Tired of tragedy?
Is it possible to get tired of tragedy? Or do emotions and wilful action overflow us every time we hear new updates on the matters such as migrant crisis? The idea of tragedy becoming boring is something that kept buzzing in my head, so let’s ponder a bit more.
She sits at the desk, be it in her house, the library or classroom. The pace at which the school weeks go by is often faster than the conscious thought of making sense of one’s days besides “moving forward” to another end of a term, year, degree or scholarship. Let this be called the Campus Time. In Campus Time, the orientation signs are essay deadlines, book loans, group assignments, consultations, avoiding classmates, Student Desk, finding the best way to avoid all sorts of promoters in front of the library, remembering library opening hours and trying to sneak in those sweet offices on 2nd floor et cetera.
Next to that, our heroine has Her Time. Here, she tries to do her eyebrows while listening to audio books she still doesn’t have time to sit down and read, eats more nutritious food trying not to fall into the state where eating starts to feel more like being force-fed by oneself with promises of heaven if yet another broccoli smoothie goes down the throat. She is also struggling with roommates that don’t do their part in cleaning and then tries to be pedagogical with making even more mess. When she is alone, she has time to think about what she wants, but not relaxing or parties as that’s either too hard or would lead to a two-day hangover.
Now, next to the Campus Time and Her Time, there is other peoples’ time, or, better put, the Rest of the World Time. In this time, some interesting things are happening. More than ten thousand migrants are being accumulated at the northern Greek-Macedonian border, stranded by their ideas of better life and shamefully failing international policy making. This, a steady flow of bitter events, always with the same foretoken of pain, bias, struggle and death, doesn’t fit well with the Campus Time or Her Time.
In the ‘Rest of the World Time’ some interesting things are happening
This discrepancy in tempo and content results in her loosing track or active compassion with the people affected by the crisis. This discrepancy in tempo and content can be portrayed with the image of a woman working on her broken bike tire while listening to the radio, in a huge and messy workshop. She needs to find tools, patches and some oil as the screws got rusty. She is walking, kneeling, pushing and pulling all while in the background, a tragedy keeps unrolling, slowly but without a single break or major shift that would cause her to stop and lift her already troubled head and pay attention. She can recall this tragedy being a hit last year and somewhat around the New Year’s Eve in Germany, but now, it’s not bringing any new elements besides recombination of location, cold, deaths and politics.
What this image is supposed to suggest is that, while being immersed in her projects, our heroine grows less and less sensitive to tragedy of others. In the fast paced days, where she often cannot recall what the Tuesday’s skies looked like, there is even less space made free for the issues that need structural and steady attention to be relieved. The different notions of time are possible, and our engagement with projects of different lengths and tempos are a nice illustration of such idea. On the other hand, events such as the migrant crisis seem to poorly accompany her day-to-day struggle she already has. Is there a way to meet those two notions of time? I will write about it more and would appreciate your comments or prank calls*.
*In the case of prank calls, you can reach me on (020) 6301111