Friday, August 29, 2008

You walk on empty streets now

holding your heart in your hands *

* Lyrics from 2L8's upcoming album, "He & She".
Location: Old town of Thessaloniki

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Hunderparkost: Shamanic Rituals in the Center of Kyiv

Jorge with his previous post spurred memories - of my personal experience of psy-trance music and culture. I recalled one nice piece of text I wrote back in 2001, after one of the very cool trance parties that took place on a woody river island in the very heart of Kyiv, capital of Ukraine. The party was called Hunderparkost and the story was Shamanic Rituals in the Center of Kyiv.

So here it goes...

A casual passer-by which would barge into the place of the party would think, that it is a gathering of some secret sect, or new "tribalists". And all, that takes place, is the mass shamanistic ritual of unity and creation of new senses, with liberation of vast amount of energy. Among the trees, under nightly sky, surrounded by bonfires, people, lighted up only an ultraviolet lamp, dance under the reckless rhythms of trance. The white fragments of their clothes mysticly shine among trees, moving in unison with a rhythm.

The small edge of a forest, which became a place for a ritual, took us all back in the days of most ancient paganism, when in the same nights the tribe was gathering around the fires and submerged in the real trance, in order to understand (or rather to feel) the real sense of life and get closer to the transcendent, let in the spirits of nature, tribe and ancestors.

Freeing energy of body, a trance unites body and mind in one. You hear music, you see it, feel, and a body creates music in space. It is extraordinarily interesting and strange feeling. You start to dance - how you got used on ordinary "discos", but understand afterwards, that consciousness does not need to be compelled to command the body to make those or other motions.

I observe how some people stubbornly and unprinciply move in the dance circle, - releasing the body to the mercy of fate - and others simply take a rest : either right here alongside on a grass, devoured by darkness, or on the bank of Dnieper, spreading blankets and enfolded in warm plaids on a beach. Certainly, there is certain circulation - ones go to dance, other go to rest.

Absolutely different public, from different backgrounds and social groups. People who, it would seem, can have nothing in common, except for the secret understanding and sense of "trance". A maximally "easy-going atmosphere" dominates here. Everything is so easy and simply, clear all for all, that there is no necessity "to get acquianted" with anybody. Here is not a single aggression (even casual), absolutely benevolent attitude toward people practically unknown to each other.

Somebody is already unable to undergo unendurably interesting trip within different worlds of sounds and appearances, and continues dance on the river bank. The ship tied down to moorage becomes new impromptu dance floor. What can be better than continuation of happy dance ("damn fucking cool, there am I on shipboard!" - some fellow screams out) under star sky, near water, in distant space there are lights of bridges. Took off the clothes. Jumped in water. A new environment wrapped me in a fresh heat. I am a fish.

Can float so deeply, as I would want, and so long, while it's funny. On the depth of 3 meters I twirled spirally and submerged yet deeper, turning around the axis. Under water it is possible to to hear a music rhythm on a bank. I begin slowly to rise up (it is quite not desirable, but the the mind reminds in semi-indifferent manner, that it is needed to take a sip a bit of air). Water is soft and reminds cool and a little bit condensedair. Climb up on a wooden moorage.

Return back to the dance circle. White outlines of people, them rhythmic motions, ultraviolet lamp as totem, DJ as shaman. Mystic pictures on linens between trees represent the signs of tribe. Old "volga" car, which stands with its shark nose very close to dancing people, ideally complements the picture and reminds about post-apocalyptic times, when a new people emerges - which speaks to spirits with help of technical devices.

PLUR - peace, love, unity, respect. This is their slogan, kernel of their brainware (brain software).

* * *

It was done by all people in all times. And depending on what doors collective consciousness opened, such became by collective representations of a tribe. Fact is a fact - people traditionally travel to the "changed states of consciousness". And depending on what states they go to, their consciousness depends in everyday life...

A body moves by the laws known only to itself. Dark sunglasses protect from ultraviolet. Shut eyes completely - and see the sounds... Again hours of motion, rest, bathing, dances...

It began to grizzle. Soon it became quite bright. Night of wonders was over, but a new day in which all entered renewed began. Physically tired, but with renewed hope and positive charge, people began to quietly go away...

Original text and pictures:

Doctor, I am LSD resistant

Last weekend I found myself at Aurora Festival, a 4-day electronic music festival that took place at Asprovalta, Greece.

The festival featured two stages. The main stage was dedicated to loud, fast, hardcore beats, what is most widely known as psychedelic trance music.

Music played non-stop.

The psy-trance appreciators, aka the living-dead.

And some more daylight resistant zombies.

The chill out stage featured much more diverse and therefore interesting music, according to my taste. Of course, there is always the chance that I am getting older, who knows?

By far the most interesting moment of such festivals is when the sun comes up.

The morning sun shamelessly reveals the misdoings of the previous night.

This is one of the best songs that were heard at one of the dj sets of the chill out stage, just to give you the groove!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Rock the boat baby

On 13 August, while Russian tanks were patrolling the town of Gori, I was attending the Boat Party that was taking place in the Greek island of Kalymnos.

The party was scheduled to start at 4pm. We got on board from the main dock of Kalymnos, Pothia.

