If you open up Wikipedia and search for Moldova, you may find that it is the poorest country in Europe. At the same time you may learn about the existence of such a country. Is the situation in Moldova today due to the poor financial possibilities? I would say no. Not really. A part of it is the corrupt government. It also has something to do with belonging to the Soviet Union. And it has something to do with the consequences that were left behind by those morally horrible times, when people were offered good salaries and good jobs, but in exchange were forced to teach their kids another language, the Russian language. The fact that the times were financially good back then, and that Moldova has faced multiple difficulties ever since it declared independence, twists people against their own countrymen. It affects our parents and grandparents most of all, with some of them saying, “I would learn another language now just to have the possibilities I had then,” referring to their predisposition to have the country occupied yet again just to avoid poverty.
|Chisinau, Moldova – Chisinau bus station|
Every day is a mystery. One wakes up and hears on TV that some journalist was arrested for doing their job. Some law was adopted in the middle of the night that no one talked about until last night. Maybe politician and oligarch Vladimir Plahotniuc will steal another billion dollars from the people. After all, it’s just a fifth of the country’s GDP, and who cares about that, right?
|Tiraspol, Transnitria (Moldova) – Passengers on train|
But that’s not the worst of it. What I see as being the worst is the people’s twisted minds that vary from place to place. Someone might say hi to you on the street, and someone may spit on you for wearing pink. How come people are so extremely different from each other? Part of this is all the methods of manipulation. You see, unfortunately, people do what I call “suffer from the need to belong,” which is the need to belong to a social group, to be able to identify yourself as a human being, psychologically speaking, and live your life as a social being. To this, I shall also add public and private conformity. It happens when, in order to be accepted by a group, we must change our beliefs, so, for example, if all of my colleagues are against our current president, and they won’t accept me if I say I like him, in order to remain in good relations, I must publicly say that I am against the current President as well. The issue with this is that over time public conformity easily becomes private conformity, which means I start to dislike the president even when I’m not around my colleagues. And somehow, at some time, a long while ago, we were introduced to habits of manipulating people to act as we like. People ask questions similar to: “Do you not respect me?” “Are you not a man?”; or make statements like: “You’re crazy.” When I talk about my plans to become a singer, I hear words like: “Drop this, and be like a normal man,” “Be like everyone else,” and I mean that literally.
|Chisinau, Moldova – Old women next to young couple|
These kinds of statements attack an individual’s need to belong, and if not strong enough, people give up their style of dressing, their favorite activities like dancing, just to be accepted by colleagues. And as if that isn’t enough, society is desperately trying to change every new individual. As if it isn’t enough that they are trying to change an individual’s mind and move it closer to a Russian one, you should also have the right haircut and behavior. Maybe the youngest are starting to change, but so many over the age of 50 just can’t let go and accept that their kids want to have a certain job, or get a certain degree, and they put pressure on them and yell and insist that their kids do what they say, manipulate them, saying if you respect me at least a little bit, then do as I say, in cases where the choice should belong to the individual alone. Some people have European tendencies; others will beat you if you do not approve of the accepted mentality. And judging is everywhere. It’s hard to believe that only once in a few months have I experienced a day in which a person hasn’t judged me in some way. The riflemen will leave their position and cross the street just to offer me a free haircut, because they think real men should have short hair. Medical insurance, in Moldova? Even if you buy it, you still have to pay for the doctor’s visits and, needless to say, pay for the treatment as well. Private clinics are for those with luxury cars, not the average person. People flee the country, going illegally to Europe to make money for their children to have clothes and food, and in exchange they lose their children, weaken the connections between each other, and most importantly, traumatize some of the kids that have no one to lean on in their shuffled and confusing teenage years.
|Chisinau, Moldova – Young man selling grapes|
Another thing is that the young people don’t really get along with the older ones, and the elderly don’t get along with the young, generally speaking. Our parents and grandparents grew up on rules; they were forced to do as they were told without asking questions, while the younger ones believe in freedom, transparency, choice, and independence. This can make relationships both inside a family and in the society quite complicated. Judgement, as mentioned, is everywhere. Criticizing, not understanding, people will vary extremely from one street to the next, which is why, when I accidentally bump into someone, especially an older person, and immediately apologize – I don’t know if they are going to say “it’s okay” or start lecturing me about how blind I am and that I have no respect for the elderly.
