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Journal NotaBene Issue 50 (2020) Editors: Antoaneta Nikolova, Gergana Popova

Topic of the issue: Aesthetics - Eastern askings, Western solutions

The metaphorical nature of language, or the language between poetry and truth (with a view to the East)

The article discusses the epistemological question of truth as a projection of language and of language as a sign of reality in the broad sense of the Western mentality, including the natural/formal/exact sciences and philosophical metaphysics both understood as language. The Eastern idea of language opposes this – the language in its absolute state, ie as merged with reality itself (thing, gesture, phenomenon), not as a sign/name of the reality. This western-eastern epistemological plot is organized around the philosophical figures of early Hegel and late Heidegger with Nietzsche’s central, switching role.
But the whole philosophical formulation of the case leads to a story by the Bulgarian writer Emilian Stanev (1907–1979) – “The Death of a Bird” (1942), in which the thesis is presented in a spontaneous way. The figure of the animal is central as a philosophical figure, synthesizing Heidegger’s idea of Sein-zum-Tode, on the one hand, and the Eastern idea of the fusion of language and ‘world’ (Weltbild).

Key words: Language – reality; Hegel–Nietzsche–Heidegger; Weltbild; Sein-zum-Tode; Emilian Stanev – “The Death of a Bird”

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K-poppers in Bulgaria: passions and challenges in the global world

The k-pop phenomenon is already spreading around the world. Created and developed in a regional South Korean context, it is gaining global importance. K-pop establishs itself all over the world, attracts millions of followers and outlines new challenges for the last two decades. Thanks to certain models, cultural politics and strategies, social communication and psychological impact, k-pop finds an increasing place in the cultural industries. It is successfully sold on world markets as part of the Korean wave (hallyu). It became a sign of the creative industries as a segment of youth culture and business related to it. Thus, a new community also emerged in Bulgaria – the followers of k-pop, for the name of which a hybrid neologism "k-popper" has constructed (fans of k-pop). This study continues my longtime analysis on various music culture aspects of the Republic of Korea/South Korea, its development and cultural industries. The emphasis in this text is on the reflections of k-pop and especially on the existence of the k-poppers’ community in Bulgaria. My aim is to trace the growing interest among Bulgarian fans on this phenomenon, their performances, perceptions and emotions that accompany the modeling of their community, as well as the role of new technologies and means of communication. I focus on a new phenomenon in Bulgarian culture - a community of k-popers in the context of globalization, analyze the prerequisites for its spread, forms of expression, some social and psychological challenges. I rely on a broad cultural context and my own empirical observations. As a result I systematize the processes and phenomena that stimulate the interest in Korean culture as well as I comment on and present the peculiarities of k-poppers and their community in Bulgaria. Thus, this study continues my previous research on the topic.
Keywords: k-pop, k-poppers, challenges, Bulgaria, South Korea/Republic of Korea

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Tanizaki: A Tribute to the Aesthetic Being of Shadows

The article represents a negative-aesthetic reading of the essay of the Japanese writer Junichiro Tanizaki “In Praise of Shadows”, published in 1933, and articulates the meeting of the authentic Japanese aesthetics, imbued with the quietest, most profound and unfathomable beautiful, ‘yugen’, with the expansion of Western aesthetics and idea of the beauty to the East. In order to make visible the finer nuances distinguishing the Eastern from the Western idea of beauty, the structure of the text is circular: (1) the beginning tells about shadows – the heart of Japanese aesthetics (Shadows and place under the sun); (2) the section Place under the sun and home deepens in the specific processual ontology of derivating the Japanese aesthetic being through the individual aesthetic experience; section (3) “Were it not for shadows, there would be no beauty”… is dedicated to an immanent reading of Tanizaki’s account of darkness, the texture of light and shadow, and silence as home to the Japanese Homo aestheticus; The heart of Japan (4) substantiates the primary idea of aesthetic unity in the Japanese worldview, without which the existence of shadows in the context of Japanese aesthetics could not be fully understood.
Keywords: Japanese aesthetics, negative aesthetics, aesthetic form, dark, silence, ‘ukeireru’, ‘yugen’, Tanizaki

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“No future for you“ – the punk counterculture in Bulgaria during the post-communist transitional period – stage, audience, ideology

