16. TRANSITION (21.01.2019)

Transition – an innovative road-map (Regina Klein)

Transition is one of TOBP’s core terms. The element ‚trans‘ means:  “across, beyond, through, on the other side of, to go beyond“, originally present participle of the verb *trare-, meaning “to cross over, pass through, overcome”. https://www.etymonline.com/

We find it in various relevant terms as; transdisciplinary ( link to ELFC); transculturality (link to transculturality); transcending (rising above or beyond limits of thought, cultural concepts, boundaries and/or borders.); transfer (to move shift, conceive from one place, person to another);

translate (to transfer or turn from one set of symbols to another); transpose (to change the used order of something); transversal (s.th or s.o acting, laying or being across, crosswise)

transform (shaping old into new forms, designs, concepts) and at least transition  as a movement, development, evolution from one place, stage, form, style, phase to another.

Related to transculturality (link) In postcolonialism culture theory, it is exactly the transcending mode, in other words: the transition between two marked “islands”, two cultural spheres,which opens a place for co-creation (link) of new transcultural concepts and being. These new concepts are defined as ‘third’ cultural spaces, intermediate locations where we are forced to move beyond borders, mostly the barriers in our minds: Conventional ideas of ‘home’, of identity, belonging and othering (link)) depend upon clearly defined static notions of being in one ‘place’, firmly rooted in a particular geographical location, a well-defined separistic culture. In transition, past and present, inside and outside, familiar and foreign, known and not-known no longer remain separated as binary opposites but open up potential spaces ‘in between’ and ‘in betwixt’. Here conventional patterns of cultural concepts, thoughts and perceptions are disturbed and can be disrupted just by the possibility of crossing. Exactly from this precarious transitional point complex forms of transcultural representations emerge. New, transnational and -cultural transitional models of identity and belonging, of transcending knowledge are possible which challenge the “certainty of roots” with the “contingency of routes” (Bhabha 1994)

What do transitions look like? Living in between, going beyond unknown pathways can be painful, risky, scary and terrifying because we lose all our dominant identity markers, all our former certainties. Therefore, being at the border, on the edge, in this transitional third culture space has to be described as a uncanny, unhomely situation, where all former valid narratives, guarantees, passports become invalid, forgotten or gone with the shifting wind. This extraordinary disruption brings with it trauma and anxiety – it is like ‘laying down your whole life’ on the edge of the border.  Despite or even because of this displaced and disrupted situation the uncanny border is the place of creation, development, possibility and agency for new concepts, new stories, new narratives, new shifting ideas, in short: transcending knowledge, overcoming outdated dominant Western and Eurocentric, highly racializing and excluding, concepts. It is a way of ‘out of the box-thinking’ beyond exclusionary, fixed, binary notions of identity based on ‘familiar’ ideas of cultural, racial and national identities and traditional preformed pathways. Bhabha (1994) stresses the importance of ‘performance’ to co-create (link) new cultural patterns and suggests that imaginative border-crossings are as important as physical crossings of borders. Therefore, living in ‘transition’, at the border, at the edge, requires a new “art of presence”, a presence which is “coming into being” just in this transitional, intermediate, interstitial time and space. Transitions are important thresholds, full of contradiction and ambivalence. Here borders are fluid, contingent, multiple and shifting, capable of transforming, excluding and limiting cultural concepts into a better future where motion, multiplicity, unpredictability, hybrid and impurity are gleefully welcome. (John McLeod 2010)