If I can’t dance to it, it’s not my revolution”*

(*) Often, Emma Goldman is quoted with this sentence. Even if she actually never said this, we most certainly do reclaim the feeling it carries. Otherwise, she did say “I want freedom, the right to self-expression, everybody’s right to beautiful, radiant things.”

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On March 23, the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Fed­er­a­tion of North­ern Syr­ia announced that the Islam­ic State had been defeat­ed. After years of strug­gle with heavy human con­se­quences, the hero­ic lib­er­a­tions of Kobane, Raqqa and Der ez-Zor, and months of wait­ing for the final announce­ment (the the­o­fas­cist sta­tist group was only defend­ed a small area for a few months now), the Syr­i­an Demo­c­ra­t­ic Forces have freed us, we liv­ing beings on the sur­face of the Earth, from this can­cer, open­ly sup­port­ed by the world nation states through the fas­cist state of Turkey.

So, to celebrate, all over the Federation, we danced…

We, inter­na­tion­al­ists com­rades, joined Derik’s Com­mu­nards to share a moment of cel­e­bra­tion with them. Shy­ly first, we said hel­lo and approached the small dance cir­cles and, with the help of music (an elec­tron­ic remix of the guer­ril­la clas­sics, by a local DJ who came with his truck and speak­ers), we felt more com­fort­able, wav­ing the flags of the YPJ and YPG like our com­rades, then the mag­ic began to operate…

How to describe such a strong con­nec­tion with the moment, one of those we don’t expect, that sur­pris­es us because sud­den­ly we real­ize that it is sim­ply here. When beau­ty is here, when rev­o­lu­tion is here, when human­i­ty is here, our ges­tures become meaningful…

One by one, we added our­selves to the cir­cle, some by love for danc­ing, oth­ers because they were too shy to talk direct­ly to the local com­rades (look­ing for­ward to the next Kur­mancî class­es!). Two sim­ple steps to the side, left foot in front, right foot in front, and we start over again. This child­ish­ly sim­ple lit­tle move­ment invites every­one to join in the dance, novices and ini­ti­ates alike, young and old.

Lit­tle by lit­tle, the human ban­ner spreads. It is no longer 20, 30, but 80 pairs of feet that are mov­ing in rhythm. Bound by our lit­tle fin­gers, our hands describ­ing small dynam­ic cir­cles, a con­fu­sion set­tles down: the hands and feet of this tan­gled human­i­ty pro­duce a most fab­u­lous opti­cal illu­sion, there are now 150 indi­vid­u­als who fol­low the same tem­po, and their coor­di­nat­ed ges­tures pro­duce an almost psy­che­del­ic effect. For a while, we are liv­ing in a trance, and although the music is wild, our body activ­i­ty is very calm. The mag­ic is there, how­ev­er, to our great sur­prise, for us who come from ecsta­t­ic expe­ri­ences that are usu­al­ly more demand­ing, more consuming.

We look at each oth­er, our eyes pleat­ed with kind­ness. It is democ­ra­cy that takes shape, face-to-face, in this space-time of conviviality.

And what a spec­ta­cle of diver­si­ty in this faran­dole. A pleiad of faces, gen­res, free­doms. In cam­ou­flage or civil­ian, Mesopotami­an or West­ern cloth­ing, with a vari­ety of flags, every­one’s expres­sion is wel­come and very much in evi­dence. Wit­ness of this plu­ral­i­ty, our mind takes a burst of cre­ativ­i­ty and we begin to think that this is uni­ty-in-diver­si­ty, anar­cho-com­mu­nism incar­nat­ed (by exalt­ed anar­chist indi­vid­u­al­i­ty, and by the com­mu­nist num­ber and coor­di­na­tion). Also, could this carousel be an alle­go­ry of move­ment, ini­ti­at­ed by a few dance pio­neers, and joined by so many oth­ers, to end up mak­ing one with society?

But after a good half an hour of com­mu­nised steps, the music final­ly stops. The chain breaks, and anoth­er melody, even more rhyth­mic, takes over. Lines then reform, but not as long as the first one. The dance is now much more ener­getic, requir­ing good moves, so we left a few com­rades aside, but they’re just as cheer­ful look­ing at us. At the end of the line, the first fel­lows allow them­selves some free impro­vi­sa­tions on the basic steps. They look at each oth­er more intense­ly, caus­ing the line’s head to curl up on itself, describ­ing a spi­ral that bends and unfolds.

Grad­u­al­ly, from song to song, the cel­e­bra­tion ends. Our del­e­ga­tion is on its way again.

As a bonus, two nice archive pieces from 2008, some­where in Kurdistan…

Lougar Rayn­marth

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