Global Ghetto, 2045, marks centenary of defeat of Fascism, (Biro on paper, 140x100cm, 2010/2011)
My expectations of a future under global capitalism are bleak. Whilst imagining a future, the date 2045 seemed to stick with me. This is because it would be 100 years since the defeat of fascism, a date which we all look back at where good won over evil, and we were told that such human suffering must never be allowed to happen again.
With the defeat of fascism and the end of war, despite the threats of the nuclear age, people alive in 1945 had a belief in a future that would continue to bring them a better life. At present we see the future in the opposite sense: things are only going to get worse if we carry on like this.
In my darkest moments I fear that there will not be any of our “great cities” left in order for the global ghetto, predicted in this drawing, to be actualised. But the future date of 2045 was very important to the idea of progress; 100 years since the widely assumed end of the Second World War, it stands as an historical landmark from which ‘evil’ was defeated and ‘good’ would now make the world a better place. But this idea, which still rests solidly in the hearts of all those indoctrinated by western ideas, has turned horribly sour.
This piece intends to be seen as an extrapolation of the present; my grim expectation of the fate of most of the people as the world continues to be driven by capitalism. It also just solemnly looks backwards and bluntly asks “What went so horribly wrong (in order for our future to end up looking so bleak)?”
Fascism was like a tragic car crash, from which the ruling powers of the time were never really held to account for their reckless driving, and, thus, have continued to drive recklessly. It isn’t alien to our own ruling system; they share the same roots, like cousins. Likewise, our system has the ability to fall into dictatorship, if put under severe stress. I have intentionally tried to put elements that we are currently familiar with into a landscape which is terrifyingly worse than what we know now. But such a world may be actualised, as deterioration is all we can now expect under global capitalism; its welfare state period is dying, the planet’s resources are becoming more and more expensive as they dry up; the future for humanity can only get worse on this route. The system can now only deliver a slow erosion of democracy and a dystopia which the prophetic writers of the 20th century would have struggled to imagine. The future we may once have expected has taken a horrific u-turn.