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The Revolution Post-Explosion – A letter from #Lebanon

WHEN  I first saw the videos, I thought they were a hoax.  It didn’t register in my brain that an explosion of that magnitude could have happened in Beirut. It seemed like an end, like an apocalypse; everyone must be dead. Then, as I checked WhatsApp groups and called friends, I confirmed that everyone I was close to was, in fact, still alive. Even after an end it is never the end, and time keeps on going. That is what apocalyptic thinking fails to take into account. The end does not come in one fell swoop, no wiping the slate clean and starting over. There are only a series of mini-catastrophes that compile one onto the other and you have to build on top of the shit and rubble of the previous events, negotiating your way towards a hazy horizon. The best you can hope for is not a new beginning, but the opportunity to pivot, to ground yourself in the political movement in order to gain momentum and change direction. Somehow I always thought that that opportunity, the opportunity to dig our collective heels into the current moment and swivel away from the direction of the inferno, that that collective decision would be the result of a self-generated popular will. It wasn’t. It was the result of an event that forced us – forced us against our will – to adapt and respond to a vacuum whose existence we, as a Revolution, had previously announced, but that now had revealed itself to us all too clearly, whether we wanted it to or not.

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