Source: Transmediale journal
What are the limits of acting in solidarity and a progressive liberal vision of the world? Of living an activist life? In today’s heated debates, who speaks for whom and from where at what moment matters, something that the Western liberal world is just starting to learn in what could be understood as necessary project of decolonial re-education. In activist Carolina García Cataño’s short reflections gathered here, such questions enter the often frenetic flow of everyday life, between media, networks, and people. Here, contradictory politics become inhabited reality and often find their expression in uneasy feelings. Letting such feelings lead to resentment is today’s knee-jerk reaction but, to prove other responses are possible, the result of García Cataño’s ruminations is rather a call for joyful resistance.
“Wake up, wake up, wake up,” eyes opened, notifications read. Our conversation continues, where did we leave it? Ahh yes send me the pic. Buzzzzz. It arrived. You are far away.
After a coffee, a mail: “I’m not joking I know your password, I recorded you enjoying porn. Now better you do a bank transfer.” Intrusion, I feel fragile. Leaks expose millions of users’ passwords, nobody cares, but it is my privacy, will you do something about it?. Governments and companies are selling or buying my data, my life. Surveillance. Whistle-blowers changed the paradigm, they are my allies. Now we are all exposed, but the balance tilts towards whom? Data-life.
Ring-ring-ring. “It’s not our fault, it’s not our fault.” Once again the same answer, they are drowning everyday but is it not our fault? You know it is and it makes you uncomfortable, that’s why you don’t want to be close to those who survived, you keep silent, but you keep hearing the voices coming from the deep sea, they won’t leave you. Uneasiness. However, the cruise ships sail over thousands of dead bodies and later the horde of tourists will be disembarking at a city harbor.
Another mail, another research, we are the target, because we live non-standard lives, we are the outsiders, those who already fit somewhere else but are not seen, still our stories are interrupted speeches, why do you research about me? Will you get better paid? Did you see yourself in the mirror, what does your life look like, who will write that research? Can this be the answer to a mail?
In the newspaper: “How has your life been shaped by your race?” “White people assume niceness is the answer to racial inequality. It’s not.” Are you listening? Hey, are you listening to what I’m saying? Stop playing the saviour role, listen to our stories of imposed silences and disrupted languages. “I’m seeing as a body that cannot produce knowledge.” Colonialism, oppression. “How can we tell you what your solidarity looks like?”
Immediacy. A distant proximity. Who is on the other side, do they exist or is it just the screen? Will I see you?. Difficult to say if those on the other side of the screens are accomplices or assholes. Allies or not, they are there in your hand, in your pocket, by your side.
Wrong pin code, try again. Financial terrorism. Tax havens. Evictions. The 1%. #SudanUprising, #GiletsJaunes are cracks in the system. Extinction Rebellion is here to stop the killing of the planet. The anger of the people is in me. No left, no right but front. Blocking the logic of capitalism, infrastructures. Blowing the logic of fear: rebellion. I’m tired of the screens, grid ideas and pixel feelings, I want to touch you, to feel your smell, to break the bubble surrounding your body and make you aware I’m here, our bodies need to talk, they have so much to say and there are no words to express it, but your eyes tell me so much, we need to recognize each other. Together with others. Change. Revolt.
#NiUnaMenos. No more femicides, no more looking away each time a woman dies. Revolution of care. We want to dance. Swing. Women are the first to open themselves to mutual support, to resistance, to civil disobedience, they put the body in front. We won’t give up, we will fight until our lives matter.
Look, is not just between you and me. Alliances. Decentralized. Cyborgs. Warm bodies. Distributed direct democracy. I don’t know your name but I trust you. They want us sad but happiness is our secret weapon. We will be joyful rebels.