Another one of us is gone, another one I personally knew. And gone how? In the worst possible manner. Alone and afraid and abused and abandoned and beaten and left to die.
Here is the doc about her that Paola Revenioti, commisioned by Vice.gr, did. And here is the 2016 doc, created and directed by Tzeli Hadjidimitriou – both subtitled.
Tonight, I’m lighting the biggest joint of them all, burn some lavender flowers and watching the two docs introducing Dimitri to the world; or tragically better phrased, introducing the world to Dimitri, a world that exploited her magic and then left her alone, unprotected, to find her own ways to survive. She utlimately didn’t.
Alright. Need to concentrate my thoughts and try to put them into words in order for that immense anxiety of mine that resurfaced some time during the last days to calm down and leave me alone cause it physically hurts and makes me completely paranoid and dysphoric and afraid.
How am I feeling? Mentally I think I am in an okay place, I have been stable for the last months however I fell in love and that changed things a bit, causing me a hysterical euphoria and although I am really enjoying all the feelings which have been summoned, the intensity and the volume and the thickness of them, I somewhat forget to tend the darkness inside myself and it revolts in a very rude and very cataclysmic manner. So I am finding myself having warm and fuzzy feelings of love and care and affection, plus a very highlighted sexual desire and lust and physical responses I’ve forgotten that even existed. All this on top, and below them a dark swamp full of pity mud, a petty wetland that floods and rises every time the fuzziness needs a break because real life takes over, and the more real life takes over the more the fuzziness retreats and the swamp reigns over. No matter how thin the basis of its substance is, it spills and spoils all the good things I decided I deserve and that makes me crazy and sad and my breathing shortens and my chest hurts and I am irritated as fuck and nothing, nothing – I swear to god! – nothing makes it better, but being with that person I so radically and erratically loved and became soft and vulnerable with and that caused me to absolutely forget how to take care of myself alone.
On the one hand I am fucking grateful for that. I really feel I have it all. When I am thinking of the whole picture with my cognitive mind and my balanced feelings – and after having eaten cause when I’m hungry I become the angrier pessimist you’ve ever seen – I think I am now complete, in a sense that I am on the path that I was envisioning for myself since I was twelve years old. Making movies, writing stuff, having close friends who make absolute sense in my life, and recently being loved in such a wholesome manner that makes even more sense in my life. Oh how I cherish the way I’ve been given that love. T’was for real a precious and special gift, only for me, whose actual quality I cannot yet explain cause right now words won’t suffice and I’m afraid I will not do justice neither to the feelings nor to the reality of the beauty I am experiencing. It is complicated and it is private and I am still very protective of the details and the mysticism; an intention that won’t change soon, I suspect.
On the other hand, I became weak. What is this feeling of vulnerability for god’s sake? It hurts, why people insist we need this? It leaves you anxious and angsty and depended and that means you suck, and are obviously going to fail maintaining the utopian dream of nothing ever changes. And I don’t wanna suck cause I walked miles and miles to cover that distance and embody the “everything changes” mantra and accept it’s okay. And now I want everything to stay as is and I know it won’t and that anxiety makes me cry as I press those keys to form these words on the blank space, a canvas of endless possibilities. And now I understand why I have this heavy block on my chest for the last couple of days and it cannot be lifted with no fucking meditation practice or breathing session or even kissing session. Shit, I’m doomed. Clueless idiot.
Aaaaaand that’s what I’m bringing to therapy later. Thank god for therapy.
