Project Solanum

Last updated / 05.06.2024
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World / Players / Lilith
Published by / User / 05.02.2024
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Lilith could be the antagonist in the film, because as an activist she gets in the way of the supposedly objective research of Hiwot and her colleagues in the Hub. Lilith will be at the center of the story, which is why we have developed a detailed backstory for her. Which stages of Lilith’s life are still missing to make her tangible as a human being? And which side of the Resolution 19 debate do you think you would be on? Let us know and become part of Project Solanum!

Also interesting: Lilith, mythology

I was born on 3.8.2038. My parents gave me the name Anna-Kaya. I grew up in Burgdorf near Bern. 2038 is six years before YD and 12 years before Resolution 19. It still felt like the Holocene. Diversity, inclusion and feminism had supposedly been successfully practiced in the West. Some were convinced that universal justice had been achieved with the X in the passport, a few extra wheelchair ramps and meat alternatives, others were relieved that with escalating climate change, one issue was taking a back seat to everything else. How wrong people were to separate social change and climate change became clear soon enough.

My parents were both artists. They had independently converted the top floor of a farmhouse into a huge loft. They worked there and raised me and my younger brother Hanno. They raised us as vegetarians and took us to demonstrations and museum visits. Initially, we went to daycare, but there were always conflicts with other children. Hanno and I were both squabblers (hens?) and we spent the whole day giving each other and other children a hard time. Our parents never intervened with their hands, but tried to solve everything with words. I have to give them credit for sticking it out, but I really don’t know how they managed it. I remember when Hanno scratched my mother’s face bloody and she still made no effort to defend herself. The daycare supervisors tried to accommodate my parents’ wishes to give us our “space for emotional expression”, but at some point they were forced to separate us from the other children, which my parents didn’t like at all. In the end, they took us out of daycare and my mother reduced her workload instead.

Money was tight because my parents lived on grants and scholarships. They refused to work to order or to bend in any other way. When the neo-conservatives gained influence in the 1940s, it became increasingly difficult for my parents to keep their art work afloat. Funding was cut, the government became more frugal. And suddenly it all happened very quickly. I was five years old when YD, the millennium drought, reached its peak and the effects were also felt in Western Europe. For the first time, my parents effectively had too little money to buy food and what we grew in our garden didn’t make ends meet. Basic foodstuffs had simply become too expensive. Although the government promised to tap into the strategic reserves, there was no end in sight to the drought and the world market was unpredictable. People realized that it would be a long-term problem.

My parents took to the streets. Against the rediscovery of nuclear power, against the cuts in social services, but above all against the seed multinationals, who were not prepared to relax their patents in order to reduce the grain shortage. On the contrary: Parliament confirmed the multinationals in their “right” to prohibit farmers from planting the purchased seed for more than one year, i.e. to use part of the harvest as seed for the following year. The authorities took rigorous action against unauthorized cross-breeding, all for fear of upsetting the all-powerful multinationals so that they would withdraw their research facilities in Switzerland.

Those who regularly met with my parents in Bern for demonstrations - the graphic designers and musicians, the social workers and historians, the workers and nurses - were no longer met with sympathy, but with aversion. There were bigger problems than perfecting social justice, they said. Suddenly, even the left was in favor of giving priority to Swiss nationals and ending the moratorium on genetic engineering. My parents couldn’t believe it, but they didn’t give up. Annual rallies turned into monthly demonstrations. Weekly actions turned into the permanent occupation of the Bundesplatz in Bern. There is a picture of me and my brother on my parents’ shoulders. Behind us is the activists’ tent village, in front of us the fortified police fences.

The occupation was tolerated for 52 days. The police announced the orderly eviction for the next day, but instead of complying, some participants wanted to confront the police. They snuck out of the tent village, filled the tanks of the emergency vehicles with sugar and barricaded the entrances. The reaction was violent. Instead of waiting, the police intervened immediately and with full force. They were joined by a mob that later established itself as the NBW, the Neue Bürgerwehr. In the chaos, the inevitable happened: those who were unable to defend themselves were the first to be crushed. The police report states that Hanno was trampled in the panicked crowd. It is not mentioned whether by boots or sandals.

As if it wasn’t bad enough that my parents had lost their son, they were dragged through the mud in the press. Raven parents, irresponsible. One newspaper even named them as the masterminds behind the violent demonstrators. A disgrace for my deeply pacifist parents. They would probably have perished from this fate had their friends and fellow activists not taken the initiative and accepted them into their newly founded commune without further ado. So the three of us were practically dragged along when the first groups of hikers formed in Switzerland as a result of the violent clashes between the authorities and demonstrators. From then on, we were part of this movement and were never to settle down again.

