Living and writing about liminality

I confess sincerely that though I set little store by my other books,

my Rites de Passage is like a part of my flesh, and was the result of a kind of inner illumination that suddenly dispelled a sort of darkness in which I had been floundering for almost ten years’ (Gennep, 1960)

I am currently writing my Unruly class term paper about liminality while using Tahrir square 25th revolution as my case study. Surfing the internet watching again these photos, videos and articles about the revolution or the liminality experience that I lived and still living in is pumping all kind of emotions inside me.

Watch these if you want to continue reading: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J_lR3XJ1zTw

The Prayer of Fear: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vIXAFkXHHRs&feature=youtu.be

It is hard to explain the mixture of sadness, anger, fear, agency, nostalgic and definitely uncertainty that is happening inside me now by reliving the 25th memory while writing. The academic literature is suggesting that liminality is temporary and the establishment of the new order is a must. However, they don’t say how long it lasts, it is experiential, no one really knows, people who are living it decide it themselves. Am I a trickster? Do I want to live a permanent superficial liminality? Szakolczai suggests that tricksters are those who didn’t fit and weren’t accepted under the previous system,yet they are charismatic and people mistakenly think of them as leaders to imitate during the ritual ceremony. These tricksters seek permanent liminality to keep their power and they can literally steal the show.

Nope, I am not a trickster, I am claiming no leadership. None of us in the square dared to say I am the leader of this revolution, yet we were definitely looking for one later. Weber ignored this imitative part and he argued that individuals are forced by the transformative event to look inside themselves, reflect on their experience, find their agency and from this point establish themselves as leaders and collect followers. Looking at myself, my friends, people I know from this event, I agree with Weber on the first part about reflection and experience. Yet, all of these people are busy trying to be the leaders of our own life not collecting followers. May be because we still performing under the same old structure because we only managed to weaken it not abolish it. This means that the first stage of pre-liminality that requires separation from the old structure didn’t really happen. Therefore, our liminality is still limited and we still pushing the limits this can be one suggestion. Another suggestion can be that we are just political subjects who lost faith in all universal systems and still counting the many alternatives inside the in-between space to find the one. But should it be only one? How come one structure can be flexible enough to accommodate us the very diverse political subjects underneath it? Between chaos and one order, between black and white and beyond this duality there is freedom that liminality offering us only if we are brave enough to completely separate and hub on the liminal wave.

In the society liminality, you will not be alone..

liminality 2nd photo

The bloody Palm

‘I do not consider myself the president’ Said Abdel Fatah EL-sisi

 

This was part of the Egyptian president speech after the terrorist attack on two churches in Egypt yesterday 9th of April. While Christians were celebrating palm Sunday.

How I heard it is:  ‘ I’ the sovereign, who am outside the law, declare that there is nothing outside the law’ (Agamben,1995,p. 15)

Palm Sunday is the final Sunday of Lent, it is one of the holiest days in the Coptic church and one of the few occasions in Egypt where Copts can easily be spotted on the streets with their woven palms and wheat sheaves commemorating the triumphant arrival of Jesus in Jerusalem.

At the end of the Palm Sunday mass, the celebration shifts to sad hymns, solemn readings, and black curtains marking the beginning of the Holy week (passion week in Arabic) leading up to Easter. But today’s celebrations ended too early..’

This was part of my friend status on Facebook, I can not even imagine how she feels. 44 people were killed and over 100 were injured. This violence and discrimination against the Christians minority in Egypt has been going on for too long now. I remember every holy discussion with my friends when they only wish it would pass peacefully, no big celebration plans involved.

‘I am not going to say that who died are Christians or Muslims, I will say the people who died today are Egyptians’ Said Sisi.

No! this nationalist speech is not passing this time. When there is a clear discrimination and terrorism against certain religious identity, you can not just say Egyptians. Any attempt to equalize the violence and disregard the discrimination is not acceptable. The attacks on Churches in holy times have been happening regularly and no one has been condemned.

