At Utopia’s Fiesta: ROAR at the anti-fascist concert in Athens

  • January 23, 2013

Culture & Critique

On Saturday, ROAR contributor Leonidas performed with activist hip-hop formation Social Waste at the anti-fascist concert on Syntagma Square, Athens.

At Utopia’s Fiesta

By Leonidas Oikonomakis

It must have been on some Sunday, or some Monday
In a poem of Lorca, in the paintings of Rivera
In the Sea of Hikmet, the words of Galeano
And before getting to you, I always lose you
It must have been on a workday, or a holiday
Placards, banners, “state closed’, and strike
In some lyric of Akis Panou, or of Rasoulis that is shouting
“it can change Kemal, it can change”

The more I approach her, the more she goes further and I never reach her
Unapproachable, beautiful Utopia — Galeano was right
But when she is celebrating, she is promising me new paths
And then I start to believe again that the world can change
And I doubt Kemal, I also doubt Manos
I stand on my toes, but still I cannot reach her
The game is an old one, and if you want us to find the meaning
We gotta raise ourselves a bit higher
The poets have warned us, the game’s rules
Were written by the centuries with ink of red
Just like back then in Chile, it must have been 11 de Setiembre
And you said “let it be” and “hasta la Victoria siempre”
Or like now that they told me they saw you in India
Harvesting sun and wind, together with the barefoot
With a red beret they also saw you once,
You were a word in the mouth of Thomas Sankara
And even now they still see you and ask the people
Where are the Don Quijotes and the Sanchos going?
You become a witch-moon, at night you set our path
And during the day, you just let us travel for fun

It must have been on some Sunday, some Monday
In a poem of Lorca, in the paintings of Rivera
In the Sea of Hikmet, the words of Galeano
And before getting to you, I always lose you
It must have been on a workday, or a holiday
Placards, banners, “state closed’, and strike
In some lyric of Akis Panou, or of Rasoulis that is shouting
“it can change Kemal, it can change”

I‘ve looked for you lots, I followed the footsteps
They brought me to Chiapas — guerillas in the mist
At Syntagma, at the Square, thousands touched you
And earlier, in Iberia, Puerta del Sol and Catalunya
In Egypt and Tunisia you were flame and light
In Mexico they named you #YoSoy132
Salome is throwing her veils, head on the dish
But the precariato is resisting
Workers in the Greek Steelworks, “(we are) on strike cabrones!”
And miners in Asturias “…hasta los cojones”
Students in Santiago and Montreal
Because education is a public and free good
In Argentina barricades just like in the old times
In Cochabamba “the water is not for sale assholes!”
I’ve been expecting you to come like a May of ‘68
Or like a prohibited song of Oscar Chavez
You were a jailed book in Turkey
And a dead reporter in Homs, Syria
In some places they call you Zapata, elsewhere Tupac Katari
Elsewhere Sandino, and in Greece, Ari

It must have been on some Sunday, some Monday
In a poem of Lorca, in the paintings of Rivera
In the Sea of Hikmet, the words of Galeano
And before getting to you, I always lose you
It must have been on a workday, or a holiday
Placards, banners, “state closed’, and strike
In some lyric of Akis Panou, or of Rasoulis that is shouting
“it can change Kemal, it can change”

* The phrase “it can change Kemal” is a reference to a lyric of Nikos Gatsos, in a song with Manos Hatzidakis entitled “Kemal”, which ends with the phrase “Goodnight Kemal, this world will never change”
**Manolis Rasoulis and Akis Panou were Greek songwriters.

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Leonidas Oikonomakis

Leonidas Oikonomakis is a rapper with the Greek hip-hop formation Social Waste, a PhD candidate in Political and Social Sciences at the European University Institute (EUI) in Florence, a researcher at the Center on Social Movement Studies (COSMOS) at the Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa, and a member of the editorial collective of ROAR Magazine.

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Source URL — https://roarmag.org/essays/leonidas-oikonomakis-social-waste-syntagma/

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