2015 is officially coming to an end, and I have now rewritten this piece several times, since typing its headline a late Friday night in mid-November. It proved to be way more difficult to draw up a quick personal opinion about the zeitgeist of 2015 than I had thought. On one hand I have honestly been way too busy/lazy lately to take the time, and on the other hand I find 2015 to have been a really annoying year. So behold: my elegy of 2015 and my romantic fantasies about 2016.
Two days after the Paris attacks this past November I had a Skype-conversation with a very dear friend. She was sitting in her tiny Parisian one-bedroom apartment, located 50 meters from where some guy had exploded himself less than 48 hours earlier. She was feeling weird. I can only imagine.
Around that time social media had already exploded. At least the realms of Facebook, Instagram and whatever, of which I am exposed to, had done so. I didn’t know how I was supposed to react to those horrific events. All I knew was, that I wasn’t going to colour my Facebook profile picture blue, white and red, and I wasn’t going to hashtag #prayforparis and that I refused to let myself be overwhelmed with paranoia and fear. I was thinking that I – we – would have to do something completely different.
Fact is, I couldn’t cry for Paris. If I would – I would have to cry for every city that probably undergoes similar events, every single day. Fortunately, I don’t have a decent overview of the cruelty of this world, and I somewhat prefer it that way. I imagine the weltschmerz I would feel, if I knew about it all – and would have to cry for it all. Yes – with the Paris attacks, terror has come closer to my northern European still life. Yes – I am very sympathetic to the people of Paris and everyone affected and involved. And yes – I do want to scream, yet again having the world prove to me that there is definitely so much cruelty among us. Our species has been so damn awful in 2015 – to each other, to nature, to everything. Shame on us.
Back on track: I started writing this column quite some time ago, because I was fed up with religious questions, the generation of fear, politics, and fucking war. The thought of projecting my sympathy through mass social media makeovers and religiously bound hashtags gave me a bad taste in the mouth. Not any of this, was about religion or social media identity. It is, as I pointed out earlier, about not letting oneself be undertaken by the fear that actions of horror can, and wants to provoke. Changing my profile picture wouldn’t take me any step closer to proving that fact. One might now expect me to wish for the world of 2016, for human kind to ‘make love not war’ and the likes of those clichés – and I almost definitely will.
I will encourage you to do nothing. And then – for your own sake – make some art.
Earlier in the same week as terror hit Paris for the second time in 2015, I went to a creative conference, opened by a semi-dystopic future scenario starring Kim Kardashian (I loved it), and closed by Peter Sunde, co-founder of The Pirate Bay. During his speech entitled ‘I’m Out’ Peter Sunde made a point: Do nothing. He said that related to a different context of general systems and society, and I think it relates to something very relevant: rebellion. Against expectations, prejudices, fear and so much more. Sunde’s speech stuck with me, as one of his points were that systems sometimes need to crash in order for them to regenerate, and maybe that is just what mankind in general needs. I don’t like how much time and space especially social media took up in 2015, probably as I prefer to be more interesting, sympathetic, and opinionated in person rather than disguised by the Internet. (She states, in an opinionated column series posted online, oh the irony). Don’t get me wrong, I do love the Internet and the occasional convenient cover it can provide as a media and means of communication.
I included ‘make art’, because that is how we – how I – get by. When doing nothing – nothing in this context meaning not being afraid, paranoid, succumbing to everyday hypocrisy and/or just being somewhat of a lemming to society – instead, go make some art. Project your thoughts, feelings, and emotions, into whatever art form you might prefer. After all, we are all creative people. Draw something, dance something, sing something, film something, build something, imagine something write a poem – or a column.
My Parisian friend, who in November was way too close to some of what was wrong with the world in 2015, said the same thing. She is a very smart young woman and she too will make art. On this matter, I am definitely a naïve romantic, if that is even still possible – or allowed.
So, those are my wishes for the New Year to come. I hope Man will be kinder to fellow Man, and that the general outsider looking in will remain in Zen, and not be affected by those purposely doing wrong.
Nothing revolutionary, I’m just chilling with it. Listening to soothing music, writing some columns, making some art. I can’t change anything alone anyhow and I feel paralyzed.
Happy New Year.
ALLUSION is the personal column written by designer Sidsel Søgaard Spas.
ALLUSION is a space to blabber about current topics, life, or just about anything she finds immediately relevant. Sidsel is particularly fond of asking questions, serious humour and is not afraid of being wrong.
ALLUSION, noun: A passing or casual reference, an incidental mention of something, either directly or by implication.
Peter Sunde: ‘I’m out’