This documentary on the social revolution in Barcelona rekindles the flames of hope: another world is possible. In fact, it already existed before.
Whenever fighting a long and seemingly endless war, it seems fitting to remind those fighting of the very reasons these fights arose in the first place. Of course, for those fighting against corporate or governmental powers around the globe, the reasons are endless. But whether our struggle is for human rights, environmental reasons, or social justice, there is a commonality amongst us all: we all dream of a better world.
This dream, this idea, is our fuel. We use it to push ourselves when we grow weary of defeat — be it by means of arrests, beatings, shootings, or the continuing decay of our societies at the hands of the elite. Some defeats are harder to bear than others, and an emotional rollercoaster is sure to commence. We are, of course, only human.
Everyone has their own means of picking themselves back up. There’s always music, thought experiments, spending time with loved ones, or even learning more about corporate or state atrocities in order to regain the requisite rage to use as fuel. For me, however, nothing has yet proven to be more powerful fuel than the beautiful documentary Living Utopia, about Revolutionary Catalonia during the Spanish civil war. It is quite an old film so I can only assume many of you have seen it, but if you haven’t, I highly recommend watching it — and hell, even if you have seen it, you should watch it again!
Nothing is nearly as powerful as watching and listening to a person who witnessed, lived, worked, and bled for the same very dream we currently share. The way the Catalan revolutionaries describe Barcelona — as a true living Utopia — sends shivers down my spine. I have always dared to dream of a world such as this, even when such dreams were still called naïve, childish, or ideological.
But to have lived through a utopian revolutionary project, to have truly lived Utopia, is something I fear I may never see in my lifetime. I tend to tell myself that my children will be able to see this world, or their children, and the actions of our generation will be crucial building blocks for this. Watching Living Utopia, though, helps to remind me that it has been done before; that another world is possible, and — ever more powerfully — that it can come into existence within our lifetimes, just as it happened in revolutionary Catalonia.
Freedom is my homeland, reason is my flag.
Source URL — https://roarmag.org/2012/09/10/living-utopia-a-hopeful-lesson-from-anarchist-catalonia/