In memory of Harun Farocki.
Instead of using needle and ink to make a mark on his body, he used a cigarette to burn his hand, and make a point. Napalm burns at 3.000 C, cigarette burns at 400 C. As simple as it may be, this gesture and his language slap us in the face with a horrifying fact, and he does not want/let us to close our eyes to the picture, memory, facts and context. At this very moment, as I am writing these words, and as you are reading them, horrible things are happening in Palestine, Iraq and Syria. 500 Yazidis have been murdered since the ISIS took over Iraq, and 50 children have been buried alive. Yazidis have fled to the mountain, and are starved to death. They rather be starved, to have their heads cut off. Why am I talking about these? Maybe because I am extremely mad? Maybe because I do not want to, and should not close my eyes to the fact, and the context? The sudden appearance of ISIS in Iraq is not that sudden, It is the unwanted child of the American invasion in 2003. The complicated mix of different religions, faiths and ethnicities in Middle East, is like an unknown formula to the western countries, their invasion has made this somehow magical balance, fatally unbalanced. The complex ethno-linguistic mix in countries like Syria, Iraq, Iran and Turkey to name a few and the history of French and British colonialism give us clues about the current internal wars, ethnic cleansings and genocides in the region. In the Sykes–Picot Agreement, Mark Sykes, representing the British government, and Francois Georges-Picot, from the French government simply decided to draw straight lines on Syrian and Iraqi maps and divide the two countries into their colonies, without even realizing the depth of catastrophe such an action will create. It is said that, during a meeting, Mark Sykes pointed to a map and told the prime minister: "I should like to draw a line from the "e" in Acre to the last "k" in Kirkuk."
Those unknown oriental maps to the French and British colonist, those straight lines that they once drew, their constant invasion has killed thousands, and will continue to destroy more. These are facts, these are pictures, these are happening right now. Lets not close our eyes. In memory of Harun Farocki.