TURBULENCE MANIFESTO

According to the legend, the famous engineer Theodore von Kármán (1881–1963), invited to give a lecture on turbulence, spent forty minutes in complete silence. Symbolizing the helplessness of a scientist in the face of this complex physical phenomenon of the self-organizing matter, this performative gesture could become a metaphor for the present times. In today's perturbations, panic and uncertainty, one could assume only one thing - the world will not be the same. It seems as if the famous quote "It is easier to imagine an end to the world than an end to capitalism” is no longer relevant. Such end seems closer than ever, while the existing social structures may undergo major transformations.


The recent events in the world - from COVID-19 pandemic to the beginning of economic recession - have led to a final disappointment in the promises of globalization and multiculturalism. The fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of the bipolarity politics promised us a borderless world, but instead, for the past few years, we have been witnessing a crisis of international solidarity: the eco nomic crisis in 2008, migration crisis and international sanctions. Unfortunately, the 2020 pandemic reinforced those tendencies and led to the rise of xenophobia, panic and suspicion. In such a situation, it is logical to suppose that, like the "War on terror" after the 9\11, these events will result in new isolation measures: border closures, restrictions, biometric surveillance and enhanced control over the everyday life of all people on Earth.

 
However, in those trying times, people all over the world have resorted to the previously unseen forms of transnational solidarity, discovered new channels for communication and launched various creative initiatives. Social media, which, as we considered to be only a waste of time, has become an efficient medium for mutual support and sharing information transcending all political, ethnic and cultural borders.


Today humankind faces a stark choice between the interests of the global community and those of private corporations; between long-term development projects and short-term profit-oriented speculations; between freedom of movement and total surveil lance; between mindless hedonism and conscious consumption; between individualism and social approach in cooperation. 
Since von Kármán's research, wake turbulence has remained a mystery and served as a multivocal metaphor for social processes. Occurring in the flows of liquids and gases, liquid crystals, plasma and all other continuous mediums, it is the evidence of atmospheric instability and unpredictability. Cancellation of flights has thwarted people's plans and separated them from each other while the aerial spread of the virus has made personal communication unsafe. More over, market volatility deprived many people of faith in the future. However, turbulence in physics is a transition from chaos to order, a form of self-organization of the matter which resembles that of the human society.

 
In times of crisis, there is always hope for a new beginning and creation of a better world. We can cite various examples from history when humanity went through even darker times which took it on the next level of the evolutionary development. Culture and art have been and remain the ultimate tools for critical analysis and reflection in our society. Now it is time not only for contemplation but also for affirmative action for the better future.