Good evening, or morning if you’re just getting up. The air is fresh and a whole new year awaits, so go on, take a peek at it …

 

The year was 2016 and the world had changed dramatically within the space of 12 months. The infamous Kardashian clan of media obsessives were all sentenced to life imprisonment for ‘corrupting the youth’. Albert Einstein’s Theory of Relative was sensationally disproved by a little-known physics professor from Russia. America made the shocking decision to withdraw from the world stage, assuming its pre-WWII neutrality stance. And Feminism was officially pronounced ‘over’ in the West after it was scientifically proven that the average woman didn’t have a clue what to do with her freedom.

Dear readers, the year is finally 2016 and of course none of the spurious events above have happened. The point of that little excerpt was to show you that as we enter the New Year, we enter the unknown and necessarily become a small part of history that will one day be read about (or perhaps mind-read) by posterity.

Exactly 100 years ago when the year was 1916 the world was changing too. Women were slowly breaking out of their corsets and breaking into their human rights. The First World War was in its second year and the bitter realities of that would forever be immortalised by Wilfred Owen in poems like ‘Dulce et Decorum Est’ and ‘Anthem for Doomed Youth’, which candidly spoke of the horrors of dying and killing. In that same year, Albert Einstein would publish his ‘Die Grundlage der allgemeinen Relativitätstheorie’ or The Foundation of the Generalised Theory of Relativity. The genteel writer and aristocrat, Marcel Proust, had finished the manuscript of Volume II of In Search of Lost Time ready for publication. And the first blood transfusion is successfully carried out by the British Royal Army Medical Corps using blood that had been stored and cooled.

What gloomy or glorious events await us this year is difficult to predict. The world is a large place with large problems but things can and do change, as the past shows us. It is nevertheless somewhat ironic, that as we gleefully breath in the air of 2016 thinking how far we’ve come since ‘those times’ when black people had to make their way to the backs of buses and home entertainment consisted of poetry readings or sewing, that perhaps the same will be said of us in a hundred years’ time.

Still, the year is 2016, and I very much hope that it will be one of progress rather than setbacks in all things that matter to human welfare. If you have settled on some resolutions for yourself, good for you, I hope they materialise. If not, that’s fine too; time has a certain way of moving you along whether you want to or not.

This is an ambivalent moment for us; we’re either not even in the 2020s yet or approaching a quarter of a century. How you look at this is up to you and will set the tone for everything else that happens. Good Luck!

 

By Diana Aganey