19 September 2017

The Fears and Hopes of a Generation

19 September 2017 - Written by Giuseppe Oliverio

In their latest book Good Luck With The Future, Rita Puig-Serra Costa and Dani Pujalte portray the state of uncertainty of those turning thirty in these days. 

© Rita Puig-Serra Costa and Dani Pujalate, from the book, Good Luck With The Future

Highways, buildings. Thousands of cars. Where are these people going? Where am I going? Pyramids, robots, laser rays. The future is uncertain by definition, so why worry about it?

As I turn the pages of Rita and Dani's book over and over again, many questions cross my mind. I empathise with them. We are European. We are more or less the same age: thirty something. When we started to embrace our future around ten years ago, the Western world was entering the biggest financial crisis of modern times. Ever since those days, a sense of precariousness has accompanied our generation. Unemployment. Companies, banks and even states going bankrupt. More recently terrorism, migration, and climate change. At the same time we have been privileged compared to previous generations, and most people of our age around the world. We haven't lived through war. We can travel easily. Technology, the Internet and Social Media have opened up new, unprecedented opportunities. 

As I turn the pages I imagine this is the context in which, back in 2014, Rita and Dani - while approaching that age at which you should have a stable job and thinking about having children - decided to face their fear of the future and started a six month journey with no predefined destination. That journey and those years end up in their book, Good Luck With The Future. Yet the journey is not the main focus of this project; it is rather simply an excuse to put their lives on hold and live a sort of extended present - a 180 day parenthesis between the past and the future. It's here that the story begins and you get dragged into this visual exploration towards that sense of uncertainty and something so ephemeral as the future. 

© Rita Puig-Serra Costa and Dani Pujalate, from the book, Good Luck With The Future

While looking at these pictures you often feel lost and hopeless. An emergency exit, a labyrinth, a trapped butterfly. A young guy looking at the water of what seems to be a lake. There is a sense of emptiness and resignation in the air. But the book's structure is there to help you. Divided into six chapters - Abolute past, Relative past, Here, And Now, Relative future, Absolute future - it invites you to stop and reflect. See the future starting from the past. Or reverse: to analyse your past starting from where you think or wish to head to. The images do not suggest any clear answers; but however you look at it, this project seems to invite you to take some time to reflect about where you are coming from, where you are, and where you are heading to.

Is this thread sufficient to guide the biggest waves of freelancers of all time who have been dreaming of working 4 hours a day while looking at the Indian Ocean from their laptop? No. Nevertheless what originally seemed to me as a book of emptiness and resignation is turning into a book of hope. It evokes a famous latin adage: unusquisque faber fortunae suae. We are the maker of our own destiny, and we should take responsibility for that, especially if we are in our late 20s or early 30s. Traditional jobs are disappearing, social tensions are increasing as wealth is less and less equally distributed. Yet there is not other option that facing the future and dealing with the issues of our time, as staring soullessly at the horizon won't help that much - apart for some likes on Instagram. 

© Rita Puig-Serra Costa and Dani Pujalate, from the book, Good Luck With The Future

Maybe it's normal to feel lost in your late 20s or just something that might happen and you should be ready to face. I turn the page of the book one last time and then I leave it closed on the table. It's only in that moment that I notice the grey message on the black back cover. It says: "Sorry it's taken me 5 months to answer your questions. From the moment I found love, thanks to your lucky coin, to the moment I lost it, at my arrival in Mexico, my life has been chaos. But anyways, that's just another story. (...) The lucky coin just keeps on bringing me more luck ever since the trip we did together. It's nice to think that love does exist and that it can be shared forever. This, I learn from you." Lorelay.

Ok, it's a book of hope or at least I wish to think so. And it leaves me with one final question: in the daily maze of uncertainty and opportunities, is love - found and lost - the only certainty we can rely on?

Maybe. Good luck with the future. 

- - - - -

Good Luck With The Future by Dani Pujalte and Rita Puig-Serra

Published by Rita Puig-Serra Costa and Dani Pujalte, 2017 

Design by Affaire Projects

120 pages / 20 cm x 27 cm / Offset Print / €35

Edition of 500 copies


- - - - -

Rita Puig-Serra Costa lives and works in Barcelona, where she combines personal projects with commercial assignments and her work as an editor for Perdiz magazine.

Dani Pujalte lives and works in Barcelona where he combines personal projects with commercial assignments.

Giuseppe Oliverio is the Founder and Director of PHmuseum. 

Written by

Giuseppe Oliverio

Reading time

6 minutes

PhMuseum Days 2023 Open Call

Apply now for 4 Exhibitions at PhMuseum Days 2023 plus a 40-image collective installation, free applicants pass, and more

Apply now