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The Crisis of my Friends 

 
En Español

 

 

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The Crisis of my Friends is an ongoing documentary series that is exploring the impact of the economic crisis in Spain on the culture of work in this European country and particularly on the lives of a certain group of Spaniards, my friends. The project also involves meetings where interviewees and other attendants discuss the ideas and issues presented in the series. The conversations that take place at these meetings determine the content of the following episode in the series. This results in a project that is much more than a documentary. It is an ongoing conversation.

 
The first episode is an introduction to the conversations that the crisis has generated. The second focuses on the impact of the crisis on opinions about the public and private sectors. The third episode focuses on the way the crisis has influenced opinions about politics and citizen involvement. The fourth focuses on the culture of entrepreneurship in Spain, and the impact of the crisis in labor conditions.
  The economic crisis in Spain was triggered in 2008 by the global financial crisis. What was first disregarded as an economic slowdown, turned out to be the worst economic crisis in recent Spanish history. The unemployment rate is currently close to 25%. In the south of Spain, where most of my friends live, unemployment is close to 35%. While some government officials are pointing at some signs of improvement, the dire effects of this crisis are still reaching the general population.

For a generation of Spaniards who were born around the time the Spanish dictator Francisco Franco died (1975), the aspiration to have a job that they loved, and the idea of work as a means for personal fulfillment, differentiated them from previous generations. That view of work carried with it a view of life, society and the country. The crisis has caused a recession in the way my generation views work. My friends, all in their late thirties and early forties, find themselves in precarious situations, where they have come to view work as a privilege and not a right. Appreciation of the worker and the value of high quality work have nearly become foreign notions. The Crisis of my Friends is exploring what could be the long-term impact of the crisis on the culture of work in Spain.
   
  Produced by Miguel Macias. Miguel Macias is a radio producer, sound designer, musician and video producer based in Brooklyn, New York.
Currently, Miguel is an assistant professor and deputy chair for graduate studies at the Department of Television and Radio at Brooklyn College.