Saturday, February 26, 2011

Spring Revolution ~ Liberation

Not so many years ago the human world changed. It changed for you and it changed for me. It changed for almost everyone.

Individuals, throughout the world, quite suddenly had a way to take a step into the outside world.

Warhol predicted it in the sixties. Everyone would have their 15 minutes of fame. Perhaps we didn't understand his message, or he got it slightly wrong but each of our fifteen minutes consist of a blog, a flickr stream, a facebook page, a tweet, a digg, a viral video. So many of us who would have never got to bare our souls, or to connect and meet in our virtual would, are able to do that every single day.

The compassion, the creativity, the connections we can make, the internet has made this all possible. Of course it is not all good, nothing in human endeavour ever is but where it is good it is very, very good.

As a species we are more alike than we are different, and the ordinary people that inhabit this planet just wish to get on with their lives in peace and freedom.

The threads of this have been spreading like a mycellium, unseen by the overlords, a creeping network connecting the like-minded.

Things were about to change...

Tragically and symbolically the flame that ignited the fire was the plight of a poor man in Tunisia. A man who couldn't even live his life in dignity and in utter desperation he burned himself to death.

This became the catalyst for disaffected youth across the region. Already they had been talking of the future they desired and were organising themselves into active groups. But now, with the desperate actions of Mohamed Bouazizi in Tunusia and his brutal death at his own hands, an idea spread through the collective unconscious "if he can lay his life down for us, then what can we do?"

And this is how revolution begins. The people lose their fear and one more day of repression is too high a price to pay. Ordinary people become willing to lay down their lives so that others can live in freedom.

One must have a heart of stone not to feel profoundly moved by the images on our TV sets and the passion and joy of the voices of unified, down-trodden peoples. To see them risk all to be free after so many years of brutal oppression brings home what a cossetted and privileged life we lead in the free world. Can we truly understand what it means to be free if we have not had to live under the rule of some psychopathic nutter or another? I guess we are lucky not to have to know what we take for granted.

First the Tunisians, then the Egyptians and now the Libyans. I can only sit back in awe and total admiration to witness their utter bravery. I don't think I would have the moral courage to do what they are doing, in fact I know I wouldn't. In the face of utter terror and brutality, they continue to make their stand. Godspeed to them all.

I just wish that any and all oppressed peoples throughout the Middle East, the Bahrainis, Saudis, Syrians, Iranians and everyone else can find their liberation too. Everyone on this planet deserves to live in peace and freedom. I also wish that we in the free West find the moral courage to do the right thing by these people and stop selling arms to oppressive regimes and propping up whomever suits our aims in the so-called name of "stability" or too feed our addiction to oil. I count myself in that too.

So what of land art amongst all these things? Well, spring is an auspicious time. Something stirs within us all
. It is in our genetic makeups, deep within our souls. We are creatures of nature and all born of this shared planet.

That may be why spring is the season of revolution. The French and Russian revolutions began in spring. Czechoslovakia began a period of liberalisation in 1968, known as the Prague spring. The fall of the Eastern bloc begun in autumn 1988 but gathered apace in the spring of 1989 when Solidarity was made legal in Poland in April and they won an overwhelming 99% of seats in the parliamentary elections. And there are many more too.

I am touched deeply by spring as I am sure all that are experiencing it right now, are too. I am also deeply touched by the struggle and bravery of the people of the Middle East. The internet is an example and a symbol combined, of the power of the interconnectedness of all things. Where oppression and brutality seek to divide and conquer. The seasons, the natural world and the power of information and communication brings us all back together again.

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