Becoming Cockroaches @ Syntagma Square

A presentation of Pavlos Hatzopoulos (Greece)

Mr Pavlos Hatzopoulos tried to explain the way occupants of Syntagma Square acted by comparison to cockroaches. But not as a collective identity or just another of the insect’s aspect, but how people tried to find ways to express themselves through the occupy movement, how people got out and avoided censorship, as well as cockroaches survive and find way out to light.

This was not just an ephemeral transformation of the 99% of collecting identity, not even a political project or a public spaces conversation.

Mr Hatzopoulos believes that their commons can be placed in their becomings, not in linear or genealogical reasons, a new generation of activists trying to change the world. It was a happening that came out of the economic/material happenings of the crisis that is affecting the world which unites. People who suffocated because of the crisis, tried to endure it and survive just like cockroaches do best.

When we become cockroaches, we do not become less than we are, but we expand ourselves beyond the Syntagma Square, creating possibilities. As people are disassociating themselves from the social networks, they adopt a kind of asymmetric politics using the call to occupy everything, creating occupying zones.


In these occupy zones, the movement is being created by multiple becomings. One of these becomings and occupy zones is the internet. Where Social Media are being “occupied” by protesters. Even if in some occurrences, online social media are being censored but people like cockroaches, like machine cockroaches this time, they find their way around, either by protesting to facebook to take back a page it deleted or by changing IPs in order to keep a site/blog active to a censoring country.

These movements and becomings are being absorbed by hashtags, pages and groups of social media.

These are different than previous forms of activism, such as clicktivism and petitioning online.

Even the Social Media that try censor, delete them or the governments that try to cut off their connections to the web cannot stop them, because they act like cockroaches and they find their way around.

Pavlos Hatzopoulos (left)

But these becomings, are not just some people with commons that are becoming groups, but people with different mindsets, opinions and views that through similar instances of becomings, are connecting with each other, spreading among a medium and through different mediums to create a movement as such that no-one has seen previously.

That is our era, our networked 21st century. People are becoming cockroaches, in order to survive, transform and bring change, both on the online and the offline world.