My friend Vanessa recently sent me a spirited reflection on her experience of the people’s assembly that has been taking place in the streets of Athens, Greece over the last 25 days.
She describes how the larger vision for direct democracy and healthy communities wasn’t simply a slogan to be shouted, but a vision that the thousands of people gathered started living out right then in there in the streets, together. In it she quotes her friend Maria Scordialos, who has been part of the organizing efforts:
“…this is a story of the resurgence of Hellenic Democracy – with a new collective consciousness – that everyone knows is bigger than any one of us. Those that called this and are giving shape to this democratic architecture know that it is running ahead of them – there is no holding it back. A new democratic governance pattern is being practiced – a new constitution is being birthed – we are becoming the democracy we want.”
Warren and I heard a very similar description from a friend we met at the Learning Societies gathering in India who was at the front-lines of the Egyptian revolution and so we thought we’d spend some time digging into these experiences for what they can teach us about how to live the longer journey of social change.
To get the conversation started, we are curating an on-line Gallery of Reflections on the following question:
What are the possibilities and challenges for taking the powerful, living experience of community and democracy that is happening at the front-lines of revolutions and carrying that experience forward into the process of creating new structures, practices, forms of governance?
We envision this gallery containing many different kinds of reflections (personal thoughts/experiences, interviews, group dialogues, etc.) and using various forms of expression (writings, video clips, audio recordings, photos, drawings, etc.).
If you are interested in contributing or know someone who might be, drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are particularly interested in connecting to people who have experienced or are experiencing the birth of a revolution first-hand and who are grappling with this question in very practical ways. Given the time constraints for those in the thick of this organizing, we are happy to edit raw footage that is sent our way or to host conference call dialogues or interviews via skype.
Submissions in languages other than English are welcome.
For more grassroots accounts of what’s happening in Greece as it unfolds, click here.
Photo by Sarah Whiteley