The Anarchists from the White Mountains
From the deeply personal perspective of his own meeting and fascination with the mountains, the Danish poet and sound artist Morten Søndergaard tells the story of how the anarchist movement arose among the stonecutters of Carrara. “You have time to think a thing or two when you sit and hew stone all day,” he remarks of the men and families who did the dangerous, underpaid work of sawing out the prized marble, more famous in art history for the mythologising tale of Michelangelo’s talent for choosing exactly the right block. Via detours past Walden Pond and anarcho-primitivism, Kropotkin and Bakunin, Asger Jorn and Guy Debord, as well as mutualism among organisms, Søndergaard asks us to reflect on the continued relevance of anarchist thought, not as an end in itself but as a route towards a better lifeworld, a renewed appreciation of the multiplicity and contradiction that is alive all around us.
This English translation updates the Danish text originally published in Pist Protta no. 84, and is accompanied by black and white photographs from the mountains of Carrara and the nearby towns where the anarchist movement took root.