Abstract: The main task of this publication is to review a part of the counterculture music stage (particularly the punk stage) and its ideology in the context of the changes during
the post-communism transition in Bulgaria. The punk stage and the punk counterculture in Bulgaria, appear initially as almost completely underground phenomenon in the late 70’s, as the punk audience has its own specific ideas, clothing and looks in general. In the context of the worldwide punk movement, the Bulgarian one, was both very similar and also quite different than the western counterpart. What is the impact of the punk counterculture over the official culture, what are the ideas behind the local punk movement, concerning politics, and what are the main differences with the worldwide punk culture? These are the questions that thе study is trying to answer. It follows the development of it s ideas over the years, how some of the bands cross over to mainstream and how the ideas of the movement lose their wide popularity, but still exist today, staying as close as possible to it s western original. The article is based on the dissertation of the author about the musical countercultures in Bulgaria in the transitional post-communist period. The title “No future for you” refers to one of the most popular punk songs – “God Save the Queen” by Sex Pistols, arguably one of the most iconic punk bands ever.
Keywords: punk counterculture, Bulgaria, stage, audience, ideology?

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Approaches to Visual Culture in Contemporary Cultural Studies: Peter Burke and Horst Bredecamp

Abstract: The article observes the effects of the so called Visual/Iconic/Pictorial Turn (Martin Jay, W. J. T. Mitchell and Gottfried Boehm) on the social and human studies summarizing in comparative perspective two approachs to visuality proposed in the beginning of the XXI c. in Anglo-Saxon and German speaking academic world. The study analyses Peter Burkе’s idea about "historical anthropology of images” and the Horst Bredekamp’s “Theory of the iconic acts” in order to show their potential to define two innovative models of cultural history and social critique.
Key words: cultural history; cultural theory, visual turn, visual culture

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The article discusses the methodological problems of the interaction of cultures and their influence on understanding modern national culture formation. Moreover, this approach does not deny cultures' uniqueness and originality; it helps to understand their analysis and development philosophy. The concrete experience of Azerbaijan and some other countries is an example that leads to the comprehension of some generalizations in the formation of modern cultures.
In the context of globalization, everything related to the interaction of cultures, in our opinion, has become one of the most pressing problems. Its relevance does not negate the fact that after the famous work of S. Huntington, the clash of cultures and civilizations has also become the focus of debate and discussion among scientists. There are many clashes and wars in the world, the end and edge of which are not visible. However, there is a desire to cooperate, develop interaction, and strive for integration. One such project is the New Silk Road. But much in its implementation, in our opinion, depends on how culture will be understood. If previously believed that interests lead to wars, now everything is not unambiguous with a culture that, as a soft or even "sharp" force, also leads to misunderstanding, exacerbating conflicts. In our opinion, the point is not in culture, but in its interpretation and peculiar use in cultural practice, education, and upbringing.
Much today in the world depends on the international order, which is based on dominance. Moreover, dominance includes culture. It has become clear to many that such an order is exhausting itself. In essence, the Soviet order was built on the same principles. The project "One belt, one way" is an alternative or may become an alternative to it. But it must be practical and at the same time open and inclusive project. Of course, much depends on China in implementing this project, but its implementation will depend on the countries involved in it. Openness and dialogue depend on many factors. This project should not end with an empire such as the USA or the USSR; it should be capable of reform, etc. But for it to become such, a new concept of the interaction of cultures must be proposed, if you want, then the philosophy of the cultural interaction of the countries of "One Belt, One Way". It is based on the fact that cultural foundations along this path are not offered by one country; it is created based on interaction principles (philosophy). First, historical and cultural epistemology cannot be limited to recognizing the dignity of the history of culture, and only one state's history. Secondly, history and culture are archives and the past and modern communication and even a shared future. Third, an understanding of history and culture recreates a sense of actual reality. Fourth, cultural studies' object and subject as an unfinished past involves the addition of documents and can potentially create a new understanding. Fifth, a constant reconstruction of the philosophy of interaction between different cultures on the Silk Road is needed. Sixth, the documents of the New Silk Road should be jointly analyzed. Seventh, we must proceed from the fact that the development and understanding of cultures are associated with their dialogue and interaction.
Key words: cultural interaction, national culture, cultural diversity, national and plural identity

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Leadership Development: Background and the Tri-Dimensional Model

Abstract: This article offers a review of the leading approaches in leadership development today (Nissan, 2000), (Rosenstein, Chen, and Pressburg, 1999), (Saar, 1999). As well as a proposed leadership development program based on the comprehensive research project the author conducted in the paper "The Demographic Information of Selected Israeli Leaders and its Role in Their Election and Development of Future Leadership" (Shenhav, 2020) and proposed a tri-dimensional model for the development of personal, political and policy leadership.
Key words: leadership, leadership development, theories in leadership, Approaches in Leadership Development

