.. Making . .. Thinking . .. Cultural Tomorrow .. . ...

Rob van Kranenburg's texts for sessions at Transmediale.09.  
Yasir's interpretatons.    ... making dots..on email

Shift Break, Control

When it comes to climate change, many systems of control designed around
national borders break down: internationally restrictive trade processes
and systems of enforcement have little or power in the face of
desertification, mass flooding, forced migration and other social and
environmental disasters.

We face all of these, related to the snow capped moutains and glaciers in the north, Indus river system running north-south with dams, wide irrigation, sea-intrusion in the south. The pattern of the water in the river is now more chaotic, dry + flooding [!]. rain patterns as well in the baluchistan province - massive floods - incapability to warn or do disaster management - the army helped... the same in the earthquake of 2004.   economically there is protectionism and bank regulations which have provided buffer from the international financial-economic crises, but still financial inflows (remittances from people working abroad (middle east, US, UK), from exports to others) are affected as the global economy suffers. The domestic credit economy is small so that did not make a big difference, altho car/consumer sales/credit and housing suffered. for most people the problems are just lack of basic services which eats away on the whatever the income is. the informal sector is huge 50% also known as untaxed economy. there is food insecurity mostly due to govt mismanagement. 
The industrial and heavy technological
revolutions in 19th/20th century Europe and US contained a blindness to
the consequences of these developments.

Parallel things here form what are the govt's 'development programmes/projects' for the economy - large infrastructure projects (dams, etc) and 'industrialization' was the goal. This has really gone offtrack as there is little consultation with stakeholders even. Policy making is a joke. so the 'blindness' has been of 'criminal' proportions to the people. Class, kin structures rule the day - but there is unplanned social change ..
We now need new strategies to
prevent cultural, social and ethical collapse.

Totally agree. the initiatives cannot come from the top. reform is not possible. things are beyond repair. we need contructive public involvement / movement which leads change..    
Can scaling up local
initiatives help meet global challenges?

yes, some of them. we'll also need new ones. we need long-term thinking - which is totally absent [!!!] - govt's policymaking and momentum runs counter to any positive development - so we need many new models too.
What can we learn from models
that distribute insecurity as a default; such as those which are
improvised and informal in Lagos, New Delhi and Karachi?

self-management. monitoring. less reliance on outside entities such as govt - who basically want to put their own people in charge and hijack any good initiatives while destroying them - or to project themselves in their internal politics...

Long-term, research based thinking and initiatives - there are plenty of people who can lead, advise. the environment is seriously discourageing - that needs to be overcome to start...

Shift Break, Control, North

We live at a time when man believes himself fabulously capable of
creation, but he does not know what to create. Lord of all things, he is
not lord of himself.... Hence the strange combination of a sense of power
and a sense of insecurity.....  (from The Revolt of the Masses, 1930, José
Ortega Y Gasset

Yes. i agree. it has to do with agendas - state agendas, corporate agendas, research agendas, technological agendas - which are focused on themselves - not people oriented simply. in addition lack of general education  does 2 things: - there is little vision of what is possible, and reliance on oppressive default social structure because of insecurity, poverty.

Who is calling for a global fiscal 2pc world GPD boost to prevent global
depression? : "If we are not able to do that, then social unrest may
happen in many countries, including advanced economies.  We are facing an
unprecedented decline in output. All around the planet, the people have
reacted with feelings going from surprise to anger, and from anger to
fear." (22-12-2008, Telegraph.co.uk) Amazingly it is Dominique
Strauss-Kahn, heading IMF, in a full-blown reversal of decades of IMF
policy. Associated Press (22-12) contacted 21 US banks that have received
at least 1 billion with four questions:  "How much has been spent? What
was it spent on? How much is being held in savings, and what's the plan
for the rest?"  Not one bank gave a specific answer.


Can we still argue from an institionalist point of view for solutions if
our major institutions have become part of the problem?

This is the main question that will be addressed. Claudia Kemfert will explain how for her
Klimaschutz ist der Wirtschaftsmotor der Zukunft (Climate change is the economic motor for the futute) – can still be the key engine of society.

in planning ahead with the available knowledge and resources this is a good idea for us as well. very very important - since we spend so much on oil-energy, even though our consumption is very low. we are also using old energy-wasting technologies and have old visions that are bad for us.

so as large infrastructure, probably yes. but planning should be inclusive, etc
Lorenz Petersen proposes a framework that takes an institutionalist perspective, focusing on the goods and services provided by natural resources rather than on the resource itself.

