Nurit Shany, infatuation, oil on canvas, 100x150cm
May 2023 - Studio Nurit Shany - 37 Yehuda Ha Yamit st. - Jaffa - Israel
Paradigms are worldviews and a worldview is a multi-layered network of contents, which creates different ways or styles and languages in which a person understands the world around him and his inner world can be organized. there for the paradigm one chooses effects his political point of view.
Each paradigm consists of structures, features and opinions suggesting how to deal with common problems and aims to present a stable form for functioning and existence.
It is important to remember that there is no paradigm that includes all the data of reality and that can deal with all the coming changes. Usually, the contents included in the paradigm do not create a contradiction between them, therefore contents that raise contradictions are not included in the paradigm and are in the area of denial.
A good example of this, in the fifties after the establishment of the state of Israel, is the drawing of maps that excluded the names of the Arab settlements and reference to the nomadic Bedouin tribes who would later establish the diaspora throughout the Negev or rebel in terror acts.
Denying and ignoring data in reality creates an area of blindness to the parts of reality that continue to develop and grow without a dialogue with the owners of the paradigm that denies them. The tendency of similar people to gather and live in closed communities are the most dangerous thing for the unity and harmonious existence of a country yet it is the only way to keep away from conflict. What do we need to add in order to keep being informed and build a coherent paradigm?
Paradigms are patterns of thinking and are the reason for coalitions and social association, and the reason for alienation. They draw for the line between what is 'mine' and what is 'yours’, and who is the ‘enemy’.
Despite the longing for stability of paradigms, because they are a partial representation of reality, they are built and dismantled under the influence of external forces that were not included in them and they also change and disintegrate because of human creativity. As a species, we like to create things, improve what others have built in the past, change existing forms into new ones, and adapt tools to our preferences to improve efficiency. this is why paradigms change along our life and when they do there are difficult times.
When we meet a person, we converse with his paradigm. It is worthwhile to remember that in a dialogue between people, between paradigms, it is impossible to reach full agreement, in many cases there is a hidden complexity in which everyone chooses his own tools and contents to better understand the world. Yet discourse is through content and therefore the conflict and alienation must be broken down to its ingredients in order to investigate and check which content in the paradigm arouses objection. We need to find ways to create discourse that studies the different, examines various actions, contents and variables that were included or rejected, and uses them as tools for discussion as a way to argue accept or love.
You can't build anything with a paradigm. You can build and create using the contents included in it. Because paradigms are more like a set of ideals and guidelines that many people have agreed upon, the private person can only shout out his status yet in order to act and expand one should follow his linear thoughts, content by content and remember that when paradigms are cracked, in a time of a paradigm shift, people have several reactions:
One response is to fight for the previous paradigm while holding uncompromisingly to the views that represent it.
The second reaction is a growing conscious self-definition due to the clarification of the parts of the paradigm, illuminated at that time by a negative definition of the resistance and struggle between the conflicting paradigms.
The third reaction is that of those who understand that they are part of a social evolution in a period of change. Attention arises and an attempt to understand the process and how the different languages of the different paradigms are brought together in order to maintain a new definition for a balanced existence.
Human language and thinking are the chance to change a paradigm and create a new form. The dialogue between different groups that represent different paradigms is the only chance to create a form that will include content, parameters, phenomena and communities that were not included before.
There is no doubt that we, now, in Israel, have before us a complex task of paying attention and digesting a lot of data coming from all the elements of the complex Israeli society, which is made up of liberal seculars and national seculars, Zionist seculars and non-Zionist seculars, extreme liberals, religious from all ends of the social and political spectrum and messianic groups, powerful tycoons, the high-tech community and communities of Manual workers and public servants, moderate and extreme communities and subgroups in the Muslim sector, Christians, Druze and other minorities, and terrorist groups.
The ability to break down paradigms into the measures that build it: content, needs, opinions and ideas is what enables the process of building a more compatible paradigm. Because when you break down the indicators, you find that there are values, contents and needs shared by all those who wish to live in Israel, and there are contents shared by all who believe in a Jewish state. And there are also disagreements and contradictions.
In these times, it seems to me that practicing discourse and listening in a conflicted environment is a quality worthy expansion and development among Knesset members who are tasting, for the first time, a mediation experience in the President's House. it is important to develop it in the culture of discourse in the Knesset, in the Israeli media, where narrators also need to learn to listen and develop ideas and not just ask guiding questions and block the answers. Children in the education system, parents and spouses can all develop the ability to speak and pay attention to differences in order to improve the quality of life. Investigating these topics is a good way to open our minds and help us think outside the box and outside familiar tools.
We have so much work to do. To define whether this country is Jewish or of all its citizens, and how we will live with the contradictions as a Jewish country, or how will we live with even more contrasts in the state of all its citizens? And when we decide, whose land it will be, will we continue to live according to the division of the Turkish land distribution or will we change the definitions ?
Will we be able to talk and change a paradigm or will it be through war?
One thing is clear regardless of who you are and who you associate with and what your paradigm is, we are cracked, the paradigm is already changing.
Therefore, in the field of what is possible, I think it is important to give attention to difference, to the definition of contrasts and conduct that reduces conflicts in the public space and in the discourse and acceptance of differences. Finding common guidelines is a goal and defining limits for each subculture is another.
I hope that these will lead to the writing of a constitution for a democratic country that has equality for its citizens and kindness to every person regardless of the sector to which one belongs.