United We Stand – Part II (2019) by Alexandre Gaonach

United We Stand – Part II (2019) by Alexandre Gaonach


Move ! Move ! Move ! It’s the state, with its policies,
that pushes the people the people towards the underground,
towards illegality. By putting cops everywhere, cancelling parties at the last minute, implementing conditions and criteria that won’t allow these
events to happen… It gathered everyone
around a common goal, which consists in
a temporary autonomous zone, where we have decided
to do something, We have the right to be free on this planet,
and to do things as we see fit ! We have invited five thousand people
into the old N.A.T.O headquarters. Because until then, we used to always
go to the poor areas, in the ghetto. We thought : “cops are already busy in here, they don’t
bother us, and the people around are cool so.. And then one day we thought this isn’t fair!
Come on, let’s hit the rich people too, enough now ! They deserve to get hit
by the sound blast as well ! The others are always nice to us, so…
we’re going to tickle the rich also right ? And there we go !
But this was a big mistake. So we settled in the old
N.A.T.O headquarters, where old military tanks and
prototypes are stored. So the spirit was like
“No war, fuck it all ! ” it was good that way ! And then… well,
it became a nightmare ! Then we found out through the investigation,
that these people have such long arms, that all the elite police units of the area
had been detached from the ghettos to get there ! Whereas, well… I mean,we are
only talking about a shitty party… As in, if you compare this with
the risk of a terrorist attack, or any serious stuff that could happen… That night, we have witnessed
hard guerrilla scenes, and a young girl was shot
by the police with a flashball, from a ten-yard range, right into the face.
She was disfigured. She made a report, but the results
of the trial were like… peanuts. Barely any response indeed. There was no violence when the party started,
the people were calm. I was present at that event myself,
at the time as a raver. and in fact, the violence
came from the police, we were not looking
for a confrontation. We never come for a confrontation
anyways ! No matter what. It was a massacre. They were simply
kicking everyone’s ass, just like they did at the
Bois de Boulogne in 2009. As a result, we got a record fine of 191,000 euros, for the destruction and degradation
of the N.A.T.O old tank carcasses in these caves. These carcasses had been tagged by generations
of “cataphiles” for all that matters… But despite the evidence at the trial
that no further damages had been committed onto these
abandoned military tanks, they came up and claimed for
these 191,000 euros anyways for an association of military elders,
as a compensation for the damages. I didn’t really care, I was insolvent
and I live in the Z.A.D. So I just took off. However, my friend was broke, and he appealed, so the fine
dropped down to 190,000. But it seems like it can’t apply to the both of us,
so we don’t really get how they want to do it. whatever, we don’t pay anymore. And anyways, according to the lawyers we asked
about it, there isn’t much they can actually do. So it’s alright, as long as we
don’t get rich… but since it’s not our ambition,
everything’s fine ! 70 euros for 50 liters…
come on ! We’re on our way
to join the crew, to get everything ready
for the party tonight, and here we are, in our mini-convoy driving
at 70 km/ph on a 110km/ph speed limit motorway. That’s amazing ! You leave on Saturday night
to go to a party, but you don’t know if you’re going to find it, you don’t know
if it’s actually going to happen, you don’t even know how
you’re going to come back home, that’s also part of the concept. That’s is also what
we are seeking for. We regularly update the info-line
so that people can get the infos they need in order to find the meeting spot.
Same procedure goes for every party. This way we don’t attract the
attention of the police agents. We release the exact location at the last minute,
in order to prevent them from tracking us. When we finally get there,
we can celebrate in peace. Clint Eastwood –
« Hey you with the freaky hair,
you look smart ! Why don’t you tell them why I am entitled
to come here anytime I please ? Reasonable what ? – Reasonable suspicion.
– Exactly reasonable suspicion. I can go anywhere I please If
I have a reasonable suspicion Now, if I have suspicion a felony
has been committed, I can just walk around here anytime I feel like it, because I got this badge,
I got this gun, and I have Jesus Christ’s love deep into
my beautiful green eyes. So whatever you say,
I’m gona have to bust you all.” (laughter) What’s a Free Party ? According to me, it starts
with a family, or a tribe, they install their Sound System,
they share their know-how, their music… And that’s it, we’re going to have
a party with the “whats-their-name” tribe. They are going to welcome us. As I reach the event, Im there to… Boom!
To make a show, you know? Okay, this music makes a mess, right, but it’s first and foremost music!
It is not just mess as such. Don’t you move, you little bastards,
this is the police! ! I think it doesn’t have to be
defined in terms of illegality. I mean, it’s more of a space
of freedom that you take, where you can simply behave
the way you want to behave. The legal or illegal aspect matters
less than the possibility of doing what you want to do,
in the way you want to do it. As such, the fact of remaining off-grid is not so important, We wish to get some respect.
They need to understand that we’re only here to celebrate.
We are no terrorists ! This handbrake is stronger than us ! When you go to a concert, it lasts only two hours :
you arrive, you pay, you leave. End of the story… Whereas in the Free Parties,
people come for eight hours, twelve hours, three days,
or an entire week… And you can come and go back whenever
you want. No one comes to bother you. No, this isn’t going to stop.
Because it is a movement. And nowadays, it clearly organizes
itself as a form of counter-power. I think that a whole generation
has contracted this virus. Not the Techno virus, but
by a whole state of mind, a philosophy of life, and a way
of seeing things around you. Everything is connected, if we look
at the history of the Rave or Free Party, It comes from the Sound System culture legacy. Could you plug that in ? Boom ! And it looks like you know,
you just see the smoke trickin out, aaah ! Twelve volts,
thirteen watts Boy, life can be a pain so, If you are going to have some pain,
then it might as well be pain that you enjoy ! We use to listen to
a lot of Punk music, we had many Punk friends too
when we were younger, Now this is very similar, D.I.Y, “Do-It-Yourself”.
It actually follows the same principle. The early Hip Hop music as well,
and it became an important influence for us. And… Well, according to us, Sound System culture
was somehow in the continuity of all that. The message is, first of all, that you are
capable of doing things by yourself. This is the objective,
to become autonomous. We do what we want, when we want,
and we say what we want when we want. We are struggling to regain
control of the public space. People should realize that the
public space belongs to everyone ! It is a part of our culture, like
any other cultural movement. One shouldn’t consider it as a :
“subculture” at all ! No, on the contrary, if we take the whole story and rewind back to the origins of dub, This story that began in Jamaica,c, from Mento, to Ska, to Reggae music, How the Sound System culture
became this way of broadcasting information through villages in Jamaica… It is a fabulous part of History ! At this stage, it is definitely a good realization
for people to see the real Livity of life and, making things happen
on your own you know ? Regardless of what the people say, or the Babylons,
or the government, or anybody who oppose it. Because that is how
it started in Jamaica, like, it was never really supported by the government.
They always fought against Rastas, Trim them, put them trial cashed, kill them,
all type of things, have them in jail, so … Its has always been that revolutionary,
rebellious attitude against the statu-quo. Jah Shaka use to play in Brixton, since
I was a child, and whilst I was growing up, That’s another important thing for me, Because Brixton is where our families
from the Caribbeans came over with their concept of Sound System, in the common grounds,
to share the experience, which many people saw,
and eventually developed the idea into warehouse parties, field parties,
tents, forests, shindigs… The Free Party message that was conveyed
at the beginning of the movement can’t be simply reduced to :
“we don’t pay, fuck the police, fuck the system” It was more of a :
“we wish to celebrate freely” kind of message. Sound system crafting is my thing,
thats where I really take off ! Building sound systems. That’s it. Because this
is what brings me face to face with myself. Somehow, I created my own sound entity. I was driving in my old run down truck,
I use to live inside it back in the days, I use to fix my turntables and build my cables
on my own. They were too expensive and I was broke. This is how I have learnt,
I was taught on the road, actually. And over the years, this culture
has actually rewarded me. This is a fair reward, I owe it all to this culture somehow.
Therefore, I will go through with it. (laughter) I’ll go through with it ! I met a lot of people that were
quite actively involved in the late 1980s Techno scene, and also with the travelers,
and you know, the Hippie side of it was dying off
and they were getting involved more with the Techno scene,
setting up the sound systems in fields, Yes, I would definitely agree
that there is that element in common. However, this idea is closely related to a slightly older
alternative, which is the Punk movement. It’s the “D.I.Y” philosophy, it consists in providing
by yourself the means to do what you want to do. Well, that’s a first part of this utopia, And I believe that the Free Party
movement brought it even further, Through these events, some people started
to embrace a nomadic lifestyle. Some sound systems started to organize
their events further and further away, creating itinerant parties that would be ready to disappear as quickly as they had settled, in order to avoid being located too quickly by the police. The Free Party movement began here when the U.K
sounds traveled to France, in the early 90s. As a matter of fact, there was already
a very severe cultural repression in England, and coercive measures that were enacted by capitalism,
started to emerge all over Europe. Therefore, the British created an alternative movement that was designed to counter the clubs,
which were all submitted to the standard system. As a result, they were simply
expelled from the country, and they landed in France, where they continued
with what they had initiated in England. They started to create Free Parties here, therefore, french people copied this model,
which became popular, and contaminated the whole country
very quickly, from north to south. Progressively, it spread to all Europe, and even
to an important part of the world nowadays. So, what’s a Free Party ? It’s a gathering of people who
simply want to enjoy, to have fun ! and listen to music that’s doesn’t
belong to the mainstream standards, or at least, that doesn’t get
played on the radio. And therefore, socially speaking,
it is something that is pretty cool. It allows you to observe all the
diversity within society in a nutshell, and honestly, I recommend this for
anyone who wishes to go for therapy, to eventually go to a Free Party or venue instead. A true Free Party for me .. ?
Well, there are no rules, there is no way to dress,
theres no way to think, You come with any culture, any religion…
You come with anything to the table, You exchange this, you dance,
you party, you laugh at the situation of life, because you
realize that you are not on your own. Many people share the same story
whilst coming from different cultures, This for us, is the Free Spirit,
you don’t get this in the everyday system. Beyond the circle of the dancing arena,
there is everything else : usually there is a glade with trees, so,
if you needed to get some fresh air, or if you go to the south of France,
you can find lakes, stunning panoramas,
this is amazing ! You are not confined
by fences like in a festival, for me this really
what makes the difference Now you even have festivals
in which you can park with your truck, so you can eventually rest. But well, you still
have the fences. And in Free Party,
there are no fences. The first time I went
there was out of curiosity, I loved it.
There are no words, I just discovered
something incredible… Somehow it organizes itself as a counter-power
to what we’re going through today. Indeed, this is an alternative.The Free Party
is based on an alternative lifestyle. So, how do you stop going to the supermarket? How do you stop to use of electricity and water in excess ? How to have a controlled
management of resources? How to live together tomorrow? But really TOGETHER. This is the question of empowerment.
We live in a world of social control, a world of norms. In order for this system to be efficient, everyone has to do the same thing for the growth
to keep rising. But it can’t go on like this ! And that’s the whole point of Free Riots :
creating micro-breaches everywhere, we must rise against
the present situation. When people feel it’s their party,
that it’s their own, they put an incredible energy
and participation into it. And then we end up with clean events,
where there are only very few incidents, since people react immediately. Because this is their party,
so they actually take responsibility for it. When this energy and this feeling
are shared sincerely, people get back home with
so many beautiful dreams, They are dreaming
about something new. This is not just about the music,
they dream about everything beyond, They dream of this freedom and this
collective force which emerges when
people come together. What remains after it ? For some people, it is a passion that
drives them during their entire life. For others, it’s a bit more
of a temporary hobby. And unfortunately, some of them
only come to consume the party. But for many, within their everyday life, they keep that memory in mind, they think about it, They eventually come again
the next weekend, and they come with the same
pleasure and desire, because this allows you to live
a different lifestyle. What’s interesting about the Free Party,
and I’ve done a few ones since we’ve been invited to play at Free Parties, is that well, first of all you get these conditions
of a collective gathering around a Sound system, but most importantly, we are going
to be spending a while together, living together, for three
or four days, and then at dawn, everyone wakes up
and starts cleaning up. And it seems like a detail, isn’t it ?
But when you see that people are busy keeping the place self-managed, This is something really beautiful !
These are experiences that prove that it is actually possible to live together, It’s possible to share the tasks, and it’ is possible
to rotate difficult or unpleasant tasks. Washing the dishes, getting the trash out : that’s boring. But if many of us do it together,
it will be way easier ! We have a principle here : “Adopt a garbage can”. As we ask for a donation at the entrance,
we offer garbage bags at the exit. We try to explain to them that since they come here
with all this waste, they could also take it back. They could put this waste in their
own trash when they reach home. It’s not the organizers’ job
to clean everything up. We’ are only here to organize
the party and to celebrate it. We’d rather do it in a field than being
locked up into someone’s house. However, it is necessary
to take care of that field, and this involves some
self-management. – I’ve seen you somewhere before!
– Did you now ? Didn’t you work into cinema ? First, there is this cliché about drugs. In the Free Party events, drug use
is way more noticeable than anywhere else. That’s a big advantage for associations like mine, because it provides a context in which people
feel free to talk about their drug use without fear, which is essential in order
to talk things through. When we work in conventional nightclubs, we don’t really
get to talk with the people about their drug use. People are always trying to hide it. Here everyone is disclosed. Once again,
there is a real solidarity within the people. Our association, Techno +,
stands as a second curtain. We’re not the ones who go and search
for people who are in trouble, The people here find them and bring them to us,
or they simply come to ask for our help. It really is an environment where
people take care of each other, and this is why Techno + actually exists ! The people who often go to Free Parties
are getting used to taking care of others. At some point, they realize that
when you manage the event accordingly, you become way more efficient. And this is the only culture
where it actually exists. You can’t find this in the Rock scene, nor in the Rap scene,
you can’t find it anywhere else! The only culture that has really
taken care of this matter, and of the fact that sometimes things get out of hand, sometimes you need people to
take care of the ones who have lost control, the only culture that actually does that,
is the Techno culture. How should I say…
Within the Rasta side, it is more conscious minded. But don’t get me wrong,
there are people in Reggae, for them it’s just bass, loud music,
ganja, getting drunk… But along the way they might
hear a little message. What’s interesting nowadays, and this is something
we’ve been witnessing for about ten years now, is a progressive fusion between the Dub & Reggae
culture, and the Free Party culture. I don’t feel that you can…
You definitely can’t dictate Humanity has a rebellious streak that
we can never really assume to conquer. And the more you tell someone not to do
something is the more they want to do it So to dictate it would be really
setting yourself up for a situation, and I told you that from experience.
I have tried to make alcohol free dances, and I can tell you I had never seen
so many drunk people in a dance before Until we had to shut the dance
early for they were getting so drunk. So it has to be more of an
invitation than a dictatorship. and that invitation doesn’t have to be direct, you know ? It can be about
the way you select the music. I know that there are associations
with the Rastamen in this Pop culture, this kind of iconography, You know, it’s collie weed,
it’s red gold and green, its sunshine, its “yeah man”
and this and that… But a growing number of people
are detecting that there is depth to this. So what that means, is Rastafari
has appealed on so many different layers. I think that is something
that is often misconstrued. about Rasta, about Roots,
about Dub. People say that it is very self-righteous.
It is always telling you what to do. Well, it is not something that you can copy.
If you know what I mean… If someone says :
“Oh you must do this, you must do that !” If you just blindly obey someone’s dogma, It is not going to get you anywhere. Nevertheless, we are here to do people some good.
To give them a chance to have a good time. And it’s very hard to find a balance
between being self-righteous, telling them: “Don’t do this, don’t do that,
think like this, eat like that !” you get it ? Because if you actually do that, you eventually
become negative and it drags people down. If you start telling them about police violence
in that very moment, people will be like :
“wait a minute…” Its pretty hard so the message
doesn’t get through very well. Whereas with the Rasta method,
there’s this idea of remaining positive. And indeed, if you present
the message in a positive way, then you get much better chances
of reaching the people. But this is really hard to achieve, you understand? 60 km/ph we’re going just fine, guys !
