We Are All Illegal Immigrants. (“Siamo Tutti Clandestini.”) A message of solidarity to illegal migrants, for anyone who has spent time in Italy, the slogan can be as common as the circle A that often accompanies it. Not that it is necessary to impose anarchist branding. So synonymous is this idea with the politics, the symbol risks overkill.
Less apparent is the internationalist attitude the slogan espouses. Once associated, almost exclusively, with socialism, the globalist outlook of anarchists has come increasingly into focus in recent years.
Not necessarily because anarchism was more provincial in the past. Nor, for that matter, because anarchism is increasingly popular. More, perhaps, because of the decline of labor-based politics in the West, with its emphasis on global solidarity, and class struggle. Certainly, anarchists have risen to the occasion, particularly in matters concerning migration and racism. Given anarchism’s commitment to universalism, denominational leadership in such areas is hardly surprising.
Nonetheless, this disposition also stems from an appreciation of revolutionary politics outside of the first world (see David Graeber, for example.) To this end, the Turin flyer, translated below, finds as much value locating anarchist-type politics in the global south.
There’s no doubt that such examples betray a potential fetishization of third world cultures, for their so-called ‘wisdom’ holdings. Still, we must be careful not downplay such exercises either. There is an element of humility to it that’s refreshing, which non-anarchist socialists might learn from, at the very least, as an expression of solidarity. If anti-capitalism is a universal ethos, inevitably, its values, and practices, will prove shared.
From Kurdistan to Kabylie
ITINERARIES OF FREEDOM
In recent years, social movements have developed, with libertarian features, in both organization and scope. Direct participation, creating webs of solidarity on a local basis, deep cultural mutation affecting those power relationships characterizing the social body and constituting its distinctive feature, have developed alongside the hardness of struggle against state and religious institutions that control various territories.
The important characteristic of these movements is their taking root in areas of the world where, in the last fifteen years, movements have developed, reacting to forced Westernization of (the) religious sort.
It’s the case of Kabylie, the Berber region of Algeria. It’s the case of Turkish Kurdistan and more recently, of Syria, where wide parts of the population opposed the regime and Islamists, simultaneously developing an experience of non-state autonomy in their territories.
But the list could be longer, crossing the planet from Mexico to India.
Thursday October 17th
9 pm, Corso Palermo 46
With the participation of:
Karim Metref, journalist, teacher, blogger, of Kabylie origin.
Daniele Pepino, curator, among other, of writings about struggles in Kurdistan, where he has met and given voice to several activists.
Turin Anarchist Federation – FAI
Translated from the Italian by Giulia Pace. Introduction and photographs courtesy of Joel Schalit.