a transition, an awakening if you like it, from the introspection on my experiences and feelings to a gesture in the affairs of everyday life. If what I see when looking is human misery, with all the tragedy of the world, then I prefer to perceive the dramas of life as Greek tragedies; which make me think that Reinhardt was right in saying, “…the best theatre is not only performed on stage. Actually, the most important players are sitting in the auditorium… When the one who creates receives at the same time and the receiver becomes the one who creates, that is the moment when the precious and incomparable secret of theatre is born.”50 On June 2, 2020, I woke up from the sleep of just, only to find myself on a very confusing day, The Blackout Tuesday.51 While I was having my morning coffee, I was informed about the ongoing movement on Instagram that started from an international community, as a response to violent acts of racial discrimination that happened a few days earlier in the USA. My immediate reaction was to take part in it, by posting the black square on the Instagram account of the cultural blog I was running. While I was preparing the post, searching and choosing the appropriate tag line and hashtags, I began to be wary of my act. My worries were simple. What will be the position of the blog after posting the image? On what does exactly the blog inform the audience? And what does it ask them to do? Beyond my worries, I was confident that the post should be published immediately before the participation would have gotten even more popular and overloaded with reductive assumptions. For example, the act of publishing later on might have been assumed to be simply a need of following the mainstream rather than a conscious statement. So, I posted the black square.


Yet, the post was partially opposed to the exact given instructions (the image should be solely a black square), and looked like this:

Figure 7 Instagram post published on the beater.gr acount on June 2, 2020.

It took me 24 hours to further understand what “taking part” in this social media movement meant. Naturally, within these hours, the need to resort to the ideas of trusted journalists was particularly excruciating. So, I delved into the relevant published articles that were posted by those I trust. It was not out of remorse for not understanding in advance. It was, rather, out of retrospect and inner speculation. It was “… the better to act when time comes, or for no reason, and you soon find yourself powerless ever to do anything again.”52 It was an escalating new imperative; a need to speak that forced me to continue with a further publication. I chose to submit my perplexity regarding the subject on a text that I published in the same blog, the following day.53 Ironically enough, while I let my sincerity lead my truth in my thoughts, when I articulated them in the article, I was more careful than daring on the things expressed. Ironically enough, the article remained unsigned, and instead of having a name (my name) holding the responsibility for the written thoughts, I let the underlying opinions be sheltered by the protective shield of the blog itself. I avow now that an act of speaking is simply an act of moving ahead. “… as it happens I am speaking, am only

going, in drawing your attention to some points of petite politique and present history, to tell you a story, precisely, and unfold my little narrative … My narrative is not universal history being recounted through my mouth.”54 A proclaimed “I” is not necessarily a claim to authority or expertise. It is simply a gesture of consideration for potentiality. In the next page, the published text follows. When I finished the article, I recognized that I did not provide any insights into what this movement was about nor what it meant to take part in it. Needless to say, I did not position the blog, nor did I respond to the “why” behind the act of publishing in the first place. Rather, I wrote in terms of being conscientious and challenging when one decides to speak. This, under the name of tolerance and intelligibility. I reconfirm now, as it was “… an insistence on self-consciousness that included awareness of the shaping power of publicness, without which the actions … would be meaningless.”58 I made no claims in the published text. I withheld judgement. I reached no resting point. As for gaining a completeness in understanding of what I know for this movement—as I was craving for it before start speaking—I am now aware that I never had it and I will never acquire it, as it is beyond myself and, for that matter, beyond any oneself. As for my responsibility to speak, that previously felt rather a need instead of an obligation, I reappraise and see its value now, not in the correctness of the interpretation, but in calling for questioning. Openly, as if I am participating in a public dialogue. To this, I add Karen Barad’s words, “According to agential realism, ‘responsibility’ is not about right response, but rather a matter of inviting, welcoming, and enabling the response of the Other.”59 As for any argument made and expressed in public, while it might be invalidated sooner or later, I know that it cannot reside in omni-temporality, but it stays in the state of iteratively changing and unfolding, and thus it should not be feared of, but simply well thought, in terms of acknowledging and speculation on the possible future implications. At this point, my tutor comes to my rescue, by indicating that taking part or opening a dialogue in public can indeed break the monolithic hierarchy of the medium, the media, and the receiver. That is, no doubt, a comforting step.


