In his Theses on the Philosophy of History Walter Benjamin made use of Paul Klee’s painting Angelus Novus or ‘Angel of History’ to present a rather uncanny image of hope blocking the tide of progress blowing from Paradise. Who might be this helpless angel suspended in mid-air, flapping its wings in their full length with all its might, is still a mystery. What is more surprising is that this angel is facing paradise as its back faces the future. Take note it’s a painting and the angel is facing us. And the future—the wall which we are about to hit as we continue to embrace progress.
As we welcome the New Year perhaps it might be time to reflect where we should be standing opposite the angel. I would like to great everyone then a happy new year if only to express hope that we are not about to hit the wall sooner than we can expect. Happy New Year!