Earlier this month the latest issue of Yusra magazine got out of the printer. Yusra #9. In it, among other interesting things, there is the not-so-teeny-tiny feature we prepared with the main Yusra crew after I had this idea back in January. We spent more than two months working, brainstorming, making lists and organizing shit with the editor boys, Spyros and Christos, the brains behind Yusra, the senpai of visuals John Nikolopoulos and the skillful production mastermind Christina Lardikou, who was also the stylist and co-art director for the editorial photoshoot we somehow managed to pull off, featuring Shia and Reject (and also Kephi and Ian but they didn’t make it in the print and that’s a sad sad story for a different time). And we gathered texts and we gathered pictures from the people we love and from the people we enjoy to conversate with and respect them not so much for their numerous, to be honest, opinions (alas, we ourselves have millions of them, equally strong and specific) but the genuinely groundbreaking manner they release them out in the world, a manner that makes worlds collide and highlights links and connections on an existential level. Overall, what I see now in those forty pages of texts and pictures, is a universe of unique perspectives which are interlinked and cosmically connected, struggling to carve their shape into existence despite of the great efforts of each and every system to assimilate, accumulate and erase that shape, bleach it to irrelevance. If Francesca is right, we are all indeed little threads that haven’t been pulled out of the great cloth of history, yet. And until we are we have to try and meet and get to know one another and try and live together and fight together and get drunk and high together and laugh and cry and fuck together in order to get tied together and birth our knots and clots that throb and little thread lumps that breathe and scream and are full of dark red blood like a fresh wild hog sausage, so even if the blade cuts deep and pulls some pieces of us out, the rest would stay in place, a wounded mass surviving, maybe mutilated but still pulsing melted together like a hot iron/flesh Cronenberg fantasy, staining the History TM so intentionally that none will be able to clean the shit out of us and straighten out that anomaly energy we bring to the fucking equation.
How’s my anxiety now? Still there. But a couple of degrees cooler. It’s a win. Just decided that the soundtrack of that period of my life would be exclusively “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” by Poison, cause I’m country rock trash like that. 🤠
One must brag about their home otherwise it will fall on them, or so we’re told and this year the filthy state of our tormented motherland decided to celebrate “gloriously” and with an unprecedented manner the 200 years anniversary since the revolution against the ottoman governance started. Basically, like the good lil’ champ of Europe, we’re celebrating a totally fake and fabricated event created both by some lazy philellines who needed something to romanticize during their forever vacation in the most exotic Mediterranean colony, and the orthodox priests who are always hungry for popularity, capital and social power.
Anyway, this revolution led to the modern Greek State and we’re still paying the dues for a ridiculous western projection of what means to be descendant of the classics. We have been thrown collectively, for generations, into a cultural melting pot, unaware of our true roots and connections, unable to see or decide for ourselves who we really are and forced to constantly reshape ourselves into a white fantasy. Faster, stronger, whiter TM. Obviously we always fail miraculously at this task and getting frustrated over the simplest meanings and feelings and we have no connection whatsoever with our own existence on this earth and this is an almost self-made trauma very much deeper than the one the 200 years of ottoman occupation created.
On this energy and with unlimited hatred and secret psychoanalytic infatuation for our ethnic situation, FYTA curated an online exhibition called “200 years of Suffocation” and, in my humble opinion, is their best work so far.
Description from the web site:
200 Hundred Years of Suffocation
The celebrations for the two hundred years since 1821 have begun and as we expected the size of exaggeration and nationalist trash reached the levels of Athens 2004 and beyond. In the midst of a pandemic, where class differences really stand out and brutal policing violates every human right in a democratic society, the Homeland-Religion-Family mythology is underlined again and again, shouting loudly, flattening in its passage any discord that does not fit the master narrative. Greek society expels everything foreign, wipes out immigrants from Victoria, cleans Omonia sq. up of drug users, saves the Exarchia neighbourhood from (flying) anarchists and replaces them with cyan and white greek flags, stories of ancient greek greatness and covid-denying orthodox priests. The complexities of the stories of queers, the disabled, refugees do not concern these celebrations of the one and only, perfect, glorious Nation.
What is our homeland after all? is it not the construction of a national fantasy based on the extermination of everything that does not fit in the image of the strong and brave fighter? Can it be the majestic high mountains of the greek landscape? And why does this issue return so often in the nationalist discourse of the modern greek state? If greekness is a monster that does not make much sense, we must demonstrate the contradictions and silenced crimes that make it up – because that is the only way to survive.
