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Events: Quarter I - II / 2020

Q I/2020: Change
QII/2020: Confinement


Essay for Confinement

The word originally derives from the Latin phrase: con fines – with borders or borderlines. It found its way into the English language via the French word “confinement”. The original meaning in 18th century England was being “unable to leave the house or bed from sickness or childbirth".

The Wiktionary still lists two major meanings:

  1. The act of confining or the state of being confined.
  2. (dated) Lying-in, time of giving-birth.

Well point 1 is not really elucidating the word. Let´s see, whether Wikipedia can help us further (cited from the English Wikipedia):

“Confinement may refer to

  1. With respect to humans:
    1. old-fashioned or archaic synonym for childbirth
    2. Postpartum confinement (or postnatal confinement), a system of recovery after childbirth, involving rest and special foods
    3. Civil confinement for psychiatric patients
    4. Solitary confinement, a strict form of imprisonment
  2. The confinement of an animal specimen in a zoo
  3. In physics:
    1. Color confinement, the physical principle explaining the non-observation of color charged particles like free quarks
    2. Confinement of thermonuclear plasmas, as a requirement to obtain fusion energy
    3. Confinement of liquids by pores or similar
    4. Quantum confinement”

So basically, it is all about borders, limits, limitations, cells, cages, …

In the current Corona crisis, we use the word in a new, somewhat ambiguous way – referring to a milder form of quarantine. In some countries a once milder form is gradually getting stricter.

Ambiguous?

For most of us this “Confinement” cause as whole lot of problems: it exerts limits on our freedom to move and diminishes our livelihood, …

But this “Confinement” at the same time aims at saving our health, securing our survival.

That of course does not make the current situation easier. In Germany some people are starting to use the word “Lagerkoller” – best being translated as “Camp Rage” – to describe their emotional state after being confined for weeks with 4 children, 3 cats, 2 dogs, 1 husband, … or the like.

This ambiguity is why there is an image of an old keep on the banner of the event. A keep can keep you imprisoned – it can also keep you save.

And for a positive end of this little essay one last thought: Yes, many of us are confined. Some of us are experiencing the influence of propaganda on either side of the former iron curtain, trying to use the current crisis for their means. But still the words of an old song hold true:

Liberté de Penser – Die Gedanken sind frei – Thoughts are free

Have a look at an Alsacian/International version (From 2015 – Je suis Charlie):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j54HIGk_AEI

These are special times – it may not at all be easy for all of you to take a panorama. But we are counting on your creativity for many contributions to this event “Confinement”.

Essay for Change

The Only Thing Constant Is Change.

This proverb is attributed to the Greek philosopher Heraclitus of Ephesos – c. 535 – c. 475 BC. His very special philosophy earned him the epithet “The Obscure”.

Now, the new theme for the World Wide Panorama Event Q1/2020 is “Change”. This theme has received the most votes in our little survey.

Why “Change”?

It seems that this theme has hit a nerve since we all are experiencing changes all around. The general perception is that these changes are getting both more in number and faster in speed. They occur in science, in politics, in art, in society, in communities and in families (for sure this list is by far not complete).

We humans are always somewhat torn between the two poles Constancy and Change. We sure need a certain amount of constant things around us: in our family, our community and society … otherwise we‘d feel rootless or even haunted. On the other hand a world without change would at least be enormously boring if not even deadly boring.

But one thing is for sure: “One cannot step into the same river twice” as again Heraclitus said to illustrate the constant flow of time and of the water in that river. For sure? The Austrian philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889 – 1951 AD) contradicted Heraclitus by saying “Of course one can step into the same river twice.” Surely, it is the water in the river that changes constantly – but does that make the river change all that fast?

There you go: a bit of philosophy on a new theme!

You have voted. It is now up to you, to bring a panoramic universe of “Change” to the WWP. We are really curious and eager to see your contributions!

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