Black Instagram and division by #blackouttuesday 3 June, 2020

Nearly 30 million posts were shared yesterday with #blackoutthuesday on Instagram accounts. The protest of silence and the symbolic movement of abstention from publications caused division in the internet community and we now wonder about the real power and effect of a post. The Blackout Tuesday movement began as a symbol of participation in the fight against police brutality and racial racism. Issues that were sparked by the recent assassination of George Floyd in Minnesota in the United States. This incident is rightfully reminiscent of the assassination of Eric Garner almost 6 years ago and has raised concerns that this is not an isolated collateral loss in coercive policing. On the contrary, it is a violation of human rights and questioning morality in the name of authoritarian supremacy which, unfortunately, is still manifested by police authorities. We hold the “still” part for a bit, and recall Robert F. Kennedy’s speech at the announcement of the death of Martin Luther King—half a century ago—in which he notes, “Let us dedicate ourselves to what the Greeks wrote so many years ago: to tame the savageness of man and make gentle the life of this world.”55 According to the movement’s organizers, yesterday’s Tuesday should have been “ … a day to disconnect from work and reconnect with our community … “, through, “ … an urgent step of action to provoke accountability and change”. Many, of course, have questioned the extent of this change, and we add that the “White Savior” pattern continues to reanimate the privileged members of society with pride, while departing us from the real goal. However, being thousands of miles away from the core of violence, where the scale of the protests is growing and leading to aggressive uprisings, participation—any type of participation—seems to be a relief, albeit admittedly unproductive, and a momentary decongestion of the multifaceted turmoil that 2020 has brought. Questions about the manifestation of moral duty to take a stand in the long-term fight against inequality, racism, and violence remain open. Instead of an epilogue, it is worth making a small note about the second confusion caused by the “Blackout Tuesday”. An already existing movement, the “Black Lives Matter”, which started as a simple hashtag and evolved into a protest movement, has been reporting on anti-racism actions since 2013 through the use of #blacklivesmatters. Many Blackout Tuesday posts made additional use of #blacklivesmatters, degrading the content of the first movement. According to which the mission is “to eradicate white supremacy and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes. By combating and countering acts of violence, creating space for Black imagination and innovation, and centering Black joy, we are winning immediate improvements in our lives.” For closing, we choose the recent tweet of the rapper Awate, “ … we should find a way to unionise and innovate methods of supporting the struggles of our people under attack. Capitalism got us here. Let’s try a collective approach.”56 We let you ponder for a while, with an authentic piece of soul music.57


50 Hugo Fetting, ed., “Max Reinhardt über Schauspielkunst, Material zum Theater”, Material Zum Theater 32, Reihe Schauspiel, issue 11 (Berlin: Verband der Theaterschaffenden der DDR, 1993, 61), as quoted by Erika Fischer-Licht in “The Latent Political: Max Reinhardt’s Mass Spectacles and their Aftermath”, in Aesthetics of Standstill, ed. Reinhold Gorling, Barbara Gronai, and Ludger Schwarte (Berlin: Sternberg Press, 2019), 48. 51 Blackout Tuesday was a collective action to protest racism and police brutality. The action, originally organized within the music industry in response to the killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor, took place on June 2, 2020. 52 Samuel Beckett, Three Novels: Molly, Malone Dies, The Unnamable (New York: Grove Press, 1958), 285. 53 Beater.gr, “Black Instagram and division by #blackouttuesday”, June 3, 2020. (Original title: «Το μαύρο instagram και ο διχασμός του #blackouttuesday»), https://beater.gr/blackout-tuesdayinstagram-movement/. 54 François Lyotard, Instructions Païennes (Paris: Galilée, 1977), 17-18, as quoted by Geoffrey Bennington in Writing the Event (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1988), 111. 55 Excerpt from Robert Kennedy’s improvised speech in Indianapolis, Indiana on April 4, 1968, announcing to the gathered crowd that Martin Luther King had been assassinated. 56 Awate, published post on twitter, June 1, 2020. https:// twitter.com/AWATEMUSIC/status/1267534042330812421. 57 Prequel, “Saints feat. Cazeaux O.S.L.O”, album “Freedom Jazz Dance”, (London: Rhythm Section International, 19 August 2016) https://prequel.bandcamp.com/album/freedom-jazz-dance. 58 Benjamin Aldes Wurgaft, “Thinking in Public: Strauss, Levinas, Arendt”, (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania, 2016), 243. 59 Karen Barad, “Intra-action”, Mousse Magazine issue 34 interviewed by Adam Kleinman, 2012, 79.