This exhibition is made by subjects and talks about subjects who suffocate within the framework of greek orthodox patriotism and use creative means to express their dissatisfaction with a mythology that does not include them, does not express them, does not concern them.
The link: 200xronia.com
Ps: I’m participating with the short doc we did with Gevi about Zak.
One year into pandemic. Jesus fucking Christ when all these did happen? I don’t count time the same way anymore. Before, I use to feel each day and night and week and month passing over me and either washing away stuff preparing me for the new to come, or they were adding, one on top of the other, weighing me down, getting me on my knees until I kiss the ground with my forehead. Now time means nothing, it is an endless loop that indulges sunlight, aesthetics and paranoia. Nothing more nothing less. The moods swing back and forth, circling left and right like clock pointers on a mad surrealist timing device and I can only tell sunsets apart because of TikTok and this weird aesthetic fixation of the app’s users to magic hour. I mean who can judge gen z for being so eager with proper natural light for filming? I definitely won’t! I read somewhere – was it Indiewire? Or something similar maybe – that media theorists compare TikTok to early silent cinema, and although I am laughing hard for the need to build a solid theoretical argument to legitimize liking a new, generationally uncomprehensive, platform with its own ethics and mannerisms, I cannot hide that I am fond of that analogy. Mostly, anyway.
I am scared that this whole year into this crazy shit, which I didn’t know it can affect me that much when it started, will never end. I get paranoid that life in the way we knew it somehow ended for good and then I get anxious that I am too old and too programmed to get used to a new life, my brain’s too tired and my body can’t keep up with the loose screws in my head and my heart is not strong enough for new heartbreaks. Then I try to ground myself and focus on the small, practical things that help crazy people get a grip in reality: breathing, food, exercise, work, therapy. And god am I doing them all, one after the other, not religiously but “organically” and I am trying to have a program and the mentality of a person who cares for themselves. Which is true most of the time. Until it’s not. And when it’s not I ask myself “okay, now what” and none replies and that fucking silence terrifies me deeply, right to the core of all my bones and then I get panicked and act spontaneously and last Monday I was driving and closed my eyes just for a second, to see how it’s like. Then I opened them, counted if the car deviated at all, and closed them again. Just for a second and a half this time. Then I opened them once more saw nothing happened and then, when I did for the third time, I came to some senses and started crying and parked and went to therapy. I wasn’t even sad about it I was just scared. And I had so much tension built inside me that I couldn’t stop moving and fidgeting and spinning on my ass on that beautiful couch that I hate in my therapist’s office.
Look, I know everyone is at the same situation, either they want to admit it or not. I can see it and I can smell it in the atmosphere, people are sick and are tired and do stuff they cannot explain and then get scared of themselves and explode on others. And this stopped being cute and funny some ages ago. Theory doesn’t help, politics only make things worse because nothing orthodox can cure a paradox and every single soul right now on this old sphere we call planet is burdened with a year of sickness, a year that is lost but counted, a year of struggling and drifting and anguishing and suffering and there is no question that has any answer which can calm that feeling of hopelessness. This is what tyrannies do to people. This is what capitalism did to people, and this is what colonization did too. We do find hope in hopeless places as Rihanna says but for how long can we do that and what is the gain after all? I am a romantic character, I know I feed on hope and happy endings but what a character does when there is no ending in the script? Blows everything with a marvelous explosion and ends everything himself, that’s one opinion. That the Fight Club opinion. I hate Fight Club though. And I hate scripts with no endings. An open ending though, that’s different. A sudden cut when the camera is aiming with an extreme close up shot on the protagonist’s face, showing the fat dripples of sweat on their forehead, wide open eyes and dilated pupils, muted sound and only a distorted heart beat to beat fast but not too fast, seconds before the crash or the big decision or the jump or anything that resembles a peak. Aaaaaaand, cut. Enough. No one needs to see what follows after this and it’s not because people will shy on the view but because it doesn’t matter really. What matters is the suffering. The psychological torture of the building anxiety and the erratic functioning of an overworked brain at full steam.
