Saturday, 4 May 2013

Mod og mangel



COURAGE AND THE LACK THEREOF

English translation in italics:



Bruce Springsteen, maj 2013. Foto: Niels Larsen.

Min Farfar var egentlig for gammel til at være modstandsmand i traditionel forstand under besættelsen. Han var fysisk topform hele livet og var i en militærgruppe. Men han var netop fyldt 30, var blevet far for første gang, og har kun vidst alt for godt, at han kunne dø. Bagefter talte han stort set ikke om det. Der havde været brug for ham, han havde gjort sin moralske pligt. Kun, når vi alle var samlet, måtte han på et tidspunkt fortrække til et mørke, hvorfra han betragtede os. Hans angst for at miste os, kan jeg stadig mærke i kroppen. 

Som småbitte børnebørn satte vi os ind sammen med ham, og jeg ville ønske, at jeg kunne fortælle ham i dag, at jeg stadig husker og forstår.

Tilfældet vil, at netop den 4. maj, frihedsdagen, ligger to identiske kompositioner i indbakken. Begge handler om frihed, omend fra modsat fortegn. Der er superstjernen, den politisk engagerede, gennemblødt efter at have givet sit publikum sit alt. I sin kerne er det billede på kunstens møde med sin beskuer, hvad der skabes og især skabes i gensidighed. Hans udstrakte arme er frihedens gestus. Han kender sine kræfter og ved præcis, hvad han vil med sin kunst, men han kunne stadig ikke være mere fuldt og helt til stede. 

Og så er der ham uden mod, som ikke tør stå frem og tror ikke at blive genkendt. Men hele scenen er hans skaberværk. Vi kender Assad på hans maske. Og hvad mere er, han har kørt det spil så længe, at Michel Kichka nu i over et år har sukket: Hvad skal vi arme bladtegnere gøre? Skal vi gentage gamle tegninger? Hvor længe skal dette stå på? 


My paternal grandfather was rather too old to be a typical member of the Resistance during the Occupation. Physically he was utterly fit throughout his life and he joined a military group. But he had just turned 30, he had become a father for the first time and knew only too well that he was mortal. Afterwards, he hardly said a word about it. His actions had been needed and he had done his moral duty. Only when we were all gathered, he would at some point have to withdraw to a dark corner from which he could see us all. His fear of losing us is something I can still feel in my own body.

As tiny grandchildren we sat in with him, and I wish I could tell him today that I still remember and understand.

Chance has it that on this very day, our Day of Freedom on May 4, two identical compositions were waiting for me in the inbox. Both are about freedom, albeit from opposite ends of the notion. One is a superstar, politically engaged and soaked through after giving his audience his all. At its core this is the image of art's encounter with its viewer and that special something which is fostered in their reciprocity. His outstretched arms are the gesture of freedom. He knows his strength and he knows exactly where he wants to take his art, and yet he could not be more fully present in the here and now.

And then there's the one without courage, the one who dare not stand up and believes he shall not even be recognized. But the whole scene is his creation. All we know of Assad is his mask, but this is on the other hand how we have come to recognize him. And what is more, he has been running this game for so long that Michel Kichka for now over a year have been crying out: What shall we poor cartoonists do? Shall we repeat our old drawings? How long shall this go on?



Michel Kichka: Syria, maj 2013.
- Jeg er her inkognito! - I'm here incognito!

Det er i sig selv en politisk udmelding. Hvert suk har Kichka derfor modsvaret ved at gøre Assad personligt ansvarlig som tegnet centrum. Sidste år som menneskeslagter med den store sav, mens hans arme nu er udstrakte i forsøget på at kaste ansvaret af sig. Hvor længe skal det endnu stå på?


The outcry is in itself a political statement and Kichka gives us the answer by making Assad personally responsible as the person at the very center of the drawing. Last year he was drawn as a butcher of human flesh, whereas now his arms are outstretched in an attempt to throw off any responsibility. How long shall this go on?


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