La Danza Poetica #33 Εμπιστοσύνη [Trust]

33 is a significant number, in many aspects of life. There are 33 vertebrae in the human spine; on the Newton scale, it is the temperature at which water boils; there are 33 gods in the Vedic religion and the Greek Orthodox "prayer rope" has 33 and other numbers of knots for numerical repetition of prayers...we could go on, and on .... I'm not particularly superstitious and definitely not religious, but I do believe in the spirit, and in our power to define and shape the world around us. So this month, travelling in Greece, and living in Athens within the emotional and spiritual upheaval (spiritual yes, because this is a time where Greeks question their place in the world, their inheritence and their agency) I was moved many times by the appearance of symmetry around me. This month I am presenting for you an excerpt of a special mix for Chimeres Radio and Circe:the Black Cut, performed live in Athens on 4 July at Kreuzberg bar, the eve of the referendum of 5 July. This mix traverses many countries and times - some of these tracks and voices you will have heard before in LAPKAT mixes and on La Danza Poetica. The ties that bind all this work are: conscious resistance, community effort, and trust.

Tracklist:

Checkpoint 303 & Jawaher Shofani - In 1948 (The Iqrit Files)
Lisa Greenaway & Trevor Brown - Khandalla
Greek Chorus - Antigone (Sofocles)
Hiatus - Empress feat. Hayedeh
Lola Koundakjian - Armenian poetry
Chico Dub - Rio Shock _ Sabaracid
Wenceslada - Agatha
El Buho - Calchaqui
Marcel Khalife & Mahmoud Darwish - Ahmad emerges from the Ancient Wounds
Bari Károly - Karácsonyi Sirató
Dj Quien - Sin Pasaporte
Julian Beck - Je Nai Pas Le Droit De Voyager Sans Passeport
Indigenous Resistance & Asian Dub Foundation - Esta Tierra No se Vende (no le tenemos miedo a los gases Jamaican Mix
Watcha Clan - Overseas Rêveries
Subcomandante Marcos - The Word and the Silence
Colectivo Papa con Yuca - Papa con Yuca
Los Cojolites - Luna Negra (Uproot Andy RMX)
Saul Williams - Ocean Within + Five Senses
+ FX recordings, Akrata, Delphi, Athens - Lisa Greenaway

Notes on the show

This mix includes a track of my own, Khandallah, a collaboration with Australian composer Trevor Brown from a few years ago, recalling a moment of understanding that I was reminded of at the 'oracle' at Delphi this week. Khandallah, significantly, takes some inspiration from the Aristophanes play The Frogs (in which Dionysus' slave Xanthias is a far smarter and more reasonable thinker than either of his 'masters'). It is also a deep meditation on trust.

Whenever we are asking how we can work together, this is the only real answer we need. That we trust each other, that we earn each other’s trust, and that we continue to demand an honest world in which we and our children can live, and that we live the way we want this world to be, and trust ourselves to make it so.

Εμπιστοσύνη

This word, trust, has been used a lot in the past month, and for the wrong reasons, and by the wrong people. Where we place our trust, and how we measure whether it is earned, is also in sharp focus right now. Whatever happens in Greece - and today it seems that the flame of true democracy may in the end be starved of oxygen again - we must learn to not give up our agency. Power is ours to give, no one can really take it without our explicit or implicit permission. For my own country which is on a slippery slope right now, this is a very important lesson, because Australians have been handing over our own agency, our power, for too long, and the results are clear. The road back is very hard, but is it not truly better, as the taxi driver said to me driving through Athens last week, to die on your feet than live on your knees? And if your elected leaders make that decision for you, against your expressed wishes, what do you do next?

What do we do next?

Inspired by my friends, in particular Anna Stereopoulou and her Circe project, I let the thoughts and feelings flow in this mix, on a steamy night in Athens, in a bar named after my favourite area of Berlin. Symmetries arrived without effort, old pieces came back with power. Through this hour, we travel through Greece, Iran, Palestine, Hungary, Brazil, South America, France, North America... tracks of social conscious and community, all united by the desire for meaningful change, meaningful society, all "anxious", as Lilian Allen has said, "for a revolution."

Mixed in across the hour, many different recordings by myself of my movements around Greece - from the birds wheeling about the stage on the mountain at Delphi (where my journey with poetry began many years ago) to the trains flying through Athens, to a cafe in Akrata, high above the Corinthian Gulf, sitting with the old gentlemen as they played tavli and talked of politics. Also you will hear a Greek Orthodox recitation of 'the Jesus prayer' throughout - this prayer is often recited 33 or 100 times.

Around the world we are only really beginning to turn the tide back towards self possession - and though it may seem we're not, I do believe we are - and whatever happens now, these past weeks in Greece are teaching us all again, about the functions and the abuses of democracy. The lessons need to be learned again, and again. Let the musicians and the poets lead the way, and follow.