522 - The death of the memory and the memory of the death

N. Lygeros
Translated from the Greek by Athena Kehagias

When we chose, following 1974, the symbolic code phrase “I wantn’t forget” we could not predict all its future interpretations. This code phrase, which became the symbol of the Cypriot struggle, was the only thing we could do at that period.
Without weapons, the only thing left to us was our memory. And even though many of us held it tightly in their hands as a precious wood, their whole world was nothing but memory. A memory wound. And the black dressed mothers have not ceased to remind us. They never lowered the fists of resistance. Other fighters fought all these years, in order for us not to forget the violent invasion. Without weapons, they did not allow us to fight for our Cyprus. But they were unable to erase our memory. And all these years became for the fighters, the years of resistance, the resistance of the memory.

Now, all these memories which struggled isolated for so long, can come together again. Not only to continue to fight together, but also to live together. This does not mean that the occupation system fell. No! The struggle of the liberation of Cyprus is still long. Only now, we are not alone anymore, and we could fight on both sides of the last wall of shame in Europe. Recently we see images daily, which belonged just in our memory. Every day our memory comes to life more and more. And if that hurts some of us, it only means that our memory is still alive and aching. Only the death of memory does not hurt. Some do not accept the new data which strengthens our struggle and they prefer to shut their eyes and hold on to their old memories which contain only melancholy. Whereas, the memory must be combative and to create the future. Because through the memory of death, there is life.

Many who killed their memory in order to live in tranquility, far from the cries of the mothers, now want to use our memory in order to prohibit life.
Others, who only know how to push against walls, do not want to see the open gates of time.
They still play the same role, but the scenario has changed.
Now the task of our live has began in Cyprus, and that needs all the people of Cyprus and not them alone.
Because now Cyprus is Europe. Though it is still besieged, it is free in our thoughts and in our memory. But this freedom should also be life. That is why our struggle is not over.
The wall of shame is not the only wall which has to collapse.
Each house which is inhabited by foreighners, each church that does not celebrate mass, is also a wall.
Our resistance must therefore be found everywhere and to exert more and new pressures on the occupational regime, because it is the only way to change things.

The death of the memory was an easy way for some to live in tranquility.
While the memory of death is the only way for us to live a new future.
It’s therefore not enough to say “We Wantn’t Forget” and do nothing in particular regarding it.
Only when we do not forget the future, the future of our homeland, the future of our children, we realize that it is our duty to do something. Because the future is what is life. This is what the memory tells us. Therefore, with the new data that our visionaries cause to happen, we must fight in new ways