So yeah, I feel like the whole year in pandemic was a film, a thriller that led up to that open ending sequence, but this close up shot lasts for ever. And I’m fucking furious with the fucking writer and with the fucking director and with this stupid sadistic producer prick who overviews this violent slasher, cause how on earth can a character live in that torturing shot forever you motherfucking idiots, please someone answer me that and I promise I’ll shut my hole on this subject for good. A character always needs and ending and if not given that ending, a character melts and shrinks and becomes irrelevant and a shadow of what they were and the ashes of what they would have become if things were different fly away towards the sea during magic hour. And then dies forever. Or left alone forgotten which feels a lot like dying, imho.
In any case, I can safely declare I do not want to die but I can’t stop thinking of ways to do it some times. And that is more scary of actually dying. But thankfully my therapist is not afraid to talk about such stuff with me and she always reminds me to have her in the loop and call her or text her, which is needed cause, during those moments, I tend to forget about the people who like me. And when you think of people who like you and care for you, those moments stop being so dreadful and heavy and terrifying and you have a brilliant turning pointthat can change the route of everything and that is really everything a character who’s stuck in this shitty shot can ask for right now, ain’t it?
SOPHIE died in Athens last night. I didn’t even know she was still here. I never felt like the music really talked to me but this weird vocalisation, with the voice in-between genders and identities, this crossing back and forth between lives, made a clear impression on me. I was eager to see what she will become what else her troubled mind and soul will create, cause the kind of trouble she was into is very obvious to me and very familiar. I adore SOPHIE’s imagery and universe growing. I think her experimental style, blended with outrageous pop, is definitely how old-school sci-fi queers were imagining future.
Today I tried not to read many things about SOPHIE’s death. I avoided the stoic farewell posts of my circle and advised myself not to be vulnerable with her, because A) since I started wanting to live, death became a bit more scary than before, and B) because I really am processing some other heavy things right now. So I left home almost immediately when I woke up ignoring the fuss on social media and went to meet Vassilia and Alkis at Kypseli. While we were hanging out SOPHIE’s loss occurred every now and then and I realized I was fighting a very certain feeling and it was not annoyance or boredom but it was this deep melancholic sadness of depression, the one that allows hopelessness build hour by hour until your eyes are filled with tears and it’s now nighttime and you start crying with no obvious reason but because you’re feeling small and helpless and alone and SOPHIE is dead and life is excruciating and art is not about the result but about the process and this process is so fucking difficult but also so fucking magical and how the world can be so cruel and obscene and everyone is still so full of themselves and dedicated to minding their own business and never notice or say anything about that? Why the fuck SOPHIE went out to the balcony to watch the full moon at 4 a.m. and fell and why the fuck the world didn’t shut down at this exact moment and why I had to fight this immense wave of sadness about a person I didn’t even know? It’s like a part of me violently crushed and chopped and was taken away before I was able to appreciate and love it and cherish it for what it was.
Last July I got around a very dark place and had to convince myself to survive, using all the outside help I could, trying to find reasons into everything that surrounds me: people, places, events, potentials, situations, objects, aesthetics. I used them as totems, as sources of connection, as anchors to existing and as signifiers of a life and as evidence, listed solely as opposition to my hungry urges for an ending.
One of those totems were my random interaction with a couple of two stranger queers, during a climb on Parthenon, blogged here. I am quoting a part below:
We just went in for an art exhibition, showing at the bottom of the rock and then we kept going up without anyone asking us for tickets and stuff. It was nice, not so hard to climb despite of what I was imagining. But the truth is that we were really out of our comfort zone, socially wise. The good thing is that the whole time of going up, we shared the narrow dusty path with some queers, a greek hipster gay boy who was taking his guide duty very seriously, narrating stories including names and dates and places too far away from now to make sense; and then the beautiful trans girl, tall with long curls in the color of barley and blue eyes full of loving care for her grumpy techno-goth girlfriend with the skin all rushed from that vicious sun and the climbing. Yeah, paint me a hopeless romantic but I felt connected with those touristy people and at that moment I believed deep in my heart that everything in the world is going to be okay if I stay close to them; at least for a while.
