Erenlai - Items filtered by date: Monday, 27 October 2008
Monday, 27 October 2008 23:58

Right Risks, Right Time, Right Spirit

In October, I attended two conferences organized by the Europe China Center for Leadership and responsibility (ECCLAR) at the Shanghai-bases China Europe International Business School (CEIBS). The first conference was raising the question “Does corporate social responsibility improve the bottom line in China?” while the second one was focusing on “Leadership, Spirituality and the Common Good.” Due to the unfolding of the financial crisis, the participants were asking themselves a few basic questions that suddenly looked even more urgently that they had foreseen: what set of values and insights may foster an entrepreneurial style conducive of social happiness, responsible behavior and personal fulfillment? What are the ultimate responsibilities and the desirable ethos of an entrepreneur? Can East and West learn from each other when it comes to foster a more “spiritual” approach to business ethics and economic modeling? For sure, there were no definite answers to such questions, but a consensus was emerging on the fact that (a) the definition of economic goals and benefits had been too narrow in the past, neglecting to evaluate and valorize the social and personal happiness resulting from economic activities as well as its impact on natural and communal integrity; (b) the formation of businessmen has generally not been nurturing “spiritual” leaders able to listen to their inner voice and showing empathy, discernment and moral courage; (c) Eastern and Western spiritual traditions could foster alternative models of leadership, provided there are people able to creatively reformulate them.

When participating in these discussions, I was keeping in mind the lessons of the colloquium that Ricci/Renlai had just organized in Taipei County on culture and global warming, as well as our Kaohsiung 2007 and Shanghai 2008 symposiums. I do see a thread throughout this series of events: since a few years already, in close collaboration with friends from different countries and ways of life, we have been insisting on a few convictions. Let me restate them in retrospect, as they have been evolving during the last four years – it does seem to me that their overall validity is confirmed by the unfolding events:

-Stressing again and again the fact that the present world economic model was not sustainable did not come from a mere statistical analysis or a single-minded focus on the use of natural resources; it was a way to challenges some basic assumptions on profitability, to remind us of the growing gap between the accumulation of wealth realized by a few and the continuing non satisfaction of the primary needs of half of the world population, and to rehabilitate in contrast a humanist and inter-disciplinary approach of economic phenomena.

-Linking sustainability and culture was a way to give more content to this enlarged concept of sustainability, to show the prominent role that civil societies have to play for reforming our patterns of consumption and production, and to show that ecological and social concerns were not linked to a “conservationist” attitude but were really a way to foster creativity so as to devise innovative solutions rooted into our cultural resources.

-Finally, making “spiritual empowerment” a cornerstone of sustainability and cultural diversity was indeed pointing to a need that has proven to be dramatic. Consequently, pursuing and focusing its line of research, in 2009, eRenlai will be paying special attention to the “spiritual empowerment” issue, trying to offer an array of resources helping economic, social, political and cultural leaders to develop their capacity to discern, to listen and to decide in a way that relates them to their inner being and nurtures personal and collective growth. “Spiritual empowerment" is not a luxury for the happy few; it is rather a way to achieve “spiritual democracy” - to share and assess resources helpful for building up mature, balanced and sustainable communities.

May the network of friends that the eRenlai platform gathers take as their core mission the enrichment, sharing and implementation of the cultural and spiritual resources that the present crisis so urgently calls on us to mobilize.

November 2008

Note: The two ECCLAR conferences mentioned above were organized in cooperation with the Center for International Business Ethics (CIBE) and European SPES Forum, Leuven.


(photo: A.K.)


Monday, 27 October 2008 22:05

移监,是一种酷刑。

「囚」马星动之时,我必须再次伪装成面无表情的「表演者」,假装手铐、脚镣只不过是演出过程的道具;以及我一点也不在乎旁人轻蔑的眼光…

撰文│丹丹


入监七年,最恼人者莫过不以更换「单位」是属。

更换舍房,更换工厂,把自己所有的衣物装备打成一包扛上肩,手上抱个置物箱,一趟完成。这类更动只算小儿科──因为总还是在同一个监所,距离有限。就算有时尚须上下楼梯,令人喘气如牛,但途中略为歇个个把分钟,戒护人员均会体谅、不忍催促。消耗的是体力,可把它视唯一趟运动即可释怀。

相对于同一监所内不同单位的更动,移监的「摧残力」可就强烈多了。

为了戒护上的考量,没有受移人犯会被预先告知:何时移动及移往何处。因此,若是远途或隔海,可能凌晨三、四点就被唤醒,匆匆将自己想带走、能带走的衣物打包。当办完一切离监手续,上车离去之前等候著你的是:手铐、脚镣。

单独一人移监,标准的「配备」是手铐及三公斤重的脚镣各一付。若是数人一齐移动,那就是:手铐脚镣外,另需加上:每两个犯人腰部用同一条铁鍊链在一起。直到抵达目的地的监狱以前,两个人做任何事均须一齐行动。幸运的话,你被移往的目的地同在岛上,于是上囚车,然后直达另一监所内,接著下囚车,松绑身上所有戒具,恢复那有限的自由。戒护人员与犯人也同时都松一口气。


心中负荷万钧

倘若移动的过程中尚需使用船舶或飞机等,心理最是尴尬与难捱了!

一人独自移动,戒护人员是两位以上,荷枪实弹身著防弹背心的法警(人数视人犯危险性与犯行轻重而定)。犯人心中自我明白:自己这副模样是既怪异又明显。只希望能低调些避免太多旁人的目光。不过手铐或可用手巾、衣物遮掩;戴著脚镣行走,不仅步履特异,还会不断发出声响,要躲人耳目可就难上加难。穿越人群,挡在你路前正在排队的人听到那脚镣在地上拖行的声音,先是回头,接著低头寻找那声响的来源,最后自动让出一条路让你先行通过。你努力地挤出无辜状,但内心非常清楚:现在留在你背后的骚动与私语的肇事者就是你!

