Cops, anarchy, and feather boas.

Police by aeroplang
Police, a photo by aeroplang on Flickr.

Cops are a state apparatus that make me really nervous. Usually I avoid even looking at them, if possible. Much less talking to them, and almost never taking their picture. But during Athens Pride, I couldn’t pass up on the opportunity to capture all of these young men standing, watching the parade go by.

Greece is not exactly a bastion of tolerance. In the city, people don’t really mind, but the kind of casual homophobia that has increasingly come under fire, particularly on the coasts, in the US, exists freely even in cosmopolitan centers.

The cops, as an institution, are increasingly a force of conservatism and control. The cops are diametrically opposed to the anarchists, who are overwhelmingly the forces pushing for the kind of social change that is imagined on and disseminated through the Internet.

One young woman, attending the parade with her girlfriend, effectively bridged the gap between the two politics, the two identities, by spray painting in pink paint, on the marbles in front of the Parliament building “γκλιτερ, βια, αναρχια” or “glitter, violence, anarchy”.

But despite my nature disinclination to make eye contact with the cops, I could not resist this picture. Their expressions, as they watch this parade going by, blasting music, everyone dancing, waving flags and feather boas… The way that not even the most discomfited among them can repress a little smile at the infectious good feeling permeating the air.

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