Transposing emblem by Karina Kreuzer

Coming from a beautiful but underdeveloped country like Ecuador, I have no trouble addressing one of our country’s Achilles’ heels: inestabilidad. It has been a part of our political historia and has become part of our tejid – who we are. Just like celebrating fútbol matches, drinking beer, spending time with la familia and los amigos, trying to cheat the system, making fun of the government and its parties, etc. Political corrupción in particular has caused repeated economic and social crises leading to a constante state of uncertainty, lack of credibility in the government, loss of recognition internacional… which all together has relegated this land paradisíaca to a state of perpetual inestabilidad.

Quito, Ecuador – The hummingbird

And then there is the weather. Even it can be considered inestable. It is an ever-changing sucesión of mild-summer days in the coastal and Amazon regiones; always nice and smooth but windy in the Galapagos Islands; and hot, rainy, windy, and warm in the Highlands. All of the latter in just one day. We do not have seasons, but this mixture of all seasons in one day or month. If that influences people’s desorganización and lack of planning, it also results in non-stop producción of fruits, vegetables and flowers, or people’s personal sort of inestabilidad… could also be a topic of discusión.

Iluman, Ecuador – At the artisan shop

On the other side of the Ozean, in Switzerland – my home now – the seasons are not only consistent, predictable (with occasional changes) and orderly, but they also influence every single Aspekt of society. Or at least many of them. In Switzerland we organize the Produktion, the harvest, the consumption of seasonal goods, specific outfits, sports, hobbies and working hours by the weather, month and quarter, and so people learn to be orderly. They must! They wait for the Sommer to eat strawberries and Tomaten, for the winter to snowboard, for the autumn to decorate and eat pumpkins and chestnuts, and for the spring to go on vacation to less cold or inexpensive countries.

Cotacachi, Ecuador – At the Inti Raymi celebration

However, Instabilität in Switzerland is more pervasive and destructive. It is hidden. It lies underneath some people’s clothes and coats, inside their minds and souls. It lives in their aching hearts, as their souls are in pain, sometimes in such pain that they decide to die. That is when you wonder how much physiologische, physical, internal or spiritual Instabilität could lead to such a Krise or terminal state. How terrible could their current or past situation be that they would rather throw themselves into the tracks, right before a train goes by, painfully but instantly ending their life… (?!)

Wengen, Switzerland – At the empty station

Is such pain better than life’s pain? Certainly not. This is a beautiful, neat and outstanding country with one of the best social systems and benefits in the world, where poverty is measured by indicators quite distant from those in poor countries (i.e. not being able to go abroad for vacation). People not only work, but love their jobs (with the normal exceptions); they are friendly at any public service counter (with quite sporadic exceptions); and they enjoy life. But the fact that some are able to smile and relax at the end of the day, and others decide to jump off a bridge to end their life shows that Instabilität in the Helvetic Community is a matter of extremes. Whether you are happy and successful or miserable.

Leventina Valley, Switzerland – The hydroelectric power plant

Another type of Instabilität in this country is seen in progress, what I call “probable Instabilität.” Switzerland is such a well-structured and organisiertes and forward-planning country that it is already looking to change their social security system to prevent a “gap” in their budget for retired people in the future. According to André Miranda, a consultant at one of the biggest insurance companies, the gap is not huge, but when the Baby Boomer generation retires, they will not have enough to assure a peaceful and stable retirement. Therefore, the current workforce – youths and adults and almost retired workers – are already paying high taxes and insurance premiums to try to close this gap. But even that is not enough. The problem has not been resolved yet and will generate more and further Debatten, even if it has to do with only a worrying situation in the distant future.

Zurich, Switzerland – Mannequins – Felker

In many other countries, such as Ecuador or, even worse at the moment Venezuela, people and governments are trying to survive today. There is not the time, the resources, nor the energy to think about the next 10, 15, 25 years. There is definitely a visión and esperanza that better civil servants will guide the country in the right direction but, in the meantime, there is only one concern for everyone: get to the end of the month or decidir how to limit expenses.

Basel, Switzerland- At the carnival – Kobby Dagan

In a world with solchen extreme diferencias, it is fair to ask what a sane solución for Millionen of people living in such different conditions and environments could be. A fusion? Many who commit suicide in europäischen countries have drug and/or Alkohol problems, experience loneliness or suffer from excessive stress. Many who deal with economic problemas in South American countries might not have the money to buy drugs or a job to stress about, but like birds of a feather, they flock together. “Where four can eat, five can easily eat as well” goes one of the typical sayings in Ecuador. If emotionally unstabile citizens in Switzerland had less in the bank, fewer houses and apartments, and more friends and Familie, if the industrial tools and organizational skills were fused with the attitude comunal of a land like Ecuador… then in all likelihood there would be a sharp drop in the number of trains delayed.1

Karina Kreuzer

(1) Everyone in Switzerland knows what it means when a train is running late due to a human accident. Those delays are the only exception to punctuality. In Ecuador to be punctual is an exception.

Postcard emblem at 1080


Photo 1: Isabel island, Galapagos, Ecuador – From above – danflcreativo

Photo 2: Quito, Ecuador – The hummingbird – PX Hildalgo

Photo 3: Iluman, Ecuador – At the artisan shop – Quasar Photo

Photo 4: Cotacachi, Ecuador – At the Inti Raymi celebration – Quasar Photo

Photo 5: Wengen, Switzerland – At the empty station – Svanaerschot

Photo 6: Leventina Valley, Switzerland – The hydroelectric power plant – Fotoember

Photo 7: Zurich, Switzerland – Mannequins – Felker

Photo 8: Basel, Switzerland- At the carnival – Kobby Dagan

Postcard emblem at 1080


Postcard emblem and The Archive of Global Instability on display at 1080 Wyckoff Ave, Queens NY

Cinemblem (cine emblem) at

See table of contents for The Archive of Global Instability at

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.

Bondarenko, Evgeny. Hybrid War: Ukraine. December 2018.

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.

Casas, Marilin Guerrero. Emotional Estabilidad: The Key To a Happy Life – Cuba. December 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.

Gotera, Jay R. In Flux Amid Rising Local and Regional Tensions – Philippines. November 2017.

Guillot, Iulianna. Starting and Staying in Instability – Moldova. October 2017.

Gjuzelov, Zoran. The Нестабилност of Transition – Macedonia. November 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.

Lozano, Gabriela. Estructuras Inestables: Vignettes of a Contemporary, Not Quite Collapsing Country – Mexico. November 2017.

MacSweeny, Michael. A House on a Hill – America. October 2017.

Mankevich, Tatiana. The Absence of Linguistic Cтабiльнасць: Does the Belarusian Language Have a Future? December 2016.

McGuiness, Matthew. Loving Lady Instability. November 2017.

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.

Olisthoughts. Stable Instability – Moldova. October 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 Cuban, Peruvian, Italian, Uruguayan and Paraguayan writers and translators.

Further reading

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

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