When I set out this year with Basti, we didn’t have a plan, or any fixed notion of what lay ahead. It was about going into the shadows, to take a look for ourselves. So much troubled me before setting off; what we’d discover, how we’d be received, whether we could make a contribution. In particular, I had a deep sense that there was a darkness over Europe. I feel it still. It seems to have many forms. There seems to be so much fear. Suspicion of others. There seems to be so much worry of ourselves and our own lives, that traditional European values – looking out for your neighbour, putting someone in need first, looking after children, empathising with what someone else has gone through – seem to be forgotten, or at least somehow suspended. There is nothing political about this video. It’s just some clips put together by a couple of friends, trying to muscle up, make something of value, and to record what’s in front of them. What I can say, is that as we stepped into the shadows we found nothing to fear. In fact, I feel like we discovered its opposite. The heart of humanity. That heart lives in the darkness of the chest, beneath the light. But it causes life. That’s how I feel about the people I met along the journey. And I mean all of them – the refugees, the aid workers, the locals, the volunteers, the Europeans. This journey has somehow become a metaphor for what I value most in life. And not because of anything sentimental – but because in so much of my own doubt, I discovered a renewed faith in things. And in so much of the hurt and destroyed lives of the people I met, I found a dignity, a compassion, a love, which seemed on the surface so at odds with what they were “meant” to feel. The song is not political. It’s not about Brexit, Grexit, anarchism, hooliganism, militantism, this-ism, that-ism. It’s about taking a step back because no matter what colour, class, creed or culture, we do have to cross this river together. Whether one likes it or not. So yup, I do think its time to overcome, to be renewed, to take a leap of faith, to discover something higher, to dam well believe that something is possible other than whatever is in front of us today. A challenge either makes you who you are, or it makes you become a coward. And I have too much dam faith in people and in things to believe that the future of our continent, or our planet can, or will, be based on cowardice. And the more I journey the more I believe that there is a greater undercurrent growing, world wide, of people who believe the same thing. And all the rest, the wars, the bombs, the corruption in the financial markets, the vested interests, the inability to empathise, is just temporary, just surface. Because fuck it, regardless, there is nothing more revolutionary than love. And nothing more enduring.
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