There were two dj's on board that played a tasteful selection of house music. The boat was also equipped with a powerful sound system.

The boat reached the small, uninhabited island of Nera, where it stopped for an hour of "blue lagoon" diving and swimming.

And the beat went on, even during our way back.

And people got merrier and merrier.

At some point I told to a friend that was on the same boat;
"You know, I am thinking that while we are partying here, some other people in Georgia are running for their lives."

His eyes got darker, as he answered;
"It does worry me a lot. I'd like to think that as we are partying on this boat, we are helping those people, in a way. There is not much else we could do."

And the beat went on.

Update 29/8:
Check out this nice video uploaded by the Reluvin crew that hosted the event.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Army of Liars: Public Protest in Ukraine

On Saturday, 16th of August 2008 a quite interesting action took place on the central street of Kyiv, I was one of the organizers of. It was called "Army of Liars" and was aimed to draw attention to the desinformation being spread by Russian mass media about the war in Georgia.

Participants were wearing long noses - representing Pinoccio, who was a famous liar, and logos of major Russian TV stations. They were mere puppets in the hands of puppet-masters - Putin and Medvedev, who were represented by stilt-walkers.

Here are some pictures and the press release we disseminated.

(photos by Nazar Grynyk)

(taken from here)

Also some links to photogalleries at news sites:

And the press release:

Public Initiative "Army of Liars"

On Saturday, August 16 2008 dramatized march "Army of Liars" took place in the center of Kyiv.

Participants aimed at attracting Ukrainian and international public attention to the problem of disinformation in highlighting of the war in Georgia by Russian mass media.

Participants of the march allegorically present Russian mass media as an “army of liars”, puppets in the hands of Kremlin leaders. “Army of liars” has a common trait - long noses, which as that of a literary character Pinoccio grow from telling lies. Marching boldly along central Kyiv street, Pinoccios – Russian mass media chant slogans:

Who is marching friendly in a row? It’s our zombies group!
Russian mass media – clense up a brain!
We are not journalists, we are propagandists!

Activists distributed flyers among spectators with a “Gergian – Russian political military vocabulary”, which present Russian mass media language translations (“aggression” – “forcing to peace”, “soldiers of Georgian army” – “killers in a military uniform”, etc.). Kremlin puppets also carried posters with well-known quotes of George Orwells “1984” book:

War is Peace
Freedom is Slavery
Ignorance is Strength

While the military operations on the Georgian territory have been officially ceased, a large-scale informational war continues on television, in the newspapers and on the internet. We believe that Russia is using mass media as a strategic weapon for escalating confrontation between the parties of the conflict, ethnical hatred spin and for devastating reputation of all countries whose position differs from what Kremlin promotes. “A bullet kills one, while a lie kills millions,” – noted Dana Vereschagina, one of the action organizers.

In informational war Russian media use not validated information, false concepts, severely biased statements, exaggerations, discrimination of facts. This as a result harms first of all nations of the Russian Federation.

“Special attention has to be paid also to the irresponsible Ukrainian media, which in majority of cases use Russian sources about war in Georgia, thus translate Russian point of view to Ukrainians. This is POW of the country, which directly threatens Ukraine with military aggression! This can be done even unintentionally, because of lack of professionalism, which compels to search for various sources and check them before publication, - says one of the organizers of “Army of Liars” event Andriy Horbal.

“We call for Ukrainian journalists, editors of newspapers, radio stations, TV channels: great responsibility for Ukrainian future lies on you. It depends on you, whether Ukrainians will know the truth or Kremlin disinformation, ” – adds co-organizer Nazar Grynyk.

The action was organized by the ordinary citizens, not affiliated with any political parties or movements or state offices. They are united by one goal – strive for the truth and protest against manipulating public opinion, brainwashing at the state policy level and attempt to hide disastrous consequences of such actions.

Organizers and participants of the action express their condolences to all victims of the military conflict, independently of their ethnicity or nationality.

Friday, August 8, 2008

At the Throne of Zeus

The Throne of Zeus is one of the summits of Olympus mountain, home of the 12 Gods of Greek Mythology. It stands at a 2909 m. altitude.

To get there, you first need to drive to Litochoro, which is an hour drive from the city of Thessaloniki, to the south. The final spot where you park your car is called Prionia, at 1100 m. altitude.

From there you can follow a path through a forest of amazing natural beauty.

After approximately 3 hours of uphill walking, you reach the Zolota refuge located at 2100 m. altitude.

The refuge offers good food, a warm place to sleep and an amazing sunrise.

As you keep on ascending above 2100 m. the air is gradually becoming thinner. At such altitude humans are not significantly affected. However, vegetation becomes scarcer, until it disappears completely.

Turning your head towards the top, you stand in awe.

At such heights the air is clear and crisp, colors are vivid and you can only listen to the sound of the wind.

At 2760 m. stands Apostolidis refuge, the highest refuge in Greece. Located by the Throne of Zeus.

The peak of Profitis Elias (around 2800 m.) is just a 10-minute walk from the refuge. There is a small church there, entirely made of local stone.

This is where clouds are made.

Epic might be the right word to describe the views you get at such heights.

"Nature offers frames of amazing beauty to the ones that are not afraid to open their eyes" (jorge, 2008)