Maybe it is due to my profession that I search, study, observe and think about the use and meaning of words before adopting an attitude, coming to a conclusion or sharing my opinion. So let’s start here by looking at some definitions of extreme.
Going beyond the ordinary or average. Hey, great! Go beyond the average, leave the ordinary behind, go further… That means “more,” even “better.” We can feel extreme happiness! But be careful, because extreme poverty exists and we can also feel extreme pain.
Farthest from the center or middle. Too many people over there! We can finally move away from the crowd. But isn’t the “farthest” a too distant point? We could need something important from that center or middle.
Going to great or exaggerated lengths; radical. But not radical as “basic” or “fundamental.” Obviously, it is nice having our own ideas and defending them. But is it also nice being “categorical’ or “inflexible”? Remember that rigid material breaks easily.
Last; final. Phew! We have finally reached the finish line. But… Is it the end? That’s all? What a pity!
|Barcelona, Spain – Somewhere – David Werbrouck|
These definitions show us two possibilities, two extremes, two poles of each case. We need to feel and know pain in order to feel and know joy (and vice versa). Have you ever been surrounded by the most peaceful and comfortable environment and wished with all your might that you were in some crowded pedestrian street on a sales day? Who has not started a strict diet based on proteins and has found themselves (suddenly) ingesting “strictly” sugar and fat? We can do our best to maintain an idea, stay in a place or follow certain rules, but a human being lives in a continuous intermediate point.
|Cordoba, Spain – Check – Eliot Van Buggenhout|
A geographical example: North Pole and South Pole. They are two too extreme extremes. It is cacophonous but true. Are we living in them? No, we do not live IN them; we live BETWEEN them.
An anatomic example: head, heart and feet. In my country, when we face a problem or a difficult decision, we say that we can think with our head, with our feet or with our heart. If we use our head (the “north pole”), it is assumed that we choose the rational, intelligent and most accepted option, so we are supposed to make the right decision. If we use our feet (the “south pole”), it is almost sure the result will be terrible. However, if we think about what we are going to do regarding that problem or decision with our heart (which is naturally BETWEEN our head and feet), the general consensus is that we will be on the right path; we will succeed; at least, we will be happy with our choice.
|Madrid, Spain – Gran Via – Jorge Ramirez|
An artistic example: colors. Black or white? How many colors exist BETWEEN them? What do we see in a white canvas? Nothing. What do we see in a black canvas? Nothing. What do we see when white light blinds us? Nothing. What do we see when a room is dark? Nothing. However, what can we see in a rainbow? Many colors, the Leprechaun’s pot of gold, unicorns…
A creationist example: the closeness of extremes creates life. Batteries have two poles (positive and negative) and both of them are absolutely necessary to create the electric flow. We get gray mixing black and white. A circle is formed when we join both extremes of a line. Fire near ice: liquid!
A sexual example: just masculine or feminine? Seriously? Nowadays? Just feel like a person who does not belong to either of these categories and adopt what you think fits you better and makes you feel complete.
|Valencia, Spain – Artesanal – Juan Gomez|
Far from opting just for “betweens” (which would be a kind of polarization), I will say that extremes can be a good option and perfectly accepted too. There is no doubt that smoking is bad for our health or murder is a crime (all cases). A coin has only two sides and tossing it up means that there are only two options. Basketball, football, handball or tennis are “polarized” sports: just two baskets, two goals, two half tennis courts, two teams or two tennis players to cheer on. Moreover, extreme sports are increasingly popular.
|Bilbao, Spain – Shadowed – Pavel Kosov|
But I do not want to resign myself to being in the entrance or the exit; I do not want to miss the path; I want to experience it all. I do not want limits. I do not want to be on the right side or on the left side. I do not want to be right-handed or left-handed. I want to be ambidextrous. Just like life. Obviously, we are all born, so we all have a defined beginning. But what about the end? Yes, we all die. Do we all have a defined end? Have we? Life is more than birth and death. Life is a series of events between both events. There is a universe between the beginning and the end. And the universe is infinite, isn’t it? It has no extremes, poles or limits. It has neither a beginning nor an end.
