Antonis Vradis and Hara Kouki: Our “no” means a “yes”

Our “no” means a “yes”
Antonis Vradis and Hara Kouki, Verso, July 3, 2015

It’s a strange thing, hope. Five years ago, it made the sound of acronyms like the IMF, EU and EBC sound soothing to Greeks as the country’s first troika agreement was announced. Memorandum after memorandum, measure after measure, hope that things would get “better” was persistent. As we watched the elderly scrape through dustbins for food, as we saw scores of the younger ones taking off in one-way flights out of the country, as we were losing our right to labour, our capacity to take care of our parents and children, of our beloved ones, as we were losing our faith and trust in each other and in ourselves, in our agency to shape our lives. Soon enough, hope that things would come back to normal turned into hope they’d get somewhat better and then, that things wouldn’t get too bad. We often stood puzzled at this strange force that held us together and kept us going while we were losing everything, this religious-like belief in a system that had clearly stopped functioning some time ago.

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