Often at our sharing events there’s material that people ask to be posted so they can refer back to it. There’s probably a better way of doing this since this page will eventually get too big, but we’ll look into that in the near future. For now here’s a bunch of stuff.
Alex Swift’s blog article: ALL TALK or how beautiful is your politics
Some recordings of the Black Smock Band playing at the event.
And a video by the band.
The officer opens the heavy steel door. The clicks of the lock and the slamming of the bolts reverberate down the naked corridor. I breathe in deeply, try to contain my emotions. I step into the cell and stop at the doorframe. This is too much, too much to handle. I feel dizzy. I look at him. He’s sitting on the edge of a wooden bench in smudged jeans, Nikes and a black hoodie that he has pulled over his head, covering his face. Both feet on the ground, he’s moving a Guy Fawkes mask between his fingers. Does nobody realise that this is merchandise from a film? And that if you buy one of these, a Hollywood film studio earns money, not the international protest movement? I remember the countless discussions we had about this and that I lost most of them. I wait at the door, he doesn’t even look up. I recall the moment the phone next to our bed rang. My wife hysteric, me erratic. I look down. Have I tied both shoelaces? I am only wearing one sock in my shoes! I blink and wait for my eyes to adjust to the bright light. He has risen from the bench and stands facing me. With a mixture of rage and shame his eyes wander from the floor to me and back. I feel the officer staring at me. With the harsh tone of total policing he tells my back where they picked him up. It goes right through me, through the barred window out into the full moon night. I blink. I look at the young man in front of me and think: did we buy him these clothes? This black hoody with the red Che Guevara? Did we? I beat myself for not paying attention. When did this happen? When did he change that much? Is this the dreaded moment when you realise your boy has turned into a man? Irrevocably. Irreversibly forever changed? Out of your hands? I blink, my eyes adjust to the cold light. I look at him. He has taken the hood down and looks at me. I recognise pure angst in his soft round features. He looks deeply wounded and terrified. This is my son. No yob from the streets. Not damaged beyond repair. Dad, he says. I grab his arm and pull him close. He hesitates, but I don’t care. With all the power in my body I hold him tight. You are mine. I won’t give you up. I will fight. If you like it or not.
– – –
2 Poems by Filippo Romanello
I’m shouting against a shout
Making a point against having one
In order to have a say
I drift away
No own way
I take position
When the seating is arranged
Won’t be possible to place my feet on another’s seat
No seat’s facing each other
No one’s facing each other
Yet we are each other
Each and the other
You can only see the whole
And you cannot part-take
I cannot part from my own self
I can believe and be mistaken
Be hit submit remit
All I can do is live
Debt is a theft that springs from both sides
The one who wants the thing
And won’t pay to get it
And the other who provides
But only for a profit
Debt is only natural in my view
A way for decent men to get through.
Those with the capital – invest
While working office machines
Take care of the rest
Debt is subversive and cannot be controlled!
From your credit card payments
To selling wealth that is not owned
Its multifaceted aspect, prosecuted and condemned
Will then rise again – turned into something else.
Well – debt is me, you and all the rest
When you need you have no choice
If you can provide you have a voice
Can we condemn debit while also accepting credit?
Better play within our means than to overdo with it
Debt is a gift that springs from both sides
The one who welcomes trust
And wishes his good luck
To the other who gratifies
Rejecting all that muck!
– – –
Blood is never quite a metaphor.
It runs through the things it symbolises.
It is too present. There is too much of it everywhere.
It is too essential, too catastrophically lost.
Ancestry, vitality, horror, rage; all flow
Tumultuous, thrown against vast walls,
To crash against their impossible abstraction.
And in the imaginary space beyond
In which the thunder of our arteries is too present to be heard,
In a street, in a city, where people queue to give their blood,
To paint it into a symbol.
And the meanings here all branch,
And branch and branch,
Until all meaning soaks
Through floodplains into the sea.
And still, the symbol is never quite a metaphor.
The bleeding-hearted liberal’s heart pumps blood,
King Rama’s royal line is coded in his veins,
Ancient battles, falling nations, epidemics, acts of God
Are minutely held in our flesh and its navigations.
All our deepest pasts are present in our salinity.
And when we’re told the rivers ran red, they did.
Rivers can indeed run red.
Life indeed can ebb away.
Blood is very often spilt.
Things are, it’s true, a bloody mess.
The crowd’s separateness streams together.
The tide, for now, rises.
No scarlet flag, no rose incarnadine,
No colour-coded revolution.
All washed away, back to the start of things.
[In response to the Thai Red Shirts’ blood protests.]
Photos by Christopher Livings of the collaborative installation
Some radical texts