Performing the government of crisis: greece

The permanent state of emergency/exception that characterises the government by crisis continues unabated in greece.  To eliminate the reality-memory of resistance, squats are brought an end to throughout the country (29/08/2013: the eviction of the squat Antiviosi in Epirus; 02/09/2013: the eviction of the Orfanotrofio squat in Thessaloniki).  Their role as points of passage, spaces of resonance, for larger struggles, is thus removed, thereby possibly weakening those struggles, or the possibility of ongoing and future forms of resistance.  It is unclear what response is emerging from greek anarchist and other anti-capitalist movements, but their inability to slow or stop this repression invites questions.  State-Capital does not of course only seek to undermine or destroy opposition in this instance; it also displays, performs, its own power, thereby making it real through the agency of increasingly militarized police forces.   In the state of exception that is crisis, the police-military is the state in its concrete expression.  And it “proves” itself, “legitimates” itself in operations of pacification, whether by evicting squats, or hunting out immigrants.  The ideal of our time for State-Capital is that nothing should happen, nothing should disturb, the “public” spaces through which capital circulates.  Thus the public space is cleared of all dissonance: a smoothed space patrolled by mobile machines of surveillance and control.

From Ross Domoney and The City at a Time of Crisis, a video Impossible Biographies

From the presentation of the film …

Many years before the first clouds of the crisis would hover over the greek skies, amidst greek society's most glorious of moments and its most mundane of days, the lives and labour of migrants would be faced with their meticulous devaluation.  For them, the crisis has by now come of age. Yet despite and against shallow journalistic interpretations, there is nothing humanitarian about it. This is because for them the crisis was from the upstart orchestrated politically, socially and militarily. In this way, the discourse about racism in crisis-ridden Greece merely obfuscates and comes in handy. For it obscures exactly how structural this devaluation had been for the development of the Greek state in itself, as well as for the self-perception of Greek society. Yet the crisis knows how to twist meanings too. Today, migrants are accused of the very decline of the Greek edifice. And within this twisted world, their devaluation takes on a more offensive and, at the same time, a more legitimate form. Impossible Biographies, as part of the research project The City at a Time of Crisis, bears witness to this offensive. Today, just like yesterday, the devalued lives of migrants shall remind us how it is to live and die within an enforced anonymity and invisibility. How it is to live a life whose biography is impossible.


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