The dying year in review: Is this your listicle for 2016?

RASHMEE ROSHAN LALL December 31, 2016

2016-17Most people don’t talk about world news events when asked to list their key memories for the past 52 weeks.

Instead, they might mention some or all of the following:

  • a family celebration
  • a sad event in the family
  • a personal achievement in terms of knowledge or capability
  • finding a new hobby / pastime
  • a key development at work
  • a particular holiday
  • a health concern/ improvement
  • meeting some one inspirational / important

And yet, 2016 will be collectively remembered in a very different way. Websites, newspapers, magazines have done their bit compiling lists of what happened in the dying year and generally, they include the following six points:

  • the election of Donald #Trump
  • Britain’s EU referendum vote in favour of #Brexit
  • Europe’s disunion over migrants; the Walloons’ doubts over a Canadian trade deal; Italy’s refusal to go along with former prime minister Matteo Renzi’s proposed constitutional reforms
  • America’s impending loss of leverage and face in Asia with the Trans-Pacific Partnership dead in the water and the Chinese colonizing the South China Sea with man-made islands, flattery and a banana export deal for new Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte
  • The impending defeat of ISIS, the extremist group, with the aspirational self-styled “caliphate” reduced to little more than its “capital” Raqqa
  • A US-assisted reversal at the UN for Israel in its attempt to render the Palestinians and their plight invisible to the world. A UN Security Council resolution, which the US did not veto but allowed to pass by abstaining, condemned the construction of Israeli settlements in Palestinian territory

Mostly, the personal is not political in the collective memory chart.