Declaration of Earth Civilization Project (ECP)

by Tarık Günersel    /  August 16, 2013  / 1 Comment

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Photo: Sholeh Wolpe

Tarik Günersel introduces the Earth Civilization Project Declaration:
The Declaration of Earth Civilization Project, signed by several intellectuals from various parts of our planet, is announced below on Sampsonia Way. Billions of people have contributed to enrichment of life, and hardly any idea can be claimed to be truly original–in the sense of being out of nowhere. Sometimes various atoms of thought get together with certain energies and lead to fruitfulness. Earth Civilization Project is one such step, which will hopefully cause positive chain reactions.

Wait and see? No. Do and see.

If you share the basic approach in the Declaration, then you can consider yourself a part of the open-ended and enriching process called Earth Civilization in Progress.

May contributions lead to contributions.
_______________________________________

Dear Earthlings,

We, the undersigned, declare that we have decided to become “co-travelers” in order to contribute to the formation of an Earth Civilization (EC), which will probably take a few centuries. Some of the roots of EC already exist: Our rich multicultural heritage, The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the United Nations and related organizations such as UNESCO, UNICEF and ILO, and several other international organizations such as PEN International, The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), Amnesty International, Greenpeace, International Press Institute (IPI), International Theatre Institute… -in addition to universities, cultural institutions, networks and formations such as Wikipedia, as well as concerned individuals and media. (A very short and insufficient list, indeed.)

We intend to focus on the initial steps until Earth Day (April 22nd) in 2014. A secular and democratic world can be built, as a necessary component of EC.

This declaration is also an invitation to you, to all concerned earthlings and institutions. We, as contributing individuals, may not see “the result,” but each step is a result in itself, which will encourage further progress. Earth Civilization is not something that can ever be claimed to have developed completely. It is a process, a work-in-progress. We are aware that such a mission needs contributions from not only hundreds, or even millions of people, but from billions.

We are not unaware of the harsh and bitter facts of life, such as severe inequalities, child abuse, unfair treatment of women, lack of various freedoms, terrible judiciary systems, despotism, racism, exploitation, causing wars for the sake of profit… On the contrary: We are among those who not only see and mention such facts, but also do something about them. Our idea of the Earth Civilization in progress is organically related to such harsh facts of present life, responsibility, and hope.

Various groups and mentalities have different–and sometimes conflicting–histories. Problems could be re-evaluated for the sake of a peaceful future in harmony with human rights, democratic values and nature. Humans can collaborate in the formation of a common cultural denominator–ever to be enriched. History is full of beliefs that have gone out of fashion. Openness to revise our assumptions is one of the values we share.

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Photo: Sholeh Wolpe

Thus we start, hoping to meet you on the way, on a path which needs to be built as we go. The countries mentioned in the list of signatories imply not our boundaries nor limits nor where we live but simply our unchosen (but not meaningless) origins on our planet. We trust that our “open group” will widen, enabling more interaction and output in our joyful attempt to embrace all contributions in all fields.

Optimistically–not in the sense that the future will automatically be better, but that it can be better if we do something about it.

Selman Ada (Composer, Conductor and Pianist – Turkey)
Alexandros Adamopoulos (Writer and Translator – Greece)
Ekbal Baraka (Writer, Int’l Chair of PEN Women Writers Committee – Egypt)
Beverly Barbey (Musician and Translator –UK, France)
Teresa Cadete (Writer, President of Portuguese PEN Centre)
Antonio Della Rocca (Novelist, Board Member of PEN Int’l – Italy)
Ferida Durakovic (Poet, Executive Director of PEN Center in Bosnia-Herzegovina)
Adalet Barış Günersel (Educational Psychologist, PhD, and Writer – Turkey)
Tarık Günersel (Writer, Initiator of the project – Turkey)
Katica Kulavkova (Writer, Professor of Literary Theory, PEN Int’l Vice President – Macedonia)
Mohamed Magani (Writer, Academic, ex-member of PEN Int’l Board – Algeria)
Vida Ognjenovic (Playwright, PEN Int’l Vice President – Serbia)
Zeyba Rahman (Writer – India)
Judith Rodriguez (Poet, Melbourne PEN – Australia)
Eugene Schoulgin (Novelist, PEN Int’l Vice President – Norway)
Racine Senghor (Poet and Critic – Senegal)
Bina Shah (Writer, columnist of Sampsonia Way – Pakistan)
Hori Takeaki (Writer, PEN Int’l Secretary – Japan)
Selim Temo (Writer, PhD, Anthologist of Kurdish Poetry – Turkey)
David Walsh (Opera Director, Educator – Canada)
Nelson Wattie (Poet, Translator, Literary Historian – New Zealand)
Sholeh Wolpe (Poet – Iran)
Yang Lian (Poet, PEN Int’l Board Member – China)

11 August 2013 CE / 6013 AW -After the invention of Writing

About the Author

Tarık Günersel is a poet, playwright, aphorist, librettist and short story writer. He is the president of PEN Turkey and an ex-member of the PEN International Board. He studied English Literature at Istanbul University. A self-exile after the military coup in 1980, he spent four years in Saudi Arabia with his wife Füsun and their daughter Barış, teaching English. A dramaturg at Istanbul City Theater since 1991, he has acted on stage and screen and directed some of his plays. He proposed World Poetry Day in 1997 which was accepted by PEN International and declared by UNESCO as the 21st of March. His translations into Turkish include works by Samuel Beckett, Vaclav Havel and Arthur Miller. His works include The Nightmare of a Labyrinth (mosaic of poems and stories), and How’s your slavery goin’? His Oluşmak (To Become), a “life guide for myself,” includes ideas from world wisdom of the past four millennia. He has recently initiated the Earth Civilization Project with the support of several intellectuals from various parts of the planet.

View all articles by Tarık Günersel

One Comment on "Declaration of Earth Civilization Project (ECP)"

  1. Ernst Mecke March 14, 2014 at 6:20 pm ·

    I have often thought that somebody (perhaps the UNESCO?) should set up a permanent seminar about good government where delegates from all interested governments could discuss widespread problems such as corruption, the pros and cons of Western or other forms of democracy, etc. . A personal guess of mine is that classical Chinese ideas and methods will often be referred to.
    Perhaps the seminar should also have the possibility to temporarily shut up or exclude such participants who sabotage the work too much. But anyway I do think that there are serious problems in ALL political systems, also in the Western-style democracies, which certainly would be worth discussing thoroughly.

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