Two-Zero-Two-One: A Compendium

By Deisha Paliwal


2020: the year  during which, somehow, everything and nothing happened. If you find yourself not wanting to look back on what this year brought, cast your gaze ahead instead. Here is your compendium of what to look for, look forward to, and look out for in 2021 (in no particular order). 


Economic Recovery 

 I exhausted the question “In this economy?” in 2020, inserting it whether it was appropriate for the conversation or had no place in it at all. The economic impact of the pandemic varies across countries and among populations. Similarly, the global economic recovery that will follow vaccine distribution will be non-uniform. Look for governmental strategies  addressing unemployment, food security, and  support of small businesses. The term “fiscal policy” isn’t reserved for the glossary of your ECON 208 textbook.  


Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro 

 Recipient of the Booker prize and Nobel prize for literature, Kazuo Ishiguro is an esteemed author of contemporary fiction. Ishiguro’s novel, Klara and the Sun, is set for publication in March. The book explores questions of promises and love through the eyes of an observational narrator. Whether you’re new to Ishiguro’s work or well versed in his prose, be sure to look out for a copy.


Space Exploration 

 NASA’s rover, Perseverance, along with other spacecrafts from China and the U.A.E. will land on Mars this year after their launch in 2020. After a 300-million mile journey, they too are brimming with 2020’s exhaustion (and exhaust). 


Climate Change Action 

 2021 comes with a list of opportunities that we are not at liberty to decline. Advancing a global agenda on climate change that the pandemic thwarted is perhaps at the top. Although restrictions drove a historic drop in carbon emissions, global warming is still projected to exceed the 1.5˚C threshold identified in the Paris Agreement. The UN climate summit (COP26) scheduled for November and the platform of a new presidential administration bring hope for progress. 



 Although sold-out stadiums seem inconceivable for now, and morning car rides are infrequent for most, music has not grown any less important. 2021 will see more elaborate virtual gigs and the comeback of vinyl. For pop culture connoisseurs: Drake, Sia, and Lana Del Rey will be coming out with new music this year. The movie adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical “In the Heights” is also scheduled for release in June. 


Black Lives Matter: Keeping up the Momentum 

 The murder of George Floyd on May 25 at the hands of Minneapolis police catalyzed a civil rights movement against systemic racism and police brutality. While the Black community continues the fight that they have started long ago , people and corporations who proclaimed allyship in June cannot cast it aside as the news cycle cycles. Systems of oppression are persistent; to dismantle them, we must keep up the momentum into next year and always. 


Support Black-owned businesses; denounce racism  from other people and institutions; interrogate it in yourself; follow up on the petitions you signed in June; sign more; pressure political representatives to pursue change; be anti-racist; engage with the activism of organizations you donated to; donate to more; advocate for diversity; demand justice for Breonna Taylor, and don’t stop there. It’s 2021 and Black lives will always matter.


The document linked below contains a compilation of materials to engage with activism and the Black Lives Matter movement in Montreal. 


And that’s a wrap. The past twelve months have been a hard four years. wallow in them briefly; take solace in knowing they are over and look ahead to what the next twelve will bring. Happy New Year!