Freiheit aushalten

Frei von Zwang zu sein, ist eine tolle Erfahrung.
Frei zu sein, das zu tun, was man möchte ist die Fortsetzung des Gedankens.
Eine lange philosophische Tradition (freedom & democracy) lässt sich inetwa so kurz zusammenfassen. Negative Freiheit, also nicht irgendwelchen Zwängen zu unterliegen, frei von Religionszwang oder Zwang zur Arbeit, war über Jahrhunderte das überragende Ziel der Freiheits-, im Sinne von Befreiungsbewegungen.
Wir haben diese “passive” Vorstellung von Freiheit durch eine “aktive”, positive Form von Freiheit ergänzt. Die Freiheit etwas zu tun oder der aktiven Teilhabe an der Gesellschaft ist zu einem weiteren leitenden Gedanken des modernen Freiheitsbegriffs geworden. Entwicklungschancen von Kindern zeigen die Bedeutung der aktiven Gestaltung von Freiheit für die kindliche Entwicklung und die Bedeutung der Teilhabe an Gesellschaft auf. Alleine frei zu sein von Zwang führt noch nicht zu einer altersgerechten Entwicklung von Kindern. Positives Gestalten ist notwendig, damit Kinder ihre Potentiale über die Zeit Die Freiheit des Anderen selbst aushalten zu können, ist eine weitere notwendige Bedingung von Gesellschaft und unserem Freiheitsbegriff. Das fällt zuweilen recht schwer. Die Bienenzucht des einen kann dem Bienenstichallergiker buchstäblich zum Verhängnis werden. Wieviel freie Rede ja, aber Hassrede nein, müssen wir aushalten. Dürfen sich diese Konventionen über die Zeit hinweg verändern? Wenn ja, wie weit? Wir haben viel Gesprächsbedarf, um ständig unserer “kommunikatives Handeln” zu beraten und zu überprüfen.
In Zeiten von Wahlen und Wahlkämpfen ist das Schild “Freiheit aushalten, eine Aufforderung doch öfters mal hinzuhören selbst wenn uns vielfache Aussagen bereits als abwegig erscheinen.
Von “Ausfahrt freihalten” hin zu “Freiheit aushalten”.

Einfahrt freihalten

Wir alle kennen die Schilder „Einfahrt freihalten“ auf dem Lande und in den Städten. Alle Personen, die eine Art von Garage oder Einfahrt für ihr Zuhause, Firmengelände oder Grundstück haben, sehen sich früher oder später gezwungen andere Personen auf die Einfahrtsmöglichkeit extra hinzuweisen. Ohne Hinweisschild könnte sich jemand die Freiheit nehmen, genau an dieser Stelle sein Vehikel abzustellen und die Ein- und Ausfahrt zu blockieren. Derartiger ziviler Ungehorsam oder einfach Faulheit eine andere, weniger anstößige Parkgelegenheit zu suchen, verleitet ständig zu leidenschaftlich geführten Streitigkeiten. Einsätze vom Ordnungsamt, der Polizei und einem Abschleppdienst gehören zu den üblichen Folgewirkungen. Rechtlich verbriefte Eigentumsrechte gehören in vielen Ländern der Erde zu den höchsten Rechtsgütern.
Interessant sind die verschiedenen Spielarten von „Einfahrt freihalten“ in der deutschen Sprache. „Ausfahrt freihalten“, beispielsweise, suggeriert die Bedeutung des raschen Verlassens, eventuell zu einem Einsatz. Zeitdruck bei der Heimkehr oder beim Wegfahren lassen auf die Begründung der Nachdrücklichkeit der Aufforderung schließen, bitte Ausfahrt freihalten.
Die neueste Berliner Variante der Aufforderung, bitte hier nicht parken, heißt „Freiheit aushalten“. Können wir die Freiheit der Person aushalten, jederzeit dieses Gelände zu verlassen oder zu befahren. Das ist anscheinend eine große Herausforderung an der viele Personen ständig scheitern und ihre eigene Parkfreiheit über die Freiheitsrechte der anderen Personen stellen. Gesellschaftliche und rechtliche Prinzipien lassen sich manchmal an alltäglichen Kleinigkeiten verdeutlichen.

