Hasan & Hank
Reading / Lecture: The Little Phanourios 2021
The Little Phanourios
It is a place through which one could come up with the term "insular-delayism." Persianization, Egyptization, Hellenization, Latinization, Ottomanization all arrived late. Then came Crown colonization, which meant pseudo-secular modernization, and until its fall, brief European Unification. Racism, nudism, feminism; bodybuilding, bouldering, grind(r)ing. So pinkwashing did arrive late as a strategy to make this eastern Mediterranean island, supposedly, the "first world." Tho approx. 60% of the population is not present on the island for most of the year - for example, as an autumn baby, I was born in Germany because of the unbearable temperature of the summers - thanks to the 2036 Berlin Agreements signed between countries in the (sub-)tropical and the tepid zones,
they/we still insist on existing as the nation-states of Cyprus.
The old ideas of Worlds in the new blazing Earth.
Finally, greenwashing arrived for these seasonal long-distance migrating peoples.
Of course, it would...!
Just like all the other things, late, but surely.
As it was the instrumentalization of Queers behind its time for the legacy of the islands' "true and advanced national narrative," a matter of modern competition for its communities, the instrumentalization of "eco-awareness," too, was late for Cyprus.
Similar to all the -isms, -isations and -ings, this one also went perverse. Even the most essential criticalities, not only on the national, but also on a personal level, were destined to be somewhat pastiche, kitsch, egoistic, self-referential, and fake for these/my people. Sapio-centrism, exerting itself over other-then-humans, was attacked by everyone, but never truly, in the name of the entanglement of all. It was still for the human, the human that never managed to be fully secularized. The power given to the Men by God diluted, thinned, adulterated until it looked like it was religious no more. Some sort of homeopathic medicine trick.
You might wonder, why am I writing in such a passive-aggressive manner? I'll tell you:
Cyprus was highly inhabited, colonized by a rare type of hippo: the Cyprus dwarf hippopotamus. These people went through an uncommon evolutionary process called "insular-dwarfism." They were small, smaller than common hippos. Then, all vanished right after the arrival of a new mammal species that walked on two limbs and is still walking. So, when the account of "development" calibrated in an environmental sense, the pygmy hippo became the symbol of the island's new and late Ecological-turn. Aphrodite crowned the pygmy hippo, Beauty kissed the Beast, and she liked it.
It became the most important cause of the folks of Κύπρος, Kıprıs, قبرص, Կիպրոս, to be the first to de-extinct the pygmy hippo of Cyprus's Pleistocene. Back breeding, genome editing with CRISPR_CAS boosted with machine learning, extracting the DNA fragments present in ancient skeletal remains, usage of similar species like Western African pygmy hippos for surrogate motherhood and labour... all used for this fetishistic spectacle that is supposed to be the act of "Facing Gaia." "Gaia!"
What did this mean really? In the most successful births of the pigmies, they would only be 5 to 15% original dwarf hippos, no more!
Wasn't it the same with the Queers? Who did take care of Queer lives when pinkwashing finally arrived? Except, keeping them "happy," numb, on semi-secular national novocaine to show off liberal "development" against the "developing."
De-colon-izing the bodies is as big of a pain in the butt as de-extincting them, I presume.
After the success of the first hippo, the new aim set to keep them alive and healthy, because they weren't any good.
Eventually, most of the resurrected hippos died, if they weren't to be malformed and malnourished critters. You know one needs at least 50 genetically different individuals to avoid the possible genetic problems that might be derived from inbreeding, and, on top of that, the care of a single healthy hippo would cost about 40,000 Cyprus Lira per year.
One of the longest-lived dwarf hippos, named "The Little Phanourios" after the Greek Orthodox Saint, Fanourios, because of a local myth about the fossils of hippos, was worshipped by the locals and believed to be the petrified remains of the Saint. Not to forget, the verb "fanerono (φανερώνω)" also means to "reveal," which makes Fanourios the Saint of revealing the things that are lost. You don't even wanna hear the names that the Turkish speaking community came up with for their genetically reconstructed dwarf hippos. So uncreative they were. I will stick to the little Phanourios.
Maybe my sympathy comes from the fact that The Little Phanourios was the one and only Cypriot Pygmy I ever saw in my life. As well, I always loved the taste of Fanouropita, a traditionally vegan holy pie consecrated for the lost things wished to be come back, which has, for the last two decades, been turned into cookies and baked in the shape of a little hippo.
Tasty little Phanourios (!)
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
Use a hand whisk to beat the sugar with one cup of olive oil and a half cup of orange juice in a large bowl until the sugar dissolves.
In a separate bowl, mix three cups of flour with baking soda, cinnamon and cloves as powder, a pinch of salt, and vanilla.
If you cannot effort organic nutrients, the cutting-edge high-tech synthetic flavors and supplements of our civilization will do it.
Now, add the liquid mix to the dry one.
The dough must feel like chewing gum. To accomplish this, you can play with adding water or more flour if needed.
Once the dough is ready, flatten small portions of it on a flat surface about half a centimeter thick and use your Hippo Cookie Cutter to produce your cookies.
Align the little hippos on a baking pan covered with baking paper and bake them for about 25 minutes. Serve with icing sugar.
The efforts and the money spent on these projects were still enough to be proud of for the peoples of Cyprus that "faced Gaia." "Gaia!" Thus, all of the failures are preserved in tanks. In actual tanks, in variant sizes and shapes, filled with a diluted formaldehyde solution. It was as if Damien Steven Hirst were still alive and commissioned to have a series of exhibitions dealing with the Cyprus Dwarf Hippo, in each Cypriot community's municipal buildings, squares, schools, and museums under the weak shadows of crosses, stars n' moons, to poison his audience.
Hasan & Hank