This is why a comparison with the homo sacer is valid in this situation because the terrorists responsible for killing those innocent people were never condemned to homicide. In this case, the president saying I don’t consider myself the president in his speech is not a humble thing to say. It is a sovereignty status he is giving to himself. As the president and according to the law that you should abide by, you are responsible for what is happening in the country. Us the people of Egypt, being political subjects under the law makes you responsible as ‘The president’ to provide security that you are driving your current legitimacy from. In last July, he asked for ‘Delegation’ from the people to fight terrorism. Under this delegation the space for protesting and opposition in public spaces disappeared and everyone can be a terrorist whenever they oppose the powerful.  Yet, the homo sacer can die.  

Rituals Under the Sun

Did you think of religion when you saw the word rituals?

Everyday life events, practices and thoughts can be a ritual.

We came to life unaware of any of those rituals they are practicing in their life that suddenly became ours.

We did know something before in the pre-life stage, but we lost it in the way here.

May be it is stuck on our mother’s’ warm and safe vaginas

We opened our eyes. We saw the light; the electric light of the surgery room.

But, they promised us the sun?!

In our way to the sun, we observe, imitate, we follow their public transcript and we became the part.

However, I constructed a hidden transcript, buried it deep inside. No one should see it, not now.

We kept marching towards the sun, but it is not here.

Where is the bloody sun, I whispered.

Oh shit, someone heard me.

A: Hi, don’t tell anyone

B: Darlin, I have had the same fucking question all way long  

A: Get closer, no one should know that we are questioning the ritual.

 

We walked together through ambiguity and distortion.

We felt the madness, we shouted, we screamed. We disturbed the quietness of the rituals and we become the non-part.

A: Hi, but why do we need the sun?

B: They promised us the sun

A: But our mother’s warm and safe vaginas were dark, didn’t you like it there?

B: Yeah, maybe..Why do we need the sun?!

We drifted away from the others into a dark tunnel.

We painted it red, and it was warm.

 

This was a story of the non-part.

This is how I think people become to be the non-part. Because of this forced or adapted public transcript, others build their hidden one. They keep participating in the ritual carrying their hidden transcript that at some point surface in the stage of liminality. Liminality is the ambiguity or disorientation that participants feel when they no longer hold their pre-ritual status as subjects to this public transcript. However, they are not yet transformed to the non-part that marks the end or the completion of old ritual towards the start of a new one. Through reflection, agency and then solidarity the transformation happens at some point between finding one’s agency and solidarity in the power with others. Finally, may be desired change happens.

Remember change lies in the daily life emergent change process.

 

Why Unruly?!

 

I think I will start from here, an assessed assignment of being unruly

Let me just tell you a short story first about myself. A 25 years old woman, can’t really say woman but better to say girl to be culturally appropriate, who came to the UK for a year to take a breathing break of being unruly, however ended up taking unruly class.

 

Why I ended up to the same thing I am running from, but am I really running from the unruliness?

Actually, no I am not. Being unruly is the declaration that saved me over those years. I just needed a break from the complicated, violent and sometimes ugly context. Now, it is the good chance of reflection on the beautiful unruliness journey.

 

Funny thing is while I am writing this, FB reminded me of a post I made in 2014 at the end of a tough battle with major depression:

 

“You know whats fucking scary? The fact that I could literally change my life at any moment. I could stop talking to everyone that makes me unhappy. I could kiss whoever i want. I could shave my head or get on a plane or take my own life. Nothing is stopping me. The entire world is in my hands, and I have no idea what to do with it.” Jhonna

 

Looking at this now after studying different faces, forms and places of power, unruliness, agency and months of reflecting; made me realize what a naive and dark statement this was.

 

My life under all of these rules, structures, systems and as a subject following certain social order is not my own. Getting on a plane is not that easy in a world with visas, rigid lines and walls. The world will never be in anyone’s or any individual’s hand because this is very defeating and undermining to others agencies and the structural power over us the subjects.

The analysis of the statement I am making now is not dark at all, It actually makes me feel better in an ironic way.

From unruliness lens this analysis offers an open door of alternatives, resistance and opportunities. It is not the matter of having the world in my hands, it is being free to fly beyond those world visible and invisible lines. Breaking the rules, resisting, form consensus with the similar non parts of the system, not being the subjects and being unruly is mainly why I am studying unruly and what my blog theme is about.