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The Crisis of my Friends 

 
En Español

 

 

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The Crisis of my Friends is a ongoing open documentary project that is exploring the impact of the current 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. But most importantly, The Crisis of my Friends also involves meetings where interviewees and other attendants discuss the ideas and issues presented in these episodes. The opinions expressed and 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 a ongoing conversation.

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 liked, 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 current crisis has caused a recession in the way my generation views work and perhaps even in the state of labor rights. My friends, all in their late thirties, find themselves in a very precarious situation, 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 become foreign notions. And having a job in their preferred field has become a practically unattainable goal. The Crisis of my Friends is exploring what could be the long-term consequences of the crisis and its impact on the culture of work in Spain.

The first episode of the series is a rough introduction to the topics of conversation that the crisis has generated. The second episode focuses on the impact of the crisis on opinions about the public sector. The third episode focuses on the way the crisis has influenced opinions about politics. The fourth episode of the series will be released in January of 2015, and it will focus on the culture of work and entrepreneurship in Spain, and its role during the crisis.

 
   
   
  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.