A look back at the words found in the news in 2022
- Disclosure -
With the war in Ukraine and Russian President Vladimir Putin's more or less clear threats, the possibility of a nuclear war, or at least a tactical nuclear strike, is back in the public debate as never before in decades. "We were faced with the prospect of an Apocalypse from Kennedy and the Cuban Missile Crisis" in 1962, summed up US President Joe Biden in early October. Against Moscow, the nuclear-armed powers are forced to seriously question their deterrence capability and possible response.
- Certification -
The blue tick that authenticates the owner of a Twitter account speaks for itself of the cacophony that has dominated the social network since it was acquired in late October for $44 billion by billionaire Elon Musk. After launching a paid version of profile authentication, the social network is forced to suspend the new system after just 2 days: due to a lack of identity verification, many accounts falsely appear to belong to celebrities or big businesses, from basketball player LeBron James to Nintendo. At the end of November comes a new announcement: Twitter will soon release gray, gold and blue indicators to distinguish the different kinds of verified accounts on the platform.
- "Woman, Life, Freedom" -
The slogan of protesters in Iran, which has become one of the symbols of the protest movement that erupted after the death of 22-year-old Iranian-Kurdish Mahsha Amini on September 16, three days after she was arrested in Tehran by morality police for not wearing the right dress her headscarf, for violating the Islamic Republic's strict dress code. This can be heard in the almost daily protests that have been very violently suppressed since Amini's death, mentioned in the messages of support on social media, in Iran and abroad, and even written on a banner in the stadium at the first Iranian football match in the World Cup.
- White glue -
Many Chinese have been expressing their opposition to the government and its strict "zero COVID-19" policy since late November, inventing ways to bypass censorship and show their anger and support at the protests. In several cities, including Beijing, protesters are holding up white sticky notes of A4 paper in solidarity, referring to the lack of freedom of expression in China. Others also leave blank squares on their WeChat profile.
- London Bridge -
From the announcement of death to the funeral protocol and the circumstances of her successor's recovery to the throne, Operation London Bridge provides a step-by-step account of the events following the death of Queen Elizabeth II, who died on September 8th at the age of 96, after 70 years on the throne of the United Kingdom of Great Britain. Although it has been set up in the finest detail for years and has been revised frequently, the need to make last-minute adjustments has arisen as the Queen breathed her last in Scotland, far from the British capital.
- "Losses and Damages" -
After a year that has sadly shown the acceleration of the devastating effects of global warming, the UN climate conference finally reaches an agreement, described as "historic", to create a fund intended to compensate for climate "losses". and damage', which the poorest countries are already experiencing. This measure, which is adopted almost overnight, while it is not even on the agenda of COP27 -- a conference with an otherwise rather contradictory report -- is a request for time by the poorest countries. Mainly afraid of admitting any legal responsibility, the rich countries, which historically emit the largest amount of greenhouse gases, have rejected it for years.
- Post-fascist -
A century after Benito Mussolini came to power, the victory of the far-right "Brothers of Italy" party in parliamentary elections in late September allowed its leader, Giorgia Meloni, to become Italy's first female prime minister. The leader of the "post-fascist" party has not stopped trying to reassure people since her election. "I have never had sympathy or closeness to anti-democratic regimes. For any regime, including fascism," emphasizes the one who in her youth was an admirer of Mussolini.
- "Roe v. Wade" -
In a historic twist, the ultra-conservative US Supreme Court in June is burying the landmark 1973 "Roe v. Wade" decision, which guaranteed American women's right to abortion but had never been embraced by the religious right. His decision ushers the US into a post-Roe v. Wade world, where each state is free to approve or disapprove voluntary pregnancy terminations on its own soil. Some fifteen have banned them, while epic political and legal battles are underway elsewhere, a testament to the passions that the abortion issue still stirs in the country. The results of the recent midterm elections in the US for Congress, however, give the opportunity for many supporters of the right to abortion to rejoice in many victories, such as the one in the very conservative state of Kentucky, where voters rejected in a referendum an anti-rights proposal in abortion.
- Saving -
Lower the heating, wear warm clothes, limit the use of electrical appliances...: in the midst of an energy crisis and in the context of the war in Ukraine and the desire to wean ourselves off Russian natural gas, calls to save energy are multiplying, especially in Europe. Aimed at avoiding outages and breakdowns and also part of the fight against climate change, this much-hyped savings is also for many consumers an economic necessity in many countries hit hard by inflation.
- Tomato soup -
Tomato soup is thrown at Vincent van Gogh's "Sunflowers" in London, mashed potatoes at Claude Monet's "Veils" near Berlin, flour in a BMW, Andy Warhol's work in Milan...: the end of the year is marked by protest actions by environmental activists aimed at artworks to raise public awareness of climate change. The artworks, which are covered by protective glass -- to which other activists stick their hands, as happened with Johannes Vermeer's famous painting "Girl with a Pearl Earring" -- are not damaged. These and other actions by these activists, such as stopping sports matches or blocking roads, are aimed at re-heating the climate debate, even at the risk of provoking reactions from part of the public opinion.