AntiStasis, November 19, 2022
“We have made our bodies a vast graveyard of murdered desires and expectations, we leave the most important the most essential things, such as playing and chatting with children and animals, with flowers and trees, playing and enjoying each other, to make love, to enjoy nature, the beauties of the human hand and the spirit, to descend tenderly within ourselves, to know ourselves and our neighbor… Everything, everything… we leave it for this tomorrow that will never come.” — Chronis Missios, from Χαμογέλα, ρε… τι σου ζητάνε? (Smile!…Is It Too Much To Ask?, published by 1988)
Introduction and editing by Panagioti Tsolkas
Chronis Missios died at age 83 ten years ago, on November 20, 2012. Though he is relatively unknown to the English-speaking world, he remains a legend among social movements in Greece, perhaps best memorialized in the 2015 song “Του Χρόνη” by radical hip-hop artists Social Waste.
What is known of his life and ideas come largely through his poetic and often autobiographical books about life and ideas surrounding his time in underground ἀντίσταση (pronounced an-TI-stasi, the Greek word for “resistance,” the etymology being literal opposition to a state or condition in which there is no action or progress.). Following the occupation by fascists and the partisan resistance during the 1940s, he joined as a youth fighting with the communists in the civil war that followed, which landed him in prison for the first time. After release into the U.S.-backed military dictatorship, he went back underground and eventually to prison again.