Photos 1-5: Paint Bombs on Church facade, “The Nation, Religion and Family Murder”, “Not Even One Less”, “Shit To Sexism”, “Let Greece Die, So That We Live”.
ΤΗΕ ΝΑΤΙΟΝ, RELIGION AND FAMILY MURDER
During the early hours of Sunday the 10th of February we made our presence and dislike evident at the churches of Agios Andreas and Agios Sotiras in Petralona. We threw paint at the religious paintings and the main entrances of the churches, we put glue in the locks of Agios Andreas and we wrote messages around the building and on the ground of its courtyard. We wrote anti-nationalist and anti-sexist messages like “nation-religion-family murder”, “let greece die-so that we live”, “shit to greece” and “no one less”. The murder of Aggeliki in Corfu by her father was our motive behind this action and through this we want to show our opposition to the nation, family, religion and patriarchy and all of their values which we’ve hated since we were little.
We chose Petralona because this is where Greek middle-class families live who in their majority embody Greek societal norms. It is a part of Athens with beautiful houses, family-friendly cafes and it generally emits a clean-cut and calm lifestyle, away from oppression. We thought that maybe we intervened in this normativity, even a little.
The early morning hours of Sunday weren’t random time-wise. There wasn’t enough time for the priests and the others responsible to remove the messages from the walls, to clean the paint and take the glue out of the locks, so that the Sunday church service would start normally- this regular meeting of every kind of christian. On the Sunday service that would start a few hours later, we wanted to sabotage this habit and bring the fathers, the priests and the devout ladies in front of the male and nation centered Christian reality and the consequences it has on our bodies and self-determination.
A few more words about the murder of Aggeliki in Corfu
Along with the turning of the year, a few months ago, Aggeliki is murdered by her father in Corfu. The reason for her murder was her relationship with an Afghan immigrant, something her racist father wasn’t fond of. There are many details and information about how the murder happened and where the granting of “justice” is currently at. We are not going to further mention such points. For us, the femicide of Aggeliki is equally as important as all the previous ones. The part of the society that supported the punishment of Aggeliki for her relationship with an immigrant- a part deeply racist, patriarchal and all in all “Greek”, didn’t get the answer it should have gotten. This femicide was lost within the spirit of tradition, celebration, holiday relaxation, family comfort and all of the illusions of those days. Just like all of the other femicides were lost. The turning of the year and the Christian delirium that becomes even more intense in periods like this, came along with a girl’s murder and this is the affirmation that what we are fighting against is here and it is happening now. Hence, we felt the need for our action to have Aggeliki as the reason behind it and to give an answer to the previously mentioned ensemble of priests, white men, Christians, sexists, observers and the rest of the others who are to blame.
A description of our enemies
The church is at the core of patriarchy. For Christianity, the sexuality of women is sinful, the woman is the original sinner, the tempter of men. Because sexuality is a subversive force, the church in the early capitalism ages lead witch hunts, and removed the autonomy of women’s bodies from the women themselves to gain institutional control over it, to turn those bodies into reproductive apparatuses. This happened in the middle-ages in Europe, but also has been applied during colonization where the alliance of Christianity and capitalism as a system of power destroyed-and still does it nowadays-indigenous community, stealing of land and building its constant hierarchy, making men believe that being the equal of women is a sign of weakness and submission. The relationship between church and patriarchy can be found as well within the construction of family and typically inside the figure of the father (and yes, god himself is a man). The family can be analyzed as an ideological institution, and an important tool for legitimizing power monopoly, the fountainhead of slaves, serfs, laborers, soldiers and providers of all other services needed by the ruling class. That’s why it is sanctified. The nuclear family is a reproduction of a miniature state, where parents and more often fathers and brothers establish their leadership, as the state is doing it through the use of political power and decision making. Furthermore the oppressions that are found within the mono-nuclear family are the same as those exercised externally, in the very society, and again we found the typical oppression against women and everybody that doesn’t fit into the frame of the hetero-normative cistem.
The church and Christianity along with their values are an immediate threat to those who don’t obey the orders of conservatism, the silent-or not-violence and subjugation. Since we were little, we were taught to pray to an authoritarian spiritual figure, we were standing in front of a blue and white rag with a cross by it and we had to be decent, humble and silent. We were to respect sixty year old pricks with robes. In school, on the streets, in the family we were imposed not to speak that much and that the important and complex topics are for the others to handle. However, there was something in us telling us that it’s not the women’s fault if they are raped, that the ones who talk back are not crazy, that the ones who have the guts to speak up are not liars. It seemed odd to us that the female existence is authorized by priests, fathers, boys, men of the army and so on, who justify their actions with Christian nonsense. We have grown up now and we are certain that our oppressors are standing right in front of us. Patriarchy as a means of infliction against the bodies and self-determination of females is deeply rooted in the traditions, the ethics, the customs and the stereotypical beliefs of the dominant narrative of the Greek society. A predominance of the white man with a Christian background is constructed. He acquires the self-assertion which allows him to dominate verbally and ethically, to rape, to hit and assault, to murder. The Greek society knows exactly how to suppress femicides, to claim them as ordinary and marginalize them. We do not forget the murder of Aggeliki by her father in Corfu, the femicides in Argolida and Kalamata in 2015, the rape and murder of Stella Akouminaki in 2011, the rape and murder of Eleni Topaloudi in Rhodes, the murder of a girl in Petroupoli by her father in 2017. These are not crimes of passion, not a settlement of a disagreement, not toxic relationships where violence is mutual, the murderer isn’t mentally disturbed. These are socially legalized practices that are quite rarely questioned. They begin from the ten commandments, they expand on the streets, household, workplace, university, assemblies, friend groups, love and sex interactions and they end in scars or bruises on our bodies. We will respond to the church, orthodoxy, patriarchy and the nation until all are free. We like to shame those who view us as a spectacle on the street* and we like seeing them looking down, being surprised that we shout at them, mixing up their words. We are particularly content when we chase men who catcall us from their motorcycles and they go faster to get away, we enjoy it when we punch and kick sexists.
Masculinity is also trapped and formed by the religious lies of male dominance. To come back to the murder of Aggeliki and many others like Eleni, killed in Rhodes because she defended herself from her aggressors, we should analyze why this outburst of rage, rape, killing is coming over and over again and how do we stand and organize to defend ourselves against it. We’re saying that the root of the jealousy is coming from the necessity for patriarchy to keep its control on the oppression of women, that the culture of rape is the phenomena of the exploitation of the bodies, and that the institutional family should be transformed and consequently, abolished.
*Strength and freedom to P. who stabbed her rapist.
PS: As we were writing this text, we heard about the choking and murder of a woman in Sitia, Crete by her husband. Until the hands of every rapist, harasser and murderer get cut, we are going nowhere.
LET GREECE DIE SO THAT WE LIVE
FUCK FAMILY FUCK THE NATION
(via Athens Indymedia)
Photo: “Shit To Greece”