Let 2022 come

Image: Stela Grespan


Tasks for the coming year

We age more than ten weeks every hour. In fact, hours, days, months or two years have passed? Space-time compression. From abstract concept to organic experience. Mental health? Ah, mental health… We died (and were killed) as in times of great wars. Everything got worse at exaggerated speed. Neoliberal capitalism is bad. But pandemic financialized global neoliberal capitalism is far worse.

Being able to draft these lines at the end of the year of grace two thousand and twenty-one brings a certain weird flavor. It is only possible to celebrate by crying. I am here – therefore I have no right to forget the genocide.   Yes, I survived. But it might not. Yes, I ate today, but I could not. Writing is always stubborn.

For about three years now I've been crying, crying, crying. And we call Belchior, Emicida, Pablo, Maju: thein the past I died, this year I don't die. We keep dying, though. Furthermore – and yet – we are still alive (still). Perhaps there are lessons to be drawn from these neo-fascist times.

The dehumanization. I think of Valter Hugo Mãe's allegory: what to do with this immense sadness, pain and mourning for the death of a country that has lost its image, lost its good brother, a twin preserving what was most human in it? (Sigridur died in frozen Iceland, we, contrary to expectations, here insist.)

Long live the death: Franco and Bolsonaro and millions of worms. This mourning, this bitterness, this disgust with fascism. The killers are free, we are not (miss you, Renato). Ugly antifa drummond-like little flowers breaking through the hot asphalt. Sad, however insubmissive – looking for ways to do more, to want more, to do more.

Because more was the first word that we repeated intensely in childhood, more love or lack of love because Angela Rô Rô gave me the hope of being myself – in itself my own ancestral future. Well, here, the land of Chico de Holanda, one revolves around under the protection of Elza Soares and São Gilberto Gil – as in Caetano’s new coco: “swe will overcome cramps, boils, cold sores / with Naras, Bethânias and Elis / we will make a happy world / unique, various, equal (we are Chinese)”.

We value wine, re-visit tenderness, go back in time, re-look at things (and how minuscule they really are). Without fear of being tacky, it was good to relearn how to cry. It was inevitable, really. The categorical imperative of life imposed itself, without mystification.

We learn that being mad, depressed, euphoric, sad or out of balance is almost a matter of immediate perspective. And we are all delicate – more or less – and we certainly haven't freed ourselves yet. So, lo and behold. So it is. The convention of timing registers the arrival of a new slice. A new rotation of the earth around the sun. New chances to counteract evil.

2022 is pregnant with anti-fascist possibilities. That clarity to notice who has always been sincere. And trust. In ourselves, on the move. Of wanting to be happy without fear. We will no longer just be resisting. Rebuild. Reassembling. Redo. Put things back in place. Reconstitute the possibilities of living in a nation with less misery and injustice.

The 2022 election has begun. It's the fight of our lives. Bury not only neo-fascism but also defeat neoliberalism. It will be a war. And at the same time, a journey of dreams and hopes. For us to breathe again. For a Brazil child.

Lula President. To change. To live, sing, dance, study, eat, work, whistle, love. Against hate, for diversity and for human rights. For the women. Black and black fur. For the indigenous people, for the forest. For all of us.

Happy 2022, if it's with Lula President. And that we escape all the traps thrown by those above (even if they come wrapped in the form of a nice chayote).

* Julian Rodrigues is a journalist, professor and activist of the LGBTI and Human Rights movement.


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