Tag Archives: George F

Until it Breaks!: RtR @ 3rd Berlin Tattoo Circus

Until it Breaks!: RtR @ 3rd Berlin Tattoo Circus

View from the table at Berlin 3TC
View from the table at Berlin 3TC

Tattoo Circus? …what’s that?

The Tattoo Circus began 2007 in Rome and since then, activists from all around Europe (Barcelona, London, Thessaloniki, Bern, Athens, Madrid… etc) took on the concept for supporting those people who can’t be among us.
The idea behind this solidarity event is to create a space where tattoo culture and political engagement come together. Several tattoo artists will provide their creativity, experience and as much ink as possible, in order to support the anti-prison struggle and to become a part of it.
The principle of the Tattoo Circus is that nobody earns anything from this event – neither the tattooists, nor the piercers, the bands, performers or speakers will work for their own profit-and the complete proceeds will get to those people who fight against the state and capitalism.
It is also important that, as opposed to some established conventions, Tattoo Circus takes place in a non-competitive, non-commercial and non-hierarchical atmosphere. Every euro collected in TC goes directly to structures supporting prisoners and the Anti-Prison-Fight.

During the event there will be information provided about the cases of comrades behind bars like about carceral system more generally.

Tattoo Circus won’t limit itself to the tattoo culture, therefore, a rich program is being prepared. It will include lectures, workshops, readings, exhibitions, info points about prisoners, a mail corner to communicate with the detainees and an anti-prison film festival, as well as entertainment in form of extreme art-performances, theatre, concerts… And of course there will be also food and (at least!) a bar!
We cordially invite you to join, help and enrich this project. Because the solidarity with our detained comrades is the measure of our strength!

The preparatory committee

For a society without prisons and repression!
Until it breaks!

Heeding the call from our friends in Berlin, and following up on our fantastic experiences with similar events in Thessaloniki and Zurich, RtR was proud to support artists George F. and oneslutriot to attend the 3rd Berlin Tattoo Circus on the 9th-11th September. Here’s some words from George on his experience:

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The sun was hot and the beer was cheap. There must have been 50+ tattoo artists working 12 hours a day, each donating all their labour to raise money for prisoner support. We met friends from Thessaloniki and London, unexpected faces emerging out of the Berlin crowd with smiles and support. We set-up a table in the yard and distributed our zines and books, chatting to people from all over about their experiences with the ‘in’justice system, discussing the current state of the situation with the Warsaw 3 and the East Street 3. Friends at home were already organising benefit support and the true scale of the international solidarity and cooperation became apparent from coming together in Berlin to do what we could. I felt truly connected to a movement bigger than London, bigger than myself and my friends. Many thanks to the volunteer table crew!

George F. + support
George F. + support

“Friday we spent the day in the amphitheatre watching street performers and amazing circus aerial shows on a massive rig. A crowd swelled as it grew dark, and the only thing I felt missing was a fire show to blaze in the darkness. The next day, I was booked to perform. Originally intended for the theatre space, the organisers felt that it was such a nice day, I should perform outside. So I ended up between the children’s area and a paddling pool, on a cycle path, surrounded by a gaggle of kids who I got to sing a song about gummi-bears before launching into my usual tirade of anticapitalist antagonism. The crowd was generous, although they seemed very far away. Most gratifyingly was afterwards, when many people approached our little table and chatted for hours about the situation for them in Turkey, in Serbia, about what their situation was, sleeping in parks and travelling across Germany for free.

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“We sold several copies of the book, and many copies of the zine, the surprisingly most popular one being Brexit Blues – a collection of poems and scribblings all about the brexit farce. It continues to be so encouraging to travel around performing and sharing with people about political issues through poetry. We had a real adventure in Berlin, having to spend a few nights sleeping in the parks ourselves due to being locked out of our accommodation, and I am indebted to RtR for making it possible for myself to attend! Many many thanks. Until it breaks!”