Silent Phrase no.7

Read in stable pace and calm breathing.

(Long pause) Exit.



As if you stopped blinking, only to start blinking differently. Like opening a crack or entering a rapture. (II>) Blinking differently is not a call to action, but a call for a thoughtful process of being within. Yo u n e e d t o g i v e u p b i t s o f y o u r s e l f t o r e t a i n y o u r i n t e g r i t y, like sacrificing your Iphigenia to act upon the winds, to create or retrieve nascent possibilities for references to frame and respond to what it all could be. (/II>) — — The poem reads, “… ah, the wind blows not over motionless islands, but over the terror of non-being, the divine wind that does not heal, but indeed makes one sicker and sicker; … and there’s never a day, an hour, a moment when the effort might cease; you grab onto anything you can and it makes one want to kiss you.”xi and I start wavering until I make myself leveled. (>>) Words are the raw material to build the conditions and move from the generalization of the universe to the transcendentalized perception of everyday events. But to go beyond, I need to understand a lot to reach just a bit further. (/>>) Past the dramatization of happenings, to the substance of moments. As I know, since I started noticing, that the everyday contains great drama but also great substance. But I need to understand a lot to reach just a bit further. If not, it is futile.—I need to go on, panting though I may be, I need to say things, so they can be invalidated later on and try again, to keep me speaking.


Warming up, stretching the hands, shaking them through the air, voice is pouring from the mouth, I must hear it, the jaw sinks right in the chest, the gesture is loud, now look at the shadow, next to the feet, clattering to the earth, it is only the end line, holding the body, holding the shadow,

joining other shadows, cast on uneven surfaces, bigger they become, am I scared, now look it is one shadow, is it indeed a shadow, I can’t tell, this thing is leaking, soaking the surface, the surface is soaked, it is soil, it is clear now, it is warm, it is humid, scared I shouldn’t be, it is soft, it is even, and it is only the middle line. The actor is on-stage.


Epilogue “Humanity is never acquired in solitude, and never by giving one’s work to the public. It can be achieved only by one who has thrown his life and his person into the ‘venture into the public realm.’”60

It is about time to dedicate some words to the ethical responsibilities, as I keep drawing circles around them, I say it is now the time to rename them. As I reckon by now that they refer to the softening of human values, followed by possibilities that are enabled by the act of publishing. These possibilities stipulate ways to reconfigure the world, or even better, ways to activate the agency in the “world’s becoming”, to which Barad beautifully adds that “… these changing possibilities entail an ethical obligation … to contest and rework what matters and what is excluded from mattering.”61 Of course, what matters and what is meaning-full lay in the trembling surfaces of their representation, distribution, and reception. The social bodies (mediator and receiver) are potentially at the same time social actors, by a substantial moving. For they are bounded along with acts of agencies to an infinite scrolling. Resonance is in the process of moving; moving on one-way roads. Hereafter, “Everything moves continuously. Immobility does not exist …You are movement and gesture.”62 It is clear by now that the possibilities of moving are propounded by the mediator (journalist) but enabled by the receiver (audience). The act of publishing is primally an act of reflecting on methodologies of understanding. Looking and shifting through information, in hope to see what is behind and what is ahead. The act of publishing here embodies the emergence of the friction between the actors involved. The act of publishing is an act of disseminating, and therefore, it is accountable for its constitutive affective reconfigurations of the world. Since the responsibility is distributed among the social bodies and the social actors, the importance historically and culturally is allocated within this oscillating power relationship. This resonates with Barad’s exquisite division between the term intra-action and interaction; the distinction between acting within the relationship and outside of it and the level of interdependency.63 In a similar vein, emotions (moving) emanate from this power relationship of interdependency. For emotions have no other way to emerge than from inside the relations of interdependency among bodies. In an important sense, sensing and touching are what constitute us, intraindividually and as a whole.64 Through this constitution, we can perceive interiority and exteriority and the lines in between—that is their non-separability. This falls under



