A.G. Schwarz, Tasos Sagris, and the Void Network (eds)
We Are an Image from the Future is a collection of statements and testimonies pertaining to the anarchist uprising in Greece that began at the end of 2008. The spark was the December 6 killing, by police, of a teenager named Alexandros Grigoropoulos, in the Exarchia neighborhood (essentially an anarchist/activist district) of Athens. Rioting began within an hour of the shooting, and it hasn’t really stopped.
|Makeshift Memorial at the site of Alexandros Grigoropolous' shooting|
This book is almost 400 pages of photos and statements about the riots that erupted in Athens and other Greek cities following Grigoropolous’ killing. The immediate anti-athoritarian frustrations that the rioters expressed in those initial few weeks evolved into a variety of concerns that have carried a vast and complex social movement through daily direct actions right up to this year. The book’s title is prophetic, of course, as most of the anti-austerity outbursts in Europe, the Wisconsin strikes, the “Arab Spring” and the Occupy movement, and all of the general global unrest, has followed Greece.
Schwarz and Sagris’ book includes many testimonies by riot participants and activist organizers, describing what they did, and what they witnessed. Included are many accounts of street fighting with police and discord amongst activists over planning and ideology (which are pretty standard components of such books) and expressions of outrage over the actions of police and government. Aside from the killing of the Athens teen and the resulting riots, there were three stories included in We Are an Image that stood out to me. The first was a description of the occupation of a television station while it was broadcasting from one of its studios. The second was the discussion with photographer Kostas Tsironis, who took a photograph of a police officer pointing a gun at protestors and was subsequently censored and fired from his position at a conservative newspaper called Eleftheros Typos.
|Tsiorias' photo of the police|
We Are an Image of the Future is good for providing readers with the voices (it should be noted that many of the texts it includes were translated from Greek) of those people who were directly involved with the Greek riots of 2008. It primarily gives readers the anarchist perspective on events, and more moderate leftist perspectives are largely absent, and the perspectives of the far right are not included to any extent. Also this book is quite extensive and lengthy, and yet it only covers the first year of the events in Greece that have continued for at least three more years.
PS, a google image search on Kostas Tsiorias will result in many more images of the uprisings in Greece.