Posted by: antyx | November 11, 2008

2 Months in an occupied anarchist residence


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I have a tendency of getting bored of staying in the same place and environment for a long time. After my grand euro tour in August and the psy/ambient festival in Greece that followed it in August i had to go back to Crete in order to attend my course exams, in order to complete my IT course, something i have to get over with soon enough. During the exams in June i stayed at a friends place in Heraklion, Crete, though in September i decided to stay in an Occupied building in my college campus. The self organized residence has mainly a left wing political character. The main theme of this residence involves people who are against hierarchy, racism and control of any kind. It is a place of free expression, political, artistic or existential, a group of people highly tolerate to alternative lifestyles and belief systems. Eventually i decided to stay till the end of October, afterwards stay some time in my hometown, Khalkis and then join the army in the 12th Nov, as i am obliged when being born in Greece

Luckily enough i found it rather easy to fit in this group of people, each one with different though systems, political views and lifestyles. The building use to be the old college dorms and was abandoned after the new ones were built in another part of the campus. Before 3 years as i was told this building was occupied forming a place called an occupation with mainly a political character. The inner need of expression could be seen in any part of the building, from colorful wall paintings to political flyers and posters. The building involved the rooms each resident had, the kitchen, the main lounge, coffee place, outdoor kiosk, studio, inner garden, toilets, showers as well as rooms for visitors which i lived in during my 2 month stay. Every room had Internet access, which combined with the 2 speaker set i brought with me could, made my stay more enjoyable and productive during the time i stayed in my room. In the beginning of September i bough a cheap eee pc, which will probably cover my needs till next year. I brought with me my car, packed with the essentials, from speakers, clothes and accessories i would need for a 2 month stay.

I myself political was never active in any leftist political group, though i found many common ideas with my political identity of decentralized and unhierarchical systems. For me it is important to keep a distance when learning about something new and not incorporating it immediately to your belief system, but rather to reason with it first. I do not consider myself an anarchist and i don’t tend to get involved in political activism, though i tend to incorporate this belief system when dealing with various systems and structures (software, energy etc) Nevertheless personally it is very important to be able to experience new things and learn from them without getting directly attached to them.

I had the chance of meeting some very interesting and diverse personalities, ideas and views from people highly stimulated from injustice and unconformised with the systems of control, governmental or capitalist. Each resident with a different life style and way of viewing society altogether. Each one came with a unique personality, thought system, music linking and appearance. I used to walk by that building viewing it with a hostile manner, though eventually figured out that despite the negative image it may project to the outsider, the atmosphere was very friendly if you get to knew the residents. They were a mix of students, workers, dreamers, political activists, hippies, musicians and travellers. I myself have a small mix of all those, so i managed to have a common ground with most residents i had the chance to meet.

The residence was organized in an unhierarhical fashion, where decisions were ade during the weekly meeting in the coffee room. Tasks and jobs that were needed to be done were handed out volunteraly during that weekly meeting as well as issues which bothered the residents and had to do with buidling as a whole. Most of the times the resident were able to discuss reasonabely though many times the opossite occured.

Overall it was a great 2 month stay, where i experienced so much and will consider living again in order to finish my IT course next year. I will also consider visiting some similar residences in Spain and else where in Europe during my 2009 summer eurotour. It is a great example on how people with not much can live trully live out their everyday. Just by combining something few you have can sum up for the benefit of the many. Thinking that our society could be transformed in such manner may seem utopic, decontructing the western capilistic system, though i find it realistic to build unhierrchical and community driven social structures. It mostly has to do on our willing to cooporate, interact and communicate with each other defying our short term benefits, through deep social tranformation and progression we manage to gain a better living for all.

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