This is one in a series of interviews with people involved in the Notara 26 squat in Exarcheia, Athens. The struggle for the free spaces here is made up of people with very different backgrounds, life stories and ideas. We aim to record people’s own words without imposing our views – though of course we can’t escape our own perspectives, or the limits of translation.
I was working with an American NGO for refugees. A few Notara residents were participating in workshops the NGO was running and they told me about their lives. I had never heard of such things as squats before. I said – “ok, I’m a refugee too, I’ll go and see what’s going on there”.
I saw a different vision of the world. It was so different to everything else I’d found in Europe. Like a society in miniature, a society where you have equality, where you’re free, you can take decisions for yourself, you’re not judged by your colour or where you’re born. Where you don’t hesitate to show your opinion and ask for your rights, to change things.
I thought: “this is what I want the whole world to be like.” And from the moment I came in, I felt part of it, like this was my home, like I belong here.
I lived in Notara for two and a half months. I don’t live in the squat anymore but it’s still my home and it will be my home no matter where I go. It’s a mother for all races, whether you’re from Sudan, Afghanistan, Turkey or France.
I am an anarchist. What does that mean? It means freedom. It means I’m from nowhere yet I’m from anywhere, and I fight for what I believe.
My vision of the future? The future is what we make it. If we support each other and act as one we can make a movement. The great empires all fell down when people gathered together. And this is nothing, it’s just a government. If we stand together shoulder to shoulder, what can beat us?