Fernando Bárcenas Castillo is a young anarchist, musician and student at the Vallejo University of Human Sciences – Mexico City. He is twenty years old and was arrested on 13th December 2012 during a protest against the increase in the price of metro tickets. He was accused of burning the Coca-Cola Christmas tree, and since then he’s been in the North prison in Mexico. In December 2014 he was sentenced to five years and nine months on charges of attack on public order and organized crime. He appealed and is waiting for the decision. In prison Fernando has been organizing several information projects such as fanzines and the anti-prison paper ‘El Canero’.
Thoughts on the paper ‘El Canero’ by Fernando Bárcenas,
North Prison, Mexico City, June 2016
‘El Canero’ project was born from hours of boredom, shared discussions and thoughts in the isolation cells in zone 3 of the admittance area, observing the routine and realizing that we always have to start again; that is how the need to give back some meaning was born.
What was the meaning of really struggling against domination and the State?
Did it still mean anything to continue to blindly believe in my ideas?
My head filled with questions then I realized that I needed to find a way to not succumb to anguish and despair…
At first I started writing to begin a dialogue with myself, then as I devised the way to materialize my inner freedom I used it as a place of introspection starting from the point I found myself with my jailers, my subjective prisons, my authoritarian and submissive attitudes, a place that only became meaningful by finding myself and that has in fact become an instrument to regain trust in my unique and free individuality.
Then came the questions.
Did it make any sense to write for oneself?
What was needed to smash the barriers of isolation?
The endless questions led me to one and only one answer: ‘Write!’
If freedom is indispensable and appreciated like life itself, to the point that we are capable of sacrificing our life rather than submit it to slavery and chains, then why not struggle to spread it and make it possible for others to experiment the sensation of freedom and fullness that it gives us and runs through our body every time we escape from legal boundaries, social norms, here and now?
We are protagonists of revolt and for every decisive act we see ourselves as beings capable of self-determination, of taking back our lives and going ahead in a coherent way towards the experimentation and creation of new forms of relations, without turning into social institutions in doing so. For this reason both inside and outside the material prisons we need to reflect and ask ourselves: are we content to live in submission to such conditions? Do we want to destroy reality or do we just want to transform it? But above all we need to know if we really made this choice, if it is really ours.
North Prison, Mexico City
Translated from French by act for freedom now!