ESR 5 Blog August 2021: Claude Nassar

Writing In The Dark

As I write this people in Lebanon are plunged in complete darkness due to the lack of fuel. Shops of all kind are closing their doors due to a lack of electricity and their inability to refrigerate products or turn on the lights. Pharmacies are closed due to lack of medicine, bakeries are unable to produce bread due to the lack of essential ingredients, and people are dying while waiting in line for gas. As I write this Palestinian youths are shot protesting for their right to exist, before the night falls and Gaza is bombed in retaliation to their screams. As I write this Afghani people are denied the right to leave their homes after they have been sacrificed as news props for the travelling spectacle of white saviourism.

As I write this I witness forests burning with the legacy of mindless production, and I witness people burning with the impossibility of existence. I witness my world burning while I make a billionaire richer. I witness a dysfunctional world produced through centuries of colonial subjugation, appropriation, and exploitation disintegrate, while the people, the states, the corporations that destroyed it continue to benefit from every pixel of an image of a mother crying the death of her child. I witness the transformation of the structures of governance established to force us to desire production and consumption through the promise of a better future, settle in a dystopian present when misery is the product, and labour is only the crippling anxiety of missing out on a social media post in the fear of the next image being of a disaster that touches someone I love.

It is in the darkness of the disintegrating blinding lights of the deceptive dreams of modernity that we start to see each other, we start to see that our labour, our freedom, our pain, and our uprisings, have been reproducing the same structures that oppress us. It is in the darkness of modernity that we start to see each other, see the smiles, feel the hugs and interlock clenched fists. It is in the disintegration of the flattening purity, normativity, and oneness of Western universality that we can allow space for our bodies to exist in their plurality.

I do not have much else to say for this month as I try to juggle finalising my proposal while keeping up with events from home. I leave you in the hope of writing again while imagining something other than complete darkness.

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