Letters From Now

By Ece Temelkuran

“Fixing” the Future


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Ece Temelkuran
Ece Temelkuran
“Fixing” the Future
I am writing to you from my hotel room in Berlin. I’ll be talking at the Berlin Literature Festival in a few hours. A conversation with journalist/writer Thomas Meaney. Let’s see how that goes. 
It has been quite a long time since our last correspondence, hasn’t it? Although only a month has passed, it feels longer than that. I guess our perception of time has dramatically changed since the pandemic. Mine did, at least. My sense of time is far more, mmm, how should I put it? More quantum lately, more circular, less and less linear. Anyways. I had the traditional family reunion in Mytilene, then a week in Malaga at a friend’s place, two weeks in Zagreb in my apartment, and that was it. After six months in Hamburg, when I was back in my place in Zagreb, I kissed the wall. It is my home now. The sense of landing after a long flight happens only in that city. At least so far, this is the case. Yet, as of the last two weeks, I am back in Hamburg and will stay here for another year as a fellow of The New Institute. 
In our last meeting, both in English and Turkish, we spoke about what to do with letters in the coming year. And when I wrote to you the last time, I mentioned that there were some ideas but all up in the air. We almost came to the end of Together’s chapters, and after that, we are to sail in uncharted waters, if you will. The plan was to create a digital community around the book, and so far, I guess we did a pretty amazing job. All of us have new friends now, and some of the connections that are built here became physical life friendships as well. But then now what? Do you have a great idea about this? We need a great idea, don’t we? 
I am looking at my schedule now and have many meetings about democracy and politics. From Athens to Barcelona, from Bologna to Ireland, I’ll be going around to talk about how to fix the future of democracy. I am uncertain whether these talks are consequential, but I am doing them anyway. And you cannot believe how many institutions are organizing conferences, panels, and talks about the topic. It is incredible how much energy and capital are invested in these gatherings. Do they really mean something? Is this the way to steer the public debate toward a better democracy? I am not sure. Especially after the new, progressive constitution was rejected by 62% of the Chileans last week, I am now thinking maybe we are entering an age where “better democracies” are not very much in demand. What do you think? They had the best constitution proposal on the planet, citizen assemblies put it together, and still, the majority didn’t want to have it. So where is the mistake there? 
I am leaving you with these two questions this week—one about Chile and one about us. Let me know what your thoughts are. 
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Ece Temelkuran
Ece Temelkuran @LettersFromEce

Join me on an expedition to the heart of humanity in the 21st Century. This will be a friendship of letters to create our own quarters away from the communication diseases of our time.

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