2017 has not been an easy year for the world. In the United States, since the last presidential elections, many of the values that made this country proudly multicultural, open and free, have been changing dramatically. In Europe, right-wing movements have revived the emblems of the swastikas and the Nazi slogans; peace in the Middle East seems an unrealizable utopia; North Korea could be the link that leads to a Third World War; ISIS has managed to sow death and fear everywhere; and the countries of Latin America fight in different manners against corruption, populism and drug trafficking.
Positive things happened also, however; among them, the reactions to the aforementioned evils. An example has been the massive protests against white supremacists’ demonstrations in the United States, and against corruption in various cities around the world.
Sensitivity grows in the face of the danger of global warming, and concern regarding the environment, respect for animals, the return to values such as solidarity and honesty expand, especially among the youngest.
The massification of communications, even with its dangerous and criticizable aspects, allows for the dissemination of denunciations and the uncovering of scandals that —otherwise and in other times— would have been protected through silence and impunity.
Perhaps one of the most positive events that occurred last year was the uncovering of complaints of sexual harassment, which cracked years of complicit silences, and implied powers that were considered untouchable. Many and different are the humiliations and violence that mark the lives of women in the midst of general indifference: from the ‘compliment’ in the street, to the blackmail in the office; the remark on the physical aspect during a work meeting, to the sarcasms about the bodies of the political leaders; from physical and verbal violence, to feminicide. At a time when most of the feminist struggles seemed destined to a fierce retreat, women’s voices re-emerged highly, to say ‘enough!’ to the masculine attitude that degrades and offends us.
That famous actresses were the first ones to uncover the rotten pot of male power abuse, has been very important. Their fame, achieved thanks to their professional ability, allows them to say what they themselves and many others had to keep to themselves for years.
There are voices that try to blame them for their previous silence. We know, however, that in a society that considers ‘normal’ many of the attitudes that offend us, the first denunciations could only arise from women who no longer depend on masculine power, and whose fame guarantees the diffusion of the message.
After them, many other women managed to come out in the public light, without feeling ashamed or afraid, even knowing that they may be victims of reprisals; which is what happened recently to Tina Johnson, whose home was burned down by persons yet to be identified. Tina is one of the women in Alabama, who accused the former Republican candidate for the United States Senate, Roy Moore, of sexual harassment.
Positive signals also come from most Latin American countries, where despite the different problems, their democracies are being reinforced, and they show an economic growth that according to forecasts should continue in 2018. There are few and sad exceptions, such as that of Venezuela that is forced to look into the new year from within an unprecedented economic and humanitarian crisis.
Each time we start a new year, we do so with the determination to take another step towards the conquest of new goals and the development of new projects.
In ViceVersa Magazine it has been like this since we celebrated our first New Year, along with our collaborators and readers. Today we continue forward, with equal enthusiasm, with a family that has been growing day after day, and with many new projects; one of which is the third edition of Bitter Laughter, in collaboration with the University of The Cooper Union; other events we keep among the surprises, that we will present to you month after month; a momentary suspension of our cultural events section, which will return very soon with interesting innovations; a material richer every day, inclusive, diverse and of great quality.
2018 will be another opportunity to grow, build and think together; a year where we will continue to enjoy the unequaled pleasure of a good reading, or the emotions that an accurate image —be it a photography, drawing, vignette or collage— unleashes in our interior, taking us out of our comfort zone and forcing us to think, metabolize and act.
ViceVersa Magazine, a platform of thought, aspires to continue building a community that wants to go beyond the banal; that celebrates free thought, fights against indifference and respect diversity.
Happy Year to all!
“Si usted no tiene libertad de pensamiento, la libertad de expresión no tiene ningún valor.” - José Luis Sampedro