Thursday, 4 June 2009

Tank Man Tango

Yesterday I received an email from my friend Trudy:
Your participation is welcome to this international memorial for Tiananmen Square, on the 20th anniversary: 4 June, 2009. It's an ephemeral memorial made of dancing bodies in homage to the lone man who stood up to the tanks. A dance routine has been choreographed based on the movements of this man. This commemorative dance will be known as Tank Man Tango, it will take place in dozens of cities around the world and will be streamed on the Internet.
This afternoon I joined a group of people gathered to do the Tank Man Tango. Here some of us are, posing for the photographer from the local paper. Kerry stands in the foreground, embodying the Goddess of Democracy, the 10 meter tall statue created by the Chinese students as part of the Tiananmen Square protests.

I live in a small peaceful town, faraway from places where democracy is not tolerated, where violence is the answer if you dare ask the question. I thought that I would go this afternoon, do the dance and come home to cook a nice hot dinner. But as I moved my body, and shook my arms in defiance, I thought: I stand for something.

I opened up the paper this morning and read about still more violence perpetrated against Indian students and now Chinese students too. I stand for these students. We all shook our plastic bags, imitating the man who stood bravely before the tanks 20 years ago. I stand for that man. I try to avoid buying anything packaged in plastic, so the irony of waving my toxic pompoms was not lost on me. I stand for what the plastics industry doesn't give a shit about.

We stomped out the movements of one person's dance of anger against his government. I stand for just one person. He swung his arms and stomped his opposition onto his rightful place to be free on his land. I stand for his freedom. I stand for his right. I stand for the rights of all people to stomp their dance on their own land. I stand for their dance. I stand for your dance. And I stand for the people who don't have hands to flail, who don't have bags, who don't have legs, who don't have land. I stand for the land.


Doctor Plog said...

Thank you for standing up for the others. If only the world had a hundred thousand more Megs ...

Professor Paw Paw said...

Hi Meg,

the Sydney crew just did our 90 min tango vigil on the Opera House steps

however, to hear about you guys doing in a small town really excites you- it is just so beautiful to hear about it, Meg- where do you live?

warmest regards

(Text)ure and (me)aning said...

......... and you stand tall

the way a memorial should be I think, full of life
and full of action

lovely post .

Anonymous said...

How beautiful, Meg, how great to hear

The Garden of Self-Defence said...

Tank man; dancing is our country path.

one of your best, heavenly M.

ms. delisha said...

water wells in my eyes.
a beautiful expression of anger and righteousness.
your words.
your dance.


zwizki said...

Great post, Meg!

WriterBee said...

Wow! What an amazing piece of writing from an amazing person.
I love your description of how you thought you'd do your small bit and then go home to cook, but that the power of your dance overtook you.
The piece grows in power along with you and carries us with it.
I salute the writing, the sentiments and the writer.

Anonymous said...

thankyou .

It grew like that, didn't it.

It became hypnotic and very moving.
On the road, going on, beside each other.

Can I borrow yr photo for my fb page?


Sian said...

I have enjoyed this blog for sometime but this post is my favourite so far...
Here's to you Meg and the dance you dance :o)

Meg said...

My friend Trudy just sent me this link: how the Tank Man Tango was danced around the world.