I am trying to contemplate the reality of the world in these crisis times

I am trying to contemplate the reality of the world in these crisis times. Here is my editorial for PAJ 114 (Fall, 2016).
Life and Death Matters
Where should I begin? It’s been a difficult stretch in the weeks leading up to completing PAJ 114. Suicide bombings, the Orlando massacre, refugees floating in the sea, Brexit, police shootings, and the death of my beloved mother. As I look over the contributions to this issue, I have before me reflections on the incandescent achievement of Tadeusz Kantor, who wrought his great work from the shards of World War II and communism; an essay that finds avant-garde spiritual vanguardism in the act of a Buddhist monk who, in 1963, startled the world with his self-immolation in protest of the Vietnam war; Aleister Crowley’s fierce anti-fundamentalist play, written against the background of World War 1; and, closer to our own time, notes on the use of Greek plays in their healing effects on veterans of Middle East wars complete the historical touchstones.
If I have emphasized the more overtly political contents of the issue, that is by no means to neglect the several valuable commentaries on dance, theatre, and media. Life goes on. In the midst of momentous local and global events, social transformation, and emotional turmoil there is always the work of art. Artists struggle with materials, solve internal conflicts, imagine new worlds. We still acknowledge the importance of human expression and creative spirit in the face of war, hatred, fear, grief, pendulum swings of ideologies. Imagination plows through catastrophe…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *