“Flipping a Coin” is less an essay than a narrative construction, an indeterminate, deliberately ramshackle form, built up of quotes, long and short, a variety of digital images and photomontages, appropriated texts, anecdotes, personal history, reports, shards of literary, historical, and political analysis, interviews, memories, jokes, graffiti, more jokes. The perhaps unusually over-abundant images are not intended to provide the customary solace of illustration—they aspire to be as indispensable as the texts to the overall flow and meander of ideas and affects. “Flipping a Coin” is, let’s stipulate, less an essay than an occupation of the apparent space of an essay, inside and out—a squatted construction within an ancient literary institution. Mercifully, the literary police are not to be seen on the premises, nor lurking on the outskirts, in readiness to attack if given the go-ahead.
Beloved comrades in Thessaloniki have gently hinted that whatever value “Flipping a Coin” might have in clarifying our moment might be considerably advanced if I were to take the step (the radical step for someone like me who obstinately finds a profusion of disparate building materials to be not a stumbling block but a way forward), if I were to take the baby step of providing a guide or even a table of contents or at least a few bare hints of a structure to the document.
I take the No Border events in Thessaloniki in July 2016 as an opportunity to begin to understand an inescapable, untenable, radically unstable, irreconcilable contradiction: legality/illegality. Strangely and/or inevitably, it may well be that only anarchists and autonomists (and perhaps those who find themselves, like it or not, at least temporarily squatting in the zone of the anarchistic) are politically, experientially, and temperamentally equipped to grasp this elusive contradiction.
“Flipping a Coin” proposes to explore aspects of the histories and the current flowering of anarchist illegalism as comprehended within the compass of what is described therein as a politics of the excluded, by focusing on the No Border events in July 2016 in Thessaloniki, in militant support of migrant struggles.
It is also proposed that anarchism’s historically dynamic exploration of new and potential forms of existence can be best comprehended within the broad, unenclosed field of radical potentiality, within, that is, the role and efficacy of resistance culture—-on the principle that resistance culture is by definition borderless. Which is why whatever this is is squatted, deceptively but deliberately taking on the appearance of being in process.