The 80s is an iconic decade: it’s the time in which barriers between countries fell and people became the leaders of their own destiny. The Berlin wall was destroyed, travelling between countries was facilitated allowing different cultures to merge and bond, goods were exchanged from everywhere in the world.
This openness caused a stream of social revolutions, steps were taken towards a more egalitarian world, women gained respect and higher positions in the corporate world, with a first woman candidate running for US presidency in 1984 and Mae Carol Jemison being the first black woman trained for NASA. People of colour started being more integrated, with a general change of attitude towards Afro-American; gay and lesbian movements raised to establish acceptance and ultimately there was a buzzing sense of freedom to be who one wants to be, wherever one wants to be.
Multiculturalism grew through advertising, TV and radio, which bloomed and became accessible to the majority. A culture of glamour, excess, and ambition started flourishing giving a general feeling of hope and opportunity for everyone to reach their dreams.
So why is this relevant to the present-day world?
The contemporary scene is not very promising after 2016 brought to the world two moments of shock, with Brexit and with the election of Donald Trump as president of the United States of America. After so much has been done towards unifying the World, facilitating movement between countries and accepting all kinds of people for who they are, respecting their cultures, believes and traditions, what is happening now, why are we moving backwards?
Maybe the wave of free movement that has built up from the 80s till now hasn’t been as easy as we expected; such change takes time to be implemented in society. There have been undeniable difficulties, for the governments to support immigration, for the economy to be stable and for the goods to be evenly distributed and we have to recognise that it’s necessary to create new policies and modernize the system; but isn’t it worth to experience a little discomfort if we could have a world that is unified and open to everyone, in which all people are welcome and free. That’s what the 80s were all about. Freedom, acceptance and self-expression. Maybe, if we all worked towards being authentic and showing our true self, without trying to fit in and without judgement, we could start making a difference.