Culture in the Oil World
photo: jocaoeiras, flickr, CC BY-NC 2.0 license

Culture in the Oil World

BY John Biweekly

Why is Werner Herzog’s ‘Lessons of Darkness’ so moving and what does Libya have to do with me?

1 minute reading left

Yesterday I saw Werner Herzog’s Lessons of Darkness for the first time. Frames drowned in oil remain unbearably relevant. The political world’s reactions to the rising in Libya legitimates the aesthetic choices made by the director. Recent title in the biggest Polish daily shouted from its pages: “The world abandoned Libya”. And for once it didn’t feel like typical media hysteria. Lessons were not learned. Business calculations prevail. I also wonder whether we can look at Japan, and not see it through the Hollywood action films filter.

The cover by Ania Czarnota

The film makes me want to think of the Western world (where is that? is China Western already?), and that’s where Suicide Room fits perfectly. In a way it is a comment on Polish society becoming Western. In this issue of Biweekly you can read both, an essay on the movie, and an interview with the director Jan Komasa. Europe in Decline by Andrzej Leder seems to touch exactly the same issues.

In arts thankfully it’s a little lighter! Karol Radziszewski is all about the body, and we are all about Karol Radziszewski. And what’s whith that artistic-to-be train connection from Kraków to Berlin. James Hopkin knows it all.

Finally, with a great pleasure, we publish the full speech by prof. Zygmunt Bauman from the Culture 2.0 conference that took place last year in November. See the player on the main Biweekly page. “Loneliness and company” – he repeats few times. As the Western kid (because we all are adults that never grow up) sees no meaning in the world where all needs are fulfilled, Libia fights for most basic rights ignored by the replete consumer that won’t give up on his pleasurable depression.

Biweekly#15. Editor: Agnieszka Słodownik. Cover by Ania Czarnota. Issued 18 March 2011 at 18:15.