Posts Tagged ‘russia’

STRONGMAN

十一月 10, 2016

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STRONGMAN

strongman, he is not a bird
strongman, he is not a plane
what is strongman all about?
strongman makes it strong for you
strongman, he makes all the shots
strongman, he makes all the drinks
strongman, he makes every sauce

strongman, chairman get along

strongman makes you extra strong
makes you swallow his strongsong
don’t tell me you didn’t know

MW November 2016

FLAGGE ZEIGEN – SHOW YOUR TRUE COLOURS!

九月 23, 2016
photo by David Howard

photo by David Howard

 

SHOW YOUR COLOURS

I see your true colours
shining through.
I see your true colours
and that’s why I hate you!
So do be afraid…
Show your colours
says the candidate
the right-wing candidate.
Is it Trump?
Is it Le Pen?
Is it Erdogan?
Putin?
Orban?
Maybe someone in Britain?
Show your true colours!
If this person wins
Austria is the ugliest place
in the Murky Way.

MW September 2016

 

 

FLAGGE ZEIGEN

flagge zeigen
steht auf dem plakat
des deutschnationalen
für die 3. wahl
für den zweiten termin
der 3. wahl
seit april
zum präsidenten von österreich
flagge zeigen
sagt der deutschnationale
der mit den nazis in der partei
welche flagge
will er denn zeigen
die der republik österreich?
im ernst, welche flagge?

MW September 2016

五月新聞、奥地利国歌 hymne + nachricht (verfahren, techniken)

五月 8, 2015

HYMNE

heimat bist du großer kinder
volk begnadet an den rändern
vielgeliebtes österreich
vielgeliebtes österreich

mw 6. Mai 2015

五月新闻

母亲节
我们要
七十年前
失控
最近
集中营
纪念
俄国
奥地利
太空船
毛特豪森
进入大气
被解放
烧光了

2015.5.8

NACHRICHT

am muttertag
wird
beim eintritt
in die
russische raumfähre
der befreiung
die außer
vor 70 jahren
kontrolle
atmosphäre
von mauthausen
gedacht
geratene
ist verglüht

mw 8. Mai 2015

YI SHA IN AMERICA 伊沙 《美国行》

四月 24, 2015

Yi Sha in Amerika

Yi Sha 《与布靠斯基同行》
ON THE ROAD WITH BUKOWSKI

at vermont studio center
drugs are taboo
no smoking inside
in case of sexual harassment
please dial this number
with a sigh I said to martin:
“even charles bukowski
such a great writer
had to go out himself to buy alcohol
this would never happen
in china …”

later we found
johnson town supermarket
stacked all kinds of booze
we breathed a sigh of relief
for old bukowski
one day later
we found the shop at the gas station
closer from the studios
another sigh of relief
for old bukowski
even later than that
we found a place
looked like a liquor store
complete selection
of local specialties
at cheaper prices
now
we could be rather sure
bukowski’s days at vsc
were happy days
drinking
and writing to his heart’s content

bukowski was happy
we were happy too

Oct. 2014
Tr. MW, 2015

Yi Sha 《与布靠斯基同行》
MIT BUKOWSKI UNTERWEGS

im künstlerzentrum
sind drogen verboten
besonders das rauchen
bei sexueller belästigung
gibt es einen notruf
ich sage seufzend zu martin:
“sogar charles bukowski
der große dichter
musste hier selbst nach alkohol suchen
das wäre in china
undenkbar ….”

nachher fanden wir
im großen supermarkt mitten im ort
die regale voller alkohol
wir atmeten auf
in gedanken an bukowski
später fanden wir
bei der tankstelle auch einen supermarkt
noch näher am künstlerzentrum
wir atmeten noch einmal auf
für den alten bukowski
noch später
entdeckten wir ein spezialgeschäft
lauter alkohol in allen sorten
außerdem billiger
jetzt war es entschieden
wir konnten sicher sein
im vermont studio center
war bukowski glücklich
trank in frieden
schrieb in frieden

bukowski war glücklich
wir waren es auch

Oktober 2014
Übers. v. MW, 2014-2015

Yi Sha still in Vermont

Yi Sha 《飞越太平洋》
FLUG ÜBER DEN PAZIFIK

von china nach amerika
von peking nach detroit
ich hatte geglaubt
wir würden den weiten pazifischen ozean
überqueren
doch unser flugzeug
war praktisch die ganze zeit
über festem boden
von peking nach nordosten
über harbin hinweg
ich sah die lichter
dann ging es nach russland
über das äußere hinggan-gebirge
über die halbinsel kamtschatka
über die beringsee
(der einzige schmale streifen meer
den wir überflogen)
dann kam alaska
(also war ich schon in amerika)
wir überquerten die kordilleren
flogen durch kanadas öde weiten
und dann nach südosten
bald darauf die landung
im üppigen grün
der häuser und villen rund um detroit
nach meinen informationen
gelangten die eskimos
aus der mongolischen hochebene
über genau diese route
auf den amerikanischen kontinent

