Conjunctural Insurrections – “Aneftaoratos Runners’ Movement”

Aneftaoratos” is an independent runners’ movement, horizontally and non-hierarchically organised. Aneftaoratos emerged to meet the growing reclaim of the public space, quasi-released during lock-down time in Greece and other countries around the world.

The movement is formed by runners of all ages, working collectively and respectfully to the community of runners and non-runners, against the commercialised forms of street sports and mainly the discriminatory and/or sexist parole.

We run individually or in groups, our trajectories form the city, the rural country, every cross-roads, every pathway and provide them with an extra meaning. We participate in big events that halt the life of the city; these have the dynamics of a general strike, a morning one, but still! Running is a political act for us, for the fleeting re-occupation of the streets, a common good gobbled up by the commodified surroundings and the omnipresent cars.

We are dogs, our tongues flap in the wind, we are donkeys, running uphill – if and when we want to – we are goats, tumbling downhill for fun.

The road is our only country, and we couldn’t know if there is a beach beneath the streets, but if there is, dammit!, our bodies will splash first into the sea.

The name is a bit of a mouthful, we do know, it’s an issue in Greek as well. Aneftaoratos (adj.) means disappearing suddenly by running and it is mainly used in the realm of the fantastic, in island ghost stories, etc.

Stelios Lekakis is currently a researcher at the School of History, Classics and Archaeology, Newcastle University, and teaches cultural management at the Open University of Cyprus and political economy at the Hellenic Open University.

For more on Antipode’s “Conjunctural Insurrections” series – an experiment to amplify voices often unheard and invisibilised in politics, daily life, and academic discourse – see https://antipodeonline.org/2020/06/23/conjunctural-insurrections/