|Chisinau, Moldova – Figures on facade of abandoned Soviet theater|
And this has been going on for years, decades, all of this – the irregularities, the unpredictable reactions, this chaos filled with routine and unhappiness, the differences in people and yet the similarities between them, being similar through difference – this stable instability surrounding the country and nestled in people’s hearts – it’s driving me nuts.
|Suceava county, Moldova – Judgement Day fresco|
And all I want is to see a community within our society, one which I may never even experience. A lot depends on the government. People may think, “they can’t influence us,” but it’s enough to lower the salaries and raise the price of gas and food, and soon teachers won’t be happy at work and will demonstrate their anger, influencing students, which influences their families, resulting in more anger in society, and so the ripples spread.
|Chisinau, Moldova – Railway station cars and tracks|
The majority of the world’s population may not know about this country’s existence, or our situation, but others do, some of them hold high positions in the European Parliament. They help with some things; the United States helps with some things, but it is still a mystery to me why they do not help more not in terms of grants or projects, or financial aid, but rather with education, and not just for students but also for grownups as well – something to help change our society more. And while some are waiting for change, some are bringing the change that they want to see in the world; while others spread negativity – this stable instability still holds sway, and I just hope it won’t be for long.
|Postcard emblem at 1080|
Photo 1: Tekwill, Chisinau, Moldova – by Daria Nepriakhina
Photo 2: Chisinau, Moldova – Chisinau bus station by BalkansCat
Photo 3: Tiraspol, Transnitria (Moldova) – Passengers on train by BalkansCat
Photo 4: Chisinau, Moldova – Old women next to young couple by BalkansCat
Photo 5: Chisinau, Moldova – Young man selling grapes by BalkansCat
Photo 6: Chisinau, Moldova – Figures on facade of abandoned Soviet theater by sliveoak
Photo 7: Suceava county, Moldova – Judgement Day fresco, photo by cristiborda
Photo 8: Chisinau, Moldova – Railway station cars and tracks by sliveoak
|Postcard emblem at 1080|
Parts of the Emblem of Instability
Alvisi, Andrea. Political and Social Instability: The Brexit Mess. May 2017.
Bahras. Unstable Air Pollution – Unstable Solutions: Mongolia. June 2017.
Bichen, Svetlana Novoselova. Mental and Cultural Instability: Russia and Turkey. February 2017.
Borghi, Silvana Renée. Living in Inestabilidad. September 2017.
Caetano, Raphael. Instabilidade emocional: Brazil. February 2017.
Çakır, Peren. On the Road in Search of Stability: Argentina and Turkey. June 2017.
Cordido, Verónica. Instability, a Stable Reality: Venezuela and America. April 2017.
Dastan, S.A. The Stability of Instability: Turkey and Syria. March 2017.
D’Adam, Anton. Psychosocial Instability in Argentina and America: El granero del mundo and The Manifest Destiny. January 2017.
Delibasheva, Emilia. Political Instability: Electoral Coups in America and Bulgaria. December 2016.
Ellie. Angry Folk: Korea. June 2017.
Farid, Isis Kamal. Stability Is Not An Option – Egypt. August 2017.
Friedrich, Angelika. Introduction: The Emblem of Instability. September 2016.
Fondevik, Vigdis. Unstable Nature: Norway and Denmark. October 2016.
Ghadir, Younes. Political Instability – Lebanon. September 2017.
Guillot, Iulianna. Starting and Staying in Instability – Moldova. October 2017.
Halimi, Sophia. Modern Instabilité: Youth and Employment in France and China. March 2017.
Hernandez, Jonay Quintero. Embracing Instability – Spain. February 2017.
Kelvin, Sera. The Stability in Expecting Emotional Instability: Brazil. April 2017.
Konbaz, Rahaf. The Castaways: On the Verge of Life – Syria. August 2017.
Korneeva, Ekaterina. Instability… or Flexibility? July 2017.
Krnceska, Sofija. Decades of Economic Instability – Macedonia. September 2017.
