Communication Front 2000 Book, "Crossing Points East-West"

On the Indifference

[inhabiting "inbetween" as a territory]

Ana Peraica

The politicalness of any territorial identity suffers from trivial binaries (me/you, good/bad, East/West, left/right, this/that .). The third way (in its many versions and nuances of fusioned, ordinary, dislocated, unified, unspecified .), inhabited by those dissatisfied with both opposing radical choices, or alternatively, rejected by both opposites, is hardly ever regarded as serious. It is seen as bad, faceless, beyond ethics, geographically and spatially lost, unserious. It is described in terms of cowardice, weakness, lack of a position and of an interest in the debate. Being third is worse then even being an enemy, as conformism or non-conformism is demanded for the sake of creating division. Otherwise, the whole dispute seems plastic and hyperficial.

But, there has always been that less acknowledged way of neutrality, chosen or imposed, that indeed looks like anxiousness, indifference, or apathetic resistance from aside. There have always been, and there still are those people who live in the twilight of political binarism, who move right and left, East and West, between socialism and capitalism, feeling no gravity from any of them - and there are those who simply live in between.

The story repeats symptomatically, again showing no sense, as it is its nature. Narratives of indecision are boring and repetitive, echoed and replicated. Their territorial forms are always abstract - moving in circles, trivial absence from a place, a moving that is not a departure, an elimination of the return, treating all platforms as only places to take a breath. Similar are their timed descriptions, as spending time in between waiting and thinking back. It is an apathetic geography with undecided time.

The indifference of the double-minded seems to be a channel through which everything needs to pass, to be purified, to be refreshed, and to get meaning. That nomadism is meaningless in all directions, while at the same time there are those who are heading "to" somewhere, and those who know only where they travel "from". And again, there are those who have given up asking the question. They are anxious, sceptical to both defining the departure and arrival point. For them they are the same, as things simply repeat. So, the arrival paradoxically happens before the departure, and all this takes place in lost times of maybe, sometimes, once, as in a dream, a long, long time ago .

The Third is a ground decided in-between two, but at the same time it is a soft border, and is inhabited by those who do not know who they are. It is a zone of the un-named, or a zone with a vague name (like the "Krajina"), interzone, twilight zone .

For those reasons, the territory inhabited is non-patriatised, and all depictions of it are foggy, distorted and doubled, unfocused and uncorrected. So, they are simply omitted as irrelevant by all sides. In that dis-objectified world only another illusion of impossible bothness is desirable, of fullness of meaning, while any of the single solutions feels claustrophobic. Both sides include them in the descriptions of themselves. Those are doubled beings, existing at the same time in both of the different maps that cover the same edge as a referential. But since the map is not a territory, they live in a territory in between two maps, a territory of extra-dimension needed to draw a map on the flat surface, seeing both of them fused.

Because of this, the politicalness of that middle way [of neutrality, of vagueness, of unbelonging] is futile. It is a road of the unsatisfied or even a road of unsatisfaction, crowded with those tired of chronically confronting to the limited choice, always in between two single-sided constructs that both have to be used as parameters of the same real space they refer to. Tired of being a reference, they become a line of referring, a border of sense.

Being imprisoned from the outside of both means living on the border. Although a border is a small territory, a framing line of a temporary sense. Therefore, that zone has no reasons, ideologies, interpretations and uses. The line of division is inhabited by alternative histories, and alternative geographies of repeating. It moves, but with all its movings it has no sense, since the meaning of the border is precisely to keep the sense outside or inside the self.

We can think the border visually, as a line on which no one is supposed to live, a two-dimensional world. That line is doubly exposed, from both the sides described. What it is, then, is a doubled territory, that can be seen as belonging as well here and there. In the time sense of visual media double exposure, that can be compared to an error in which "a bit before" intersects with "a bit after," but without any present, or any presence. It is a consequent event of the transformation that is not accepted as distinct.

There are two eyes that show the same story. Parallaxes, a fall of a picture between two eyes. The picture is corrected or objectified (made desirable) in three dimensions, becomes perspective (or purposive), and real. In biological and, in parallel, in cultural maturing, the correction of the binocular vision is a main interrogation of the authority that resolves the meaning, or identity, that gives meaning to the one. The unfocused world is irrelevant, and its existence does not matter. It can be omitted, as are the histories of the undecided or double-minded. It is irrelevant, and that irrelevancy is repeatable while all divisions around it change. That is, and for those reasons it is excluded from it, because finally civilisation is a fight against the apathy of undeciding, and draws precisely - borders.

That is, again, the world that has no other horizon than that of the expectations in-between. The history of the undecided, and at the same time refused, rejected, and uninvited, is a history of lodging for a meaning in a lost and unreachable land, that tries to find the ideal identity while it is tired of both identities it already possesses. It is rich of interpretation and poor in meaning.

The same is a story of the Promised Land, the richest narrative without a sense. As how can something be sensical that is lost and desired at the same time? On the border that is a territory, there is always a wish to become a space. The Promised Land can only be described in terms of inside outside, through the history of diving out. Utopia is produced by melancholy.

It means, "the home, that is lost". Birgel's concept of Heimat [German: Homeland] gives the closest definition of "utopia omnius" (Morley and Robins, 1995), losing the security, or ghostly reminder of a disintegrated past, that cannot be re-established. Only in the Bible, it was lost twice. It is a home that is abandoned, but refused, desired but rejected. And it always had its space. It was always that strange territory in-between lost past and unreached future, but lacking the dimension of the present. It was always only a thin line that has no other territory, outside of both bridging and dividing - as all borders are.

It is a place of identity, a place of lost meaning. As such, it is also a dream of drawing another border, and the only horizon (of expectations) is basically a border. But all places are discovered. Finally, this is the first century of a "closed map," a century that had to find the way of resolving the tragic of the discovered world, since the last Terra Incognita disappeared in 1899, and there is no place for those who have nowhere to go, who stand "on the line".

That place is inhabited by people that can be both "in residence," although prosaically they are in exile, refugees, or Gastarbeiter . It is an imperfect world of errored fusions; of here and there; being nowhere; being home abroad, real and virtual; included or excluded. It is a place of being alive dead, dead alive, being both, without a will to change it . to atrophy and diminish the self away, to dream. Because, finally, the border is an ideal territory that has no gravity of meaning, it is paradoxical enough to be free, until the real meaning arrives.

But the Third can also be related to the other nicely drawn territorial identities, despite major ones [such as: state, nation, religion, culture]. They can inhabit descriptions of any real or illusionary space, even movements in it, any inclusion and exclusion, territorial identity, or even its valorisation. It can, therefore, refer even to that of one's own body, as the only state, as a nation, even as one's own religion and cultural position. What remains is only indifference in lost bothness, in between maps that are not the territory but appear as such. And that travel is only a travel on the border, on all those territorial borders, from the state to one's own body lines, as a temporary home.

Tazi statiq na bylgarski / This text in Bulgarian
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