Ende Sept. 2014
Übers. v. MW, 2015

Yi Sha 《窗外》
DRAUSSEN VORM FENSTER

jede nacht
fährt ein auto
auf der pearl street an meinem fenster vorbei
schnell wie der wind
ein mobiles
heavy metal konzert
lang nachdem der wagen verschwindet
hallt die musik in meinem herzen
das ist amerika
jedenfalls hab ich in china
oder in anderen ländern
so etwas nicht erlebt

Okt. 2014
Übers. v. MW, 2014-2015

Yi Sha 《异国小镇》
KLEINE ORTE IM AUSLAND

“solche kleinen orte
da krieg ich gleich
ein unheimliches gefühl
wahrscheinlich hab ich
zu viele amerikanische filme gesehen”
sag ich zu martin

martin antwortet:
“das geht mir auch so”
(hätt ich nicht erwartet)

“gibt es in österreich
auch solche orte?”

“natürlich, sehr viele”

“wenn du solche orte siehst
hast du dort auch
ein unheimliches gefühl?”

“ja”

“warum? dort ist deine heimat
dort muss dir alles vertraut sein …”

“in solchen orten
gibt es auch neonazis”

Okt. 2014
Übers. v. MW 2014-2015

Yi Sha 《在天涯》
AN DEN RÄNDERN DES HIMMELS

drückt mich lässt mich nicht los
heimatland
im computer

Okt. 2014
Übers. v. MW, 2014-2015

Punks, empathy and torture: Pussy Riot in China and Vienna

八月 17, 2012

Image

Aug. 25

Daniele Kowalsky showed me a very interesting interview with Jonathan Campbell in the L.A. Review of Books. Jonathan Campbell talks with Jeffrey Wasserstrom about 盤古 Pangu,崔健 Cui Jian,無聊軍隊 Wuliao Jundui and other details of rock music and punk in China.

Unfortunately, I can’t agree with Jonathan that yaogun 摇滚 (Chinese rock music) could galvanize China like Pussy Riot seems to have galvanized opposition in Russia. Cui Jian 崔建 did have some very memorable moments, and people in China do remember them, and they will tell you readily about the parts before 1989, mostly. But those moments in 1989 were so painful in the end that no one knows if there will ever be a similar broad-based protest movement again. 1989 brought hope in Europe. Risk, very risky change, and some very ugly violence in Romania. But overall there was hope, and whatever came out of it, 1989 is generally remembered as a year of wonder. In China it’s a trauma. A wound that is usually covered up, but even China is very much connected to the world nowadays, and the world knows. And there are much deeper and older traumata, which can be accessed and shared via 1989. So in that way, there is hope. Connected to underground music. Like the kind that Liao Yiwu’s 廖亦武 music comes from.

There are parallels, certainly. Parallels between Pussy Riot and Ai Weiwei 艾未未, in the pornography. Parallels in the way of some Ai Weiwei news or other embarrassing news everyone gets to know about, and the dark stuff below. The disappearances, the longer ones, see Gao Zhisheng 高智晟. And the corpses. I learned about the late attorney Sergei Magnitsky via Pussy Riot. He died in jail in 2009, and among people concerned with Russia he is as famous as Gao is in and outside China, which means not so many people want to talk about him or even admit they’ve heard of cases like that. Of course, there are corpses under the carpets in every country. Only China is the oldest 5000 year old one, of course.

Aug. 22

2 years for singing in church. Perfectly absurd. Punk music, controversial art. Public space and religion. Russia, Africa, China. What is art? Depends where you are, what you are, who you are, who is with you. What you believe.

One week ago I read two books. A few months before I got to know a poet. Still haven’t seen her. A Jewish poet in Germany, soon to be teaching in Vienna. Esther Dischereit.

Last month I finally got around to pick up a book that contains many poems I translated. Freedom of writing. Writers in prison. A beautiful anthology, edited by Helmuth Niederle, currently head of Austrian PEN.

Connections. Connected to China. Punk music isn’t all that subversive, not in a big way, usually. What if musicians insult the government on stage. Well, I’ve been to about 300 concerts in China, said Yan Jun. Sometimes someone was screaming something in that direction. But they aren’t big stars. They can be ignored.

Christa Wolf. Stadt der Engel. The Overcoat of Dr. Freud. Long and convoluted. Gems in there. How she was loyal to the Party in 1953. And insisted on protest against Party policy. How and what they hoped in 1989. How and what Germany was and is.