Come on ! Let’s go ! We aren’t giving up! Come on ! If we reach 300km/ph
we are going to be alright ! Haha ! You show a man a certain Livity, And if he says it is good, he will take it ! Thanks. Oh well, maybe not such a good idea… Which means that they have
to be willing in the first place. They have to want to do it in the first place. However, we play and love
to play with this paradox, to do something that’s entertaining, whilst telling things that
aren’t necessarily funny. When we talk about the Oradour-Sur-Glane massacre, one wouldn’t genuinely feel like dancing to it, right ? Nevertheless, our desire
to dance arises from our will to resist to such situations. Therefore, we often quote these
lyrics from the Béruriers Noirs : “We are black, we are white, we are yellow,
but altogether we are dynamite! » Well, that’s it, in the Sound System,
we are altogether, and we can be dynamite. Some tracks were actually created for that purpose.
To uplift the crowds. But we want to preserve a conscious message. So even if you lose it,
even if you get crazy, and there are those who freak out
at parties on some tunes, the message remains the same :
Reggae, Dub, Conscious. The people who have a
microphone in their hands, and say something to the people,
and have a message to spread, In my opinion, we have a big responsibility
in the things that we say to the people. That music you’ve listened to,
will have an effect on you. Maybe you don’t realize that,
but subconsciously, it makes you think like that. So if you listen to some shit saying :
“Stab up me bwoy dem…”, or this kind of crap, you are going to think :
“you know what, fucking hell ! I’m gona stab that man !” You know what I mean ?
People don’t realize that but its true. Subconsciously,
it gets into your brain. Within the movement they say :
“Word & Sound is power” So, what we say can manifest.
I don’t know if you understand what that means, it means that the things that we do, the things that we chant, the things that we say, we are trying to manifest
that in an upfull way. We’ve always been immersed
in that movement, We never went to clubs.
We didn’t support places like that. We wanted something authentic,
something real… My research mostly focuses on
various social-psychology phenomena, one of which, is power. And in one of my recent projects, I became very interested into the relationship between music and power. It is surprising that only a few research projects have been observing specifically
the effect of music on power. In fact, if you look throughout history,
there are many anecdotes, and stories about how music can
potentially affect power. For instance, we can think of
the story of Abraham Lincoln, who use to play unionists tunes, whilst being in war with the south, and trying to use this music first of all, obviously, to make the soldiers
on his side feel more powerful and dominant, and also to make the other side
feel like they were being dominated over. and that’s when we started
to think about bass. So we decided that, instead of the
various music pieces, like Pop or Heavy Metal, that we had been using
in previous studies, we are going to use a single piece
of instrumental music, and we just manipulated its frequencies,
using one version with higher frequencies, and another one,
with a lower spectrum. And we gave these versions to two different
groups of participants in our experiment. and then we measured their sense of power,
as well as some other behavior indicators. What we have found was indeed very surprising and, it turns out that the group that listened to the bassier piece of music, well, the same piece
of music but a bassier version of it, turn to feel more powerful, more dominant,
more in control of the things in their life, and they are more likely to take actions. They are more likely to think in a higher,
a more detailed and concrete level. We have decided not to leave,
we’re going to fight. We’re going to fight until the end ! It is a jubilant thing, It is a musical thing, something to get you out of a bad place,
and to put you in a good place. So, music is that kind of message. Because, like I said before,
Bob Marley said it : “When the music hits you, you feel no pain”
And that’s the thing about music Yes ! And it is music that does that ! Music is so powerful, we don’t really
know how powerful it is ! we do not know how powerful it is.
Trust me … It’s so powerful
we don’t know. Music is something that
gets into your soul. One part of the music which
we deal with is the drums. The drums have been brought
through the ages, from Africa. So we call the drums
the first telephone, to connect people,
and to send a message. The music itself
contains a message. One must understand that music
is actually a language. A language that has been used since
ancient times in order to communicate. -Sound System is just a reminder.
-(Christine nods in agreement) Sometimes it is easy to forget these simple facts. and you need some kind of profound experience
to remind you of the fundamentals. I am particularly interested
in research projects that concern the influence of music
on social behaviors. For instance, in addition to consumption patterns,
we could prove thanks to the works of another research team
that doesn’t work here, that if you play a background music in a nursery, you reduce the frequency of conflicts between children, they tend to fight less for the toys, for instance. Through our research project here, we try to find out if through music,
we could communicate things like : “I am your leader and you must obey me”, or “I know you are my leader but I don’t care
and I don’t intend to obey you”. This kind of authority, or audacity behaviors,
can we communicate them through music? It actually seems so.
