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Weiter Schreiben Mondial - Briefe > Aristide Tarnagda & Rabab Haidar > Über Massaker gibt es nichts Intelligentes zu sagen – Brief 3

Nothing intelligent can be said about massacres. - Brief 3

Übersetzung: Anne Emmert aus dem Englischen

Schattenbild und Blätter in einer Pfütze © Rabab Haidar
© Rabab Haidar

Dear Aristide,
I hope this letter finds you well!

Nothing proper can be said when addressing those who suffered catastrophic losses.

I remember!

As my fingers fell inadvertently, startled by a scream, the small world which I was holding fell to shatter into hundreds of spheres scattered on the surface of our earth. My worlds have never been complete or coherent since then.

My heart- taken off-guard- was ripped from its place as I stumbled upon a morning where a mass grave was dug, filled, and covered in a couple of days! people I know killed by people I suppose to know. in a neighborhood that was- a short while ago- cheerfully colorful and loud.

My heart never came back right.

How long is a short time ago?

The time of catastrophes is different; it does not go linearly or spiral in a golden ratio, but it folds on itself to form a curved pocket: two million refugees long, one million dead and missing wide, and millions of grieving hearts high.

We lost our knees watching the weakness or betrayal of men and women we once respected and looked up to. We saw they stood helpless, or shamelessly exploited, accepting the „proper“ instead of fighting for „the right,“ betraying themselves and us, the living, as the dead are in a better place now.

Betrayal transforms the soul inside, and changes the features outside. Look at the pictures accompanying articles reporting wars. Observe the faces, look at the lips, look at the necks holding spinning heads!

Although sometimes one tries to squeeze one’s eyes shut. The blood has a smell, the lost and the missing have voices, the dead are rested, and the alive are not.

On beauty:

Dear Aristide, there is a beautiful tale in mythology that says God has created angels so beautifully, from his light and glory. One of those angels is Gabriel, beautiful, stunning with six hundred wings, magnificent as he is seven years tall, and his presence is harrowing and dreadful to the human eye.

When we speak of “beauty” in theater or life, it is more like the beauty of angels as described in mythologies.… I wish mythologies were true, as they are very comforting with all the answers and certainties. but I wish more that humans could do the beautiful in those mythologies, the dreadful truth, and the right: embracing our inner beautiful harrowing angels.

From my old notebook: In secret rooms we sometimes admitted in very low voices that sometimes we dare to doubt, we sometimes feel that we are but ‚extras‘ in a war that we didn’t know about in advance, so we could smash it, and have no tail to catch.

Extras – our names are not in the movie sequences. No one cares if our characters die!

In a chapter titled “moments to hide”

In the past, I wished to book a ticket on a hijacked plane, which international security will have to blow up in order to keep it from carrying out a terrorist operation that affects the economy.

In the future, a photograph will appear on page five in a newspaper: The last picture of a hijacked plane that blew up in the sky, the travelers, surrounding the hijacker_all smiling wide for the last time!

Because we know who is killing us now, and how, and why!

Why? I wish it was one arrow pointing from point A directed to point B. but some facts indicate that the sustainability of war is more profitable than the sustainability of global resources.

Dear Aristide, the reports said in the 1990s Burkina Faso gradually embraced democracy. in the 27 years of Blaise Compaore’s presidency, he argued he was building up the stability of the land.

Yet he argued that if he left the country would collapse.

What did he do to the institutions he supposed to strengthen? And what did he do to democracy so that if he goes the country would collapse?

I would like our dictators to answer that in courtrooms, exposed in detailed long satisfying trials.

And one more sweet follow-up trial for those men and women who allowed themselves to be conditioned and exploited, to be smart and pragmatic.

No sir, no nation can be without the judiciary. A nation with a judiciary can heal and survive.

But the judiciary of small men and women who “allow themselves to be exploited,” who follow “the proper” not “the right” only produces charades.

Looking at the sad actors who we once respected and believed, jumping ropes while smiling like in a circus here in white Europe, taking selfies in VIP conferences to prove their presence!

Begging for funding from shady connections, promising more news on human rights, and very busy solving the problems facing feminism as depicted by white feminism and right-wing Islam.

Perfect clowns, one has to admit, sustained and well-maintained, by the understanding and heartful colonial sponsor.

While some were diseased by the disappointment from the comrades, you can hear their silence, you can hear their back cracks.



Dear Aristide,

I wish I could say something comforting, connecting, and valuable:

Nothing smart can be said about massacres.

Blessed might be the dead, may they be in a better place now. and mercy might be upon the living.



I hope to meet you soon dear Aristide.

I wish you beauty.








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