Business is more gangster than politics

Faiz Abhuani at city hall: asking for concessions to help Brick by Brick build affordable housing.

Faiz Abhuani at city hall: asking for concessions to help Brick by Brick build affordable housing.

Yesterday I met with Marie Deros, city councillor for Parc Extension. It was an interesting experience that reminded me of a lesson that I still struggle to assimilate: don’t be afraid of anyone. Having no reason to trust someone is not a reason not to trust them.

Needless to say, Marie and I don’t see things in the same way. But that goes without saying: the place from which we intervene offers a different perspective, we work with tools made of different material, and we were born in very different circumstances. After our respective rhetorical exchanges - first my sales pitch, her critique, my demands, her rebuttal, an authoritative re-establishment of balance, followed by a concluding exchange of mutual recognition and praise - I found it easy to find common ground.

At the end of the day, it seems to me that those who work with the means at their disposal to mould the world around them and make social life more interesting, meaningful, and beautiful all have one thing in common: they are political artists or artisans.

I have also met with Rafik Bentabbel from the opposition, who reached out to me, and I felt the same impulse from him. It’s strange to appreciate a form of art that has been so spoiled, but perhaps one day politics will be an outdated and ineffective medium of social control, like radio and cable television. Of course, if it’s between power politics and the matrix I’ll suffer through a few more elections and avoid talking about my work as political.

Business is more gangster anyway.

Speaking of business: