We-making
Daniel Vaarik
Who are “we”?
Every definition of
“we” changes the world
Humans
Old people
Parents
Startuppers
Etc etc etc
We-making is always
they-making
The creation of “them” is vital for making “us”
Some “we’s” and
“they’s” are fairly new
Generations
Nations
Car owners
In Spring 2010. Theatre NO99 created an experiment.
An audience member was asked to come to an empty stage.
People were encouraged to join her. “Because she is so lonely down there!”
People started coming to the stage to support her.
Soon many people filled the stage.
But not everyone left the seats.
And even after being asked many times, some people never went to stage. Suddenly there were “we”
and “they”. The audience ...
Unfortunately...
... polarization is also a main mechanism of
making sense of the world…
...it is also the easiest way to ...
“If you came from the planet Mars, it would
have been harder to make distinctions between
the new guard and the old. But y...
Absolute “we” is
impossible
… since “we” always requires “them”...
... since without different viewpoints the world
as we ...
“We”/“They” creates
suspicion
Who are these strange “they”?
Are some of the “they” among us?
Is this person perhaps an age...
Violence can secure the
“we”
“Violence gives some form of certainty ...”
(Arjun Appadurai, Fear of Small Numbers)
Minor differences as
major anger points
In fact, minor differences can become the least
acceptable ones. How dare you come...
Animals as “we”
Swans
are seen as part of
natural “we” in Estonian
media.
Cormorans are seen as intruding
“they.
Jokes as symbolic
violence upon “them”
nationalities
gays
Government and “we”
Official “We” becomes destiny
!
How nations define
“we”
Ethnic
Multiethnic
“Estonian Russians or
Putin’s”?
Bringing the “we”
together
Push: military, money, legal stuff
Pull: soft power, culture, inspiration
Maintaining the “we”
Not so much what is said, but how it is said
Avoid final polarization
Don’t say that: “who is not with us, is our
enemy”
Learn to stop the radicalization cycles
Mandela: a master of
soft power or a pussy?
Symbolics of “we”
If apology, then pure
If monument, then beautiful and inclusive
Silent gradualism of
“we”
Role models
Everyday practice
that every “we“ is imaginary
In the end,
remember…
We can imagine very different “we’s”
Thanks.
Wemaking
Wemaking
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Wemaking

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Wemaking

  1. 1. We-making Daniel Vaarik
  2. 2. Who are “we”?
  3. 3. Every definition of “we” changes the world Humans Old people Parents Startuppers Etc etc etc
  4. 4. We-making is always they-making The creation of “them” is vital for making “us”
  5. 5. Some “we’s” and “they’s” are fairly new Generations Nations Car owners
  6. 6. In Spring 2010. Theatre NO99 created an experiment.
  7. 7. An audience member was asked to come to an empty stage.
  8. 8. People were encouraged to join her. “Because she is so lonely down there!”
  9. 9. People started coming to the stage to support her.
  10. 10. Soon many people filled the stage.
  11. 11. But not everyone left the seats.
  12. 12. And even after being asked many times, some people never went to stage. Suddenly there were “we” and “they”. The audience was polarized.
  13. 13. Unfortunately... ... polarization is also a main mechanism of making sense of the world… ...it is also the easiest way to get votes in politics
  14. 14. “If you came from the planet Mars, it would have been harder to make distinctions between the new guard and the old. But you could tell that the new ones were happier, they wore Baltman ties. The old ones were sad and angry, they had monochrome ties from the Leningrad trouser-factory number 3”. 
 
 (Daniel Vaarik, “Praktikaaruanne”, 2012). I’ve been polarizing too
  15. 15. Absolute “we” is impossible … since “we” always requires “them”... ... since without different viewpoints the world as we know it, would end. !
  16. 16. “We”/“They” creates suspicion Who are these strange “they”? Are some of the “they” among us? Is this person perhaps an agent of the “they”?
  17. 17. Violence can secure the “we” “Violence gives some form of certainty ...” (Arjun Appadurai, Fear of Small Numbers)
  18. 18. Minor differences as major anger points In fact, minor differences can become the least acceptable ones. How dare you come between us while we are ALMOST “we” now?
  19. 19. Animals as “we” Swans are seen as part of natural “we” in Estonian media. Cormorans are seen as intruding “they.
  20. 20. Jokes as symbolic violence upon “them” nationalities gays
  21. 21. Government and “we” Official “We” becomes destiny !
  22. 22. How nations define “we” Ethnic Multiethnic
  23. 23. “Estonian Russians or Putin’s”?
  24. 24. Bringing the “we” together Push: military, money, legal stuff Pull: soft power, culture, inspiration
  25. 25. Maintaining the “we” Not so much what is said, but how it is said
  26. 26. Avoid final polarization Don’t say that: “who is not with us, is our enemy” Learn to stop the radicalization cycles
  27. 27. Mandela: a master of soft power or a pussy?
  28. 28. Symbolics of “we” If apology, then pure If monument, then beautiful and inclusive
  29. 29. Silent gradualism of “we” Role models Everyday practice
  30. 30. that every “we“ is imaginary In the end, remember…
  31. 31. We can imagine very different “we’s”
  32. 32. Thanks.

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