Gianina Cărbunariu “What are we waiting for?”

“I don’t have an answer, but I do have a story and a question. Here is the story: Few months ago, I was attending a reading of a play of mine in Germany. It is a play about people who hate and discriminate each other without even knowing each other, about people who hate other people like them. The play is called “Asparagus”, the situation was placed in UK 2015 and the characters were a Romanian man and a British man. After the play, there was an artist talk mediated by a Romanian theatre critic living in Austria. We spoke with the audience about hate speech, discrimination, migration. Only one day before the reading, a group of German football fans were going on the streets of that town screaming slogans against immigrants and refugees. After the artist talk, we were invited to a cocktail. I was speaking with that theatre critic living in Austria and at some point she told me: “ok, but let me tell you something, this thing with the refugees went already too far… so, for instance, my husband and my son will vote for the extreme right party in Austria” (this conversation took place few weeks before the elections in Austria). I replied: “But you emigrated there 20 years ago, you’ve been going through a similar experience, how can you say that?” I had no arguments that she would take into consideration, she had no arguments I could take seriously. For me it was striking that we can easily speak about hate speech in a fictional play, while in reality we are not capable to get to a reasonable dialogue. In the end all we could do was to agree that we totally disagree. So here is the question: What are the words and the thoughts that could stand in front of this avalanche of hate speech in the public and in the private space? What are we waiting to articulate, to invent a new language that could get us all out of this nightmare that became our “normal” environment? What force do we need to push ourselves out of it?”