the representation of interiority and exteriority, meaning it is dependent from the ways our ourselves towards other selves and our relationships are being defined through representation. These ways of representing others and defining identities are contained in established modes of cultural and artistic production. That are ideologically fragile, and they constantly demand for re-negotiation, to reverify the primordial freedom for all parties in doing, thinking, and feeling. This freedom comes with terms with a set of judgements on claims made through the act of publishing that are addressing emotions, which inevitably arise upon publication. Similar to the cognitive diversity between us and the internal heterogeneity with others, there is no uniformity in the emotions that stem from published words. As it is absurd to conduct or simplify feelings to aim for universality. Which also means that the ethics of having emotions, or more accurately of being moved, lies on the responsibility of representing ourselves towards other selves, while the responsibility of representation relies in the act of moving, being in touch with the other, and when needed, crossing the lines. A deed that redeems our autonomy in agency and confirms the being part of the reconfigurations of the cultures we reside in. All of which starts here and now, in this moment, with this act of publishing.

Afterthoughts There are imperative questions brought up by the above course of thinking and writing that introduce needs for further investigation. What are the long-term implications of the affective facts to the individual? Can they turn from affective into effective? If so, how acts of moving are involved in the felt implications? If there is importance in this latter, then how acts of moving can be situated prolifically between freedom of speech and freedom of silence? How can social media be a fruitful ground for acts of moving? And in an obtuse way, how other forms of publishing can be aligned to the above thinking?


60 Günter Gaus quoting Hanna Arendt on an interview with her (“Zur Person”, Dieser Kanal, 28. October 1964), https://www.youtube. com/watch?v=iZILhvVX_C0&ab_channel=LeonardDietrich. 61 Karen Barad, Meeting the Universe Halfway: Quantum Physics and the Entanglement of Matter and Meaning (Durham & London: Duke University Press, 2007), 178. 62 Barbara Gronau, “Performing Stasis”, in Aesthetics of Standstill, ed. Reinhold Gorling, Barbara Gronai, and Ludger Schwarte (Berlin: Sternberg Press, 2019),13. 63 Karen Barad proposed the term “intra-action” over “interaction”. According to her, interaction responds to a situation when two bodies interact but maintain a level of independence, while intraaction refers to the emerged ability to act from within the relationship. [Meeting the Universe Halfway: Quantum Physics and the Entanglement of Matter and Meaning (Durham & London: Duke University Press, 2007), 128.] 64 Karen Barad, “On Touching—The Inhuman That Therefore I Am (v1.1)” (diaphanes, Power of Material / Politics of Materiality, eds. Susanne Witzgall and Kerstin Stakemeier, 2014). 7.





1 Walden. Jonas Mekas. 1968. 2 The Metamorphosis of Birds. Catarina Vasconcelos. 2020. 3 Killer of Sheep. Charles Burnett. 1978. 4 Césarée. Marguerite Duras. 1979. 5 Lessons of Darkness. Werner Herzog. 1995. 6 The Tango of the Widower and its Distorting Mirror. Valeria Sarmuento, Raúl Ruiz. 2020. 7 Sans Soleil. Chris Marker. 1983.












