La Muse d’Anaphé from the Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg is not the only “famous” archeological artifacts from Anafi depicting a woman. You have probably already come across the female head statue from the Louvre museum. Mario García Torres dedicate an artwork to her for Phenomenon 2.

When I was searching for information on the Muse at the Archives Nationales of Saint-Denis, I came across some interesting documentation about the Louvre statue. This statue was also bought by Consul Alby in 1823 in Anafi, he also kept it captive in his Santorini residence until the late 19th century when the statue somehow landed on a chimney in the living room of a bourgeois apartment at 8, rue Garancière, in the 6th arrondissement of Paris. It was acquired by Armand Prospère Faugère, also a French diplomat, just like Alby.

Following his death, Faugère’s widow, Mrs. Marie Eloise Garnou, wrote in her 1895 will: “I donate to the Louvre the ancient Greek head in white marble which is on the chimney in the living room.”

The Louvre very graciously accepted the donation but not before an inhouse expert evaluation. The report evaluated the statue at approximately 1000 francs. It was January 27th 1900. (Piergiorgio Pepe, research notes, 2019.)



A central task of every social and political movement is to allow new subjectivities to take the floor or, as they say in French, to take the word (prendre la parole). The various encampments and occupations, for example, that have continually sprung up since 2011 have all, with difficulties and shortcomings but nonetheless effectively, constructed sites of “taking the word.” Taking the word, however, is not just a matter of being allowed to express yourself, and it is much more than the freedom of speech. Taking the word means transforming words themselves, giving them new meanings, those that are bound to new social logics of action and behavior. Taking the word also means getting out of yourself, escaping from solitude, encountering others, and constructing community. In both of these senses taking the word is a process of translation. (…)

Taking the word in this first sense treats the key terms in our political vocabulary as if they were a foreign language in need of translation in line with the ways that we live and act today. Sometimes this involves coining new terms but more often it is a matter of taking back and giving new significance to existing ones. What does democracy really mean now? What does it mean to be free? The political translation of these terms is not invented in the abstract or in the void, but rather materializes in collective practices. In this way, then, taking the floor, taking the word, emerges in reality or, better, it produces a “taking of reality.” (…)

Some terms that were once subversive have certainly been misused, obscured, and emptied of meaning—but we may be able to uncover their former vitality. More significant and useful are efforts to translate traditional concepts into our new realities, bringing words into a constitutive relation with social practices as a key to activating passions and movements, oriented forward. Every radical enterprise in political thought has to redefine our political vocabulary. Taking the word also means translation in a second sense, since it must always involve plural speaking subjectivities. No one should hope or imagine to take the word today in order to speak the party line, which all must repeat ad nauseam. That would be a completely dead language, a wooden language. Instead taking the word in a living way must empower heterogeneous voices and “heterolingual” communities, to use Naoki Sakai’s term, who, although each speaks as in a foreign tongue, are nonetheless able to translate one another and communicate. (…)

The process of translation required here—which is at once linguistic, cultural, social, and political—is able to situate singularities in the common; it is a kind of commoning. But note here, as we have repeated before, the common does not mean “the same” and does not imply uniformity. On the contrary! The common is a platform for heterogeneity, defined by the shared relations among its constitutive differences. (…)

The image in the original frontispiece of Leviathan, which Hobbes himself commissioned, shows the body of the king as constituted by the bodies of all the male subjects of the English nation—an elegant and ingenious depiction of the unity among the people, the nation, and the sovereign. Imagine if we could re-create that image now with radically heterogeneous raced and gendered bodies in all their singularity, moreover bodies in motion, encountering one another, speaking different tongues, but nonetheless able to cooperate in both shared and conflicting relations. The image of such a multitude would depict how the processes of translation -taking the word- subvert the structures of sovereignty and construct the common. (Hardt and Negri, Assembly, Oxford University Press, 2017, p. 153.)



The island reverted to Italian rule in 1307 when the Gozzadini, a Bolognese family living in Greece, recaptured it. Pirate raids continued, and local folklore claims that the villagers used to throw beehives down onto the pirates. By the early fifteenth century Anafi was ruled by William (Guglielmo) Crispo (1390-1463), who is said to have built the fortress (kastro) on the rock above the village. Traces of the original building still remain, but were greatly damaged in the Santorini earthquake of 1956. William is said to have built another fortress, named in some sources as ‘Gibitroli’ (Philippson 1899: 112, Eberhardt 1977: 579), at the eastern end of the island (see Rosaccio map, page 15). William became Regent of the Duchy of Naxos during the infancy of the next Duke (at the time of the fall of Constantinople in 1453), and later became fifteenth Duke, leaving his only child, his daughter, Florence, in charge of Anafi (called ‘Namfio /Namphio/ Nanfio’ in Italian). (Margaret E Kenna, Anafi – A brief guide, 2019, p. 12-13)



Compared to the smooth and monochromatic, marble aesthetics of neoliberalism and virtual capital, commonism at first sight seems to be giving birth to a particularly ungainly child. What it presents is truly a monster, reconciling everything that is in fact irreconcilable. Those who immerse themselves in social life for the first time indeed tend to miss the simplicity of numbers, the helicopter view of statistics, and the abstract beauty of sound mathematical proof. In addition, the working, stressed-out bodies that populate the social domain produce a bouquet of sometimes poignant odours. The financial economy can only maintain its clean pure form by keeping bodies and polluting practices at a safe distance. In the commons, however, economy and labour are reunited, as things are reunited with people, people with animals, culture with nature, the young with the old, including colours and shapes that frequently clash. People sometimes engage in verbal fights, only to embrace each other intimately at other times. Perhaps the best analogy for commoning is forbidden love. (N. Dockx, P. Gielen, Commonism, A New Aesthetics of the Real, Publisher Valiz, 2018, p. 80-81.)


June 2019