Boumerang is born from a paradox.
The terms globalization and global citizen have become undeniably popular: corporations see no border between them and foreign markets, politicians see no tension between their national mandate and their foreign policy measures, media and entertainment industries see no disadvantage in galvanizing the attention of a global audience.
Yet, the world's people, who may be globe-trotters or global minds, consumers of global brands or their global followers, cannot be truly deemed as global citizens. As exclusive as it may have been, citizenship in Ancient Greece could still teach us something about the crux of what makes one a real citizen, which comes from polis, the city. The term politics is therefore a derived word, which means collective action.
Where, then, is our own modern and global version of the Greek public agora, a forum for collective action, accessible to all citizens, to discuss and engage with matters of global importance? As a global citizen, what can YOU do when global political tensions, human rights abuses, or environmental disasters explode at the other end of the planet?
We turn to long posts on social platforms that prioritize ad dollars and influencers over organic reach. We turn to conversations with friends and family that are overpowered by the blaring sounds of television news anchors and the slamming effect of bold newspaper headlines. We turn to our local streets, often in small numbers, without enough clout or influence to get our voices heard globally - let alone change the course of global history.
We are on the receiving end of a global social contract we haven't yet signed - by default, ceding our global people's power, our individual ability to have a say in our world, to giants that have the capital, the fame and the power to be heard at a global scale. Kim Kardashian is more likely to free a prisoner stranded unfairly at the other end of the planet than the ordinary citizen.
Without a global public sphere that hears and sees all its members, our world becomes shaped by the few. This atomization of society, as Hannah Arendt theorized it, sees us more and more fragmented from one another and it has ultimately caused a de-enchantment of politics. A politics or a masquerade of elites that we observe from our screens, passively. Long gone is this idea that a political animal must be as much an input to politics as its output.
Whereas the Ancient Greeks found in their political efforts a pathway to immortality, through the deeds they leave behind; the new generation is encouraged to see this eternal sense of accomplishment in the number of followers or capital they amass in their lifetime.
Our sense of purpose also finds meaning in structures or organizations that bring us out of our isolation and give us the promise of political purpose. We become reporters for giant news conglomerations, civil servants for the UN or other NGOs, or professionals in big corporations, who, from time to time, make donations.
The problem of the 21st century's "young professional" is precisely the malaise that comes from organizations - our individual input is spared for the sake of the collective's unified stance - a position often spearheaded by those at the top of the economic hierarchy.
It is this helplessness of the individual global citizen that Boumerang seeks to highlight. Faced with imminent global disasters and continuous suffering, we are no longer able to convince ourselves that the solution ought to be fixed by any form of organizational body, governmental or not.
It is time to re-enchant politics. Re-orient our own individual position in the public realm. The possibilities for making a change in our local surroundings are endless - we just need to understand our role as political agents and assess our potential for action. Think of it as the awakening scene of a film hero. When Harry Potter realized that he was the chosen one - that he couldn't step out and simply take a back seat to the action.
Re-enchanting our public lives requires the same creativity and imagination we find in film or television. How come we anticipate the ending of shows like Game of Thrones and fear for our favorite characters without doing the same kind of future-thinking for our own world?
The suspense and sense of gratification we find in artistic work can be replicated within political work. Boumerang strives to find new exciting channels for political participation - some involving new technologies, mediatization, role-play and performance, storytelling, direction, curation and interactivity.
Keep watching the hero on screen in your private lives. But when you step into the public realm, you may indeed march, not walk, with the beat of drums. You are the hero of your own tale - a story you can write with the vigor of a screenwriter, yet which you can embody and own as though the cameras were filming.
Political action is after all our version of wands or lightsabers. The one weapon we possess and which, to fully realize its potential, we ought to believe in. No matter how fictive it may sound.