Integration Nightmare

Stories of a badly integrated immigrant

Originally written for Circle-A magazine

The reason for this article came up several years ago when I had a chat with a good comrade of mine. We were talking about the current situation with anarchist and socialist movement in his country, and he pointed that students were in long run actually a counter revolutionary part of the society. The person who said that was not a one-day anarchist rather a comrade that was fighting for revolutionary ideals for years. One of the main points of our discussion was the background of those students that are getting involved in the struggle – mainly this is the people from financially successful families that have little troubles in their lives. Most of them work for the pocket money but their life till the end of university is organized. Of course there are exceptions to those who are the first generation of students in their families, however those are in many cases exceptions in the left and anarchist movement. Apart from that distance from the serious economical or social problems gives them an easy way in and easy way out of social struggles – in case you are giving up your current group, collective or organization there are little consequences of that step. Together with this point comes the issue of short attention span – as a student you can jump to the hot topics as soon as they pop up and switch easily because of the previous issue. Unfortunately we didn’t have enough time to have a deeper discussion, but this conversation pushed me further into the topic although i never came back to talk to my friend about it. The irony of it was that he was considering doing several more years in university as a student (in his age he would rather fit as a professor than a student).

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I was born into dictatorship. Back then it was the dictatorship of one party that was falling apart. Later on I ended up living in another dictatorship in Republic of Belarus. So most of my life i spent in dictatorship. Most of my political life I spend as well in dictatorship. When you are born and live in the world of dictatorship, you believe that what is happening in your world is horrible and people outside are not helping because they don't have any idea on what is going on. The same dynamic happens all around the human society. The prisons, the working places, the borders. Wherever you end in hard times, you think the reason for this injustice to exist is the fact that the world doesn't know. After all, what kind of intelligent person can allow this to happen.

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One of the reason i moved out from Belarus was this notion to learn something from activists from the other country. But also to exchange experiences and maybe come up with new things out of this cooperation.

And even though i was not a young activist moving to Berlin to experience all the beauty of radical politics in Germany i believe i was as naive as it gets. The experience that you bring to this country is of no interest to the local activists. It is actually in many cases perceived to be something weird. You are this alien that comes from the world where the things are different and nobody actually wants to hear from you about it.

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Couple of days ago I had a chat with a former activist of anarchists against the wall Yossi Bartal. He moved from Israel to Berlin over 14 years ago. Until recently i didn't know about his existence at all. After all he is in Berlin and i am not. The reason why he came to my attention was a shit storm around him about israelian politics and BDS. He is an activists who is part of Palestine solidarity movement in the country. However he is also a leftist.

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If you are person who is passing by Germany you might find a lot of exciting things. Mostly what people tell you are their stories of success and it is in general a good thing. So the people who are here just for couple of days see the good infrastructure, worthy struggles and interesting people. There is this image of a good place where the things are rolling. Some people based on those experiences might even make a decision to move to Germany.

Don't get me wrong, i knew already before that German leftists are crazy about this things they call antigerman. And i've heard the stories how the people fight with each other on the topic of Israel. Literally fight. On the streets with the fists and sticks. But i think it was really hard to imagine the scale of weirdness around political topics not only in leftist circles, but in anarchist ones as well.

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Starting a personal blog in 2020 is somehow outdated. I know that. You know that. But getting a page on Facebook is for me too complicated. I mean there are so many different buttons around. The same goes to most of the modern platforms that are trying to be THE INTERNET for some. Not only a place to exchange thoughts, but consume, play, dance, record and thousands of other things.

So i decided to start with blog. I’ve been writing for quite some time for this or that website sometimes with my name, sometimes anonymously. Anarchist publications are rarely interested in personal stories and i can personally understand that. We don’t want to turn some periodical of CNT into another BRAVO magazine (which might have being a way to solve the current issue of popularity of anarchist thoughts).

The main topics here would be in this or that way connected with politics in Belarus, Russia or something in between as well as political situation in Germany, where I am right now.

So here i go. And i hope you can enjoy this trip with me. Or i can enjoy it for myself and you can decide if you wanna read it or not. Up to you, my friend.

Oh, and just to make it clear. With this blog i am not turning officially into a blogger. Just to make clear for some people. It is really important for me. I’m not a blogger. Not at all.