Saturday, 10 April 2021

Power to act

Photograph: Jon Nazca/Reuters (image taken from The Guardian)

Recent events made me revisit a post I wrote in 2014 referring to architect Zaha Hadid. When questioned by the Guardian about the deaths of migrant workers in the construction of a stadium she designed for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, Hadid answered:

“I have nothing to do with the workers. I think that's an issue the government – if there's a problem – should pick up. (…) I cannot do anything about it because I have no power to do anything about it.”

At the time, there were more than 500 deaths of Indian migrant workers and 382 Nepalese. Today, we are counting more than 6500 deaths of migrant workers since Qatar won the bid in 2010. In February this year, a Norwegian football team thought they had something to do with this and that they had some power to do something.

Saturday, 3 April 2021

What is the change we are longing for?

"Missing you", at the entrance of Musicbox.

Musicbox in Lisbon has made me smile more than once in the last months. I´ve never been there and, still, it has made me feel we know each other and we are going through this together.

I have repeatedly questioned why so many cultural organisations are unable to show their human face, share feelings, be close to people in different moments in life (both in people’s life and the organisations’ life – which should, actually, coincide on so many occasions). Back in May 2020, I wrote about Globe Aroma’s “Love Letter to a Caring Community” – a letter expressing sadness, concern, confusion in the face of the pandemic and clearly stating that the venue would close, not because of fear, but out of love and care. Every other communication I came across at the time of lockdown – but also when the time came to reopen – sounded like a decree. In that same post last May, I made a first attempt of creating a wish list, of defining the ingredients that could help us imagine a better post-pandemic world. There hasn’t been a second attempt yet: time, humanity, care, respect, appreciation and mission; this is what was – and still is - on my wish list.