8 9 10 11 12 13 14

The Conformist. Bernardo Bertolucci. 1970. A Film Like Any Other. Jean-Luc Godard. 1968. Nostalgia. Andrei Tarkovsky. 1983. Statues Also Die. Chris Marker, Alain Resnais, Ghislain Cloquet. 1963. In the White City. Alain Tanner. 1983. Ulysses’ Gaze. Theo Angelopoulos. 1996. Chungking Express. Wong Kar-wai. 1995.







15 The Man Who Sleeps. Bernard Queysanne, Georges Perec. 1974. 16 News from Home. Chantal Akerman. 1977. 17 Campo. Tiago Hespanha. 2019. 18 Minotaur. Zulfikar Filandra. 2020. 19 Wind from the East. Jean-Pierre Gorin, Gérard Martin, Jean-Luc Godard. 1970. 20 Junkopia. Chris Marker. 1981.

Spatial exploration of the emotions while reading a newsletter* *by AthensLive (independent source for stories throughout Greece), March 20, 2021, Eindhoven


10:05 AM

10:05 AM






room, dimmed and empty. The opening across my sight indicates that there are more rooms to follow. I don’t move around. I read, : Is a cover-up underway for the tragic accident that costed a motorbiker’s life? I am walking and I am thinking about the cost of life, the cost of an experienced tragedy, a question that was crushed in my face. I have never ridden a motorcycle. And I don’t hold a mythical name as the morobiker’s one, Jason. The tragic figure of the underlying accident has the same name as the heroic leader of the Argonauts in their quest for the Golden Fleece. The ancient Greek mythical tragedy comes to meet a modern Greek tragedy in the center of Athens. And that’s a tragedy by itself. I am already in the next room. It feels a bit narrow for my moving body; it is empty too. Another question comes running to my eyes, : Does Joseph K. live in today’s Greece? Kafka’s character is once again the protagonist of an allegorical story. This time, this ordinary bank employee who is on trial for unspecified crimes is the metaphorical representative of the Greek citizens who are facing police brutality and unexplained prosecutions. Is it the poetics of this allegory or the witty reflection on violent events that puts a tiny twitch in my lower lip? I wonder as my now vigorous feet keep me scrolling across the space and towards a double opening. I am already crossing it. on



A statement is bouncing of the space I found



: While doctors struggle with limited means to treat patients, the Greek Police announced they received 53 more vehicles, this time of the small truck type. I hear it back and forth, 5 times or ever more, until the

statement is reordered. It starts making sense now. Greek police are fighting doctors for vehicles. Small trucks are treating patients. Greek police are struggling. Doctors received means. Yes, this seems more appropriate for a paradoxical ping-pong challenge. The winner is yet to be announced. The ball is on doctors’ side, as I make my way towards the opening across my sight. I turn sideways to go through the opening—pardon me, it is a slit. I am again inside a room, red-lit and dark. It must be even smaller. A whisper is slapping my face, : Convicted terrorist ends his hunger strike, right cheek, left cheek. I cannot move. Is it the terrorist who is convicted or his hunger strike? Is it his hunger strike the terroristic act or the end of it? I hardly know. I am in terror of the whisper that soon comes to an end, releasing my face from the slapping. I am dazed and confused, but now it is clear that the room has space for just standing. With one clicking step, I am out. Or, I am in. Dusky room, for which I have no perception of the volume. But the words I read consume it all. : A 25-year-old migrant Afghan father, who is

grieving the loss of his only child, has found himself charged with child endangerment for taking his son on the perilous journey from Turkey to the nearby Greek island. I see myself in them, the words, on migration and on grief.

My home country, Greece, is no more an idealistic destination; it is perilous and comes with legal punishment and life risk. A distant question reaches me with an echo, : Does the Greek government signal a hardening of its stance towards migrants? Is it addressing me? Probably not, but it has already put me against the wall. I slide against it, I scroll off the question, and I reach the end of it, with a cold burning knob that leads me out of this space.