If we want justice, we must retain its emblem: balance. Try not to live on the edge. “Mind the gap.” After all, we can fall down…
Snapshot 1: Barcelona, Spain – Plaça de Sant Miquel – Jessie Brown (Unsplash)
Snapshot 2: Barcelona, Spain – Somewhere – David Werbrouck (Unsplash)
Snapshot 3: Cordoba, Spain – Check – Eliot Van Buggenhout (Unsplash)
Snapshot 4: Madrid, Spain – Gran Via – Jorge Ramirez (Unsplash)
Snapshot 5: Valencia, Spain – Artesanal – Juan Gomez (Unsplash)
Snapshot 6: Bilbao, Spain – Shadowed – Pavel Kosov (Unsplash)
Cinemblem voiceover: Lucia Sepulveda
Cinemblem: Perypatetik youtube channel
The Syncretion of Polarization and Extremes
Ahmed, Amina. Growing up with Abuse: A Life of Extremes – Lebanon. April 2019.
Alencar, Joana. Lack of Social Trust – Brazil. January 2019.
Awdejuk, Pawel. Pole-arization – Poland. June 2019.
Baccino, Alejandra. Polarization within Ourselves – South America. January 2019.
Bondarenko, Evgeny. What You Sow Does Not Come To Life Unless It Dies – Ukraine. May 2019.
Cannarella, Daniela. A Past-Present Dicotomia – Italy. June 2019.
Casas, Marilin Guerrero Casas. Balance – Cuba. May 2019.
Cordido, Veronica. Hanging by Extremes – Venezuela. January 2019.
Dastan, S.A. Polarization and the Epidemic of Extremity – Turkey. August 2019.
Escandell, Andrea da Silva. The Illogic of Extremes – Uruguay. May 2019.
Gomez, Javier. The Canyon Inside Us – Argentina. July 2019.
Hernandez, Jonay Quintero. Extremism Is Now the New Hype? – Spain. February 2019.
Husseini, Maha. Bilingual Par Excellence – Canada. August 2019.
Israyelyan, Mania. Polarized Within Ourselves – Armenia. June 2019.
Julber, Lillian. Difficult to Understand – Uruguay. July 2019.
Kanunova, Nigina. Role of Polarization in the Life of an Individual and Society – Tajikistan. July 2019.
Montano, Osvaldo. Progress in the Face of Polarization – Bolivia. February 2019.
Protić, Aleksandar. Linguistic Balkanization as a Means of Polarization – The Balkans. June 2019.
Ranaldo, Mary. Social Polarization – Italy. April 2019.
Ray, Sanjay Kumar. At the Crossroads – India. August 2019.
Romano, Mavi. Censorship and Cultural Survival in a World without Gods – Spain. January 2019.
Sariñana, Alejandra Gonzalez. Student Movements – Mexico. March 2019.
Sekulić, Jelena. The Polarizacija of Serbian Culture – Serbia. June 2019.
Sem, Sebastião. Brandos Costumes – Portugal. July 2019.
Sepi, Andreea. A World of Victims and Perpetrators? – Germany and Romania. February 2019.
Sevunts, Nane. The Era To Close – Armenia. March 2019.
Skobic, Alexandar. The Loss of Identity – The Balkans. April 2019.
Sitorus, Rina. Polarization in Politics: All a Cebong or Kampret – Indonesia. March 2019.
Spirito, Julieta. A Thought about Polarized Insecurity – Argentina. April 2019.
Valenzuela, Monica. Adults and Children – Peru. April 2019.
Vuka. Extreme Immunity to Functional Tax and Judicial System – Serbia. March 2019
Wallis, Toni. Walls and Resettlement – South Africa and Angola. February 2019.
Williams, Jazz Carl. Unfinished Episodes – Spain. May 2019.
Zakharova, Anastasiya. Feminism – Russia. August 2019.
CW 36 – Turkey – Peren Cakir
CW 37 – Armenia – Hayk Antonyan
CW 38 – Italy – Sara Deiana
CW 39 – Montenegro – Nikolina Pavicevic
CW 40 – Columbia – Christian Escobar
CW 41 – Kenya – Kenn Mwangi
CW 42 – Pakistan – Muhammad Kashif Shahid
CW 43 – Tunisia – Sarah Turki
CW 44 – Estonia – Margot Arula
CW 45 – Ghana – Kwasi Amankwah Awuah
CW 46 – Dominican Republic – Aura De Los Santos
CW 47 – Montenegro – Nikolina Pavicevic
CW 48 – America – Talia Stotts
CW 49 – Philippines – Kristian Uusitalo
CW 50 – Hungary – Zoltan Monar
CW 51 – Syria/UAE/Egypt – Ahmed Ibrahim
CW 52 – Nigeria – Ethelbert Umeh
Source: The Codex of Uncertainty Transposed