Rainbow of Desire in Budapest – from George

Rainbow of Desire in Budapest – from George

Rainbow Logo

So it’s another 6 hours until I take my bus from Liverpool Street to Stansted. Have double-checked my passport and ticket and now just looking over the details on what’s planned for this weekend. This is the first time I’ve run a 3-day Rainbow of Desire course, though I’ve done the individual exercises innumerable times in different forms. I’m very excited to see how it feels to dedicate a whole weekend to this technique. We are planning to look at Cop-In-The-Head, the Multiple Mirror and of course, the Rainbow of Desire itself, but I’d also like to try out such techniques as the Multiple Images of Happiness (what joy) and some others. But time is always so short! Am really glad that Ruth Cross from the Ecodharma/Eroles project/COP21/Beeva change crew is along to co-facilitate. Will let you all know how it goes!

For any of you not so familiar with RoD, you can read more here. It’s a good resource with some nice break-downs of the techniques. I’ll also be sure to post my own notes and responses to what happens on the RtR resources page afterwards. It’s essentially a theatrical technique for examining internalised oppressions – what happens when the cop leaves the ideological barracks and moves directly into our heads. You can read about some of the previous experiences we had with this technique in Ecodharma in our report here and also in Cluj last year, but I’ve included an extract below …

The RoD Technique – a woman has dinner with a man, they are both happy to be reunited after so long. The man invites the woman to sit on his knee, which she does, and then he reveals a ring and proposes to her.

The participant was invited to make images of the emotions she felt at this time: Excited, Shock, Nervousness. The audience suggested two more – Suspicion and Contentment – which the participant accepted. The scene was then replayed with each of these images in the protagonists place. The participant then arranged them into an image, then an ideal image, then dialogued with each of them trying to convince them to become ideal. The images then battled each other.

Participant reported the experience ‘fascinating’ and ‘powerful’, and that it allowed her to reflect on how she was then, compared to how she is now, and what areas of her life she still needs to work on.

The Analytical Image – a mother and child ride home in a car from visiting a friend who hosts many children. A conversation ensues whereby we learn that there is domestic violence between the absent parent and the child, and that the mother does not wish to discuss it. The mother suggests that the only solution is to call social services, who will take the child away and not punish the abusive parent.

The audience made images of the protagonist and the antagonist, which were then pairred off together and the scene replayed. The participant whose scene is was also played the part of the mother, and reported that it helped her understand a good deal more about the dilemma of her mother. She also reported that it was encouraging for her to be able to analyse the images rationally without succombing to emotion.

 

Let’s see what happens in Budapest …

A Wild Weekend In Zurich – from George F

A Wild Weekend In Zurich – from George F

 

“The four books I brought I sold or swapped with other artists for their work, the 20 zines reduced to 3, and a pot full of donations and contacts from across Europe … In addition, we saw some amazing performers, and confused a room full of people with my own particular brand of rapid-fire poetry. Apparently, spoken word is not so big in Switzerland. 🙂 Highlights included seeing an old friend from squatting in a furniture store five years ago, meeting a member of the Mutoid Waste Company, and seeing a pair perform a song about orgasms whilst dressed as a penis and a vagina. We also made contacts with artists from Marseille, Lausanne and Berlin and discussed the possibility of future collaborations in those locations and in London, aswell as the potential to travel to Canada to work with indigenous communities as a solidarity project.

Thanks to everyone at Downstate Festival, and to RtR for all the support.”

Check out some photos here.

Heading To Downstate – from George F.

Heading To Downstate – from George F.

George F and Sierra Weppla were sponsored to attend the Downstate Festival in Zurich by RtR to present their works …

 

From George F.

 

“We lost in court the week before, and had spent a week running around trying to find a new place to live, with no success. Exhausted but determined, we spent the last day traipsing across London – attending an eviction resistance in the morning which drove the bailiffs off, before returning to Borough to collect our belongings, then delivering them to East Ham by bike to a safe storage space, before rushing back to collect the dog and take it to our friends’ place in Bow. In East Ham, the laptop we were going to use to print our flight tickets exploded, reducing us to panicky, stressed tears as we tried to find a 24-hour print shop. After delivering the dog, we marched to Liverpool Street, arriving just on time at 3am. There were two buses, and people in two-different coloured hi-viz vests were chatting in a relaxed fashion outside one, so I assumed this was for both coach companies. They made a joke about the cheaper one being crap, and as we scanned through our phone for the pdf of the ticket, our bus pulled away … Refusing to be cowed, we spent another £8 on tickets and made it to the airport … Without the extra funding from RtR we would never have been able to make it!”

Empowering change through dialogue