To live in diaspora is to be haunted by histories that sit uncomfortably out of joint, ambivalently ahead of their time and yet behind it too. It is to feel a small tingle on the skin at the back of your neck and know that something is not quite right about where you are now, but to know also that you cannot leave. To be un-homed is a process. To be unhomely is a state of diasporic consciousness.Lily Cho, The Turn to Diaspora (via et—cetera, lilne)
BLADE RUNNER (1982) dir. Ridley Scott, opening sequence (FX Storyboards)
Franco Raggi, Unstable Element in the Desert: The Column, 1976
I’m not going to try to be an academic or historian, but if you look at the Arab world over the centuries, cities themselves have been much better at negotiating conflict, negotiating community, and forging a broader sense of identity that can embrace diversity. I see that hyperlocal identity becoming more prominent and more powerful in a lot of different places. I see it in northern Iraq, I see it on the Turkish-Syrian border, I see it in some ways in Lebanon. In these places you don’t have to become Sunni or Shia or Christian or Muslim or Lebanese or Syrian or Turkish. These smaller identities go on and on until it’s mind-numbing. Your other identities are embraced within this larger notion of the urban sense of self. I see that returning and I think that’s very hopeful, even for a place like Marjayoun. There’s the possibility that you can be Marjayouni instead of Lebanese or Greek Orthodox. I think it’s a century-long process, but when it comes to identity, it’s a source of hope that I see.
bint battuta: Anthony Shadid, in Reclaiming What Was Lost: A Conversation with Anthony Shadid
How Popular Science, in 1925, thought the world was going to be like in 1950.
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Instructional calligraphic piece in naskh script by the Ottoman calligrapher Muhammad Shafiq, c. 1852 or 1853.*
The Elements of the House. Poem written by Raimund Abraham in New York, 1972
“The simplest and most radical thing that Ridley Scott did with Blade Runner was to put urban archeology in the frame. It hadn’t been obvious to mainstream American science fiction that cities are like compost heaps — just layers and layers of stuff. In cities, the past and the present and the future can all be totally adjacent. In Europe, that’s just life — it’s not science fiction, it’s not fantasy. But in American science fiction, the city in the future was always brand-new, every square inch of it.”
— William Gibson, on Blade Runner
Oh, delightful! To cut open the leaves, to inhale the fragrance of the scarcely dry paper, to examine the type to see who is the printer (which is some clue to the value that is set upon the work), to launch out into regions of thought and invention never trod till now, and to explore characters that never met a human eye before — this is a luxury worth sacrificing a dinner-party, or a few hours of a spare morning to.William Hazlitt, The Mirror of Literature