My face is still contracting. I must be smelling of My body dissents with my cold feet, and I move for another round. 10:25 AM

10:25 AM

dust on




Books Aristotle. Poetics. Athens: Kaktos Publisher, 1995. Ahmed, Sara. The Cultural Politics of Emotion. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2004. Arendt, Hannah. Between Past and Future: Eight Exercise in Political Thought. Penguin Books, 1977. Arendt, Hannah. Lectures on Kant’s Political Philosophy. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1989. Barad, Karen. Meeting the Universe Halfway: Quantum Physics and the Entanglement of Matter and Meaning. Durham & London: Duke University Press, 2007. Barthes, Roland. trans. Richard Howard. The Rustle of Language. California: University of California Press, 1986. Bataille, Georges. The Unfinished System of Nonknowledge. Minneapolis–London: University of Minnesota Press, 2001. Baudrillard, Jean. The Ecstasy of Communication. South Pasadena: Semiotext(e), 1987. Baudrillard, Jean. Screened Out. New York: Verso, 2000:45-50. Beckett, Samuel. Three Novels: Molly, Malone Dies, The Unnamable. New York: Grove Press, 1958. Bennington, Geoffrey. Writing the Event. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1988. Butler, Judith. Frames of War: When is Life Grievable?. London: Vers, 2009. Cage, John. Notations. New York: Something Else Press, 1969.

Carey, James W. Communications as Culture: Essays on Media and Society. New York/London: Routledge, 1988. Dimitriadis, Dimitris. Catalogues 1-4. Athens: AGRA Publications, 1986. Dimitriadis, Dimitris. Insenso: Opera. Athens: Saikspirikon, 2013. Gilbert, Annette, ed., Publishing as an Artistic Practice. Berlin: Sternberg Press, 2016. Glatzer, Nahum N., ed., Franz Kafka: The Complete Stories. New York: Schocken Books, 1971. Gorling, Reinhold, Barbara Gronai, and Ludger Schwarte, ed., Aesthetics of Standstill. Berlin: Sternberg Press, 2019. Hall, Stuart. Representation: Cultural Representations and Signifying Practices. London: Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage, Open University, 1977. Heidegger, Martin. trans. John Macquarrie and Edward Robinson. Being and Time. Great Britain: Blackwell Publishers Ltd, 1962. Hill, Leslie. Marguerite Duras: Apocalyptic Desires. New York: Routledge, Inc, 1993. Kafka, Franz. The Metamorphosis. Leipzig: Kurt Wolff Verlag, 1915. Keeble, Richard. Ethics for Journalists. USA and Cana da: Routledge, 2009. Lyotard, Jean-François. The Postmodern Condition. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1984. Marmarinos, Michail. National Anthem. Athens: Koan, 2000. Massumi, Brian. The Affect Theory Reader. Durham & London: Duke University Press, 2010. Nelson, Deborah. Tough Enough: Arbus, Arendt, Didi on, McCarthy, Sontag, Weil. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2017. Pasolini, Pier Paolo. trans./ed. Stephen Sartarelli. The Selected Poetry of Pier Paolo Pasolini: A Bilingual Edition. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 2014. Pulitzer, Joseph. The School of Journalism in Columbia University: The Power of Public Opinion. Sagwan Press, 2018. Ranciere, Jacques. The Politics of Aesthetics: The Distribution of the Sensible. London: Bloomsbury Publishing Plc, 2013. Sims, Norman, ed., The Literary Journalists. Ballantine, 1984 Sontag, Susan. Against Interpretation and Other Essays. London: Penguin Classics, 2009. Sontag, Susan. Regarding the Pain of Others. New York: Picador (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux), 2003. Tuchman, Gaye. Making News: A Study in the Construction of Reality. New York: The Free Press, 1978. Wurgaft, Benjamin Aldes. Thinking in Public: Strauss, Levinas, Arendt. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania, 2016. Wynants, Nele, ed., When fact is fiction: Documentary Art in the Post-Truth Era. Amsterdam: Valiz, 2020.



