Little Blue Stickers

Nick Conomos on his involvement in a movement responding to Greece’s resounding ‘no’ vote.

Nick Conomos on his involvement in a movement responding to Greece's resounding 'no' vote.

In order to rise from the current economic crisis in Greece, only unity can provide a viable solution. Blaming others, squabbling and in-fighting only worsens the conditions at hand. This may seem obvious, but it is often restrained from practice. Rather than focus on divisive politics or point the finger, four university societies in Sydney came together to assist those in need through action. ‘Mazi’ in Greek means “together”, and centred around this word and concept they started a movement of unity; of togetherness. The movement is for the people, for those suffering the effects of the past five years of economic crisis. Suffering unknowingly, often without reason given or understood.

When we think of Greece most of us imagine beaches with crystal clear water, warm undying sunshine, feta cheese and olives. After five years there exists another side to Greece. Imagine pensioners rummaging through street bins searching for food; the homeless shooting up in broad daylight, in the centre of town. Streets of empty, deserted shops, graffiti covered walls, and beggars the only people present to notice those who pass. Both of these images exist together now.

On Sunday the Greek people voted a resounding ‘no’ in the referendum, against further austerity measures. All hope rests on an agreement between debtor and creditor. But there exists more behind the facade of chants for cause and ideology; more behind the political Russian roulette played by the Syriza and the Troika. Lives of the present and future generations are at stake. Only unity can solve this problem, without political division. That is why we stand ‘mazi’ with the Greek people. They have the right to determine their own future, and to ensure its success we support them in their endeavour. The time of suffering is over. We look to the rebirth of an ancient people.

As you read this, little blue stickers are being spread around Sydney. Written on them is the hashtag #mazi. Photos on Instagram mark the spread of the movement across suburbs, and information and stories from the crisis are shared through our Facebook page Mazi. By raising awareness of the effects of the crisis, we aim to enlighten people that there exists more behind the numbers and stereotypes. We encourage all people to continue to travel to Greece. There is no crisis with the sun or the sea. We encourage investment and support of Greek businesses. We strive to serve as an active, cohesive part of multiculturalism in Australia, uniting all under a cause of assisting those in need. And we aim to make a real difference. The larger the movement grows the more opportunities arise before us. Join us.

A wise friend once explained to me the Greek psyche. It was presented as a parable about dancing, and can be translated easily for all of humanity. Greeks love to dance and we have many different types. Some regional, some celebratory and some for mourning, but one thing separates these dances. When we dance together we celebrate. The music is fast and lively. We join hands and circle together in unison. When we dance alone, the music is slow, heavy and sorrowful. Each takes their turn to dance like a drunk, raw emotion bleeding from their troubled heart. We mourn for their sorrow and watch on as they lament through physical action. Only together do we feel happiness. Only together can we surpass crisis. Today, the music has changed, its tempo increased in speed. It’s time to join hands; join the dance. Be mazi with us.