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Spoznala sva se pri tebi doma spomladi 2011. Zakašljal si oblak cigaretnega dima proti meni in oznanil, da bom tvoja punca. Nerodno mi je bilo, nisem vedela, kaj naj rečem in se izogibala pogledu v tvoje nasršeno pol odprto oko. Vedno si me znal spraviti v zadrego s svojo neposrednostjo, predrznostjo in kljubovalnim nasprotovanjem pravilom. Spomnim se popoldanskega nakupovanja hrane, ko si se sprehodil do oddelka s sadjem in si postregel z grozdjem, lačen si bil in dolgčas ti je bilo. Ko sem ti osupla rekla, da tega ne smeš delati, si me navihano pogledal in vprašal: »zakaj pa ne?« Nisem ti znala odgovorit, kar obstala sem, zardela in razorožena, soočena z lastnim moralizmom in pokroviteljstvom. Marsikoga si razorožil s svojo nepodredljivostjo, ko nisi pristajal na to, da bi moral biti zadovoljen z malim, ceniti vsako drobtinico, ki so ti jo bili birokrati iz vseh vladnih garnitur pripravljeni ponuditi, biti pohleven, hvaležen, prijazen, vljuden, se dobro integrirati in prilagoditi večinskim normam. Kamorkoli si prišel, si avtomatično spreobrnil razmerja moči: hotel si, da vsi poznajo tvojo zgodbo, kot si jo povedal sam, ker so jo tolikokrat povedali drugi, Centri za socialno delo, psihiatri, vzgojitelji, pazniki, medicinske sestre. Zate so bili orodje sistema, ki je gazil, mrcvaril in mučil tvoje telo – včasih direktno, včasih skozi celofan človekovih pravic. Brigali so te urniki, življenjski ritem drugih, jezikovne prepreke, 40 let institucionalizacije ti je dalo carte blanche za izpričanje besa, ki ti je valoval po žilah. Večkrat si bil besen kot dobre volje – ampak vedno na vse ali nič. Stalnica najinih sprehodov je bilo zato spoznavanje naključnih mimoidočih, ki si jim pripovedoval, včasih tudi v polomljeni angleščini, o kriminalizaciji norosti: zapiranju v totalne institucije, norišnice, o elektrošokih, privezovanju na postelje, v prisilni jopič in v mrežne kletke s ključavnico, našteval imena tablet, ki jih jemlješ (imena so včasih prišla prav kakemu džankiju, ki jih je odkupil od tebe), diagnoz, ki so ti jih prilepili in bolezni, ki so načenjale tvoje telo. Nikoli nisi govoril s pozicije žrtve (razen kadar je bila to uspešna strategija žicanja), temveč s pozicije borca proti krivicam, ker nisi prenesel zatiranja, ne sebe, ne kogarkoli drugega. Prehodil si več kilometrov za pravico do življenja v skupnosti, nosil si transparente na demonstracijah proti izkoriščanju gradbenih delavcev, zastavil svoje telo pri obrambi družine pred deložacijo, vihtel napeto pest proti policistom, kadar so nadlegovali koga od tovarišev, pridružil si se študentskem gibanju ob zasedbi Filozofske fakultete in vzpostavljanju tabora pred ljubljansko borzo, kjer si venomer popestril nočna dežurstva, skupaj smo zasedli Ministrstvo za socialne zadeve, srečal si se s predsednikom parlamenta in s kričanjem v megafon nasprotoval krivicam. Tvoje ime ovdje od sad znači pravda. Nisi se uklanjal nikomur in ničemur, poslušal si ritem svojih nemirnih nog in delal stvari po svoje, dovolj časa so te že