This project is inspired by the authors’ personal experiences of drastic societal change.
The illustrator, from a city in Siberia, Russia, experienced the fall of the Soviet Union and the radical transition to a new economic and political model during Perestroika. Besides a radical ideological and economic transformation, this period was accompanied by severe unemployment, complete loss of savings and dramatic shortages in food and other basic commodities. However, the biggest challenge was to accept that everything people had deemed unchangeable was abruptly changing.
The writer is from Murcia, Spain, which is currently experiencing a drastic and rapid deterioration of people’s well-being. Under the excuse of the economic crisis, the current (right-wing) government is cutting off workers rights, social services (like education and health care), and freedom. While losing freedom and rights, people witness an endless list of cases of corruption by politicians and bankers to whom no justice is being applied. This sad scenario is particularly shocking after decades of big-step improvements since the re-establishment of democracy at the end of the 70s, a democracy much welcomed by the people of Spain after 40 years of an authoritarian dictatorship. For people born into that democracy, who did not experience either the civil war or the dictatorship, for whom society has been only going forward, what is happening now is as incredible as if gravity, out of the blue, dissipated.
For both the artist and the writer, there is a common line of a sudden social change and an unanticipated shift of a trusted frame of reference, which brought us to consider all the things we had taken for granted during our childhood, and how the experience of change has marked (or is affecting) our views on human nature and the social world that surrounds us as adults.
Rather than conveying our own personal struggles and stories, we want to communicate the need to reflect upon and recognize the nature of the principles governing the society we happen to live in. The goal is not to teach a moral lesson about what is right and what is wrong. Instead, we extend an invitation to take a step towards understanding the principles and moral values that shape the society we live in, and to compare them explicitly with the ones we think are the right ones. We want to communicate the need to reflect upon those values, and to realize that, in case we disagree with the values governing our society, we have the potential to stop implementing and promoting them by our individual actions.