Part 1:
Discussion with Claudia Kemfert and Lorenz Petersen, chaired by Harald
Welzer Fri, 30.01. - 12:00

Shift Break, Control, South

We do not know what is happening to us, and this is precisely what is
happening to us, not to know what is happening to us: the man of today is
beginning to be disoriented with respect to himself, dépaysé, he is
outside of his country, thrown into a new circumstance that is like a
terra incognita. (1926)

We are all strangers in our own countries, facing uncertain future - literally in our case

The Gurgaon Workers News (Newsletter 15, December 2008) reports how
"after a fatal accident on the Commonwealth Games construction site more
than thousand building workers destroyed company offices, cars and
trucks." It goes so far as to suggest that the aggravating global crisis
imposes a new social framework for incidents like this: "the daily deaths
and legal murders become explosive. The cops shooting a fifteen year old
became the trigger of social unrest in Greece; the fatal accident of a
building worker sparked the simmering turmoil in Delhi."
Has this become our new political framework for agency: fatal accidents as
the new default?
Yet according to Binyavanga Wainaina, "the burning houses and the bloody
attacks here do not reflect primordial hatreds. They reflect the
manipulation of identity for political gain." If a cartoon in one country
can lead to the loss of lives in another, Atteqa Malik states, "then
policies should also be created to address issues that cross borders. All
stakeholders should be considered, inside and outside the country, before
policies are created to influence practice."

yes, this highlights to me : how people cope, self-manage - take things in their own hands
and also the need for inclusive policy, education-information-negotiation-implemenation-monitoring, pro-people policies, civil society oversight, etc.

the people i have been talking to (see earlier email re people from PK and IN) can provide more examples from their experiences, some of which came up in discussion and have not been documented.

Part 2:
Discussion with Atteqa Malik, Binyawanga Wainaina and Yasir Husain,
chaired by Harald Welzer
Fri, 30.01. - 15:00
Atteqa Malik
Binyawanga Wainaina
Yasir Husain

The aim of these two sessions is to transcend the opposition of
distributing security (North) and distributing insecurity (South) as the
political axioms that are and were born out of the ascension of the masses
onto the world stage. How can we retain the vitality of this coming of age
of millions to the world stage and not see this as a drawback of an
original position, but as the awakening of a radical new form of
conversation, "the socializing instrument par excellence", according to
José Ortega Y Gasset.

I agree. How can we....

ideas, information, technologies, medias, networks, social systems, examples, pilots, scaling up, partnerships, knowledge-exchange, interactions, developing the commons at local national regional global levels .....

the global climate change scenario throws us all together, as the parallel with Schmitt's 'absolute enemy' clearly indicates, yet what we find in Pakistan is that leaving aside local knowledge of how to do things (of crops for example), there is little awareness of the implications of climate change, or what it is - the issue is very far from people's daily lives - even though they may be the worst sufferers of it. The knowledge and awareness is simply absent - there is too much cynicism - our govt and our immediate problems have made us like this.

We at Mauj want to play a part in this, partner with others locally, across borders and internationally, pilot things, and see where things go. for example for a few years now, we are in the middle of a media and cellphone "explosion" (now every household has a cellphone) even though real functional literacy is barely 40 % - that is amazing,  rich in possibilities in working within non-literate oral cultures ... it has barely begun ...whether they are part of the global 'consumer-credit' economy via TV is being negotiated...  indigenous low-energy techniques in building is another area...  .. then there are the urban scenarios ... we have to learn to use the cellphone and urdu  sms tech. ..


Mauj at Transmediale.09 Berlin

http://www.transmediale.de/       27 Jan - 01 Feb

Silent Deep Part 1 - South-East Asia (Salon)

Shift, Break, Control - Cultural Perspectives beyond Policy (Conference)

Conference tm.09: Making / Thinking: The Cultural Tomorrow (Intro)

Please watch Mauj at Transmediale.09 on the internet, and chat online during the sessions on 30 January 2009. The chat will appear on screen and will also provide opportunity for Berlin participants to respond to it.

  • Salon - Silent Deep ~ 12pm Berlin | 4pm Karachi | 430pm Dehli
  • Conference - Shift, Break, Control - South ~ 3-5pm Berlin | 7-9pm Karachi | 730-930pm Dehli
Live Streams transmediale.09 offers live video streams from the Conference and Salon. Starting on Tuesday 27, you will find a list of available streams here, in the stream-box. watch the streams | join the live chat

Media lab in a school

2 members of Mauj launched a media art lab (society) in a local school in Karachi for students about 14 years old
We will meet once a week, discuss various forms of media art and then create art of our own
Our first session which will last at least a month is on sound art
Its amazing how smart these kids are...but they know nothing about media art!

Transmediale 2009

Mauj is going to Transmediale!

Check it out!

We are participating in the Salon, the Conference and moderating an online session at Transmediale, Berlin

Jan 27 to Feb 1.


First Mauj meeting of 2009

On the pleasant terrace of Nameeras home
The details of Mauj meeting no. 1 for 2009

We discussed how recently the government has allowed privatization of government assets such as telecommunications, television, etc.Buyers have been interested mainly due to the revenue these assets can generate through marketing and advertising.

In a scenario of failed infrastructures how are people managing...in the aspects of security, education (welfare), govt/pvt. health


Gulbahao_ mobile toilet, was-tic blocks, Chandi ghar, and the latest Choora Chara


Sialkot Airport_ a completely private initiative

we worked out a plan for the Mauj presentation at Transmediale January 27 to Feb 2

The Pakistan Science and Engineering Foundation



The Control Alt Delete project run by Nomad, Istanbul: