The project "Revolt: The rupture with tradition and the conflict with power" editing by Vassilis Lambropoulos mobilizes the advanced reflection of the new Greek-language poetry at the Headquarters of C.P. Cavafy of the University of Michigan. This text was written by Sissy Doutsiou following an invitation to participate in the corresponding anthology of texts and is published here in its full form.
Every human being seeks happiness and abhors misery. Freedom, respect, mutual appreciation and equality are sacred spiritual goods. The believers of freedom expect universal liberation. When the vitality of these spiritual goods are threatened, humanity has the ability to discern injustice and invent ways to rise up against it.
The revolt is sacred.
This silence, that stretches through the city when the first major roadblocks are set up, is creepy. The bodies of the rebels dare to exist in the now and defend the aching, the wronged, the wounded, the law.The rabid poor, ecstatic students, the unemployed and workers, proletarians, maenads occupy public buildings and coordinate assemblies, healing fear and loneliness. The insurgents ask the question of society, and the state – why, why are we ultimately living this injustice?
When the question cannot be answered, injustice settles on earth for centuries. When rulers don’t listen to misery, then the people rise up. Thousands of people scream at the perils of their time, trying to impose the explosion of their sorrows. Their disobedience moves static time and creates cracks within it. This moment is sacred. As John Holloway writes "cracks are an attempt to define moments and spaces that defy the logic of the system, moments when various things are done around us in times and places where capitalism does not fit."
We feel like we're trapped by the force of a black hole that's destroying our humanity. It is more imperative than ever that we rise up. Now that neoliberalism is revealing its cirrhotic liver to the world. Now that the rulers of the world have desecrate Hygeia, the goddess of Health, deciding to worship the beauty of appearance, of the skin. Failing to protect society from a future epidemic.
A revolt is the moment when the will to dignity attacks the logic of inequality, creating a space-time point in history where we can do what is necessary for life and is not dictated to us by the realms of money and work.
People try again and again to live and fight collectively. Just the last decade has seen many of these fights, ranging from the Yellow Jackets demonstrations and the global Occupy movement, the Black Lives Matter movement from 2013 to the present day and the fierce clashes against police in the US, the Arab Spring and the uprising period from 2008 to 2012 in Greece. Social explosions lasting, constantly erupting across the length and breadth of the Earth. Now, it's time again, for the howl. The howl of our times.
There's always this now. The now of rebellion, the now of conscious understanding of phenomena, the now of daring. To stand up in front of the beasts of repression and scratch the asphalt trying to melt the tar of capitalism with our hot breaths - just to give birth to something new. What will heal the wounds of all of us? What will protect the planet from ecological destruction? What will protect humanity from its annihilation?
The future of humanity is in enormous danger. Future generations will have to prepare themselves to inherit a planet in collapse. Even those who defend capitalism are confronted every day with the psychotherapeutic competition, the pro-city mood of money and trying to find escape routes in their daily lives.
From the bottom up, revolutionary ideas will be promoted. Now we must be careful, objective and willing to face what is coming, to walk beyond the horizon. Each of us hides a rebel inside.
By understanding the contradiction of our own existence within the narrow and established social contexts, we can find hundreds of ways to continue to stand up against the criticism of the dominant side of the world. When the rebels spill out into the streets, they perceive at the same time the importance of human dignity and recognize honesty and justice as a moral talisman of life.
Since the world does not change radically, the uprisings do not begin and end at a certain moment. As long as there is capitalism, there will be people who will rise up against it. As long as there are politicians who wish to govern, ruptures and resistances will continue to be born. Since the ambition of the governments is wealth through brutalising the world, there is an urgent need for multiple uprisings. The uprisings instantly prevent the toxicity of these times from completely penetrating the body of our society and defend a world of equality, mutual aid, prosperity, love and mutual care.
I remember the unrequited of the revolution in the hard hands of my grandfather Giannis – the pioneer of Aris Velouchiotis, from 15 years old he stood beside him until the last minute. I observe and look at his unfulfilled hopes and promise that I will continue to fight against all that is unjust for the sake of all those comrades who fought and dedicated themselves to the hope of a social revolution.
A vague sense of unease, a pervasive concern for the future covers the whole earth. Each time, the earth's damned recognize reality and invite their lovers, companions and friends, their family and everyone else to a new reality. Only the rebels know what will save humanity. For humanity must be saved – the sky must be saved, hope must be saved, the smiles of our children must be saved, the struggles of the past must be won, the future must be saved – so that this world continues to exist.An essential element for social well-being is the courage of the rebels.
What will save humanity and our planet will be the courage of the wronged and the excluded, the courage of the freaked out, the romantic and the desperate, the courage of sensitive and shy characters, the courage of those in love with life.
Revolt is a sacred call for a future that we will negotiate on our own with each other, without the mediation of wealth and power. We'll take responsibility for our lives. We will offer resilient love to all the flowers that are trampled before our eyes, we will prevent the spread of fear and confusion. We will represent the need for survival, enjoyment and bliss. We will defend the priceless good of our lives, the miracle of life, planet Earth.
There is strength, there is courage, there is resourcefulness to promote human freedom. We want accessible - free public health, art and education for all, free electricity and water, permanent work, professional career and job security, we don't want leniency, we don't want crumbs and allowance, we don't want stress, we don't need intensification of work and education, we don't want exploitation and de-escalation, we don't want policing, obedience, control and enforcement, we don't want laws, we want advice. We want there to be free food and shelter for everyone, we want there to be neither poor nor rich. We want to determine the fate of the world.
Revolt is sacred because it revisits through the centuries the meaning of our lives.