29th of July, 2020
And then I saw an IG story published by SOPHIE’s girlfriend, about the loss. First slide was a photo of them during a sunny summer afternoon, SOPHIE was posing with her long curls in the color of barley and her blue eyes full of loving care for her grumpy techno-goth girlfriend with the skin all rushed from that vicious sun and the climbing. In front of the ruins.
Right next to them, out of frame, I was taking my own photo, building connections and memorabilia in my head to keep on living.
Rest In Power stranger. I’ve missed you once when we split ways coming down the rock and I am painfully missing you more, now I know. 💔
Things are happening, life is ultra weird and I am in an interesting place in it where I can do stuff I only imagined while daydreaming (okay mostly fantasizing for what always seem a century before giving into my regular 3-4 hours of sleep).
But yes, I can safely say that we are arriving, and most of us are ready for it and I am not only a dreamer but trauma made me analytical as hell and I know what I’m talking about. Time is not an enemy anymore, the only enemy is existing systems and oppressions but we’re catching up, slowly, inch by inch. Not to some utopian future without pains and terrors and problems and violence, but to a version of an imagined motherland, where we could just be ourselves and be loved for it and forgiven and supported with no limits or expectations. And maybe I sound too crazy or too optimist or too sentimental for now, but don’t ever forget I am the person who denied a future for themselves since forever. And now I have crossed this distance and got to the other side, hopefully for good, I found a peace in trying itself. Because I like trying. I like trying for myself, I like trying for my people and I like trying for anyone who needs, really needs, to see it. And these tries are bounding and produce real links between people and places and feelings. And with those comes connection and when you connect you have a present a past and a future simultaneously.
Obviously I am not good in math or quantum physics or alternate timelines and shit but I am very very good at feeling and feeling makes me wanna try and live together. Really close, the side by side kind of thing. That’s my plan for whatever is coming. To be my best self, my whole self, right next to all mines.
I told my psychotherapist I am not feeling like I deserve to talk about gender from a non-binary position because I struggled so much to finally perceive myself as not-cis and still have an imposter’s guilt. But then she said “you don’t need to prove your gender, it speaks generously for both of youz”.
Few days later, Ilia sends me this photo of me she took on my set during shooting Prokne’s film, and I thought maybe my gender indeed has a voice after all.
And then Elliot Page came out and I was firstly shocked and then cried two genuinely happy tears followed by a thousand of separate thoughts with only the words “wow! dude! welcome!” in them.
A few of weeks ago Spiros gave me this book to read. He just said “Hi, I was thinking of you, read this book” and nothing else, and I am a sucker for enigmas so I took it home with me, admired the monolectic, compact like a tombstone, title and started reading. A couple of chapters in I stopped and looked up at the fake bamboo lamb-hat hanging from the ceiling of my bedroom cause that’s what I do when I must take a serious decision. I would either leave it aside so I can focus on it like it deserves in a later, more calmer for me, time, or it would choose itself to consume me without even politely chewing me and I would find myself engulfed in Myriam Gurba’s guts, swimming in her mind-paralyzing honesty and her skillful attention to building a language which finally can describe the grotesque and at the same time hilarious shit-soup we’re all living in; some more than others.
I truly tried to leave it aside, next to my mattress-on-the-ground-instead-of-a-bed (a previous necessity but now adamant lifestyle choice) for a day. I picked it up on the night of that same day, before going to sleep. I wanted to just look at the blue sky picturing cover, stained by the black shadows of the letters M E A N, significantly bold yet arranged spaciously, shadows which were sourcing possibly from a passing car’s white front lights flashing on a metal sign, over the most obscure parking lot asphalt you can ever depict, with parking spots highlighted by the whitest ever lines and guarded by a little cutie-patootie white sign with the word “RESERVED” in all capitals. I didn’t yet know what a brilliant metaphor of the book’s nature and statement that cover was. It was the metallic typography and the shadow play that reminded me the intro credits of the Wachowskis’ Bound.So I opened the book once more, reading again from page one.