通过那对你让路的人群,心中也曾想似有教养地向他们说声「抱歉」或者「谢谢」等礼貌性语言,但你会发觉:当你经过他们面前时,每个人的脸都不约而同地转向另一边。被视若瘟神的自己,不知要对谁开口表示歉意与诚意。只能识趣地低头沉默以对。这时,身旁的法警若愿与你小声交谈,无论他说的是什么内容,你会用尽各种方法,努力把话说得慢些;话讲得久些;脸上表情和蔼些以减低此刻内心的尴尬与不安。不论戒护人员此种体贴行为是有意或凑巧,你心中都只有窝心与感激。因为唯有如此,才能避免自己脑海中充斥的只有「汪洋大盗」、「游街示众」的联想。脚镣重量仅三公斤,戴著它在监所外行走,心中的负荷可是万钧。


只好成为表演者

多人一齐移监,或许此刻「表演者」已非唯一;大家的目光可以在不同的演员身上徘徊与流连,因此「观众」就会明显增多。

当手铐脚镣、身系铁鍊的「二」行人蜿蜒迤逦、浩浩荡荡地穿越候机、候船处,虽然有些民众会较友善或惊慌地装著未看见,但也有不少人会对我等行「注目礼」。彼等之目光或鄙视或好奇;人犯则多眼睛直盯前行者的脑勺,表情木然、装著未看见任何旁人似地鱼贯前行,但似乎又与身上的「配备」不相称;若表情过于严肃,又易现凶神恶煞之貌;如表情太过轻松,那岂不成毫无羞耻之心,不知悔改之徒。因此,无论你如何表现内心,看来都不恰当。

经判决确定后,自己的身分由被告变为受刑人,开始由看守所移往监狱。又因矫正机关考量:各监所收容人的人数;所犯的罪行…我曾在五个月内,有被移往三间不同监狱,住过七间不同舍房的阅历。因而练就一身迅速打包、随时准备「逃难」;面无表情、目光呆滞穿越人群的功夫。不过,无论如何,在同一「单位」安定下来才是自己的首选。因为,每当你不得不在街头「抛头露面」时,虽然脸上表情木然,外表视若无睹;但内心深处却是五味杂陈,不易形容更难以接受。

移监,是一种酷刑。

附加的多媒体:
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Last summer, Costa Rica was delighted to host a small sample of Chinese art during the first exhibition of Art and Chinese Culture organized by the Kung Tse Oriental Institute, a Chinese-Mandarin Language center in San Jose. This was the first time that such an event was organized in Costa-Rica, with various activities such as Dances of the Lion, kung-fu, Jasmine Song and Chinese tea ceremony. The purpose of this exhibition was to raise funds for an Integral Center of Health for children with cerebral paralysis, and it received a great response, especially from the curious and enthusiasts of the Chinese culture.

One of the main attractions of this event was to present collaborations between artists in various artistic fields, such as ceramics, painting, handwriting and music. As a musician, I was responsible for creating the sound environment of the exhibition. My focus was to present an authentic ancient blend of Chinese instruments and Electroacoustic music, and for that purpose I contacted several musicians. These collaborations are part of my project “Proyecto Sonorum” (http://www.proyectosonorum.org/), which is meant to break cultural barriers using technology art as the medium.

This was not the first time I worked with other musicians. While I was in Taiwan, I had already recorded music with Chinese instruments and performed in different venues. I can recall the great experience of recording in studio with the great pipa player Luo Chao-Yun (http://www.myspace.com/pipawoman) and the talented Janelle Chang (http://www.myspace.com/janelleyichen), a musician who plays a traditional Uygur instrument called the Satar. I had also performed live with Chinese instruments along with Chao-Ming Tung (http://chaomingtung.info/) and the music students from National Chiao Tung University’s Music Institute where I was studying computer music.

For this sound installation at Kung Tse Institute, I contacted other composers from Latin America. Otto Castro (http://www.ottocastro.com) from the Oscilador group (Electroacoustic Music Project of Costa Rica, http://www.oscilador.org/) contributed with his piece “Arquetipos Marinos”, a composition based on pentatonic scales that are very common in Chinese music. Two other musicians from Costa Rica were involved: Hazel Rodriguez (http://www.myspace.com/haditaprogresivamusic) and Roberto Mata, both involved in the local experimental music and progressive Rock scene. Hazel proposed a piece called “Under the rain”, in which she tried to recreate a Chinese landscape by using her synthetizer. Roberto Mata, who is a guitar player and a composer, offered a piece called “Hola”, which is a meditation of this word, the Spanish for “Hello”. Another artist involved in the installation was Fabian Torres (http://www.faoto.net/) from Colombia, a musician who tends to mix Latin-American and Asian music styles in his compositions. An example of this would be his mixture of Columbian Cumbia with Indonesian Gamelan instruments.

Aside from these Latin American musicians, two very special guests took part in the project: Chi-Hui Liang (http://www.chihuiliang.com) and pipa player Chao-Yung Luo. Liang, a film music composer, gave us a permission to play some of the tracks from her CD “Vita Eterna”, which is a very special mixture of Chinese instruments and Western rhythms.

The organizers of the Exhibition were delighted with the results of the sound installation, and visitors provided a lot of positive feedback. We achieved to create a sound environment transporting the visitors into contemporary and ancient China. As a result, we decided to work on new projects involving Proyecto Sonorum and the Kung Tse Institute, one example being a multimedia concert for June 2009. We will keep you informed about these.

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