Bob Pop, Moha Gerehou, José Luis de Vicente and Elsa Punset have been the protagonists of the MIC (Inspiring Monologues for Change) talks at the Festival with which elDiario.es celebrates its tenth anniversary this week. The Palacio de las Comunicaciones de València has been the stage in which the speakers have dissected the existing paralysis in the extreme right, have recounted their experience infiltrating Vox, have focused on climate change and have provided a large dose of optimism emphasizing that the world in which we live continues to improve.
The first to intervene was the creator of the series lost fagot , that has started making it clear that “if there is something to change, it is this shitty system”. The roundness of the beginning of his speech has been constant and has been accompanied by Teresa de Jesús’s phrase that Truman Capote used as the title of his latest book: “More tears are shed for answered prayers than for those that remain unattended” .
The television critic also recalled that when he was little, before going to sleep “he asked me to wake up the next morning without a pen. He didn’t want the others to find out that she was a queer. He wanted to be masculine, virile”. Later he has reflected on the paradox that is that the multiple sclerosis that he suffers from is the one that has ended up paralyzing his pen. He has also pointed out “the direct relationship that exists between the worst masculinity and paralysis. Being a bad man means not wanting to leave the privilege and having the need to occupy the place that you think belongs to you. “While feminist feminism and LGTBI advance, you, as a rancid being, want to stay put,” he pointed out.
His illness has caused him that his “right part is stopped and the left is the one that moves. Like the world. I would have to donate my body to science to explain the international political situation”, she proposed ironically. The director has made it clear that “the far-right movement does not exist, because they represent the static. Its great trap is to make believe that it really is a movement that is going to make things move somewhere.” Even so, his conclusion has been a song towards action, making it clear that “we always end up compensating the right sides with an excess of work on the left, but it compensates”.
Lessons on racism after infiltrating Vox
The journalist, anti-racism activist and anti-racist outreach expert Moha Gerehou, who worked at elDiario.es for nearly six years, has taken over from Bob Pop at the MICs offered by the Generalitat Valenciana. The author of the book What’s a black like you doing in a place like this has shared in his search for new work experiences he found inspiration in Sayde Chailing-Chong García. “A black man who was a member of Vox in Catalonia and after several years decided to leave it because he realized that the party was racist”, he has described.
“I swear that this story is true,” Gerehou assured after the surprised reaction of the attendees. That led him to want to infiltrate the formation led by Santiago Abascal. He thought that he would not attract much attention, “because in right-wing parties we see black people more easily than in left-wing ones.” Frustrated because the path of racist stories is greater than that of anti-racist ones, he wanted to see why from the inside. He got it thanks to affirming that his CV covered him with “extensive experience working for Spain”.
Despite the fact that he had not yet done anything, the media were interested and he granted an interview to Susana Griso and Javier Negre. Before them she laid out the first two measures that she intended to propose. Two guidelines already exist: deport all immigrants in an irregular situation and give priority to Spanish workers. The offer to go to the anthill it was what led him to stop his experiment. His conclusion after the essay was that “the extreme right is based on the inequalities that already exist in society.” “It is difficult for us to understand the existence of racism and that it existed before Vox”, he has indicated.
Likewise, it has added an invitation to reflection by the media, on “how we give voice to racialized people in this country. Do we ask black people about the consequences of light? “Nobody is born racist but we live in a society in which racism is structural”, she concluded, warning that the only way to avoid it is “anti-racist education”.
Search for new ways to communicate
The consequences of climate change have been the starting point for the MIC of the cultural researcher, journalist and analyst specialized in culture and technology José Luis de Vicente. Taking advantage of his experience as a curator in different exhibitions and symposiums, he has shown images of interventions by different artists. One of them, the Ice Watch by Olafur Eliasson and Minik Rosing, in which iceberg fragments were transported to a London square to allow people to touch them. “They were artifacts to talk about what we don’t want to talk about,” she explained.
The next work he has exhibited has been extinction rebellion, which consisted of a pink boat that was also located in the center of the English capital in 2019. The message could be read on it: “Tell the truth”. A truth that, as he has indicated, “we all know what it is, and more after having lived what will be the coolest summer of our lives”. De Vicente has provided data on this issue such as “we are breathing air that no human being has ever breathed” due to the amount of CO2 it contains.
Musician and soundscape ecologist Bernie Krause has dedicated his life to recording sounds of nature to see “how their sound footprint changes”. Work that has allowed us to discover that the forests are falling silent. A worrying sign that they are running out of life. The expert has compiled some of the possible solutions to reverse the situation, such as “intervening in natural systems”, something that geoengineering is working on. “Starting to think about Mars is always the theory of the richest people on the planet”, he has warned, “it is actually a distracting maneuver because there is no planet ‘B’”.
“From the left we think that what we have to do is less. Build less, consume less and decrease; but not in research”, she has stated. At the same time, he has invited us to go further, arguing that “perhaps there are other ways of living and communicating.” “Rehearsing the future is a way of facing it and not just asking yourself what it will be like”, has been one of his latest contributions.
The extraordinary times in which we have had to live
The popularizer Elsa Punset has been the last to intervene and has put the finishing touch to the Inspiring Monologues for Change with an eminently optimistic tone with the title of “the extraordinary times that we are all living together”. Asked about such things as how many people in the world have access to electricity, the number of girls completing primary school and the world’s adult literacy rate, the public has been surprised by how much more positive the data is than they thought.
“We have known that for centuries, and at an accelerated rate in recent decades, the world is improving”, defended the rapporteur. “There is less global poverty, more democracy, more literacy than ever, higher life expectancy, more social justice, more technology and less violence”, she recalled “despite the fact that life is difficult and there is still a lot to do”.
With an eye on the future, he has pointed out as challenges “the lack of communication between us, the possibility of a nuclear catastrophe and climate change”. “We are relearning, with a lot of effort, to be human. And everything is required of us very quickly”, she reflected, “we are not prepared to face all these changes that we know we have to continue to make at great speed”.
As advice, Punset has proposed that we dare to improve in this line through “small and specific changes”, since “all or nothing does not work for our brain”. At the same time, “take care of our emotional health just as we do with our physical health” and always keep in mind that “we are interdependent”. “The great question of the 21st century is whether what I am doing, eating, thinking and creating is good for the rest of the world”, she has maintained as a closing to his intervention.