Music seems to carry some kind of figurative power
for social behaviors. In my opinion, it is a rather fertile
and still unsuspected potential. “Word Sound is Power” “Word Sound” is ” Power”,
so it is not only the meaning of the word,
but the sound of the word carries a power. You understand ?
And you’ll know that. So, that’s exactly what it means. But also you can feel the energy, you know ?
We must become more in tune to the energy. So, sometimes, even if you cannot
understand the language, fully, you can tell by the energy what this person is saying. Quite often, whilst I was interviewing people
about these kinds of music, I gathered testimonies that were referring to a heartbeat. A beat with which their own heart was getting synchronized. And there is, indeed, such powerful acoustic pressure, that one feels like those vibrations are passing through your body. And it gives the impression of a collective heartbeat, a beat that is able to synchronize the dancing crowd. Techno music explores industrial sound design,
using repetitive rhythm patterns. These sounds that we hear, when we listen to them
with some hindsight, they feel quite unpleasant. However, this idea of a robotic,
or mechanical music reminds us of the industrial world,
it reminds us of our working life. And it is surprising to see people dancing, celebrating, whilst listening
to such unpleasant sounds, Although it actually makes sense,
there’s a message behind this: The objective is to completely
exorcise this machine sound. This industrial noise, those mechanical, overwhelming sound textures, which are the sounds of
the worker’s routine, let’s say, Well here, they will be used to celebrate, in order to
overturn this society, to make it walk upside down. There are no lyrics indeed,
but there’s a deafening noise, even a violent one sometimes, like a B.P.M tsunami, I often say that if our music is so loud, and so violent, it is because it is somehow a mirror of our society. And after all, the Techno music artists, the Free Party scene are simply transcribing this vibration in which we evolve altogether. In the Free Party movement, the message is : “Let’s live together”. Within the Free Parties, we are very different from one another, But as soon as we reach the Teknival
altogether, in the center of France No matter what color, no matter which religion, no matter which flag, We are altogether. We stand united,
and we have decided that what is going to happen,
will be the result of a collective work. This is the Free spirit.
Unity is strength. Basically, music can be used by anyone
as a form of therapy in order to make it, and eventually, to influence the public opinion, and contribute to its evolution. Because it is a hell of a job to change the mentality
of a fiery fascist who votes F.N (Far-Right french party). But if at some point, you manage
to create a spark in his mind, reminding him that he is simply a human being
like any other one on this planet, and that he doesn’t need to hate others in order
to progress, but instead, that he should learn how to live with them, in my opinion, if you manage to
achieve that, you’ve won your bet. This culture taught me
to stop kicking butts. Which means I don’t get into
fights anymore, you understand ? Whereas back in the days, anyone who tried
to provoke me would get punched right away. I don’t do this anymore,
you see, now I try to seek for the positive side of the people,
whereas before I didn’t give a hell. I try to detect people’s positiveness,
although I didn’t care at all before, hence… This is what I loved about it,
this is what I loved about Free Party culture. This is it. You’ve got another question ? You meet people who are not around
you to feed their own interests. These people are here to share a beautiful moment with you. And when you get people who’ve never experienced this,
and who live in a system that drives them wild, sometimes, after such kind of experience, they may change their mindset. and eventually realize that the world isn’t going so bad after all, some people still remain down to earth. people who are willing to exchange, people who are warm-hearted. It can be very encouraging and it
could help you chose a different pathway. For me, this was the very first Teknival,
and when I reached the spot, I was penny-less, but people
gave me some food, they lent me a tent so that
I could sleep because it was a rainy night, I spent five days in that Free Party,
like a pilgrim. I didn’t know anybody there. but I wasn’t missing anything and I have so much fun. This is the spearhead of this movement,
the fact that anyone can enter for free. Sometimes we see people who arrive with their backpacks and dogs after a 300 kilometers’ ride, Well, if you have nothing for the donation stall,
it is ok, you are still welcome! This is the Free Party spirit. Let me put it this way : Freedom is not for sale. This is the reason why even those who come dragging their feet without even five cents in their pockets, will still be welcome here ! Theres is a real action, beyond
the Free Party scene, theres a sincere political action
from some Sound Systems. Not all of them. Well, many of them don’t actually
realize that what they are doing is actually political. Some believe they are only
here to celebrate, they don’t acknowledge yet
that what they do is political. Whereas it is actually a political action, They just don’t realize yet. Indeed, this word “politics”,
is often considered a dirty word. By many Sound Systems, by many ravers,
by many participants in these events. Because under that word, under that “political” labeling, well, there’s always that common belief that it belongs to political parties, or to militant associations, or let’s say
to some form of “ordinary activism”. I would rather say, that indeed :
everything is political. In our society, everything we do, everything we eat,
everything we live, everything we choose to live, is political. Therefore, I would say that this is quite political
in a system where, on the contrary : The industry, the bosses, the copyright system, Industrial patenting on absolutely everything,
including on living beings, We try to stop this
once and for all, And instead, we find a culture of freedom,
built on the idea of giving and sharing with one another. Well there are many people within
the movement who don’t accept it. This word : “politics”.
