PATHOS Penpal Project
Deutsch-Amerikanischer Briefaustausch zwischen Antigone Akgün (DE) und John L. Peacock (USA)
Im Rahmen der Reihe «King Kong und die weissen Frauen»
Thank you very much for your beautiful letter, which also gives a good insight into the current situation in the States. Though I believe that you could go on writing forever: I have the feeling that I know way too less and sometimes I ask myself how much I will be able to learn in this life. And then I notice how the stress rises in me. One goal for next year is therefore to find more time for personal education. I don’t know yet in which topic exactly, but I already have a list of books that I would like to explore and this list is getting longer and longer.
I’m not sure if 24 hours are too less for my everyday life or if I have a miserable time management, but in the end I sometimes have to ask myself (even as a native Greek, haha) if I live to serve a system or to enjoy and enrich myself personally and so the latter option seems to me to be the more successful one. Whereby I had a lot of projects this year, respectively said „yes“ to everything that was offered to me. No idea why. Of course it was also the slight fear of a financial storm, but it was also an option to counteract loneliness.
As a single person in lockdown it was and is not very easy: all the activities where you can meet people are basically not there anymore and I don’t believe much in digital interactions. I know that probably nobody will believe that now, haha, because I am extremely active on social media.
On the other hand I’ve often been at the point of turning off all social media channels, but for some reason there’s still a spark of fascination left. For me, being on social media is like having a walk in a huge shopping mall: Bright shop windows shine at you everywhere, everyone is fine, everyone is successful, happy, in love and is decorating his/her own facade accordingly. No question is asked. No strategy left to get into interaction (i.e. not a serious one). Instead: a big fair of showing. And of storytelling.
The funny thing is that all my close friends are not even on social media or at least not active anymore. So sometimes I catch myself wiping my left thumb across the display and clicking my way through birthdays and engagements of people I’ve spoken to once in my life for five minutes at some festival and then I think: Hey Antigone, what are you doing here? Yes, hashtag time management and further education. OMG!
Because you asked in your last letter: these are two resolutions for my new year. Apart from that, I would like to learn to dare to talk about my feelings more often. Somehow I can’t do that. And I’ll take the liberty of generalizing here, but I believe that we are not taught this socially, but instead have to constantly fit into certain structures. And in my case, I think I have learned to be very considerate and to have a lot of patience with people who obviously hurt me, or to hope that this will change. Sometimes I even try to communicate through subtle signs, which of course never arrive as I intend them to. That’s why I think the best and healthiest way is to just be honest and not to bother about people who are not interested. Looking back, this is one of the most disgraceful things: trying to convince other people of your value.
And I think it is also important to be really honest with yourself and not being afraid of showing yourself vulnerable. As far as overall political visions are concerned, I dare to openly admit here that I have none, because I believe that we all know what the important anchor points of a solidary, humane society are and how to reach them easily. Only this goal should not be forgotten. Apart from that I am having a very relaxed time right now. Today the rehearsals for a production on Sarah Kane began, in which I am performing, and I am immensely happy to be back on stage. Besides that I’m heading to Berlin on Friday for 7 days for business and have a strange feeling to experience such a big city in lockdown sleep. But all in all I’m looking forward to a few quiet holidays with good music and nice treats.
How are you doing and what are your visions for the new year?
Take care and read you soon!