Matt Smith on 7 Jan 2001 20:17:39 -0000

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[Nettime-bold] Re: post-balkania yugo-south-watever

hi all

just a little perk that came to my mind when i read this:

>> Should the West forget the region for a while?
>* * * No, why should it do it? Questions which are to be answered here
>in the region are the questions which will soon (or which already)
>bother the West too.

probably the best place to start any interesting, _new_ discussion would
be right there, at the definition of east & west. from my current
residency, the north american west coast, those distinctions are now
sufficientlt blurred to question them fundamentally - yesterday i was
hanging at a casual house-party, shooting the breeze about europe and how
east and west relate, and i found myself trying draw that exact line while
explaining to a person who had never been to europe. it has turned into a
quite interesting task, just take the example of the cities Prague, Vienna
and Budapest. How can one now distinguish the 2 that used to be in the
"eastern bloc" from the "western" one, or much more, how does one explain
them to somebody who hasnt been to any of the 3...10 years ago the
differences were obvious, with vienna being "clean, wealthy and western",
prague being "beautiful, poor and eastern" and budapest "just like vienna
25 years ago". Now the same comparison has to be that they are all very
similiar, prague being probably the most beautiful and atleast on the
surface wealthiest and definetly the most cosmopolitan, vienna being the
most comfortable and modern, and budapest being still like vienna 10 years

ofcourse, this is all crap, but i think you get my gist....east&west
distinction has to be overcome in its current sense to make any
significant change in the discourse around alternatives to the Allied*
Europe that has now, after the division of yugoslavia, been achieved.

*Allied as in Allied Forces.


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