Competence Handwriting

The acquisition of handwriting as a competence has been important for centuries. In primary schools this technique is exercised as a foundation for the performance in other cultural techniques like language writing and even calculus. Therefore, it has been beneficial to make sure children acquire basic competences in handwriting. This has not changed much, although the time devoted to perfection of the technique has been reduced over generations. We still have some memories of people who have made the handwriting or the pencils used a case of distinction. At the enlightenment period a lot of authors drafted their thoughts and manuscripts in handwriting and our museums or biographies are proud to show off handwriting of authors, artists or composers. In some of those we are able to retrieve the thought process behind the writing. The editing, crossing out, adding sentences or correcting words are traces to dive deeper into these creative processes.
Currently, we are less sure, whether in the age of AI we should still rely much on this old technique of handwriting. If we just treat it as one of many competences to be or become creative yourself, we are on the right track. The PISA studies by OECD include problem-solving as a crucial competence. Handwriting or drafting first steps of a solution might still be useful. A handwritten sketch of a solution might guide the elaboration of the more encompassing solution.
Another interesting feature of handwriting is the cross-cultural element of it. We feel easily compassion for a handwritten document. The psychomotor competence of handwriting is fascinating across continents. It has distinguished us from other species as well. The evolutionary steps are important elements of a learning process. Nostalgic feelings about handwriting do not help anybody, but children are well-advised to still keep an eye on their handwriting competence as part of or first step in problem solving, even if it is just to formulate the question they are interested in.

Dietrich Gabin

In French cinema Jean Gabin is a much adored person. Equally, Marlene Dietrich had, probably an even more far reaching international career. Both were accomplished and successful actors long before the 2nd world war broke out. In the U.S both fell in love and had a long lasting romance together. Their war time activities and “engagement” in fighting Nazi-Germany were extraordinary. It meant that both took active roles to use their charisma to mobilize people and soldiers to fight for freedom.
Shortly after the war then, both made a last attempt to work together in a movie production, but it could not unite the couple again. The “Deutsche Kinemathek” displays currently a page from the Diary of the “Diva” to underscore to what extent “Dietrich” was depressed about the break-up of their longer lasting love affair. Some say Gabin was the only person who quit her, all (most?) other relationships were terminated by the Diva. The junctions of biographies are hard to predict. The circumstances of the 2nd world war and internalized civic obligations to fight for freedom and democracy were wholeheartedly shared by both, but eventually they grew apart nevertheless. Tough experiences even for the much adored persons on the forefront of the stages worldwide. There seem to be many instances of repetition of the same story not only in movies, but also in real life.
Image: Deutsche Kinemathek Museum 2024-5

Image History

The archives of the history of movies and/or television show to us the multiple ways how images capture our attention and memories. Visual narratives are an own category of our personal and collective memory. The wide range of visual experiences are a powerful way to influence. Not only the movies and stories matter, but the whole range of images associated with the cinema world. Poster collections, newspapers and today the so-called social media multiply the original images. The Deutsche Kinemathek allows a special, critical understanding of image history as Germany has been using and abusing images and movies in a very manipulating manner historically. The message is: do not take images for face value. The ways and techniques to manipulate images have been widely used and are all around us today. Whereas the mass media in previous decades have dominated the collective memories we have entered into an era with many more subcultures that evolve within their own bubble of images. An original attempt to cut 65 movies of German film history into less than 4 minutes is presented in the exhibition (Milkowski and Simbeni). It focuses on gestures and “les regards”, “Blicke”, how the actresses and actors seem to look at us. Eyes capture attention, and this as soon as we open our eyes as children. Our brain works as image recorder and our memory algorithms tend to favor image recognition while processing images continuously. We do not know much about our own image sorting algorithm or algorithms yet. Research on aging of the brain gives some hints. With declining short term memory the images stored in long term memory take the upper hand. This makes an understanding of the history of images even more important.