Kutscher, Karin. Inestabilidad in Interpersonal Relationships – Chile. October 2017.
Larousse, Annabelle. Legal and Emotional Instability in a Transgender Life – Ireland. August 2017.
Larrosa, Mariela. The Very Stable Spanish Instability. April 2017.
Lobos, José. Political Instability: Guatemala. May 2017.
MacSweeny, Michael. A House on a Hill – America. October 2017.
Mankevich, Tatsiana. The Absence of Linguistic Stabilнасцi: Does the Belarusian Language Have a Future? December 2016.
Meschi, Isabelle. Linguistic Instabilité and Instabilità: France and Italy. November 2016.
Mitra, Ashutosh. The Instability of Change: India. January 2016.
Moussly, Sahar. The Instability of Tyranny: Syria and the Syrian Diaspora. December 2016.
Nastou, Eliza. Psychological Αστάθεια and Inestabilidad during the Economic Crisis: Greece and Spain. December 2016.
Nevosadova, Jirina. Whatever Happens, It Is Experience. May 2017.
Partykowska, Natalia. Niestabilność and адсутнасць стабільнасці in the Arts: Polish and Belarusian Theater. January 2017.
Payan, Rodrigo Arenas. Impotence – Venezuela and Columbia. September 2017.
Persio, P.L.F. Social Instabilità and Instabiliteit: Italy and the Netherlands. November 2016.
Pranevich, Liubou. Cultural Instability: Belarus and Poland. March 2017.
Protić, Aleksandar. Demographic Instability: Serbia. July 2017.
Romano, Mavi. Unstable Identities: Ecuador and Europe. October 2016.
Sekulić, Jelena. Нестабилност/Nestabilnost in Language – Serbia. August 2017.
Sepa, Andreea. Instabilitate vs. Stabilität: How Important Are Cultural Differences? – Romania and Germany. September 2017.
Shunit. Economic Instability: Guinea and Gambia. April 2017.
Shalunova, Marina. Language Instability: Russia. June 2017
Sitorus, Rina. Instabilitas Toleransi: Indonesia. May 2017.
Skrypka, Vladyslav. National нестійкість: Ukraine. July 2017.
Staniulis, Justas. Nestabilumas of Gediminas Hill and the Threat to the Symbol of the State: Lithuania. July 2017.
Sousa, Antonia. Social and Economic Instabilidade: Portugal. January 2017.
Vuka. My Intimate Imbalanced Inclination. March 2017.
Walton, Éva. Historical and Psychological Bizonytalanság within Hungarian Culture. January 2017.
Yücel, Sabahattin. The Instability of Turkish Education and its Effect on Culture and Language: Turkey. July 2017.
Zadrożna-Nowak, Amelia. Economic Instability: Poles at Home and the Polish Diaspora. November 2016.
Zakharova, Anastasiya. Instability in Relationships: Russia. April 2017.
To follow: emblems by British, Macedonian, Mexican, Philippine, Mongolian, Peruvian, Italian, Uruguayan and Paraguayan writers and translators.
Azazeal, Alex. Отражение Spiegelt Reflection. 2014.
Friedrich, Angelika. The Emblem of Instability. September 2016.
Friedrich, Angelika. Sub-Under-U-метро-Bahn-Ground-Way. 2014.
Gergiev, Vladimir. Street – Straße – Улица. 2014
Metivier, Anthony. Kunstart. 2014.
Smirnov, Yuri. Art de streetулица. 2013.
Whittlesey, Henry, et al. Transposing Emblem – Junk Culture – Müll Trashed Мусор (Part I). August 2016.
Whittlesey, Henry, et al. Transposing Emblem – Junk Culture – Müll Trashed Мусор (Part II). August 2016.
Whittlesey, Henry, et al. Transposing Emblem – Junk Culture – Müll Trashed Мусор (Part III). September 2016.
Whittlesey, Henry. Forward to Next Transposing Emblem. January 2016.
Whittlesey, Henry. Changes to Transposing Emblems. November 2015.
Whittlesey, Henry. Excerpt of new emblem transpoзиция on trash. September 2015.
Whittlesey, Henry. Müll trashed мусор. 2013
Visit www.transposing.net for more information about transposition.