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Agreements, indifferences and graffiti

It sounds obvious and it is. Human relationships are constituted by two possibilities: agreement and disagreement. Although both occur in private life and in public life, it is in the latter where such relationships manifest themselves in more tangible, random and surprising ways. It is in our public life where we coincide or not, less and more, with that infinite mirror that strangers are.

In Colombia, it could be said that collective custom inclines us to disagreement. Because of our unfortunate inability to conceive, accept and attend to the pacts (tacit and express) we are forced to live at only one end of the possibilities of life in society. Since our greatest fixation is the failure to comply with what has been agreed, we have no choice but to crash into the other. We are a high-speed avenue but with only one lane. We are the inevitable.

Moreover, this reality is aggravated by the fact that we only have one way (the most primitive possible) to face this condition: violence. Our rain on wet. All a waste, considering that every disagreement embodies a probable dialogue. If we knew how to build (instead of destroy) every time a conflict arose, many of our shortcomings as a society would have been left behind. However, as if that were not enough, today there is an even more distressing difficulty. A problem disguised as a solution that goes beyond destructive disagreement in its social consequences. A problematic pact that abounds undetected: indifference.

In other words, when the other and his/her universe (full of interests, opinions and particularities) is unobserved and neglected, the opportunity to conceive the human experience in much more comprehensive ways is lost. Annulment as an effect of invisibility. The other becomes a distant possibility; an unnecessary and passing presence. Indifference, half attitude, half decision, seriously fractures the original composition of a society; by preventing the intersection of interests, the formation of alliances and the setting of limits. (That which they call -to the point of satiation- the social fabric). It cannot be woven if the threads do not meet.

However, it seems that the solution to this indifference is -literally- just around the corner, and in a quite elementary way: the presence of other people's thoughts and their traces, their shadows and their footprints. The whisper (or the scream) stopped on a wall: the graffiti. In fact all the forms, traces, images, no matter their quality, are brief reminders of the other. All the graffiti in the world formulates a truth that we easily forget: we are not alone on this earth.

Moreover, it seems curious that the greater the indifference in a society, the greater the number of graffiti. Hence its relevance and pertinence. (Hence also its enemies). Graffiti is a short story in which the dying person remembers being alive because of a mosquito bite. The alarm that allows us -and imposes- to consider that there is a world beyond ourselves. Painting the street is a form of gravity. A snap that wakes us up from hypnosis. A brake that pushes us forward.

Translated with (free version)

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