© Family Archive, Portugal, May Day, 1975

© Family Archive, Portugal, May 1979

If there’s still some kind of universal language (and it’s not like I believe art is it) maybe we can recover it in the years to come. I speak as an european but I believe others would agree that the situation in our hands will push us to take direct action in order to preserve what may be left of the Social State and intervene, so to secure the place of human rights.

Amidst the crises of the way our western capitalist-profitable countries are structured, there’s a bigger crises: the lost of consciousness of the self. My generation is a good proof for that. Educated in a recently liberated country, after more than forty years under Salazar’s dictatorial regime, we were brought up in a festive and materialist world, where suddenly everything seemed possible: comfort, education, fun, lust…our parents struggled but saw their battles reach some of the goals and their work places and futures got better and secured.

We were brought up as if we had nothing to fight for. Somehow, the drunkard-like state of this new way of life undressed them (our parents) of the need to urge us into a political consciousness or instigate us to the importance of having a mind of our own.

What I see now and am expecting of 2012 is that a new consciousness will arise and although it make take time to pull us back together and bring back a sense of community, it may be that fair-trade makes its way into our homes. I dream of a world where direct exchange replaces the monetary system. I know I won’t live to see it happen in Portugal but believe it will be experimented more often

Without further raving, wish you all the best in 2012. May you let some change into your life and give back to the one’s close to you.

Sofia Silva

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