komandirali – svoboda tukaj, takoj, zdaj in za vsako ceno, tudi če je to kdaj imelo za posledico urgenco, prepir in mahanje z nožem, strta prijateljstva ali neprespane noči. Svoboda zate ni bila načelna drža ali stvar pogajanja, ampak praksa v nenehnem izvajanju, izumljal in redefiniral si jo vsak dan svojega bivanja. Živel si za trenutek, ne za prihodnost in kadar si kam šel, si spakiral vse – bil si brez korenin, brez enovitega naglasa, nikamor in nikomur nisi pripadal. Svoboda je zate pomenila, da si se lahko vkrcal na vlak in obiskal rojstni kraj, hišo svoje neuslišane ljubezni in se sredi noči pojavil pri edini teti, ki ti je še ostala in zahteval kavo in salamo. Svoboda, da pohajkuješ ponoči, kadiš dve škatli cigaret na dan, ješ poli salamo direktno iz ovitka, se ne tuširaš in da ženske na ulici nagovarjaš k seksu. Težko si sprejel, da ta svoboda ni vsakomur všeč, velikokrat si se zato s kom stepel, dobil kazen ali ostal brez vseh stvari – pa te to v resnici ni kaj dosti motilo, svoboda je bila pomembnejša od vsega, zato si hitro pozabil na zamere in skupnost, ki se je gradila okrog tebe silil, da se nenehno spreminja, sprašuje o tem, kako ohranjati odprtost in inkluzivnost. In potrpljenje. Svoboda, da si si organiziral prevoz kadarkoli in kamorkoli se ti je zahotelo, tudi s pljučnico v Benetke na praznovanje novega leta, da si vzel denar iz skupnostne blagajne in se odpeljal s taksijem v Maribor – ali na morje, tudi brez centa v žepu. Bo pa plačala Fakulteta za socialno delo. Mogoče davek za premajhen angažma v boju za tvoj obstanek v skupnosti? Tako si nemalokrat zmotil predavanja profesoric, ki že davno nimajo stika s prakso, da si študentkam pokazal pomen neustrašnosti, nespoštovanja avtoritet in tega, da se učenje ne dogaja za zaprtimi vrati stavb z belimi stenami, deloval si kot nadležen opomnik pred normativnostjo, pred okorelostjo in neprilagodljivostjo praznih besed v učnem načrtu.
Skupnostna skrb, ki se je organizirala okrog tvojih želja in potreb je uspešno razgradila vse romantične predstave o skrbi kot o delu iz ljubezni. They call it love, we call it work. Večino časa nisem vedela, a bi te zadavila ali objela, za 4€ na uro. Skrb je pomenila akrobatsko manevriranje in iskanje ravnotežja med podporo in nadzorom, solidarnostjo in servisom, krepitvijo moči in pomilovanjem, negovanjem in infantilizacijo. Naredil si nas za dobre akrobatke v cirkusu skupnostne oskrbe, v dobrem in slabem. Ko smo skupaj plesali na koncertih, se režali slabim vicem ali iskali načine, da te spravimo iz bolnice. Zaradi tebe je marsikatera med nami postala zagovornica, aktivistka in amaterska pravnica, strokovnjakinje za analizo tveganja, premoščanje krize, pisanje pritožb prisilnim namestitvam v zavod ali prisilnim hospitalizacijam. Včasih več slabega kot dobrega, pa si vseeno pokazal, da je možno življenje organizirati drugače. Izven totalnih ustanov, znotraj solidarnih, prijateljskih mrež, ki so se nalezle tvojega pravičniškega duha in borbenosti in poskrbele, da si do zadnjega ostal v skupnosti, na svobodi, ki ti je toliko pomenila.


