What kind of solidarist are you?

By Anna Czapski

Times are running fast and the situation is serious. We are facing a major existential and societal crisis. It’s quite likely that we won’t be able to play it solo, that we’ll run out of butter or that we’ll have to fix the generator.

You are probably wondering if you are ready, and at the same time, the fatigue, the eco-crisis and nerves make you want to take refuge in yourself and listen to good music inside the storm. What kind of solidarist are you?

We have, very simply, prepared a test. Let’s project ourselves in three emblematic situations.

You meet a refugee artist, let’s say, downstairs. He or she is sitting on the stoop and has received the address of your home through someone else.

  1. You greet them in the kitchen and listen politely while starting a search on your computer. You instruct them/him/her on official procedures and give them the address of Le Petit Chateau on a piece of paper. You think of offering them a glass of water. You forget to mention Globe Aroma.

  2. You welcome them in the kitchen and prepare a stoemp. The next day, you give them 100 euros. You make it a point of honour to live up to this stroke of fate. Arm in arm, you set off for five years of support. You find accommodation for your ward and give them language lessons. Your spouse has no choice. You can’t refuse hospitality. You are frequently in financial difficulty because of this situation, but you don’t tell anyone. You have managed to get your best friends and your sister on board, and they think you are great, but you berate them for not doing enough.

  3. You welcome them in the kitchen and prepare pancakes. It’s love at first sight and you are soon in your room listening to music from their country of origin while building a fire in the chimney that hasn’t been swept since 2006. They fall asleep on your bed, exhausted by their worries, and you give them little kisses. In the morning, you propose to them. You are disgusted by marriage, but you haven’t travelled much since 2006, and they make you travel.

  4. You don’t welcome them. There must be a mistake. You have never heard of the person who recommended you.

An artist friend is missing a contract to renew his or her rights to the artists’ social security. You are called upon.

  1. With your administrative rudiments and the two or three legal notions you have acquired through your experience, you explain the risks you would be taking and ask every three seconds if they understand…yes. They understand, you refuse to help them, and they are already ashamed to have asked.

  2. You get your friend to talk about their current plans and desires and find plenty of common ground between your respective approaches. You are not friends for nothing. You hire them for several weeks on your new project. Your collaborators will agree.

  3. You offer to hire them for a day. You ask him/her/them to reimburse you on the black market, and you take the opportunity to have them offer you an original piece of work, which you take a long time to choose because you find their work unequal.

  4. You call the CPAS and hide your voice. This maladjusted person is abusing the system. You have seen several toothbrushes in their bathroom and they are probably housing illegal Filipinos.

A festival suggests that you include local people in your artistic process

  1. You politely point out some basic notions. The mediation team is at your service, and they carry the honourable burden of attracting the public to your radical approach. Then you let yourself go a bit. McDonald’s and Toyota also receive public money and nobody asks them to save the world, you say. You will never be compensating for the dismantled social state. To each his own.

  2. You are in the process of questioning yourself. What’s the point of continuing as before – the concerts, shows, exhibitions – when you don’t want to end up like a dinosaur? It is urgent to imagine new relationships between all things, matters and consciousnesses, and you willingly include yourself in the pile. You valiantly accept to facilitate a collective creation where the cultural rights of each person will be respected and where the artist in each person will be able to frolic. For this, you don’t count your time and put on a musical that lasts a whole night. Caught in the trap of your megalomania, the mediators burn out but find it worthwhile. They resign at the end of the project and decide to retrain in horticulture.

  3. You accept, but there will be no audience. It’s between you and them. You need the comfort and opacity to meet for real, and the final result matters less than the process.

  4. You accept and put everyone to work on your concepts – taking the opportunity to move forward with the production of your real side project. The local people and volunteers become the workers in your new play and you think it’s a breath of fresh air for them. There’s a bit of a mess as not everyone is good with their hands, but on the whole, you stay the course. It’s a win-win situation.

What options did you choose? That explains what kind of solidarist you are.

Majority of 1

You have some recognition in your field. You are admired for your persistence and accuracy and even feared a little. You sometimes wonder if you are right-wing.

Majority of 2

You are a nice person and people around you worry and look after you. Even the refugees who are your friends hope that you will soon find some peace and time for yourself. Your social, political and aesthetic insights will win out, but certainly not in your lifetime.

Majority of 3

You are a winner. The world adapts to your desires without you being aware of it. You are always doing well and don’t always understand why everyone complains so much.

Majority of 4

You are not made to vibrate with the world. No trance visits you, and your works will never be inhabited because you don’t inhabit the world. Get a grip: there is a path, but it’s just off the highway you are on.


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