In my own house, Santiago, Chile, abril 2020
Documentation: Marucela Ramírez
Distance and social isolation in times of pandemic
Janet Toro, April 20
The distance between us is the paralyzed caress, the warmth and the affections banished to a classified dangerous area. Abusive states of exception, quarantines, curfews are the urban landscape, I see uncrowded streets, bars, closed windows, padlocks, hermetic doors ... The sense of contained smell evolves, laminated hands and washed to excess, the approaches and sexuality pathologized in its immediacy and its secretions. Asepsis celebrated as the kingdom of heaven, in the promised land of capital.
The distance between us is the sterilized gesture, the acrylic mask, the suspicious expression that notices much more contagion than the beautiful energy of a hug and the unexpected vigor of a kiss ...
The emotional withdrawal is the covered mouth, the sanitized lips, the deformed words through the masks. A redundantly viral language is insisted, that confines other urgent problems to oblivion.
Distance and social isolation are the disinfecting and militarizing Super-Control, which is projected on the retinas, because it invaded minds and spirits a while ago.
Social distance is the perfect hierarchy between those who are being watched and the guards, under the power of biopolitics and digital stalking, with drones, with hot air balloons, with cameras, with facial recognition applications, etc.
Social isolation is the denial of fundamental rights in the necropolitical, graveyard and collective psychosis in the face of a pandemic, which is far less lethal than social injustices, the effects of greed and corrupt power worldwide. The deprived, the vulnerable, those who for decades have lived in precariousness, are slowly exterminated, on the firing line of contempt and calculation.
Distance and social isolation are the prelude to neocolonization in the domain of Hyper-telereality over-talked in social networks, in online transmissions of incessant information, an exchange of personal complacencies, egos and various events, finally a substitute digital communication, now "essential", but insufficient. The emptiness crosses those mathematical codes, the coldness follows its route towards the bodies, which are blurred in the virtual border mask ... In the swing of the hundreds of messages, we become hopelessly text!
Distance is the fear that authoritarian propaganda instills in order to discipline bodies and direct them to a regulated reality, to the restricted square meter of well-structured roles, to the measure of a patriarchal and harmful model that decides for us, we, us. A model that arbitrarily delimits the public space and all its fundamental manifestations. A model that does not allow us to breathe clean air, nor does it allow us to drink pure water, which privatizes everything within its reach, undermining the ecosystem, stifling the possibilities of having a dignified and diverse life, in all its areas.
Social isolation is the horror of death, delusionally spread by the media, a press enraptured by the infectious, which omits the inexhaustible gradations of life and the wonderful capacity for healing that we possess. The issue is from where we speak and where we place the accent, you cannot be alone in contagion, confinement and corpses! Memento Vivere, remember to live ... remember to cross your own limits.
The distance between us is how we relate to a mutant virus, to a possible disease, to latent death. The answer is not in the big drug consortia as if they were redeemers on the planet.
Social isolation is paranoid propaganda, it is the opportunistic regulation and management of bodily territories, it is the abrupt forced separation, the domestic exile of feelings, in the great contemporary global prison.
The distance between us is pain denied, it is the occlusion of the heart, because its cadences have no place in a mercantile model where profit as a peak and as a practice, excludes the amazing intelligence of goodness.
The nostalgia of the bodies, of the affections, oscillate in limbo.
Translation Kelly Echiburú
*Biopolitics: concept developed by the philosopher Michel Foucault
*Necropolitics: term proposed by the Cameroonian historian and philosopher Achilles Mbembe