Mijo vive, la lucha sigue! Dokler ne pade zadnja totalna institucija.


 

IN MEMORIAM

 

MIJO POSLEK

 

(1962-2018)

 

We met in your home in springtime of 2011. You coughed a puff of cigarette smoke in my face and declared that I’ll be your girlfriend. I was embarrassed, I didn’t know what to say and I avoided looking at your scowling half-opened eye. You always had a way of embarrassing people with your indiscretion, daring attitude and defiant rule-breaking. I remember an afternoon day of grocery shopping when you walked up to the fruit section of the store and helped yourself to some grapes, you were hungry and bored. I was shocked and told you that you can’t be doing that, to which you smiled mischievously and asked »why not?« I didn’t know how to respond, I just stood there, blushing and disarmed, confronted with my own moralism and patronage. You have disarmed more then a few with your disobedience and refusal to be grateful for small mercies, appreciate the provisional offerings of bureaucrats of all governments, you refused to settle, be meek, friendly, polite, well integrated and adjust to the norms of the society. Wherever you showed up, you automatically subverted the power relations: you wanted everyone to know your story, as told by you, since it was told by others so many times. Centers for social work, psychiatrists, guards, teachers, nurses – for you they represented a tool of the system that has been trudging, dissecting and torturing your body, sometimes in a direct manner and sometimes through the cellophane of human rights. You didn’t care much for schedules, rhythm of life of other people, language barriers – the 40 years of institutionalization that you have endured has given you a carte blanche for expressing the rage that was palpitating through your veins. You were more often enraged than in a good mood, but with you it was always all or nothing. A common occurrence on our daily walks was meeting random strangers and converting them into witnesses to the testimony, sometimes given in pigeon english, about the criminalization of insanity: about the enclosure in totalitarian institutions, madhouses, electroshock therapy, tying up to hospital beds, into straight jackets and netted cages with locks on them, you were listing the names of medicine you were taking (the names came useful to a junkie here and there who bought the drugs of you), naming diagnoses and diseases that were affecting your body. You were never speaking as a victim (unless when you used it as a successful strategy for money-begging) but as a fighter, a warrior against injustices, because you couldn’t stand oppression – not yours nor anyone else’s. You have walked many kilometers for everyone’s right to live in the community, you wore banners at demonstrations against the exploitation of construction workers, you stood against the police trying to evict a family, you wielded you fist against the police when you saw them harassing a comrade, you joined the student movement in the occupation of the Faculty of fine arts, you participated in the occupy movement and co-created the activist camp in front of Ljubljana’s stock exchange market where you have always made night picketing more interesting, we occupied the Ministry of social affairs together, you met the prime minister and criticized injustice via megaphone. Here and from now on your name means justice. You obeyed no rules and no people, you followed the rhythm of your restless feet and did things your way, you have spent your whole life being bossed around – freedom here, now, immediately and no matter what, even if it meant ending up in the emergency room, fighting, threatening with the knife, broken friendships or sleepless nights. To you freedom did not mean a principle or something to be negotiated, it was a practice in continuous materialization, you were inventing and redefining freedom every day of your existence. You lived for the moment, not for the future and when you went somewhere, you packed everything – you had no roots, no recognizable accent, you belonged nowhere and to no one. To you freedom meant boarding a train and visiting your hometown, the house of your unrequited love and appearing at the house of your only remaining relative in the early hours of the morning demanding coffee and salami. The freedom to wander around at night, smoke two packs of cigarettes daily, eat salami straight from the package and solicit sex from women on the street. It was hard for you to accept that not everyone liked this kind of freedom which got you into fights, trouble with the police or robbed – but you didn’t mind much really, freedom was more important than anything else, which is why you quickly forgot your grudges and forced the surrounding community to keep transforming, questioning and maintaining openness and inclusiveness. And patience. To you freedom meant organizing a ride anywhere and at any time your heart desired, even to go and celebrate New year’s eve in Venice despite having pneumonia, or stealing money from our common cash box to take a taxi to Maribor – or to the seaside, without a penny in your pocket. You can send the bill to the Faculty of social work. A price they have to pay, perhaps, for the lack of engagement in organizing your community care? So many times you interrupted the lectures of professors who have since lost touch with practical work and thus showed the students the importance of being fearless, anti-authoritarian and the fact that learning should not be confined to buildings with white walls and closed doors. You were an annoying reminder to everyone of their own normativity and the rigidity of empty words in curriculum.

Community care that was organized around your needs and desires has successfully deconstructed all romantic notions of care as a work of love. They call it love, we call it work. Most of the time I wasn’t sure if I wanted to strangle or hug you, on a payroll of 4€ per hour. Care meant attempts of acrobatic maneuvering and balancing between support and control, solidarity and service, empowerment and pity, nursing and infantilization. You made out of us fine acrobats in this chaos of community care, for better or worse. When we danced together at concerts, laughed at your lame jokes or looking for ways to get you out of the hospital. Thanks to you, many of us became advocates, activists, amateur legal team, experts in risk analysis, getting through a crisis and writing complaints against involuntary commitment to psychiatric institutions. Sometimes it was far worse that better, but you still managed to show everyone that care can be organized in a different way. Outside of totalitarian institutions, in networks of friendship and solidarity, which you have successfully contaminated with your righteous spirit and warrior attitude that they managed to keep you in the community until the very last day, enjoying the freedom that meant so much to you.

 

Mijo vive, la lucha sigue! Until the last totalitarian institution is destroyed.

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