Jan14

The War as Moral Experience in Wittgenstein’s Secret Diary

Categories // Human rights, War and culture, War and conflict

by Patrizia Piredda

When he stopped his studies of engineering in Manchester, Wittgenstein moved to Cambridge to study logic under the guidance of Bertrand Russell because he believed that by comprehending the fundamentals of language, and therefore the limits of language, he would understand its essence,   as well as that of human beings, in primis, himself. 

For Wittgenstein, knowing oneself was indispensable because only the man who knows himself can improve himself and become morally decent. When World War I broke out, Wittgenstein volunteered in the Austrian Army because he trusted “the fact that the experience of war would permit him to understand, beyond any fiction and illusion, who – which kind of man, so to say, – he really was. Thus, it was clarity and truth about himself that Wittgenstein expected from the war” (Perissinotto 13).

Jul08

What does ‘proximity’ mean for local interpreters working in zones of conflict?

María Manuela Fernández Sánchez

What does ‘proximity’ mean for local interpreters working in zones of conflict?

In this article María Manuela Fernández Sánchez gives us insights from her conversation with Spanish photographer and journalist Gervasio Sánchez, talking about his relationship with his interpreter in Iraq, Flayed Al Mayali, who was arrested by Spanish authorities for an attack on the Spanish military which occurred in November 2003:

Few professions have such discriminatory stereotypes as translators and interpreters. Very sadly, the Italian cliché traduttore, traditore is still thought to be true by many people. Nevertheless, both translators and interpreters have also contributed to the persistence of these stereotypes. 

The image was published in this article by abc.es in 2013.

May08

Encountering war in the letters from the front.

Written by // Gianluca Cinelli Categories // War and culture

Eastern Front, 1941-1944

German censored letter. Source: www.feldpost-archiv.de/07-11-zensur.shtml

The letters sent from the front during WWII constitute a broad universe which we are just partially familiar with (tens of thousands of letters out of billions). Only a very small portion of the immense corpus of letters from and to the fronts has been published, which means that such a form of testimony constitutes an important but also distorted means of encounter with war.

Apr30

Reading War Photographs: Who is the photographer?

Categories // Human rights, Refugees and asylum seekers, War and culture, War crimes, Justice and punishment, Conflict resolution, War and conflict

María Manuela Fernández Sánchez

Reading War Photographs: Who is the photographer?

In an interview published in the newspaper El País (April 17, 2015), José Palazón, president of the nongovernmental organization “Prodein”, and winner of the XVIII Luis Valtueña Humanitarian Photography Award, remembers a conversation that he had with a prosecutor, twenty years ago, when he was denouncing the abuses against immigrants in Melilla, the Spanish enclave on the North African coast. Palazón complained that his efforts to gain visibility were not getting anywhere, to which the prosecutor replied: “Look for evidences. Take photographs”. Since then, it seems that Palazón has learned his lesson and the photograph “Desolate landscapes”, which he submitted to the Luis Valtueña photography competition has travelled around the world.

 

The full text is followed by a brief biography of the author.

Original versions of these photos can be found here:

 

Verne El Pais

The Guardian

Caesar photos: inside Syrian authorities' prisons

 

 

 

Apr21

Max Weber and the ' Weltkrieg' - Max Weber e la 'Weltkrieg'

Categories // War and conflict

by Carlo Bordoni

Max Weber and the ' Weltkrieg' - Max Weber e la 'Weltkrieg'

The twentieth-century opened under the sign of great trust in progress and technology. Machines, which had since ever been considered as a dangerous adversary and as a source of primordial fear, quickly began to lose their disquieting aspect and to become an ally of human beings as a ductile tool to overcome physical strain. Airplanes and cars created new opportunities for transport at unprecedented speed besides steam-locomotives, which had replaced horse-powered coaches as the main connection between cities.

 

 

The full text is followed by the original Italian version and by a brief biography of the author.

 

 

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Normandy landings

Troups marching in France

General Bernard Montgomery

Pilots in World War II