Issue #43, 2013

All That Is Solid Melts into Air, 2012–2013
Mona Vătămanu, Florin Tudor

Mona Vătămanu and Florin Tudor are presenting for IDEA arts +society a selection of stills from their film All That Is Solid Melts into Air (2012–2013). The versets of The Book of Revelation become subtitles for the images of spilled residues from the contemporary mining projects at Roșia Montană, Valea Șesii, Roșia Poieniand Geamăna. The images are framed by two visualized discourses, the UN speech of Salvador Allende from 1972, and Thomas Sankara’s speech at the Pan-African Summit from Addis Adeba in 1987, historical moments before the assassination of both leaders.

The gold exploitation at Roșia Montană, the contemporary-relevant cause of the longest resistance against neoliberal capitalism in postcommunist Romania, is thus situated with ease in the non-European context of the policies of extractivist capitalism, its militarist and neocolonial character included. One can recall thus that the “only alternative „ proclaimed after 1989, the neoliberal economical policies based on the foundation of the “free market „, have been initiated in Latin America in the context of a right-wing dictatorship imposed after a military coup, continued then to unfold in Africa, in the context of increased financial dependency and violent repression of the movements for anticolonial liberation, and were then introduced after 1989 in Eastern Europe, in the context of incipient democracies and paradigm change.

However, the montage proposes more than a pedagogical effect, offering a series of contradictory and uncomfortable totalities, at the level of intuition, senses and thought alike: the images of residual poison are seductive and easy to the eye; the explanatory value of panoramas is refused in favor of the perpetual ambiguity of close-ups; the postmodern ambiguity and refusal of "full meaning" is abandoned in favor of strongly charged commentary; the very clear sense of recent history is disclosed in the name of a resistive but unclarified other sense; the meaning of certain spiritual learnings is put together with the critical sense of secularity; and, not least, the future of “space conquest „ seems to have happened sometime in the past, on Earth. If the Apocalypse is the greatest narrative of the still-lasting Western sunset, and “the only alternative „ is the greatest narrative of our recent history, could this be the sign of a cynical era, paradoxically fine with the idea of domination, of a new fascist “Golden Dawn „, or of a decolonial aesthesis, which perceives irreversibility and domination from a concrete exteriority, maybe from the open horizon of a reality reclaiming, tentatively, its dynamic character? (Ovidiu Țichindeleanu)

Pp. 17–18

We are faced by a direct confrontation between the large transnational corporations and the states.

The corporations are interfering in the fundamental political, economic and military decisions of the states.

The corporations are global organizations that do not depend on any state and whose activities are not controlled by, or any other institution representative of the collective interest.

In short, all the world political structure is being undermined.

The large transnational firms are prejudicial to the genuine interests of the developing countries and their dominating and uncontrolled action is also carried out in the industrialized countries, where they are based.

It is our trust in ourselves which increases our faith in the great values of mankind in the certainty that these values must prevail, that they cannot be destroyed.

Salvador Allende



Pp. 33–35

Debt’s origins come from colonialism's origins.

We think that debt has to be seen from the standpoint of its origins.

Those who lend us money are those who colonized us before.

They are those who used to manage our states and economies.

Colonizers are those who indebted Africa through their brothers and cousins who were the lenders.

We had no connections with this debt.

Therefore we cannot pay for it.

And by saying that the debt shall not be repaid, we are not against morals, dignity and keeping one’s word.

We think we don’t have the same morality as others.

It is not the same morality among the richest and the poorest.

The Bible and The Coran cannot serve exploiters and exploited the same way.

There should be two different editions of the Bible and two different editions of the Coran.

Thomas Sankara