Journals/Essays Barad, Karen. “On Touching—The Inhuman That Therefore I Am (v1.1)”. diaphanes, Power of Material / Politics of Materiality, eds. Susanne Witzgall and Kerstin Stakemeier, 2014. Chambers, Brendan. “Phenomenological Reproduc tion in Thompson and Mailer’s New Journal- ism”. Dianoia: The Undergraduate Philosophy Journal of Boston College, Spring, 2019. Eason, David L., “New Journalism, Metaphor and Cul- ure” [online]. Available at: https://onlinelibrary.wiley. com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.0022-3840.1982.1504_142.x Eason, David L., “Telling stories and making sense”. The Journal of Popular Culture, 1981. [online] Available at: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/ j.0022-3840.1981.1502_125.x. Eason, David L., “The New Journalism and the Im- age-World: Two Modes of Organizing Experience”, In Critical Studies in Mass Communication, 1984. Eng, David L. “The Value of Silence”, The Johns Hop- kins University Press, Theatre Journal Vo. 54, March, 2002, p.85-94. Fiore, Thomas M., “Music and Knowledge in Two Texts by Franz Kafka”, Pennsylvania: University of Pitts- burgh, 1998. Haraway, Donna. “Situated Knowledges: The Science Question in Feminism and the Privilege of Partial”, Feminist Studies, Inc.: Feminist Studies,Vol. 14, No. 3, 1988. Jonsson, Stefan. “Facts of Aesthetics and Fictions of Journalism: The Logic of the Media in the Age of Glo- balization”, Linköping University, REMESO, January, 2008, [online], Available at: https://www.nordicom. gu.se/sites/de fault/files/kapitel-pdf/157_057-068.pdf Keeble, Richard. “Literary Journalism as a Discipline: Tom Wolfe and Beyond”, Brazilian Journalism Re- search, December 2018 14(3):862-881. Lütticken, Sven. “Abstract things”, New Left Review 54, 2008. Steyerl, Hito. “Documentary Uncertainty”, The Long Distance Runner: The Productive Unit Archive, No.72, Copenhgen: KunstFilmBiennale, 2007. Toorn, Jan Van. “A Passion for the Real” [online]. Avail- able at: https://www.mitpressjournals.org/ doi/pdf/10.1162/DESI_a_00043 Yiting Li, Raul. “Affective facts - public manipulation, politics and religion”, essay published on Samizdat Online, March 3, 2016. Warner Herzog, trans. Moira Weigel, “On the Absolute, the Sublime, and Ecstatic Truth”. ARION, 2010. [online] Available at: https://www.bu.edu/arion/on-the-abso lute-the-sublime-and-ecstatic-truth/ Wolfe, Tom. “The Birth of ‘The New Journalism’; Eyewitness Report by Tom Wolfe”, New York Magazine February 14, 1972. [accessed online]. Available at: https://nymag.com/news/media/47353/#print

Featured Films/Essay Films/ Documentaries Aguirre, the Wrath of God. Directed by Werner Herzog. Werner Herzog Filmproduktion, Hessischer Rundfunk (HR), 1972. 1h., 35min. Aurélia Steiner (Melbourne). Directed by Marguerite Duras. Paris Audiovisuel, 1979. 27min. Citizen Kane. Directed by Orson Welles. RKO Radio Pictures, Mercury Productions, 1941. 1h., 59 min. Hannah Arendt. Directed by Margarethe von Trotta. Heimatfilm, Amour Fou Luxembourg, MACT Produc- tions, 2012. 1h., 53 min. Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold. Directed by Griffin Dunne. Netflix, 2017. 1h., 34min. John Berger: The Wonder of Seeing. Directed by Cord elia Dvorak. BBC Films, Ma.Ja.De Filmproduktion, ZDF/Arte, 2016. 54 min. Lessons of Darkness. Directed by Werner Herzog. Canal+, Première, Werner Herzog Filmproduktion, 1992. 54min. Manifesto. Directed by Julian Rosefeldt. Bayerischer Rundfunk (BR), Ruhr Triennale, Schiwago Film, 2015. 1h., 35 min. Network. Directed by Sidney Lumet. Metro-GoldwynMayer (MGM), 1976. 2h., 1 min. The Stuart Hall Project. Directed by John Akomfrah. Lina Gopaul, David Lawson, 2013. 1h., 43 min.


