May 1

To me - as someone who has grown up under a dictatorship in Iraq -- the notion of a civil protest and repetitive forms of demonstration -- are an interesting object of study and intervention. Are the democratic forms of protest efficient and do they have an actual affect on change and strengthening democratic values? Or are they are just powerless forms of civil gathering without real political influence, and are slowly becoming just public rituals? A night before the action, I learnt about 1st of May anti-fascist demonstration and found it, from my perspective of frustration as a refugee, rather naïve. It had to do a lot with my experience of inevitability of a war, which cannot be stopped from happening through the means of citizen protest. In parallel, I thought about the uniformed visual message of pursuing a political position such as the longhaired pacifists or head-shaved neo-Nazis. With a hair clipper, I went to the anti-fascist gathering and started shaving my head when trying to talk to peace demonstrators and convince them to shave their heads too. I am trying to reclaim a bald head for everyone and free it form neo-Nazi references. At the same time I encountered a lot of oppositional opinions and by throwing myself into this situation I got to know how young people understand, follow and disseminate their understanding of anti-fascist position and the demonstration as a form of civil protest.