02-31 July 2020

The Future has been Bad

I got the invitation to be part of Future Forecast at the strangest time imaginable. It arrived after 5 months of protests here in Chile. For the past 30 years, Chile had lived with the false promise of a better future, and finally, the belief in a future that was clearly designed for only a few had come to an end.

Some time ago, a friend shared a quote with me that I keep going back to: “Participation is to be invited to the party. Inclusion is to be asked to dance.” I suppose those who’ve been invited to watch the rest having fun for so long got angry. Very angry. And so, after months of the most genuine mix of beauty and violence, the virus arrived. And everybody had to obey the abusive father that was about to fall and get back into their rooms, grounded.

Believe me, it was strange. But the frustration gave way to a new rage. As new as it was old because the realisation was that in fact, nothing had changed yet and that chances are that nothing will, once again. Because just as the police had taken those who are most vulnerable to dance, blinding them, brutalising them, now the virus was showing a remarkable predilection for inviting those same people to dance too. After the initial official discourse that the virus makes no distinctions, the truth arrived that the ones who are suffering the most are the same ones that were told they should believe in a better future. Although, to be fair that wasn’t up to the virus, but to us, we who’ve been complying with building and rebuilding this same order of things again and again, even if we’ve chosen not to know so.

And then, as I was finishing the edit: George Floyd. Protests in the US followed the exact, horrible template of what had taken place here just months before – as I type this, the reports of ocular trauma in the US come out following the Chilean timeline like clockwork. Very strange.

But to be honest, these aren’t the things that make it the strangest of times for me. The virus put me in a lockdown with my 90-year-old grandmother for three months, every day. There’s no point in me explaining why this is relevant because that’s what the video is about, so watch it if you feel like it. All I was actually meant to say here was that this was the point when the invitation to imagine the future came through. And it upset me, so I accepted it and here I am, joining the conversation. I hope you like it.


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