The Fear of Not Knowing – España (Part 3)

Transposing emblem by Jonay Quintero

According to the Cambridge English Dictionary online the meaning of “uncertainty” is a situation in which something is not known or [it is] something that is not known or certain. An obvious emphasis is placed on the words “not known” and el concepto of “certain.” We, humans, all have a taste for safety and certainty about the facts, el futuro, and even, the past (we will look at this later). That is what we have been fighting for over the last 40,000 años. Getting up at 4:30 am to work on una parcela of land till sunset meant a vast improvement over having to face a mammoth in a group or on your own; working in a factory was another improvement en comparación to having to plow land; and working by sitting at a computer is an immense advance relative to all the later. Each of these phases was a step towards safety, comfort and some sort of certainty.

Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain – Looks nice

No doubt, we all like to know that nuestros salaries will be paid at the beginning of each month and someday we will be able to get a retirement pension. La generación de nuestros padres quite often held the same position for most of their working life; unfortunately, los trabajos fijos are no longer available for most of us certainty lovers. It is not una aspiración irrazonable to expect the swimming pool to be full before diving into it (unless you are a crazy, drunk, or a vacationer intending to practice balconing1), but those times are gone, se fueron,2 never to come back.

Garachico, Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain – Stretching out

The adventurous ones will not miss them because uncertainty might be fearful, but is also the spice de la vida. La razón why some people prefer to remain in their comfort zones (trendy phrase nowadays) while others throw themselves blindly into the darkness of not knowing is un misterio that has remained unsolved since the beginning of times. Getting into the unknown is always scary but also liberating, seems like nothing else can go any worse when you are alone in la inmensidad del océano o space, or the job center queue… There is a certain strength in feeling alone and small like when you are in a desert or visit a foreign country on your own for the first time.

Gran Canaria, Canary Islands, Spain – What do you think?

Muchas personas get hooked on that sensation, that discharge de adrenalina, and never manage to settle down again. They become wanderers. Just wonder for a second how it might have felt for the early explorers, navigators or adventurers that crossed an ocean, a desert or a jungle for the first time. They probably shivered in fear but moved ahead nonetheless. If it were not for people like them, we probably would never have come out of the cave.

Las Palmas, Canary Islands, Spain – Looks nice here too

Uncertainty about the future can be an important issue but not knowing about your past, your origins, must also be a source of muchos problemas actuales y mucha angustia. In this regard, I often noticed the urge many Americans have to know about their ancestors or genealogía, which led to the current hype surrounding the genetic tests that tell you, among other things, which ethnic groups correspond, in percentages, to the basic groups of genes that configure your genetic make-up. I admit now that I had many preconceptions about them in regard to this issue. It seemed to me that there was a whole load de racismo and old-fashioned pride behind this interest. As if they were all expecting to be descendants of Napoleon, el zar de Rusia, or some other figura importante, all of them white of course.

Firgas, Canary Islands, Spain – Stuck

But now I see it from una perspectiva diferente. I imagine that living in una sociedad tan diversa, that imposes a single culture on everyone but integrates nobody, where everybody is Afro-American, Irish-American, Polish-American, etc., must be frustrating to some degree. Everybody needs some kind of roots, knowing where they come from to gain at least una vaga idea of where the heck they should be heading. I understand them now…I swear to God that I understand them because I did one of those tests myself.

I guess that I have always been interested in history…but the point is that for reasons that are my sole business I did one of those tests. I am not a geneticist and not acquainted with the science behind it, but the aim of this test is to find out what your paternal and maternal haplogroups3 are, that is, en inglés simple, this test tells you what percentage of your genetic heritage is Eastern European, Asian or African, for example.

El Cotillo, Fuerteventura island, Spain – Music 

I am an isleño4 and was born en las Islas Canarias, a tiny archipiélago conquered by the crown of Castile in the XV century. The aborigines, of Berber or Amazigh5 origin, resisted los conquistadores europeos for 96 años in fierce wars that came to an end four años after the discovery of America. En la sociedad canaria today, there is un gran tabú tácito about your ethnic origins. The common belief is that los aborígenes were exterminated and nowadays isleños are descendants de los conquistadores españoles, and people consider themselves puramente blanca y europea. There is constant fear that if we admit otherwise, that will reinforce the claim of the king of Morocco who would take over the islands, force us all to become Muslims and we would go back to the Middle Ages.

Tenerife Candelaria, Canary Islands, Spain – Mansay Guanches

Call it what you like, but fear is the most irrational of feelings. Once I was told about una persona who tore off a whole page of an antique registry book on baptisms from a local church because that was the only evidence of their aborigine ancestors. Based on the genetic test, the specific haplogrupo de los aborígenes de las Islas Canarias is the U6b-c, the very same that appeared on my sheet with the results. According to it, I am 64% aborigine, 32% Spanish/Portuguese and a 4% Black African. Of course, I am aware that esta tecnología is not so precise at the moment and if I do tests from several other companies I will get diferentes porcentajes, but nonetheless, with this sheet in my hand, I did not feel inferior to anyone, nor superior to anyone either. It did not change much about mi vida although… I cried as I have not cried since I was a child… As to why… I’m uncertain.

Jonay Quintero

Postcard emblem at 1080

Endnotes

1. Anglicism of the Spanish word balcón, depicts the custom of many young tourists in Spanish resorts, consisting in jumping either to a swimming pool from balconies several floors above ground or from one balcony to another, with the subsequent risk to their lives and other people’s.

2. They are gone.

3. Group of genes that have been inherited from a common ancestor.

4. Islander or native of the Canary Islands.

5. People give the name Berber to themselves, it means “freeman.”

Credits

Photo 1: Lanzarote, Canary Islands, Spain – Spiraling upward or downward – dziewul

Photo 2: Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain – Looks nice – Mark Pitt

Photo 3: Garachico, Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain – Stretching out – gadzius

Photo 4: Gran Canaria, Canary Islands, Spain – What do you think? – Tupungato

Photo 5: Las Palmas, Canary Islands, Spain – Looks nice here too – Tupungato

Photo 6: Firgas, Canary Islands, Spain – Stuck – Chireau

Photo 7: El Cotillo, Fuerteventura island, Spain – Music – Ross Helen

Photo 8: Tenerife Candelaria, Canary Islands, Spain – Mansay Guanches – Grommik

Postcard emblem at 1080

Locations

Real: Postcard emblems in The Codex of Uncertainty Transposed and The Anthology of Global Instability Transposed on display at 1080

Virtual: www.perypatetik.org and www.transposing.net

Social: Cinemblem (cine emblem) at www.facebook.com/Perypatetik

The Codex of Uncertainty Transposed

Cordido, Veronica. The Crib of Uncertainty – Venezuela. January 2018.

Lozano, Gabriela. El cuchillo de la incertidumbre : Piercing Uncertainty – México. January 2018.

Forthcoming

Translators and writers in France, Uruguay, Saudi-Arabia, Greece, Italy, Czech Republic, Cuba, Paraguay, Argentina, Germany, Romania, Spain, America, Britain, and more…

The Anthology of Global Instability Transposed

Table of contents for The Archive of Global Instability Transposed at www.transposing.net

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.

Charles-Dee. Social Onstabiliteit – South Africa. 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.

Gómez, Javier. The Way of No Way – Argentina and the UK. December 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.

Kreutzer, Karina. Hidden Instabilität – Ecuador and Switzerland. December 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.

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