Worried Lebanese

thought crumbs on lebanese and middle eastern politics

The language of violence

Posted by worriedlebanese on 16/11/2006

nicosia_ataturksquare.jpgWe tend to equate communication, dialogue and peace. We act as if restoring communication is a peace building initiative in itself. When walking around Nicosia, I felt that this is not true. War and violence are a way of communication too. They install a common ground for communication, a common language. Even the military and guerillas think and act in terms of communication. “If we kill a leader, they’ ll think twice before bombing us…”, “if we plant a bomb in a mall, they’ ll feel vulnerable and they will have to take into account”…

In Nicosia, the flags are used as a language. On one side we see the turkish flag and the northern flag, in the south we see the greek flag and the southern flag. This display doesn’t follow any institutional reason, the southern republic has no institutional ties with Greece and follows no panhellenic program. The only reason the Greek flag is flying is to parallel the Turkish flag that is flying on the other side. It’s dialogic.


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