Entering the social centre yesterday felt a bit like being a vampire with an invitation. I can enter without harm. Gone are the days of naked demonstrations for my right to free speech, and persons dragging me along the floor, to have me out of the building. Don’t know what difference it makes though. Time will tell.
I had my first workshop. One woman showed up for Theatre of the oppressed. And we got a man from the house to join in as well. It felt nice. Doing the warm-up exercises, and then sharing our own stories of oppression, playing them out, trying to change what had left us feeling uncomfortable, remembering the situations with unease.
Today I was there again. Wanting to do a workshop on consensus, but there weren’t any persons willing to participate. So I will have to do it later some time. Probably in some other place.
The bans feel absurd. And it’s surreal being inside the place. Today talking with my sleepy friend – overloaded with work and trucking-school – we tried to figure out the mentality of the persons who are for the ban. How come they accept my presence there for this week. We both seem to come up with that it has to do with the strong hierarchies within – the leader said it would be okay – and also some sense of “following the rules”. If the rules are like this at the moment, then this is what we do. No questioning of authority or why we do what we do. No self-reflection or free thinking.
It’s strange. I try to check what I’m feeling all the time. And I know the numbness, that sometimes feels like being “calm” will change into some emotional dangling swaying music within me leading to some action of some sort. Cause I sense it all the time while I’m there: It’s not fair. It’s simply just not fair.
Even stranger, having to work out what kind of relation I have with Daniel. Paranoid prejudice sexism expressed within her peer group, stopped me from taking part in the project that she’s taking part in in Hungary. I read mails about requests on getting me signed on to the internal Morze Infoshop mailing list being denied on the grounds that my conflicts there are “personal”, and should be dealt with in some other space. This while I’m being called “sick” with “mental problems” on the same list, by Maria who up until recently could have given me a clear invitation to join the conversation, but chose to stop volunteering as list admin when I said it was power abuse, if she wouldn’t give me the opportunity to respond.
Daniel tries to become list admin, but it seems at the moment as if JD – the person feeling responsible for the list, doing the moderation – will not allow internal hierarchies to be discussed on the Morze Infoshop list. I’ve grown cynical and I doubt that there will be any change in that situation.
The same way as I doubt that there will be any real changes within the social centre. The only thing I feel I can do at the moment, is to try to find people who don’t think I’m crazy, and continue disciplining myself to document what’s going on around me.
I guess this includes some of the “internal” stuff as well. Talk openly about what’s happening within the relations of persons taking part in this blog. Have a critical look “inside”. Like the situation I played out in the workshop yesterday. Imagining that there were four persons sitting around a table. The woman participating in the workshop playing Daniel who makes a remark across the table about the teeth of a person that she’s had an intimite relation with – asking if they always looked like that. This happened in Budapest. And the person replied that “maybe it’s just that my face has gotten tighter”, in some kind of sarcastic response. In the situation, the way it happened, I laughed. Kind of laughing at Daniel. I froze, and the only thing I could do, was to laugh at the madness. But it’s something that stayed with me. The way Daniel with her nasty behavior took control over the situation. And that just because they’ve been intimate, the guy can insult her openly, in public, and the other two persons sit there in silence. Letting it pass by.
This time I looked at the persons around the table, and expressed openly that “I don’t understand what is going on here. I don’t feel comfortable with you making strange remarks like that. I find it unacceptable. Could you explain your behavior?” Then turning to the person that the comment was directed: “I don’t know how you’re feeling about this, but if there’s anything I can do, please let me know.”
Or something like that. It felt good. Changing the past.
Wish it would be possible. Wish we could learn from what has happened before. I guess I doubt. But I will never stop believing.