The activists and demonstrators were almost forced to establish a new way of life for themselves. Rejected by their parents and acquaintances, neglected by the state, ostracized by the neoconservatives. In contrast to the climate migrants in poorer regions of the world, the choice to migrate was not exclusively due to an emergency situation, but also to a political and ideological idea: when the old world no longer listens to us, we establish a new one. The first years as migrants were chaotic. We all, including the state, first had to come to terms with this new reality. At some point, the structures were created to such an extent that we were able to move organically through Switzerland, wherever the weather was most suitable and we could find resources.

Migration changes everything: your relationship to possessions, to property, your relationships, even your dreams. Before, I dreamed of flying or riding ponies. When I became a wanderer, I only dreamed of running. Running, running, running. I dreamed of blisters on my feet that turned into little monsters and ate me up from the inside and that everything was always in short supply: water, food, sleep, the patience of sedentary people. My parents had endless understanding for my whining and crying. For their part, they accepted their fate with incredible harshness. Perhaps to punish themselves for the loss of their son. I never heard them complain even once for their new life. Instead, they began to model frugality, efficiency, foresight and acumen for me. My parents basically did away with any benefits the state provided for those who migrated. Be it medical care, housing or institutional education. Instead, they taught me themselves. My parents were particularly disdainful of food donations. The food crisis was the cause of their tragedy and remained the main issue forever.

At that time, it was the year 2048, Switzerland had reached its peak population of almost 10 million inhabitants. This was solely due to immigration, as the birth rate had already been falling steadily for a decade. The high-yield variants of the multinationals were supposedly the last hope of being able to feed all these people and so the government made all kinds of concessions to the multinationals. They received money for their research, land for cultivation and state guarantees so that they could quietly expand their market power. It didn’t take long for the last argonomists in Switzerland to switch to patented variants. It seemed as if there was no alternative. But my parents proved the opposite. Like all wanderers, they began to live off the waste and surplus of the sedentary population and carefully cultivate wild harvests.

In 2050, Switzerland finally adopted UN Resolution 19 and the nationalization of agricultural land began. We didn’t notice much of this at first. We had already been on the trail for more than six years at that point and I didn’t know anything else. The composition of our group changed often. Sometimes there were only a few dozen of us, sometimes up to 100 people. We often followed the same route. In summer, we stayed on the edge of the mountain regions, which offered more and more city dwellers protection from the hot climate, and lived off the surpluses of civilization. In the fall, we moved towards the plateaus, working in the fields or harvesting our own microplots, which were scattered everywhere. In winter, we sought shelter in ruins on the midlands and waited for the onset of spring.

When I think back, it almost sounds like I’m glorifying that time. But that wasn’t the case. It was hard, unpleasant and unromantic. We were constantly fighting. With the settled people, with the authorities, with the NBW. Perhaps not (yet) physically fighting, but at least ideologically. In the 1950s, the voices of the NBW became louder and louder, introducing the slogan “sex without meaning”. Birth rates were falling steadily. There was no consensus as to whether this was for physical, psychological or social reasons, but the “need” for offspring was increasingly perceived as a cause for concern. The state began to make contraceptives more expensive and to tie them to medical or psychological certificates in order to increase birth rates, while the neoconservatives demanded nothing less than the reintroduction of the abortion ban. It was also at this time that the first stories were heard of migrants being forced to give up their children for adoption. The birth rate among the migrants was many times higher than in the settlements and many were of the opinion that migration did not allow for a child-friendly life. At the time, I didn’t want to believe that this could happen. Today I know better.

The life of the wanderers had numerous disadvantages, one of which was the lack of basic medical care. In addition, contraceptives were almost impossible to obtain. Pregnancies soared among the wanderers. I was twelve years old when I felt a sexual awakening. I expected my parents to give me every freedom here too, as they generally did in all matters, but that wasn’t the case. They didn’t want to take any risks and forbade me to have any physical contact with boys. I finally felt my parents’ resistance. At last there was a boundary that I could test. As they prevented me from having contact with boys, I simply threw myself at the girls in defiance. I thought that would make me particularly clever. So I seduced my girlfriends and persuaded them to do all kinds of physical experiments. Maybe I almost pushed them a little, now that I think about it. My parents were ambivalent about my behavior. They didn’t know what to do with it. My friends’ parents, on the other hand, vehemently demanded that I put an end to my pushy behavior. The problem solved itself anyway. At some point, the girls didn’t go along with it any more and ended their friendship with me. My parents had achieved their goal: I never got pregnant, because although I had actually acted in defiance, I discovered that I wasn’t interested in the boys anyway.

