12 November 2010

Book: We Are an Image from the Future: The Greek Revolt of December 2008

"We Are an Image from the Future: The Greek Revolt of December 2008", edited by A.G. Schwarz, Tasos Sagris and Void Network (AK Press, February 2010):


Publisher's description: "What causes a city, then a whole country, to explode? How did one neighborhood's outrage over the tragic death of one teenager transform itself into a generalized insurrection against State and capital, paralyzing an entire nation for a month? This is a book about the murder of fifteen-year-old Alexis Grigoropoulos, killed by the police in the Exarchia neighborhood of Athens on December 6th, 2008, and of the revolution in the streets that followed, bringing business as usual in Greece to a screeching, burning halt for three marvelous weeks, and putting the fear of history back into the bureaucrats of Fortress Europe and beyond. We Are an Image From the Future delves into the December insurrection and its aftermath through interviews with those who witnessed and participated in it, alongside the communiqués and texts that circulated through the networks of revolt. It provides the on-the-ground facts needed to understand these historic events, and also dispels the myths activists outside of Greece have constructed around them. What emerges is not just the intensity of the riots, but the stories of organizing and solidarity, the questions of strategy and tactics: a desperately needed examination of the fabric of the Greek movements that made December possible."

Endorsement: "This dazzling collection is not a book about the great insurrection of 2008 – it is a living piece of it that can become a part of us, and through us, it opens the prospect of a universe we might never otherwise have imagined possible. Future historians may well conclude that the Revolution finally began in 2008. If they do, this book will have played a crucial role in that realization." (David Graeber, Goldsmiths, University of London)

The book contains texts such as "Their Democracy Murders – The Polytechnic University Occupation" and many writings by the "Ego Te Provoco" counter-information group, including the eponymous "We Are Here / We Are Everywhere / We Are an Image from the Future" (pp. 165-8), "The media as part of the counter-insurgency" (pp. 169-72), and "A Bedouin Anytime! A Citizen Never." (pp. 197-8; translators not named).

Excerpts: "The other thing we put forward was a discourse against democracy, because many people were saying, what kind of democracy kills children, we need more democracy, and we were trying to deconstruct this whole notion of democracy, to claim that this murder is not an exception, it is the rule of democracy, the rule of the nation-state, the rule of capitalism." (p. 170)

"We despise democracy more than anything else in this decadent world. For what is democracy other than a system of discriminations and coercions in the service of property and privacy? [...] The bourgeois, with a voice trembling from piety, promise: rights, justice, equality. And the revolted hear: repression, exploitation, looting. [...] Our contempt for democracy does not derive from some sort of idealism but rather from our very material animosity for a social entity in which value and organizing are centered around the product and the spectacle." (p. 198)

A.G. Schwarz is the assumed name of a North American living in exile abroad.

Tasos Sagris is a member of the Athens-based Void Network, an arts and action collective established in 1990.

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