From Chile to Beirut, from Paris to New York, we experience the insane demands placed on us by this world in the most intimate ways: in our hearts, minds, and especially our bodies. The cruelty manifests not only in the sudden flare-up or chronic conditions – illness, pain, depression – but in a perverse dispossession of our physical capacities, our inability to inhabit our bodies, to never feel at home within ourselves. This world doesn’t just make us sick, it makes us weak.
This guide was designed to help us overcome these obstacles and put us in touch with our own power. Written by Mila, with design and illustration by Eros Dervishi, it’s a roadmap to building collective strength, whether we’re hitting the streets, hopping a turnstile, or defeating an enemy. And it starts with dwelling within ourselves and looking out for one another.
Written for insurgents, this guide is a starting point for the beginner but may also be helpful for the seasoned gym-goers and even athletes. These are methods that I have seen practiced everywhere from high levels of sports to overworked patients experiencing chronic pain. It is not meant to make you an elite athlete, but rather to help you become stronger and more confident in your body and the environment around you. Obviously, building basic physical capacities is also helpful when order begins to break down and we once again meet each other in the street. But this isn’t a field book for training those antifa supersoldiers we’ve all heard so much about. It’s a sort of minimum program, aimed at constructing a base of physical power from which you can build.
We feel stress every day, not just as an emotion but physically: as fatigue, pain, and inflammation. The conditions of our hellworld are set up to hold us in this state – driving in large killing machines across the city, we spend our days slaving away, only to return home exhausted and still drowning under the weight of financial responsibilities. Stress is not just “in our heads,” it’s real. This chronic underlying state of perpetual stress makes us feel like we’re headed towards death without ever having lived.