Leftist intellectual Ernesto Freire writes an academic paper on the Spanish “lost generation” of the 2008 crisis. He uses the case of his friend Martín Valera as an example. Freire contends that for Valera, as for most people in Spain, the crisis never ended—instead, its dire consequences were gradually accepted as a “new normal.” Freire also considers the cycle of protests and “assault on institutions” that started in 2011 as a lost opportunity, blaming the apathy of the Spanish public (and Valera's) for it. Meanwhile, Valera writes his own anxieties in a journal: his father is in the hospital, and he struggles raising a fragile child, while his wife gets involved in feminist activism. Valera finds increasing relief in writing, encouraged by the words of a former high school teacher: “If we don't tell our stories, they will be told by those who speak in the name of the people.”

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