Life after the coronavirus

Life after the coronavirus

This drawing was made in 2005 by a good friend of the Soteras family, Josep Maria Margarit Vich. He drew it from memory. It shows the Soteras brothers, Josep Maria and Isidre, back in the 1950s, working in their workshop (which can still be found at Carrer del Pilar 19, in Capellades). The two brothers would have both been in their twenties back then, but here the artist caricatures them as they were in 2005. For both men, looking at the result must have been like a journey into the past from their present.

Sadly, they are no longer with us and that led me to wonder what they would think of us now, in our pandemic world, if they could travel in time to our present day. From a very young age they lived with the burden of running the family business in a post war period that included an economic policy applied by the Francoist authorities. Later, they saw a reduction in their productive structure and the marginalization of the technologies that they specialised in back then. Much like us today, they had to make significant changes. They had to mould themselves to new demands and reorient their production, exploring new paths and new collaborations in order to survive the economic collapse of the last years of the Franco regime.

Today, we must live with the consequences of another struggle, this time with an invisible, but very real, enemy which will condition our freedom of movement for some time to come and perhaps change many of our habits forever. However, this “enemy” is one that, perhaps, we have helped create ourselves by the way we have treated the planet. It may be that this virus is a wakeup call bent on making us understand that we need a serious rethink on a global scale of how we behave during our time on earth.

Josep Maria and Isidre, along with many of their peers, learned how to cope and explored new opportunities. Will we be able to take advantage of the experiences and emotions we have undergone during this global confinement? Will we learn how to move from a world in enforced collapse to a new one of sustainable progress, where professional aims and ambitions can coexist in harmony with solidarity, respect, collaboration and common sense?

We believe that this is what this new era demands.

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