Over time, the hikers became more and more organized and began to exchange ideas with each other. In 2055, the first “Singen” took place, at which numerous groups of hikers met to exchange ideas, agree on things and make joint plans. I was incredibly excited beforehand, because somehow it felt like singing was proof that we were not just a fleeting movement, but that we had a culture of our own. The singing was sold as grassroots and inclusive, but to my astonishment, the structures were already entrenched and pre-defined before the first meeting even began. The older hikers ruled over the younger ones, the so-called Swiss ruled over the supposed foreigners and the men ruled over the women. It wasn’t just me who noticed this, my parents were also shocked that nothing had changed in the old structures. They were among those who wanted to set the principles first. Yes, they wanted to reinvent the wheel. But the majority of those in charge had no patience for this and based their decisions on tried and tested practices. The vast majority were prepared to go along with this principle and so my parents were also forced to join in. For the time being.

The spokespeople decided that the migrants should consult with the authorities to create the best possible conditions. They began to negotiate. The state was to provide resources and waive all taxes and the like in exchange for the hikers refraining from approaching the settlements. The government insisted on defining clearly demarcated areas as migration areas and asked the groups to stick to fixed routes. I was outraged. After all, it was a cornerstone of our existence that we knew no boundaries and did not submit to the government’s ideas. I joined forces with some other young hikers and we took a different direction. We wanted to set an example and prevent the signing of the treaty with an effective action. It finally felt like everyone had the same say. We unanimously decided to throw paint bombs at the spokespeople and state representatives to draw attention to those who had been left out of the decision-making process.

However, NBW informers got wind of this and our action was discovered. Although the NBW was our arch-enemy, the spokespeople of the hikers didn’t want to be talked into it by a few teenagers. Some of us ended up in prison or suffered severe consequences in our communities. I got off with a warning, but my parents were secretly very proud of me. As a result, the spokespeople took over and started to determine a lot of things. They appointed leaders, deputies and enforcers and suddenly we had the same repressive structures on which we had originally started our hike. Not everyone put up with this. There were splits, new formations and some violent clashes. My parents decided to continue on their pacifist path. They refused to follow a leader and were therefore expelled. They set out on their own journey, free from the community. As it turns out, at the right time.

It wasn’t long before the spokespeople were blinded by their newfound power. Corruption arose, hierarchies became more and more pronounced. The women had to take care of the children again, while the men made the decisions. From 2061, when the neoconservatives had gained an absolute majority in parliament, the NBW embarked on a confrontational course with the government’s approval. Patience with the, in their eyes, chaotic hikers had run out. The spokespeople did not wait long, but called on the hikers to go on the offensive too. If the state did not protect them from the NBW, they would have to defend themselves. The first skirmishes with the NBW were the result. There were kidnappings. More and more horror stories were heard of hikers whose newborn babies were kidnapped in broad daylight and never turned up again. The police just stood idly by. Their numbers were too low and as long as people were beating their heads outside the settlements, they didn’t care.

I met Anthea at this time. She was a few years younger than me and in a relationship with the son of a spokesman. Anthea was cheeky and critical and soon fell out with her fiancé’s father. Instead of standing by her, he dumped her. Anthea paid him back by claiming that she had induced an abortion. But she wasn’t actually pregnant. Nevertheless, the reaction was violent. Anthea was terribly beaten up. I cared for her for several weeks until she was able to walk again under her own steam. From that point on, we were inseparable. I realized that I was falling in love with her, but on the one hand I didn’t know whether she could develop feelings for a woman and on the other hand I had sworn never to force myself on anyone again, as I had done as a teenager. But my fears were unfounded. For Anthea, it was the most natural thing in the world that we became a couple. Who would have thought that love could be easy? We gave ourselves new names. From then on, Anthea called herself Helma, the protector, and I called myself Lilith, after the folkloric first wife of Adam, who questioned her subordinate role and was banished from the Garden of Eden for it.

It soon became unbearable for Helma and me to be part of the wanderers. Meanwhile, there were various factions. Some of them were quite peaceful and inclusive, but many groups became increasingly violent and hierarchical. We therefore decided to start our own hike. While we were on the outskirts of the mountain settlements, we heard for the first time about a movement called The Eden Front. An eye-opener for us: a movement that aimed to overcome patriarchy and capitalism in order to return to a harmonious relationship with the earth. We soaked up these words like fresh wild harvest. We snuck into settlements and attended secret meetings in basements. We expected some kind of initiation ritual or test, but to our astonishment the movement was devoid of any structure. In principle, the movement only existed in a collective sense. No single person invented it or defined it. Eden Front means something to everyone, but not exactly the same thing to anyone. In countless all-nighters, we discussed what was on our minds, where we recognized change and what needed to be overcome. Helma and I got to know like-minded people from all over the world who connected via the old, unbearably slow and therefore forgotten by the public, terrestrial Internet. We exchanged experiences and knowledge and talked about sexual, social, systemic and philosophical liberation.

I particularly remember the stories told by one member about the transmission of knowledge from the New World to the Old World at the time of Columbus. At that time, sailors returned to Europe from their travels in North and South America and brought home new plants and knowledge about these plants, which they had taken from the indigenous peoples. However, they deliberately left out any knowledge that did not correspond to their political-religious style. For example, knowledge about the peacock flower, which not only looked beautiful, but was also used by women to abort unwanted pregnancies. We even recognized hearty herbariums, seemingly innocent collections of dried plants, as part of the patriarchy. Helma and I were speechless. We had finally found our calling. We both realized that The Eden Front was the right life for us.

The Eden Front formulated three principles: We, nature, women, and minorities, are oppressed and exploited. The powers that exploit us cause us and the environment considerable harm. Any means is right to overcome this oppression, as long as it does not increase the damage done, but reduces it. In other words, we were prepared not only to be pacifists, but also to take action. All members chose their own battles. For some it meant going back to their families to effect change, others chose to work their way up the ranks of society to make a difference at the source. Still others, including Helma and I, saw it as their job to take impactful action. We knew that we were stepping outside of legality. As long as we stuck to the three principles, we could be sure of the solidarity and support of our members. Now we just had to find the right target.

One of the first actions that some members, Helma and I carried out was in 2062, when we broke into the botanical archive in Bern and stole old herbaria. From then on, we supplemented these with the knowledge that had been historically omitted and distributed copies of them like pamphlets. At the same time, the centenary of the Eurovision Song Contest was taking place, with an obscene amount of flowers accompanying the music. Among them were revived peacock plants. The use of this beautiful plant on such a money-spinning, superficial occasion perfectly epitomized the perversion of the world. We decided to present our movement to the public for the first time in the middle of the live performance. We snuck into the broadcast hall and rained thousands of drawings of the peacock plant, along with the originally suppressed knowledge, on the audience. Our members were delighted with this action, even if it only made small waves in the press. It did, however, lead to us finding the quasi-official symbol for our movement: a drawing of a flying peacock hen with a plumage of flowers that dwarfed the tail of any male peacock.

We then came to the conclusion in our small group that we saw the seed dictatorship as one of the decisive forces of oppression and wanted to continue our struggle there. Numerous members around the world had already demonstrated what resistance against fertilizer manufacturers, multinationals and grain exchanges could look like. We decided to start with a supposedly more inconspicuous part: the hubs. These research centers were globally networked and pursued the preservation of crops. In our eyes, this work exclusively benefited the overpowering multinationals and as such promoted oppression in the world. Other members’ reactions to this plan were mixed. Some continued to see science as something objective, while many others simply had qualms about targeting crop research in a global food crisis. But no one could show that we were violating the principles of The Eden Front. And so we set to work.

Helma and I decided to go back to the wanderers first in 2063. We were ostensibly remorseful for our breakaway and were able to regain the trust of the group. My parents didn’t understand my sudden change of heart and I wasn’t prepared to tell them about my new mission in life. So I had to swallow their disappointment. I know that one day my decision will pay off. So Helma and I became part of the wanderers again. We spent many months gathering information about the hubs in Switzerland. We guessed in which regions they would be located, but their exact location was kept secret by the government. We scouted out countless greenhouses and ruins during our hikes, but we still made little progress.

Now the situation among the hikers is becoming increasingly uncomfortable. The pan-European idea of the “great migration” is causing emotions to boil over on both sides and, for the first time, the government is deploying armed military units to protect the settlements. Helma and I fear that in the near future there will be violent clashes between hikers, the NBW and the police state. This will also affect many people who we value and who have nothing to do with the power games of the spokespeople. So we are about to break away from the hikers once again. But this time for good. Once again, they will not take us back. At least Helma has been informed by a member that a small cluster of greenhouses in the Swiss Mittelland has been visited by a freight train more than once in recent months. That can’t be a coincidence. Either the military is setting up a position there, or we are finally on the trail of one of the hubs. Let’s go!