Day #15 Sept 24th Kalamazoo, MI

Kets: Hey hey, a day packed with impressions was ahead of us. Two people from the crew went to a museum in Detroit that morning while the other half stayed in the punk complex to do some exercise with SEAN T. My body is heavy from many weeks of not moving much and especially the last two weeks spent sitting in the van and on chairs by the presentations, that will not change for the next two months though. But moving is fun! Even when I feel weak it is pure pleasure to get sweaty and feel my pulse racing. I love my body – trying not to be ashamed of taking space, dancing or exercising however it looks like, is for me part of that love. Sometimes someone might make a joke, that we look serious or silly, but whatever. There are parts of my body that I might want to hide when I’m doing certain movements, but I guess that’s part of MY “fat-ctivism” to try get over it and let go of valuing different parts of my body according to if they are firm, wobble, hang, are big or not. Me and Sasha tries to pep Z that “it’s only for 25 minutes!” when he wants to leave us after 20. We finish the last 300 seconds while Z starts to prepare a really nice meal for the whole crew. Food doesn’t prepare itself so sometimes we find that we’re too optimistic about how early we can go back to the road again.

A little late, but still in acceptable time, we start heading to Ann Arbor.

In the university of Michigan, there is something called “the Labadie Collection”. It is an archive, which is over a 100 years old, containing radical material, posters, newspapers, letters, pamphlets, fliers, communiqués and books related to anarchist struggles and other radical social movements.

B had already organized a visit for us, beforehand, to this archive and had told us that we should request what we would want to see from it, since it is so big and it’s not possible to just browse around it (though I think you can partly do that online).

Julie Herrada, the current safe-keeper and responsible wielder of this archive, had picked out some specific material and prepared some boxes for us that she thought we might be interested in. She brought us to a room where there was enough table space for us to open folders and look through all the different texts and pictures. There where very old magazines from Brazil, books and texts from Czech(oslovakia) and more…

After about half an hour of us looking through stuff individually, she called us together to show something very special. Out of the treasure box she showed us letters between Alexander Berkman and Emma Goldman, along with a lot of identification documents of Emma. Touching the papers that those famous, fierce anarchists had themselves written on and touched was a bit unreal. I don’t easily get starstruck, but this was pretty cool. Ramona was totally overwhelmed though, when reading what Alexander had written in the tomb prison, in the dark, maybe he thought he would die there.

We took selfies holding Emma’s IDs and I think we had to restrain ourselves a little from not acting childishly excited.

I want to send huge greetings of gratitude to Julie and her assistant Eve who made possible this visit and offered us their time to show us some things from this awesome archive.

The presentation for tonight had been organized by some young people of the “peace center” which is a political university group. They had a little office in the basement of a church so we could use a big meeting space there. M was a super-cool, positive and intelligent person who had not only set this up, and brought interested friends, but as well came with a great dinner! Thank you very much.

I was way to tired and had a growing headache so I slept in the van for a few hours and then joined the others when the presentation and formal discussion was over. Best idea ever, I felt like a new person and even got to speak personally to a few people who hadn’t left yet.

We dropped M at her house and then continued driving overnight towards Grand Rapids…