Deutsche Kinemathek

Just in the vicinity of the Potsdamer Platz in Berlin you’ll find the Deutsche Kinemathek, the museum movies, actors, actresses, directors and the history of cinema in Germany. There is a small specialized library in the Kinemathek that allows to dive not only into journals and books, but also video material, scenarios and accessories. Of course, you will find a lot of material on all sorts of movie stars (heroines) over more than a hundred years. The “Divas” of the industry take up a large part of the exhibition. “Marlene Dietrich” much more than “Hildegard Knef“, the former born and the latter lived for a long time in Berlin-Schöneberg (Berlin-Pretty-Hill as some locals call it nowadays). The 2 Divas probably caused the funny translation. Anyway, the hall in the Kinemathek which is exclusively devoted to Marlene Dietrich impresses with a lot of glamour and mirrors around.
For those with not only a biographical, but also life course interest in cinema cherish the public access to the library. The most impressive table there is the desk with access to the Ukrainian movies and about cinema in Ukraine. A list with QR-codes allows you to readily approach the recent developments before and during the Russian aggression on Ukraine (See image below). After all Potsdamer Platz in Berlin was a hot-spot of the cold war period in the divided Berlin. A little bit of a “Metropolis-atmosphere” can still be felt. The Kinemathek explains well what this is all about.

Deutsch Deutscher

In English grammer we use comparative adjectives to express that something or someone has changed or undergoing change. Germany might have become more German. The second usage is to make comparisons not only between two points in time, but between two statuses or of two artefacts more generally. The statement “Deutschland wird deutscher”, therefore, intends to describe an ongoing process or the transition process from one state to the other. This statement as such does not offer any explanation or definition of the original state, nor of the second point of reference. It might just describe the dynamics or the direction of the dynamics. In this example it deals with social dynamics. Germany in the 21st century is posing more questions about its identity and future directions than some time ago. The artist Katharina Sieverding has put up this reflection as a poster on walls to provoke discussions about the way to identify and deal with German identities in the early 1990s, shortly after re-unification of the 2 parts of Germany (Image below from “Nationalgalerie für Gegenwartskunst, Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin” 2024-5).
30 years later we are scared by a ruthless right-wing extremist and brutal movement that takes to the streets and commits crimes.
It is no surprise that the Higher Administrative Court in Cologne has confirmed that the “BfV’s classification of the party AfD and of its youth organisation as a “Verdachtsfall” (subject of extended investigation to verify a suspicion) as well as the publicising of this classification to be lawful“.
It is a step ahead to become “deutscher” if we battle out such decisions in courts rather than by force on the streets, although this has failed once in German history already. The poster action by Katharina Sieverding is a reminder to monitor and deal with these topics continuously, albeit the knifes may be coming in closer than before. Being frightened is no option in order to defend democratic values. 

Time Perception

There are many different angles from which to look at time. Of course, we all do it several times a day or during boring meetings. The study by Ma, Cameron and Wiener (2024) highlights the bi-directional link of perceived time and memorability. Visual stimuli alter our perception of time. Watching a video we all make the experience that the perceived length of the time spent watching varies according to content and maybe only the cutting technique applied to shorten the perceived length. Similarly it has been demonstrated that looking for longer at an image and grasp the meaning or implicit story we tend to remember the image for longer. In courts it is a usual procedure to question the memory capacity of persons and the sources of bias. The study by Ma et al. demonstrates the impact of the size of the scene, how cluttered it is and aspects of memorability in visual perception. Our memories are co-determined by these factors. The other direction of causality i.e. that memorability determines the time perception seems equally at work. This apparent undetermined element, so far, calls for additional care when analyzing recall from memory. Memory is not only selective in terms of content, it also is subject to the impact of all sorts of visual stimuli.
Time can be many things. For humans it is everything but exact. In science we measure time with ever more exactitude and try to standardize time on the moon now. In addition to exact time, humans have perceived time and subjective versions and even concepts of time. About time to take time more seriously.