textum

The imagination of a world without wars, exploitation, inequality, hunger, poverty, violence and oppression; in other words, a world of justice and freedom, has a long and complex history. We, a group of young social scientists who get inspiration from the historical accumulation of this imagination have embarked on a journey with an aspiration to understand the world and to contribute to the horizons of changing it, within the intellectual field. textum, the product of this aspiration, aims to be a platform of intellectual practice and production, where products of such labor get into circulation and interaction, where ideas and discussions come into contact with themselves and with life, and where these are introduced into the intellectual world both in an intellectual and political manner.

We set off with a desire to criticize the life and times we’re in and create a medium where this critique can be heard. We hope to contribute, through intellectual activity, to the social and political practice of the ideals of the “interpratation of the world” and the “changing of it”, two ideals which we believe to be closely related. We consider the presence of creative and critical intellectual activity to be of paramount importance for these ideals. We believe in the abundance of such an intellectual sensibility and critical vigour based on our own desires and ideals, alongside the shared memory and sentiments of our generation. Holding fast to the tenets and rooted historical background of the aforementioned ideal, nonetheless always striving to go beyond them, we endeavor to use our pens for the sake of the ever-repressed and ever-silenced proletariat and the oppressed.

textum

textum, a Latin word, means “web” or “wowen”. Perhaps because writing was considered to be a work resembling weaving, the words signifying “text” in Western languages come from the root word textum. Walter Benjamin’s remarks on Proust have become a source of inspiration for us to describe the work we aim to accomplish. Benjamin, in his text titled “The Image of Proust”, wrote:

 The Latin word textum means ‘web’. No one’s text is more tightly woven than Marcel Proust’s; to him nothing was tight or durable enough. From his publisher Gallimard we know that Proust’s proofreading habits were the despair of the typesetters. The galleys always went back covered with marginal notes, but not a single misprint had been corrected; all available space had been used for fresh text. Thus the laws of remembrance were operative even within the confines of the work. (“The Image of Proust”, in Illuminations, p. 202)

Therefore, our objective, albeit not exactly the same with that of Proust, is to put the “laws of remembrance” at work for the benefit of the proletariat and the oppressed, volunteering for an intellectual labour of such sort. What’s essential for textum is that the aforementioned intellectual work have a critical and academically valid quality.

Our mission

textum sets off with an array of objectives which include creating works that dwell on social and political issues, sharing some critical texts produced in the academic and political literature, and endeavoring to localize knowledge through the introduction of certain English works into Turkish language. It, thus, intends to bring together discussions in both the national and the international field and to make an intellectual contribution to the academic-political sphere via print and visual media.

In a nutshell, textum is a platform for discussion. It contains texts, videos and interviews produced around the said principles and objectives, works on the current political issues, translations of certain important texts within the international literature, and reviews of cultural and artistic works.

Our struggle is, as the story goes, same with that of the ant carrying a drop of water to put out Nimrod’s enormous fire. Even if it may not be enough to extinguish it, the act itself still proves our commitment.