A few hours later I had finished a fucking masterpiece of our times, under my mobile’s flashlight because I was so much absorbed that I nobly rejected the idea of getting up and turn on the freaking lights. My point is, get that book if you wanna be caught up on what I like reading and how I like to write. And, knowing the approximately five pairs of eyes that systematically come back to this silly blog, you will possibly find a few shades of yourselves in there, like I did. And also get to know Gurba; she seems to be a never-growing queer like most of us are, not taking herself too seriously but seriously enough to break some unsolicited gaze she receives. And she offers a lot of herself online. She does that in a way that feels both in control and vulnerable. I discussed it with Spiros later, we both think she would be amazing company drinking vodka on a bar stool, talking books and politics and gossiping (funnily enough the spanish chisme is actually a sense culturally identical with our κουτσομπολιό). Spiros is also a bit afraid of her but I think that’s because he unconsciously respects that she prefers that he should be scared on a level; and that’s why I love him but that’s another talk for another episode. Back to Myriam, yes, please look her up and read some of her writings. You will be convinced and most importantly you’ll have a ridiculously fun time, especially while reaching the edges of the raw trauma she skillfully narrates. And that’s the way to navigate a life holding that stupid boulder you ‘re randomly chosen to hold, no nepotism involved, to paraphrase Gurba, who after all has been teaching teens for a decade while her body is full of ink and she rocks a rad mullet so she’s default a badass bitch you need in your life, regardless.
Susan Sontag’s Fascinating Fascism gave me words to describe my feelings while watching the whole world becoming a cruel mirror for historically evil choices in politics and culture. But it is my own parentland that so generously offered me the actual images to visually register the violent-fairy-tale-turning-into-vicious-cult that is Έθνος. And as in every cult, the massive amount of devotion creates not only gigantic and grotesque meaning but also physical power and emotional spike.
Yesterday the lead characters of Golden Dawn, members of the parliament and party supporters involved in criminal activities, part of them being the murder of Pavlos Fyssas and Shehzad Luqman, heard their final penalties announced by the greek court of law.
The leader of the organization Nikos Michaloliakos, spoke to the reporters outside of his home, moments after the trials ending announcement. He said:
I am proud that I am going to prison for my ideas. One day someone would be in shame for this decision. We will be vindicated by history and by the Greek people themselves. I want to thank all the hundreds of Greeks who were beside Golden Dawn all these years, fighting against the dirty junta existing in mass media, in the political regime of the country and inside the law system.
After that he thanked the crowd, turned around and got quickly into his home, followed by an army of anxious women, who played a very significant role since the birth of the organization, either as a gender or as a symbol. Glimpses of what I am implying we can see in Håvard Bustnes’ 2017 documentary Golden Dawn Girls.
We, and those before us, have created a boiling hell for anyone living on Earth, human or not, making the binary a god. Us/them and empathy/hate are the implied dichotomies, applying to everything and we move like a ping pong ball, sent from one side to the other, hitting on the surface, the edges and the corners of the table of existence, forever.
We need to elevate the dialogue beyond the simplicity of binary. Binary is a false idol.
On Wednesday the trial of Zak’s murderers begun. The two civilian murderers and the four out of eight cop murderers will be presenting their excuses (through their not-at-all respected lawyers one of them being Th. Plevris, the very own son of Konstantinos Plevris who was one of the defenders in the Golden Dawn trial, an official Holocaust denier, a vicious homophobe, with books to prove both, and the founder of the militant nationalistic group “4th of August”, direct descendent of which is Golden Dawn) about how they did nothing wrong and how a human being was kicked to death on a fine autumn morning because they thought they were about to get robbed. The Let’s Keep Dancing joke-of-a-video is all about them, by those like them and for those like them. It is directly addressing their ideas and feelings and meanings and state of being. That is why it feels ridiculous on the first glance but grotesque and terrifying on a second. Because it is art for people who can kill me on the street, just because.