It’s been four years since Zoé died
Four years. Difficult to know if it’s four years already or just four years. Four years and a long mourning which has only just begun several years after her death, after those who justice found necessary to punish directly for the accident which cost Zoé her life finished the prison sentences which they had been assigned, after those who remained outside prison were no longer listened in on, tailed, photographed, filmed, intimidated. But anyway, that’s another story. After those who believe that seeing a friend die is not enough have satisfied themselves with our pain, have been sated enough by our sadness to leave again with a full belly and head held high, proud to have restored order and justice. This order and this justice which are after our friendships and our loves, and that seek to destroy them, because our friendships and loves are, among other things, born of our desires and our potential to create a space in which to grow and develop. Without passion, theory is but a dead letter. And cynicism is nothing revolutionary.
Zoé is not a martyr of “the cause.” She did not die for an ideology, for the people, or for “the revolution.” Zoé died of being free, or of wanting to be. She died of being in love, of being a friend, being DIY, a feminist, a traveler, of being dynamic, intelligent, radical, generous…. Zoé died of being who she was. Someone who did not want to suffer further or to endure the greyness, and who acted accordingly, for herself and for others. Someone who did not want to adapt to a world that horrified her, and for whom to merely be indignant was not enough. Zoé was not a hero, just someone who made choices. The choice to refuse, to resist, to not be indifferent to that which surrounded her and to how it surrounded her, to not let herself become absorbed in the tranquil decomposition of everyday life, to not want to stay at the window, railing against those whose attempts to make the world radically better have unfortunately failed. These are some choices that she and others have paid for dearly, here as elsewhere, today as yesterday.
There was a storm of sadness and anger that swept the days and the weeks that followed Zoé’s death. The sadness of losing a friend, the anger over not being able to be sad, of not having the respite. An anger directed against those who make their business on our deaths and our suffering, against this necrophagia elevated to the status of a social model. Yes, this sadness and this anger also have their toll, but the disaster would be much worse if we were used to it, if the ghosts of the struggle erased the sincerity of the continuing fight, if the feelings and affects were relegated to the limbo of ideology. We have been profoundly affected because we are in touch with the world.
A part of us has been devoured, and the monster is always hungry, always wanting more. But it is necessary to pry the memory from its jaws, to pull it out, in order to not forget. Not to erect monuments, because death is nothing glorious, but in order to prevent these passions and this love for freedom that animated Zoé from being swallowed in turn.
Four years have passed, but little water has passed under the bridge. And this water should not flow, because it is our lives, our deaths, and our struggles which slip away with it.
For a world without prisons or borders.
For a free and difficult life, toward an existence without exploitation or domination.
Solidarity to everyone, imprisoned or not, who struggle every day by any means necessary against what destroys them.
A thought for Mauricio Morales, who died in Santiago, Chile, the same month of May, 2009, for those close to him and all those who had to endure the Bombs Case, and whose stories have resonated in a number of heads here.