Prompt photo: Pixabay
They were going to put them there to remember, they said. To frame the recollections of the community, so none of what had happened be forgotten. That’s what they said.
It was meant as a memorial of sort, they said. A referendum of the eye. Intended to draw the faces upwards and lend a sense of a somber chaos, carefully controlled.
Perhaps it was all that. Yet it was so much more.
For the installation was also meant to keep the chairs out of reach. To take away the possibility of seating. To have people stand and look and move on, rather than linger or make themselves oh-too-comfortable. Again.
Because it was the idleness – those in power believed but did not say – that had led to the gatherings and speeches and protests and that weekend party-turned-riot. People got too comfortable in using public spaces as if those were a right rather than a privilege. They sat. They lingered. They huddled together and began to think they should have the power to decide how they passed their spare time, where and who with they sat. Mutiny, it was.
The police were sent to squash it.
And put all the chairs up.