On resistance

What’s your freshest take on resistance?

I am thinking of the anti-war resistance **within** Russia…

It’s impossible to fathom what resistants are going through in that country and other places of conflict unless we’ve been in a situation ourselves. But to start empathising, imagine what you are going through on a day-to-day basis within a conflictual context.

For some, it can be a question of life or death.
For others, it manifests itself as a slow-burner.
You want your values to be heard, you want significance, meaning, influence.
You want the truth to come out.
Your desire for change is not met, nothing is moving. Your issues and other people’s issues and needs are not recognised, not even validated as existing. Or they are mocked and discarded, swept away.
For some, the idea of resistance is reduced to a numb spot, somewhere at the back of your neck. You know it’s there but you forgot how to activate it.
External and inner constraints prevent you from vocalising your arguments or your pain, you feel the treacle of power hammering you and whichever direction you take, there is not much of a way out. For now.


Yet resistance takes many shapes.

Marcelo Yuka - a masculine person, dark hair, sitting in a wheelchair and holding paintbrushes, surrounded by colourful artwork, on a red brickwall.
And in you, there may be only one glimmer of hope, the will to honour in any shape or form the work others have accomplished.
It’s the determination to hope, that at one point, in a minute, today or tomorrow, the light, a sound will pass through, someone will hear, your oppressor will fall, or make a mistake, or be caught.
You hang on to this. It’s a lifeline.

“Hope is not a lottery ticket you can sit on the sofa and clutch, feeling lucky. It is an axe you break down doors with in an emergency. Hope should shove you out the door, because it will take everything you have to steer the future away from endless war, from the annihilation of the earth’s treasures and the grinding down of the poor and marginal… To hope is to give yourself to the future – and that commitment to the future is what makes the present inhabitable.”
Rebecca Solnit, Hope in the Dark.

Not all resistants are vocal, and confident enough to stand up on the streets, at the risk of being arrested, tortured even, some are just only gathering strength to stand up (if only to find food for their next meal).
But also… there are the others. Those who don’t even know yet they should/could/ought to resist, for a lack of diverse information, or a narrative imposed onto them, that suppressed their freedom to think independently for themselves and as themselves.
For these, and others who resist each in their own way, we ought to resist too and propose small actions of kindness, unity, listening, empathy, compassion, reflection.

This is not fluffy, this is complex, hard work.
Conflict is happening everywhere.

Far away, but also next to you… and within you.

Who or what can help you speak it out?

Paz sem voz, não é paz, é medo – [Peace without a voice, isn’t peace, it is fear]

– Marcelo Yuka

What’s your freshest take on resistance?

Header Picture: My mentor, producer, artist and activist Marcelo Yuka (1965-2019) sitting in his wheelchair at home, holding paintbrushes, surrounded by his resistance artwork. He taught me about the complexity of absorbing multiple and simultaneous inner and external conflicts, the cost of the polarity of values, the need for resistance through love.

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