We had already here some posts about marching for Aleppo, as I also took (though very shortly) a part in it, in Berlin, in Chech and in Greece. Now it become an Odyssee of wandering from island to island. I think they are now real Baratarians…
Civil March for Aleppo’s shape has certainly changed. Prolonged waiting period for the permission for going through Turkey made us first to go to Bulgaria and now to visit Greek Islands. CMFA chose the symbolic – Lesbos and smaller, troubled Chios and Samos. We are not marching any more, but instead we meet with NGOs, refugees and local people. So we basically returned to the „roots”, which was showing the solidarity with refugees on our way. I have mixed feelings about what we do now, and how we do it, but in the reality, its effect of our previous decisions and actions (or lack of it). Sometimes we collect information as journalists, but we are not them. We help as volunteers, but we are also not volunteers! We are marchers, that dont march, because local conditions are full of risks. And I think that we shouldnt put anyone at risk, in the first place.
So what do we do now? Who we are? We are lost like Ulisses, experiencing night, sleeping with open eyes, under the Greek sky. We are the last on the ground, hoping that cmfa is still worth of time and effort. Or maybe we are just blind? Anyway we will continue to sail toward Syria.
Tomorrow I fly to Thessaloniki to join the March for Aleppo for some talking (and not walking) days. I do not know what we shall talk about but I will suppose it will be that…
Since 26th december I have been marching for peace with #CivilMarchForAleppo. We started in Berlin, and daily, with only small stops in big cities, we crossed many borders, met thousends of people. The march is 4+ months old and certainly it has reached its maturity. After 4 months of non disrupted travel I decided to return to Poland, to work, to take a deep breath, to see the situation from the oustide. I will return on 26/27 May to Greece to continue my journey.
At home, the questions about the identity of the march appeared with a double intensity. Why do I march? What is our purpose? Do I (we) march for Aleppo or to Aleppo? Or both? What can we change with our marching and which of our plans can we realise?
Civil March For Aleppo 03.03.2017 Photo Janusz Ratecki
People used to ask me the same questions all the time. Why do you want to enter the war zone? Is it possible? And what if someone is hurt or injured? Do you think you can change someting? There are hundreds of those questions, and even though we discucssed it on the march, on daily basis, we havent reached yet a common decision. Nor we achieved peace in our small group.
If you feel that I am complaining, well I am not. I am hoping. I hope this march will change again, as it changed many times before. I wish this march will get a proper leader who will take the responsibility of taking the crucial decisions. I hope this march will, once more, gain the spirit, the energy and the global audience it deserves.
Foto Marek Kowalczyk
I hope we will share the peace message instead of run. Running, to be as fast as possible, to a yet unknown destination is kind of desperate. I hope no one will suffer in the march group because other people force their ideas. I hope we will reach peace to share it among others. I hope we will not leave anyone behind.
Last but not least, I wish we will find a good ending to our project.
Hope dies last.
Author is a freelance photographer interested in human rights. At the moment taking part in #civilmarchforaleppo