10 July, 2020
for Diane di Prima & Gil Scott-Heron
Change is quick but revolution
will take a while.
The revolution will not be televised, but it will be live-streamed & shareable & memeable, and we will be able to plug in, turn on, or cop out.
The revolution will lay dormant until we choose otherwise, and it must begin on the corner if it is to become an anthem, a rally, a crowd.
Joy is the revolution, as is motherhood and matriarchy, as is collective mourning, and unearthing, and bringing out our dead.
The revolution is nothing if not a process: an amorphous beast that rides on the backs of the many and not the few, that knows when to hide in plain sight, when to split, and how to sleep, in peace, outdoors.
The revolution knows words are worthwhile, but words are not enough, and our hands must be put to other uses.
The revolution is almost-always crushed, whether at its beginning or at its end. To speak of the revolution is also to speak of its various opponents: the state, the violence of the state, capital, the status quo, the comforts of ease and acquiescence.
The revolution is not the ‘return to normal’, or the casual memorialising of white supremacy, but reparation and reclamation, because the revolution is treaty, Indigenous sovereignty, and the new world order:
anti-pig and pro-lamb
anti-nostalgia and pro-reckoning
anti-Zuck, anti-Dorsey, anti-Bezos and the consumer co-option of revolutionary aesthetics and screengrabs
anti being told the words ‘defund’ and ‘abolish’ are too pinko & too aggressive & too unpalatable for the voting establishment.
The revolution is for those who will carry on, regardless. For those who will care & laugh & love & grieve, and for those who would rather undo a border than construct it. For those who live in this world as it is, who face towards it, knowing its histories, failures and promises. For those who use this knowledge to offer us the other world, outside of it.
By Alif Ibrahim