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Ovi in the age of puberty
by Thanos Kalamidas
2017-12-20 11:25:26
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Ovi is 13 years old; the age of puberty. The age of sudden sentimental explosions, uncontrollable hormones and fear. Fear for the parents, not necessary for the teenagers. But that’s the thing nowadays; the problem is not in here but …out there.

Ovi had to grow to its puberty fast because out there ….Nazis entered the Greek parliament, fascist xenophobes entered the Finnish government, racists entered the Austrian government and Donald Trump became president of the USA. Puberty ends, welcome to dark reality.

13_0001_400When Ovi magazine started, thirteen years ago, we took a stand. We decided that however long it lasts, we will stand for democracy, for freedom of speech, against prejudice, racism and discrimination wherever it was coming from, wherever it was heading to. That’s what we said and that’s what we did. We talked about harassment far before Hollywood discovered it; we often warned about the compromises in the environment far before the disastrous Paris compromise and the US withdrawal, we talked about the rise of fascism and racism in Europe, the failure of the Union, the Brexit before they started becoming reality, we often talked about the Rahiya and the situation in Myanmar while everybody was awarding Aung San Suu Kyi, we made Mugabe angry when they were still calling him liberator and we warned about Donald Trump.

And now thirteen years later we stand for exactly the same things, for democracy, for freedom of speech, against prejudice, racism and discrimination in a world that chooses to go against. Nowadays discrimination, fake news, corrupted politicians is the mainstream reality and this thirteen-year-old feel more alone because even its freedom to exist is threatened, USA kills internet neutrality. And this is all about stupid capitalism and Ovi cannot battle Breitbart and the Bannons of this world, money. It’s simple as that. They are the new reality and their illusions have to be our facts.

And while I use examples from USA that doesn’t mean that things are any better in Europe. More Bannons and more Trumps grow everyday all around, fake news, conspiracy theories and racism mixed with fascism are showing in every aspect of our social life.

On a more personal level, I feel somehow disappointed. I’m coming from this generation that fought racism and prejudice. I’m coming from this generation where war memories were a reality inside our houses. I’m coming from this generation we thought we won the Nazis for good. I’m coming from this generation we thought we won equality. And in my old age I have to deal with Donald Trump, Timo Soini, Nikos Michaloliakos, Marine Le Pen. I have to deal with the questioning of the Geneva Convention or the existence of the United Nations; I have to choose between ethical and legal.

Having seen all that, thirteen years seem like a really long time. But then again standing for your believe it becomes far more important now than it was thirteen years before. Now it’s a case of survival.

You see, I’m afraid we reach the point where: Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

Thirteen years and Ovi is not alone, Ovi magazine has two new siblings to pumper. Ovi Greek becomes two years old today and Ovi Croatia just born. In an effect to create a front and stand for democracy, for freedom of speech, against prejudice, racism and discrimination wherever it is coming from, wherever it is heading to.

Of course a big thank you and a greater bravo to all these people who contribute daily with articles, poems, illustrations, short stories, photographs and so many other ways and naturally a big thank you to all the people who read Ovi magazine fully aware in what we are standing for and silently standing with us.

Happy 13th birthday Ovi – Happy 2nd birthday Ovi Greece – Welcome Ovi Croatia, the fight goes on!


PS To honour our newborn Ovi Croatia, we just published a book in Croatian! And you can find it HERE!

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