They say that demonstrations could change the world but how often do we think about the way the demonstrations change those taking part in it?
It doesn’t matter what kind of manifestation it is — it doesn’t have to be political or even terrestrial — as one joins any crowd it changes him. So whom are we going for — is it for ourselves or for someone out there?
These recordings taken from the oontz.ru collection illustrate the switch that happens to the marchers of different sorts.
(Voice: Hurrah! Let’s go!)
Yesterday they’ve been shouting ‘Long live the mosquitos and flies and all the creatures on Earth!’, but today they have different slogans.
(Voice: Oh-oh wind go away! Oh Sunshine show up! Oh Clouds clear up!)
The Kolor kid’s art studio arrived in Sergiyev Posad to showcase its works. The studio history dates back to 1980, and for the last 30 years they are located at the Moscow’s Zoo.
(Voice: Long live the Moscow Zoo! Hurrah!)
The Kolor studio had two opening days in Sergiyev Posad, and each day the exhibition was preceded by the parade. The first day, and the second too.
(Voice: And now — let’s croak, meow, roar! Do it your way!)
Through the paddles, across the puddles — a bunch of kids and parents with tutors in the lead.
(Voice: Now let’s roar! Long live the animals of the planet Earth!)
They are unfolding a lengthy banner. It features images of animals.
(Voice: And now let’s pretend we are the wind! Come on! Yes, that’s how we howl! Louder!)
A carmine red wall — a horse stables once, and now the museum — brings them to the starting point. It’s the same wind blowing there, and the puddles beneath are just the same. But the people have changed.
(Voice: Everyone is doing great! And now — let’s buzz like the mosquitos. Z-z-z!)
Parade, action, demonstration, procession.
Stepping on snow, on asphalt, sand, stone. Through the pedestrian crossing — not across it but along.
The easiest way to become someone else. You go along with somebody — and it’s not you anymore. You do not recognize yourself. You don’t need anything else — just walk along. And then you become someone else. You are sure to become yourself again — but later, some time later on.
When there’s no parade it’s a parade in itself.
There was a day when traffic on the main street in Sergiyev Posad have stopped for almost a week. The main street, always busy, became silent. It was a festive week — the week of celebrating the 700th anniversary of St. Sergius, the patron saint of the town.
Here’s the sound of it. The airwaves from the past.
That was the summer when the cars have stopped moving allowing the people to move on. Sunshine.
A day have passed, then the other, and one more. The policemen are approaching. They ask people to leave the road — that wide four-lane road that we were walking along all the week through. Just like cars.
You are in a slow queue. A foreign travel passport in your hand. It’s a slow walk. An airport. A queue moving towards the passport control point. One step, then another. And then — a thin line on the floor telling you to stop. A man in a uniform. A cold stare. He makes a note in your passport, but you don’t need this to know that you are not the same anymore. You may fly now. You can fly now.
Monrepos Park in Vyborg, in the north-east of Russia. The first days of October. Is there anyone who won’t through his head back upon hearing this?
(Sound: Birds voices)
You wish to think these are the geese. And that they fly south. And it wasn’t done in wain when you’ve discovered a dusty room in your memory with Selma Lagerlöf ‘s book about Nils and his travels with geese. As we may remember, Nils left his home as a total good-for-nothing but returned being a different person — a compassionate and self-giving one.
Here’s another archival recording. An ardent revolutionary speech coming from the ghetto-blaster with large speakers at each side.
(Voice: We demand: No to unemployment and poverty. Capitalism should be thrown into the dustbin of history. Nationalisation and changes in power. Out with the anti-people regime)
The communists of Sergiyev Posad celebrating the Russian Revolution anniversary.
(Voice: The government and oligarch ministers should resign)
When the rally is over they will go down — from the Lenin’s statue at the higher point in the town, down to the Eternal flame, the WWII monument.
(Voice: Socialism is the solution to recession. Glory to the Great October! Hurrah!)
Each year they go on marches like this one. There were more of them once.
(Music: The Internationale. Voice: Make it louder!)
In the revolutionary year of 1917 the protesters’ march has resulted in a date, but more often the date results in a march.
The 17th of March, the day when the Irish and the Gaelic aficionados celebrate St. Patrick, the island’s patron saint.
(Voice: Viva Ireland!)
This is the world’s only national holiday that took roots in dozens of countries abroad. And Russia is no exception.
(Voice: Joyce rule! Ireland! I love this lamppost!)
As you walk, you shout. You do can afford it as long as there’s someone walking along shouting as well. The things that look strange when you’re on your own become normal when in crowd. Don’t you shout? You are strange. Are you sure it is you?
A lot of people don’t like parades — the noisy ones, depriving you of your own self. They leave the waste behind them and empty the soul.
But the ones who don’t like it most are the politicians. They think the demonstrations are suspicious. They consider them dangerous. They invent water jets to make it not happen.
And here’s the recording of the most dangerous demonstration ever.
The water that runs down the roof under the hot sun in spring — it couldn’t be stopped. It runs because there’s no other way for it, its simple idea is just that. It doesn’t have a penny to its name. It destroys and it gives life. Returns each spring and asks for nothing . If they only knew.
(Voice: Aren’t you visiting someone in our house? No?)