Endnotes i Stasimon (coming from the Greek word στάσιμος, meaning literally being still) was a part of the lyrical section of Greek tragedies. It followed the Episode (that contained the main dialogues of the tragedy) in an alteration for many times. When stasimon was performed, the actors were usually off-stage and the Chorus had central position in the stage, singing, to give details for the story and express opinions and feelings. The Chorus was composed of characters directly involved and affected by the progress of the story, but with no active role inside the story. Although the Chorus was generally expressing broad thoughts and opinions, both towards the main characters of the story and the audience, during stasimon, the Chorus could also offer complementary elements to illuminate the plot. In Greek tragedies, the Chorus was deemed to be the main contributor to the tragedy, along with the actors. ii The term aporia has its roots in the homonym Ancient and Modern Greek word. It is broadly used in philosophy and rhetoric. Aporia is principally found in Greek philosophy, for example in Plato’s early discussions and in Aristotle’s “Metaphysics”, where it was used as a method of inquiry. A similar use is found in post-structuralist philosophy. Jacques Derrida has employed the term to “indicate a point of undecidability, which locates the site at which the text most obviously undermines its own rhetorical structure, dismantles, or deconstructs itself.” (William Harmon, 2009). iii Franz Kafka, “The Silence of the Sirens”, Franz Kafka: The Complete Stories, ed. Nahum N. Glatzer (New York: Schocken Books, 1971), 431. iv Gregor is the main character of Franz Kafka book, The Metamorphosis. (Leipzig: Kurt Wolff Verlag, 1915). v Joseph Pulitzer, The School of Journalism in Columbia University: The Power of Public Opinion (Sagwan Press, 2018), 34. vi Old riff as cited by Susan Sontag (At The Same Time: Essays and Speeches, New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2007. 214). vii Being, here, is a reference to the course of our physical existence, from the point of departure to the point of arrival, borrowing Martin Heidegger’s ideas related to Geworfen, Dasein, and Sinn des Seins, namely being “thrown” into the world, being-there, and having sense of being. (Being and Time, 1927). viii “… A book must be the axe for the frozen sea inside us.”, Franz Kafka, “Letter to Oskar Pollack”, January 27, 1904. Languagehat blog, http://languagehat.com/kafka-on-books/. ix Warner Herzog, “On the Absolute, the Sublime, and Ecstatic Truth”, trans. Moira Weigel, (published at ARION), 2010. Originally delivered by Werner Herzog in his speech in Milano, Italy, following a screening of his film Lessons of Darkness. x Ibid. xi Pier Paolo Pasolini, “Presence” (August 23, 1970, Original Title: La “presenza”), in The Selected Poetry of Pier Paolo Pasolini: A Bilingual Edition (Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 2014), 401.

My sincere gratitude for the research and the execution of this thesis goes to the ones who offered fundamental contribution: Aris Chatzistefanou for his inspiring work and his eagerness and transparency to discuss his journalistic practice, Bianca Schick, Ned Kaar, and Valeria Fabiano for their constant reading and thinking along with me, Konstantinos Alexandrou for his generous comments, my tutors, Patricia Reed and Saskia van Stein, for their insightful observations, and my parents, Anastasia and Christos, for their unconditional support.

I Take It Personally: Deciphering the Ethical Responsibilities in Journalistic Practices by Sofia Topi Master Thesis Tutor: Patricia Reed MA The Critical Inquiry Lab Design Academy Eindhoven April 2021

Turn static files into dynamic content formats.

Create a flipbook
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.