Print Matters

the coldest summer Rosa Luxemburg Foundation illustration book

Print Matters: The coldest summer – three refugees’ stories (Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, 2015)

February 16, 2016 12:04 am Published by

In Athens, on 13 to 14 February took place a meeting of solidarity groups of people, collectives, activists and autonomous people,  from all over Greece, working on the refugee crisis. In this meeting, I found a copy of “The coldest summer” (Το πιο κρύο καλοκαίρι, Τρεις πραγματικές ιστορίες προσφύγων), an illustrated edition of the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation. In the cover image, there is a beach in Lesvos island, in Greece, full of red lifejackets and a plastic sea boat with refugees, that just arrived from Turkey.

“The coldest summer” edition documents the difficulties encountered by Syrian and Afgan refugees, on their journey to Europe. The illustrations were made by Dimitra Adamopoulou Thanasis Peter and George Tragaki, based on interviews with refugees, presenting briefly the conditions that they experienced in their countries, the trafficking risks, their difficulties to cross the Aegean sea, in Greece (as refugees call it “The great river”) and the brutal treatment by the European authorities, especially in Hungary that closed their borders and slamming the door on thousands of refugees and the bureaucracy nightmare in Greece, Germany etc).

The three stories manage to motivate emotionally the reader to be supportive of the refugees. It includes valuable information about their journey and the restriction on their movement. However, the stories presented briefly. For this reason, there are many generalisations and simplifications. A typical example is that through the storytelling there is no mention of the fact that the solidarity movement for refugees which take place in Europe is also politicised and not just a charity action.

In addition, “The coldest Summer” issue includes an interesting articles by Michalis Panagiotakis, that is called “10 points for the geopolitical situation of the refugee crisis” It refers to the causes of the refugee crisis, mentioning the continued destabilisation of the Middle East by the continuous interventionism of USA (I would like to add also the European Union) and the bombing operations against them.

A second point is about the failure of the “Arab Spring” to establish more democratic regimes. In my opinion, the “Arab Spring” is a rather confused situation, which is open to many interpretations. Eventually, the so-called “democratisation” was used by the Western countries as a pretext for their constant interference, presenting themselves as a Saviour.

Finally, the text mentions the inability of immigrants and refugees be integrated into society, trapping them in a system of “illegality”. The EU do not recognise them equality in terms of both rights and obligations, including those of legal employment. This illegal status makes them vulnerable and easily used by the European governments as a cheap workforce. This is a great truth, which can become even more complicated with the distinction between refugees and economic migrants. What defines who is a refugee and who is an immigrant? Who is an asylum seeker and who is not? Once the war in Syria will finish, the Syrian refugees will still be refugees or they will be just economic migrants, that they will be forced out of EU, pushed back to a country devastated by a war, equipped with our modern weapons?


Read it online:

(Greek language) here

English language here

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Lionel Marchetti | Yan Jun – 23 Formes En Elastique [cd], The Only Authentic Work [text] (Subjam, CD+Book)

Lionel Marchetti | Yan Jun – 23 Formes En Elastique [cd], The Only Authentic Work [text] (Subjam, CD+Book)

December 11, 2015 4:33 pm Published by

I really love listening new musical works by Lionel Marchetti. In my opinion, he is one of the most respectful composers / poets / philosophers of our days, experimenting with musique concrète and electro-acoustic musical forms. His discography is a long list with many interesting solo works and many collaborations, a lot of them with his friend Jérôme Noetinger (Metamkine). Some years before, when I start searching about his work, I really stuck on Marchetti’s collaboration with dancer / choreographer yoko higashi, a great combination of electroacoustic music and modern dance.

Yan Jun is a Chinese musician and writer. I am not familiar with his work as a musician neither as a writer. In fact, I don’t know much about Chinese improvised scene. Sometime I was really curios about it, but unfortunately I lost contact, while I notice that Sugar Jar, the only independent record store in China, was closed permanently. Its fanny cos Yan is referring on Sugar Jar and his owner Lao Yang in his first essay in this book, something that make me more curious about his texts. While I was reading the 23 essays of Yan I can say that I start re discover not only the Chinese way of thinking but also the France history of avant-garde. Yan Jun is interesting on Marchetti’s work and he is inspired of it, letting his thoughts be led by the music. He likes chatting/writing in a very informal but quite thoughtful way about musique concrète, literature, poems and the “authentication of work of art”. It was very interesting for me to read his texts, while I was listening on the “23 Formes En Elastique” by Lionel Marchetti. This new work by him is including 23 tracks, length more than 77 min of music. This is a pure sample of musique concrète and electro-acoustic music, keeping a beautiful balance between real time composition and improvisation. Marchetti works with a narrative perspective, using pickups, tapes and field recording. Also, silence plays an important role here, helping you be more focused on sound.

I really enjoy of this release not only musically but also as a concept. I like the book format. It made it more welcome!


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