So, today is Septmeber 11. This day 8 years ago pretty much defined the political developments in this decade – from international politics (obviously…) to European politics and national politics. It had also an impact on social and cultural dimensions in our societies. We all seem to remember where we were when we heard the news about the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington. (as observed on twitter today!) New enemies and dividing lines were constructed. And the big question remains the same: How can we restore trust between people, between governments and between governments and people?
But at the same time it is rather difficult to write something about it. In a way, everything has already been said. That is why I keep it short.
Some of you know that a couple of weeks ago I have participated in a rather interesting seminar in Luxembourg which brought together a bunch of Bloggers from the Euro-Mediterranean region to discuss aspects of inter-cultural dialogue. Two things really stroke me:
First of all, it is really difficult to bring together such a group (just think of the Visa requirements + Israel and the Arab world) and that such a meeting is easier to organise on “neutral soil” (in this case Luxembourg) than in the region… Second thing is about intercultural dialogue in our home countries: 10 years ago I went to school in a very multicultural environment and strangely enough things like “identity” and “religion” were never a big issue at the time. Something has changed – and not for the better.
This cartoon by Clay Bennet (that won the 2002 Pulitzer prize for editorial cartooning) somehow captures the political discourses quite well – and it does not matter wherever you live it is pretty much a global discourse.