DILEMMA - Mobile Academy of Dialogue - day 4

Dilemma w Użhorodzie - dzień 4 / 11.05.2024

A true encounter rips off our shells, dangerous at first, leads to the strength that comes with openness and vulnerability devoid of protective boundaries.

The idea of Central Europe, embodied in Uzhhorod, is such an encounter, and on the last day of collective reflection this resonated especially clearly. Voices from Armenia, Georgia, Raphael Roginskiy's story, expanded the Central European space with more centers, more lines of influence, other images and languages. The map of Central European borders was replaced by a different geography, closer to a river that flows with an open stream, gathering worlds from both shores. Perhaps it is the cosmos of the Black Sea, our forgotten source, that should shape the next imagination and the next myths. Convince us that encounter is natural to us and we are closer to ancient wisdom, mysticism than to apocalyptic thoughts of an ever-disintegrating world. The Black Sea culture remains quiet, almost muted, abraded by imperialism, and this is another story of the possible power of the small. For Georgia and Armenia, the struggle for freedom is a constant effort, visitors from Tibilisi flew to Uzhhorod, carrying the burden of the crisis, the sudden escalation of aggression. And indeed, as poet Thea Topuria said, who could understand this if not Central Europe? With all this, the whole idea of Dilemma, a Central European meeting, seems very practical, creating common languages of stories, using the past and present to write the history of tomorrow. In this way, today's Georgia, Ukraine may not be lonely, isolated, without neighbors. The healing power of culture also lies in the fact that by dealing with trauma and memory, it creates narratives that stop worlds while allowing them to move on.

Yet another encounter ended our work in Uzhhorod, at a concert of Transcarpathian folk music worlds and traditions full of difference, at the intersection of places and histories, sprang up before us.The cut-out space of the stage was filled with Ukraine, as if dragged from all sides to the small Transcarpathian region, stifled and energetic, free at the same time. In the long silence after the last song dedicated to the killed Ukrainian soldiers, the borders of the stage, of the theater, of Transcarpathia pierced the world of wartime violence, a world that would have come from the outside, if not for the fact that we always stand in the middle, and borders were never meant to protect us.