Suffled How it Gush: A North American Anarchist in the Balkans
Shon Meckfessel appropriates the peculiar slogan of an Albanian mineral water company as the title for this uniquely intellectual book. Equal parts journalism, history, and personal memoir, Suffled How it Gush records Shon’s travels throughout ex-Yugoslavia and the greater Balkans region, chronicling the beauty of an area too renowned for its ugliness.
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“Shon Meckfessel bathes in undercurrent discourses and points us to Balkan dynamics contradicting the nationalist loyalties that distort people’s lives. Rather than making ethnic claims or endorsing any hierarchy, he clarifies existing struggles against states and points toward a region free of domination.” —George Katsiaficas, activist and author of Subversion of Politics: European Autonomous Social Movements and the Decolonization of Everyday Life
“Shon Meckfessel takes on the impossible task of unraveling the cultural and political mysteries and incongruities of the post-war Balkans, a world where dictionaries are constantly rewritten and Vegeta on every shelf represents ‘globalization as hope.’ In a landscape torn by racism and violence, he finds truth and beauty emerging from old men without socks, bottles of rakija, clouds of pigeons over Sufi booksales, and punk rock love amidst crushed mint.” —Kari Lydersen, author of Revolt on Goose Islandand co-author of Shoot an Iraqi: Art, Life and Resistance Under the Gun
“[Shon] is a perfect collector of the ruminatings of the denizens of the Balkans as they wrestle with the difficulties—imposed and organic—of polyethnicity. Meckfessel’s patient portraits, which delve deeply into the illogic of the nation-state itself, deserve wide readership.” —Daniel Burton-Rose, co-editor of Confronting Capitalism
“This work reads like a novel, but it’s real journalism; Shon went hunting for truths and brought them back for us.” —Michael Muhammad Knight, author of The Taqwacores and The Five Percenters: Islam, Hip Hop, and the Gods of New York
grew up in Sacramento, California. He has resided in and traveled throughout North America, Eastern and Western Europe, and the Middle East. He has spent three years in the Balkans, over eleven different trips (and counting). Previous publications include an essay in Confronting Capitalism: Dispatches from a Global Movement (Soft Skull Press, 2004) and a number of articles in literary and political periodicals. He first visited the Balkan peninsula in 1999, and was just feeling at home when NATO began bombing it; upon returning to the US, he found that many who opposed the bombing supported the same nationalist dictatorships that were brutalizing his new-found friends. Attempts to address that situation resulted inSuffled How It Gush. He currently resides in Seattle, working as an English as a Second Language instructor, and is pursuing a PhD at the University of Washington in Language and Rhetoric.