Well… I shouldn’t even dare to pronounce it. Although in reality, I have always worked on
Techno music in order to do politics. If at some point in my life, I started to organize
Free Parties, it was to reach a political objective. Denouncing something,
asserting that something else is possible. I mean when you realize the power that we can get
as soon as we start working collectively, by creating things altogether, even if many of us feel blocked,
as in they don’t really know what to do, however, the Free Party teaches you that
you can show up in any corner field corner, anywhere, even in the most remote part
of Bulgaria, and make a Free Party with 3000 people.
You can actually do it. Therefore, once you have acquired these competences, you can go to the Jungle in Calais, or do like me and create squats, and you can handle it, you have learned how to do it,
you simply know you are able to do it. Nevertheless, the main problem
is that people do not dare to try. I have no message for them,
I follow no books, There is no manual, there is no :
“I have to believe in this” or “I have to believe in that”. No. The thing that makes our movement so strong,
is that we unify many messages, Jah, the system… Everything.
We put all those things together and we question. And whilst making these questions,
we share. And then we realize that, in some way
or another, we have all been following a program. End of. Which way we go from here
is our own decision. When I took the decision of organizing Free Parties,
it was for a political objective. Denouncing injustice,
setting a good example, explain that something else is possible and that it could work as well… Of course we face some problems,
yet we could start working out some solutions. This is why I will never go to vote, Because as long as money runs this world,
the problems will remain. “The people united,
never shall be defeated ! ” How do you expect it to get ant better ? There is no prophet that will show up like : “Oueeeh !” This will never happen. I let Babylon get on with its job, whilst I demonstrate making music !
That’s all ! Therefore, I must say that I believe this movement
to be truly political, even if it never claimed so. This idea is actually a part of
the essence of that movement. This is something that people who organize
and support Free Parties have understood. The fact that union is strength, and that
there are many things that we can actually do in life, but we are not the only ones
who have understood that, you know ? Yet, theres a whole world to transform. Its quite complex, well I believe that it might be difficult for everyone to find common ground on the Techno, It should simply be the “Free Party” It might not be that specific
music that will gather everyone, but the principle. Of listening to music
and celebrating altogether. by involving everyone in order
to organize it like that, you understand ? A lot of times,
when I started to play this sound, I was surrounded by security,
surrounded by officials with meters telling me to turn off the sound :
“It is too loud !” Well setting up the sound system you know,
not everyone is going to let you set up a sound system So, sometimes you have to
just empower yourself and just do it. That is the pressure of Sound System, That is one of the restrictions we’ve been having
since day one in the Sound System thing. It is easier to access this kind of venues.
I mean nowadays, there are quite many concert halls
that host Sound System dances. Nevertheless, I believe
that the Sound System, Reggae and Dub scene’s repression,
is beyond compare with the pressure that the people who organize
Hardcore & Techno events have to bear. For them it is way more complicated. Because they keep putting us
on the altar of sacrifice : “Beware of the Techno ! There are drugs everywhere !
These are degenerates !” Well, no they aren’t ! This is M. “Anybody”,who works all year long
and saves his money aside to invest in something that he loves, and which he presents to the public,
for free. Notably, on the 1rst of May for the Teknival,
but mostly all year long in the french countryside ! All year long, and all over the french territory,
thousands of Free Parties take place in very good conditions. But they get beaten up,
their equipment is confiscated, all their efforts… They are trying to crush this culture. Jazz music,
Rock music also had to face these kind of assaults, But in the Techno scene,
this pressure is ten times stronger. Their purpose is to literally muzzle us. In “Free Party” you got the word “Free”,
so obviously, it immediately scares the people who live in the purest
and deepest conformism. But wait… Are we talking about complete freedom ?.
And on top of it, in order to party ? Wow ! Never give up! They are trying to constrain us.
It has been 15 years now that we do our best whilst
they try to muzzle everyone. They talk like «Yes, we’ll simply wrap you, pack you
and finally square you..this and that »
I dedicate my life to Sound System culture,
which is borderless. Earlier on you asked me some questions
about politics, I don’t want to do politics. Music is my political stance, However, I found myself obligated to do politics,
for I got caught up in that gear. Sooner or later you actually realize
that you end up doing politics anyways. When we ever try to call them they
simply tell us that our movement has no more impact, that it doesn’t
federate enough people anymore. « Teknival is now useless, we won’t help you guys
for there won’t be enough people attending » And we’re trying to call for attention,
because, well, we are getting getting our material confiscated,
we get assaulted with batons and teargas, Or like what happened last year, when this adolescent
girl who was shot by the police within short range with a flashball, and who
now carries permanent face mutilations, all of this because of a party, which had previously
been authorized by the prefecture, of course… I am convinced that Free Party movement
couldn’t have emerged into a context where all doors would have been broad open, where we could do whatever we want, as we want it to be done, where we would feel free to listen
to the music that we love, in the conditions that we love. Therefore, this culture was born out of a protestation movement. Indeed, it is because there were such radical
repressive measures during Thatcher’s regime, all the clubs had to be closed by 02 a.m,
she was imposing terrible constraints to the « Travelers » mouvement… It is because of that context, because of those restrictions, that such an artistic, political, and social movement could arise. The same process took place in France,
and wherever else this movement could thrive. It is because of those constraints,
those interdictions, those restrictions, increasingly growing
over our freedom, that this movement could conquer
our grounds. It’s is just obvious. It’s been a long time that I work on this.
Not because we expect to win, but because I love Free Parties ! Because I want to go there,
I want to reach these spaces of freedom and autonomous choice. Therefore, I keep going there.
No matter if we win or loose the legal battle. Even if I hope for the best, I mean the matter
interests me a lot, I also take part in it. However, what really matters for me is
to still be able to do what i love to do. On that occasion, we had to
insist a bit, and on top of it, they could attest that the land
was left almost stainless ! Isn’t there something going wrong here ? They are able to spend 200 000, 300 000, and even up
to 820 000 euros, once, for a legal Teknival, and the spot ends up completely devastated. Whereas when we do it
the illegal way, we reach the spot, well of course we leave
a few ruts in the fields, the land has a few wheel ruts, but I mean…It’s only mud ! We didn’t break a window,
a road sign, or burnt a car, isn’t it ? So as you can see, we take care
of one another. And nowadays, And nowadays, within the Sound System
community, everyone communicates. That’s why the system is starting to freak up:
they had managed to divide us, Yet we work altogether now. Everyone started to talk with one another.
Everyone comes to the meetings, even the one’s that didn’t wish
to communicate with the government, or those like us, who thought :
“Alright, let’s try to do something about it ” Right now, everyone is communicating.
And everyone is ready to act together. From now on, the “divide and conquer”
method is no longer efficient. They thought they had managed
to bury this culture, to whip it into shape ! Like :
“We hold them under control” ! No mate, you don’t hold anything
under control, neither the Free Party, nor the Techno,
nor the Sound System, you wont ever get a grip on any of this ! This is the voice of the people !

4 thoughts on “United We Stand – Part II (2019) by Alexandre Gaonach

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