Entretien de Ruxandra Stoicescu – productrice de Tales of the world et RoadMap Media chez Punch! Radio Cité, Genève

D’où viennent les choses et où vont-elles dans un projet professionnel?                            Charlotte Devictor-Lang et Ruxandra Stoicescu en parlent dans la dernière édition de Punch! de Radio Cité, Genève

Bonne écoute!

Entretien avec Ruxandra Stoicescu – productrice de Tales of the world et RoadMap Media – chez Punch! de Radio Cité, Genève

La bataille de tous les jours – deuxième partie de l’entretien de Ruxandra Stoicescu avec Charlotte Devictor-Lang, productrice de Punch! à Radio Cité, Genève

Tales of the world episode 53 – La vie dans un village Potemkine

Connaissez vous la fausse vraie histoire de Grigory Potemkine, amant de la Grande Impératrice Catherine, souveraine de l’empire russe, grande admiratrice de Voltaire et grande dévoreuse de livres et d’hommes ?  On dit que à l’occasion d’une visite que l’impératrice faisait en Crimée – récemment reprise par l’empire Russe aux turcs, les derniers décennies du 18ème siècle – son protégé et favori Grigory Potemkine, soucieux de faire plaisir à sa reine, avait ordonné la construction de fausses façades sur les bâtiments et dans les villages longeant la visite de Catherine sur l’île… Ainsi, la souveraine, toujours en quête de confirmation que son règne apportait non seulement des richesses à la couronne, mais aussi le bien-être et l’élévation de ses sujets, aurait eu l’impression que l’île, fraichement conquise, était fleurissante sous son sceptre. Ceci a donné naissance  à la légende des villages Potemkine, des constructions de façade, littéralement, érigées pour impressionner les passants et les visiteurs. Malgré les protestations véhémentes des historiens quant à la véracité de ces faits, l’image et la légende restent, surtout quand nous parlons de la Russie et de sa politique : nous assumons toujours une belle et luisante façade derrière laquelle les pires choses se passent…

Tales of the world episode 52 – Life fragments, fragments of life

Buying furniture in an IKEA shop is perhaps one of the most uncontroversially universal experiences of modern life. We know that even Syrian refugees and Indian fakirs are not spared the trials and tribulations of the products of the IKEA imperium. Much as I wanted to avoid it, I was not spared, either. To make the experience a little more bearable, and quite frankly, trying to understand what makes it so pervasive and seemingly unavoidable, I went to the store armed with the sharpest version of my sense of observation and inquiry.  I will spare you, my dear friends, the details, which it is likely, you know quite well. All details but one. It caught my imagination as I was heading towards the exit of the shop. We had stocked almost all the pieces we went to acquire, except for one which had to be paid for at the cashiers, and recuperated after that. We received a slip of paper to give to the person in charge, who recorded it on a computer. And plop, on the computer screen split into 3 colours, red-for ordering, blue – for “in process” and green – for delivery, I could follow the five minutes procedure. I knew Ikea was the epithom of labour division, but somehow, this whole operation felt wrong. Why is there a need to split a gesture in its modular components, as if it were one of the furniture pieces the store itself sells? What could be the sense and consequence of that? Of time exploded into the tiny atoms of its passing.

Later that day, in a twist of coincidence, I heard another IKEA story, from another country. A couch acquired from the store promptly returned to it, simply because those in charge of delivery did not want to make the effort to put it through the door of the residence where it was meant to be. It required a little bending of practical sense, which, seemingly, was not on the menu for the carriers. IKEA accepted the return of the couch, and its refund, saying that it outsourced its delivery service, which practically, could not care less about whether the products were actually delivered, or not. Such an attitude flying in the face of everything we consider normal commercial logic, is quite frankly, staggering. My mind flew instantly to Karl Marx and his theory of alienation. He was clever enough to predict that the endless division and fragmentation of labour would provoke in the long run, the spiritual and physical alienation of labourers, which thusly, could be easier to control. He did not insist, however, on the effects this would have in the very long run: alienation stops serving the interests of capitalism and, inadvertently, turns on it. Not because it plans to, not because it can, but rather because the shortsightedness of its condition only allows it a very limited scope of action and little or no perspective. Without a semblance of sense and identification with the aim of the operation individuals participate in, individual work becomes fragmented gestures, and fragmented gestures eventually become a series of disconnected, senseless actions, with, paradoxically, all encompassing effects: the implosion of the global articulation through the bankruptcy of individual pieces. 

Much the same happens in politics. Fragmentation causes a vacuum of responsibility and in the long run, a vacuum of autonomy. Without a certain degree of autonomy of its members, the system stops being able to adapt to changes and crumbles.  He might not have insisted on it in the very long run, but Marx did quote Ferguson, a master of Adam Smith, referring to the increasing fragmentation and specialisation of work: we make a nation of healots and have no free citizens. The problem is, most intellectuals seem to think that the loss of freedom is the end of the story. It takes poets and writers to show that is just the beginning. Of a brave new world…


Tales of the world – For a historical and political analysis of Ukraine’s predicament

Where do things come from and where do they go?

For an in-depth historical and political analysis of Ukraine’s current predicament:

Liminality in international relations – the cases of Romania, Turkey and Ukraine. (Ukraine case study: pages 241-335)

Enjoy, Ruxandra Stoicescu

This comparative study focuses on liminal entities on the international scene, examining their self-understanding in relation to a core entity and civilisation of which they wish to become recognised members. It looks at the relations between Romania, Turkey, Ukraine and the European Union. More specifically, it unpacks the geopolitical images, which were used by political elites in these countries in order to represent them. The analysis concludes that the European Union is note the only entity producing liminal spaces around it, and that liminality is a useful lens in understanding the interstices of the Self/Other nexus in identity negotiation processes.