Aug. 21

2 years for singing in church. And many more arrested. It does sound more like China than Russia, doesn’t it? The case of Li Wangyang 李旺陽李汪洋) comes to mind. Li Wangyang died around June 4th 2012 in police care after being released from over 20 years of jail. He was a labor activist in the 1989 protests that ended with the massacre on June 4th in Beijing. Li Wangyang supposedly killed himself, but the police report was disputed in China and in Hong Kong, where tens of thousands of people protested. Li’s relatives and friends are still being persecuted. One has been formally arrested and accused of revealing state secrets, because he photographed Li’s body.

Parallels between Russia and China were drawn in media comments after the verdict in Moscow. One comment wondered whether Russia is trying to emulate China, where the word civil society is banned on the Internet. China has had economic success for decades. People put up with authoritarian one-party rule there, the comment said. But it won’t work in Russia, because the economy depends on natural resources, not on industry. The comment contained the old misunderstanding that in China, government policy and enforced stability have caused economic success. Beijing wants the world to think that, of course. However, the prominent law and economy professors Qin Hui 秦暉 and He Weifang 賀衛方 have been saying for years that the economic miracle of the 1980s depended on a consensus to move away from the Cultural Revolution, as well as on investment from Taiwan, Hong Kong and overseas. After 1989, there has been no comparable social consensus. After 1989, the social drawbacks and the gap between rich and poor may have grown faster than the economy. But the middle class has also grown. Regional protests are frequent but limited. Or the other way ’round. The Internet remains vibrant. With Weibo microblogs inside the Great Firewall, and very much Chinese going on outside. Not because the government initiates it. They let it happen. The economy, the art, the internet. Even protests, when they are against Japan, and/or not too big. And they profit. The oligarchy is the Party.

Religion and more or less independent art have been growing in China, about as much as the social conflicts. Art brings huge profits, so they let it happen. In Russia, Pussy Riot have succeeded in connecting independent art, oppositional politics and religion in a highly visible way. Art, political activism and religion are voluble factors, so much that societies where everyday news has been fixated on finance for at least four years now could almost grow jealous.

Pussy Riot were not mentioned in our church on Sunday, as far as I could tell. I had to look after the children. But the preacher drew on her experiences from jail work. She championed the rights of refugees and was a prominent anti-governmental figure in Austria in the 1990s. Direct relevance for religion in Austrian politics is rare. We had Catholic Austro-Fascism in the 1930s, paving the way for Hitler. Some Protestant Nazis as well. After the Holocaust, religion in Austria has a somewhat undead quality. A bit like traditional opera in China, which is rallying, hopefully.

For international discussion about the relevance of underground art, music and religion, China has Liao Yiwu 廖亦武. And Russia has Pussy Riot.

Photo by Vincent Yu/AP

Aug. 17

Worldwide empathy for Pussy Riot is great. The trial in Moscow ends today, so I don’t know yet if three women have to remain in jail for years after singing in a church. There was a lot of worldwide attention last year as Ai Weiwei 艾未未 was abducted and detained by Chinese state security. He was released and voted most influential artist worldwide. I have seen graffiti in support of Pussy Riot here in Vienna in the last few days. One at newly renovated Geology Institute. Not very nice. And there was some kind of happening at the Vienna Russian Orthodox church, I heard. Church authorities not amused. Well, hopefully worldwide support can help enough this time. Quite recently, many political prisoners in China have been sentenced to more than 10 years. There was a lot of attention abroad in one case. And a Nobel.

Austria is a nice place, generally. Sometimes it’s uglier than Germany. Generally uglier, in terms of police abusing, even killing people, always getting away with it. Have been reading Vienna Review and Poetry Salzburg Review in the last few days. News and poetry. Many of our friends here in Vienna are not from Austria. Coming from abroad often provides a clearer perspective.

Image   Image

Aug. 14

Read two good books. Not in Chinese. Ok, in Chinese I’m reading poetry. And other books, not enough. Anyway. Cornelia Travnicek and Manfred Nowak. Both in German. Non-Fiction and Fiction. No connection. Like Liao Yiwu 廖亦武, Bei Ling 貝嶺 and that Berlin novel, what was it called? Plan D. Ok, there was a connection. Taipei Bookfair 台北國際書展. Ok or not, no connection. A novel. Punks in Austria. Young and female. Male protagonists dead or dying. Ok, not all of them. Anyway, good novel. Vienna, occupied, death, youth, love, society, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s. 2012 exhibition at Wien Museum. Empathy. And the other book? Torture. Human Rights, UN, Austria, torture in Austria (see this newspaper report, also in German), Moldavia, Equatorial-Guinea or how do you call that country, Uruguay and so on. Neglect. Conditions of/for empathy. Ok, so both books are about empathy. Good. And in German. Oh well, maybe some people who read this read German. Or they’ll get translated. The books, not you. Manfred Nowak’s books and other written sources are available in several other languages than German. You can get some very useful stuff in English for free here.


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