Christmas lights and energy poverty, by Josep Maria Fonalleras

While the Christmas lights of a huge tree that could be a fir tree, but is in fact a metallic structure in the shape of a tree with built-in bulbs, are being turned on, while the celebration that inaugurates the illumination of the city is being celebrated, some young people activists of Rebellion or Extinction They climb the unreal branches of the fictional tree and, in the manner of a homemade Greenpeace, unfurl a banner that reads: “Let’s reduce consumption, improve life & rdquor ;. Under the tree, the children of a choir sing Christmas carols. After a few days, the illuminated structure remains and also the poster remains, as a cry of alert for all the curious who contemplate the decoration and take photos.

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The problem with Christmas lights is not the expense (which is, in some cases, excessive) but the ostentation. It is part of the very essence of that invention that generates, at the same time, enthusiasm and anguish, the spirit of light and the delight of consumption. They are there to be seen, to be shown. And it is precisely for this reason, when poverty advances like a dark shadow, that, when they shine, at the same time make evident the mirage in which we live, there where children sing and young people protest.

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