Finding ‘a now’ to Inhabit: Between the Performative in life and Professional Practice


Kinesthetic embodied memory

How to Cite

Issa, L. (1). Finding ‘a now’ to Inhabit: Between the Performative in life and Professional Practice. Al-Raida Journal, 78-83.


In Italo Calvino’s (1874) Invisible Cities, the emperor Kublai Khan asked his guest, the traveller Marco Polo, whether his understanding of himself, of the world, and of his place within it is inevitably predicated on his own history. Polo replied that “the more he was lost in unfamiliar quarters of distant cities, the more he understood the other cities he had crossed to arrive at” (Tan, 1999). Kublai Khan interrupted him with the question: “You advance always with your head turned back? Is what you see always behind you? Does your journey take place only in the past?” (Tan, 1999). Polo replied that what he sought was always lying ahead of him, even if it was a matter of the past. Arriving at each new city, the traveler again finds a past that he did not know he had. The foreignness of what he no longer is or no longer possesses waits for him in foreign places.


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Calvino, I. (1974). Invisible cities. New York: Harcourt Brace.

Fabius, J. (2006). ‘Where We Are Not’, Wherein Certain Persons Booklet, Rotterdam: Piet Zwart Institute.

Rolnik, S. (1989). Sentimental cartography, Editora Estaçâo Liberdade, Sâo Paulo, translated from the Portuguese by Adriano

Pedrosa and Veronica Cordeiro.

Tan, F. (1999). Facing forward (video still), single screen projection, 11:00 minutes, sound, color.


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