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Motives of the Mahdist beliefs in the early tribal Religions

This article explores the motives of the Mahdist beliefs in the early tribal religions. Man instinctively awaits a savior in times of political and economic difficulties caused by natural disasters, cataclysms and wars, and this fact is one of the most pressing problems for religions. Mahdist beliefs as well as the belief in salvation are common to many religions. It should be noted that while faith in the Mahdi is superficial in some religions and ideological movements; it is very strong in others. In some religions, it has become one of the basic principles and a source of energy for the believers. Of course, the different religions’s approaches to the savior can vary and there are common features and differences between them. The article presents authoritative views on the Mahdist beliefs in the early tribal religions, citing authoritative sources, as well as a comparative analysis of the belief in salvation in other religions. In addition, the article touches on issues regarding the origin of the Mahdist beliefs in the early tribal religions and refers to some theories related to this topic.
Keywords: salvation, Mahdi, belief, psychology, politics, religious currents

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Minima moralia

Elizabeth Streb and the “disabled body“

This article places the work of American choreographer and dancer Elizabeth Streb in the context of disability studies. It analyzes the "conceptual backbone" and the unique props of her performances through the framework of the experience of dancers with disabilities. In the process normative metaphysical clichés about the body, death and life involuntarily reified by Streb’s works come to the fore. The article is an attempt to build a productive dialogue between the marginalized and often invisible disabled body and Streb's "failures" to produce a universal existential subject from her acrobats/dancers through the kinetic metaphors of flight/self-overcoming and falling/death. The dancers with disabilities seem to get much closer to the more traditional ideals of Streb, although they are realizing them from a position of weakness and vulnerability instead of strength and "ability". This constantly challenges and rethinks the meaning of these ideals in the everyday “here and now”, instead of the imaginary "elsewhere" of the metaphysical conception of death. The "disabled" turn out to be already "dead" (undead) for the world of the “able” which destroys the binary, vertical logic of life and death. That’s why with each movement they perform a "horizontal flight" which is unthinkable within the works of Streb by themselves.

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Towards the culture of lies in massified society

The article focuses on the culture of lies as a social phenomenon. The connection between it and relativism, in its extreme modern form, has been studied. The text focuses on the "Overton window", which aims to make the unthinkable – possible, acceptable and universally valid. The steps in opening this "window of acceptable options" are traced: tolerance, creating euphemisms for the unthinkable, belonging to the herd, the illusion of authority, legal legitimacy. Other techniques of lying are also presented. Among them the main ones are: terror with oblivion and terror on memory.
Keywords: culture of lies, truth, relativism, techniques of lies

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Bulgarian translation of the short text by Giorgio Agamben, published in May 2017 under the title "Studenti" in his column „Una voce“ on the website of Quodlibet publishing house.

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Requiem for the Students

A translation into Bulgarian language of a short text by Giorgio Agamben published with the original title "Requiem per gli studenti" on the blog "Diary of the crisis" ("Diario della crisi") at the website of the Italian institute for Philosophical Studies on 23th of May 2020.

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Humor and satire during socialism: between the denial and the validation of the regime

Humor and satire within the socialist regime in Bulgaria are a large and very poorly studied topic, which can be considered to fit into the issue of art during socialism in general, but also goes beyond this field with the specific characteristics of this art. The proposed article aims to trace the conflicting existence of humor and satire during the country's communist past, their various uses their various uses by the communist government, but also their critical potential directed against it. The article
hypothesizes that the ambivalent situation of humor and satire during the communist regime is due to the nature and goals of this type of work, which are perceived in a similar way by both the authors themselves and the government - just like criticism. Such criticism, even if not directly directed at politics, is usually associated with certain social ills and human vices. These characteristics of humor and satire make their adaptation to the regime a particularly interesting topic.
In order to analyze how humorous creativity is influenced by the various processes that affect the country during the period, the objects of the study were selected newspaper "Starshel" (Hornet) and the House of Humor and Satire in Gabrovo, which will be considered as specific spaces for humor and satire, testifying to the attitude of the authorities towards humorous creativity in the different periods of the regime. The choice of objects of research presupposes a focus on two directions of humorous creativity: literature and especially the genres of humorous epigrams and feuilletons, as well as the fine arts - mainly caricatures, but also some plastic works.
Keywords: humor, satire, socialism in Bulgaria, criticism, mockery, denial, validation

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