What happens when the national unemployment rate for your (my) generation reaches 60%? You grab a ukulele, hit the subway, and put your resume to music.
That’s exactly what Enzo Vizcaíno did in Barcelona:
Spain has been struggling for years now to get its financial house in order, and the 20-something crowd has been suffering extensively as a consequence. Back in 2008, when I was an exchange student in Bilbao, the crisis had just begun, but the effects were immediate. Every day on my way to and from class, I passed through a pedestrian tunnel where a couple had set up their home – a young couple, who nightly laid out their cardboard to get some fitful shuteye. Those who can are packing up and leaving, seeking work in Germany, England, France and other neighboring countries. A good friend of mine is in the same boat and he has no idea when – or if – he’ll return to Spain. He used his German skills to get a job in Berlin and though he misses home a lot, there simply isn’t work available – even for the highly educated, just like Enzo.
Enzo brings an upbeat tune and humor to his song to ease the tension (you can see how some of the passengers are squirming in discomfort, while others use it as an excuse to dance), but if you look at the lyrics closely, it’s a cry of desperation. He’s talented, highly skilled and not asking for handouts. Any job at this point will do (también me sé arrodillar). From a political standpoint, this is a very scary place for a country to be in – when its youngest, brightest minds have no incentive that would motivate them to invest in their own patria. It’s very tough to maintain a highly educated population and a high unemployment rate; people know how to complain and make the government look bad. The Spanish government may not be paying any attention to cases like Enzo’s, but they would be wise to, because people like Enzo can become rallying points for the disenchanted and disenfranchised.
Buena suerte Enzo.