We Are Just One

By Víctor Manuel Rubio Carrillo

In this video, I explore the nature of my environment through a musical and visual production. We face great challenges, and the impact of COVID-19 has led humanity to reflect on the underlying societal injustices and violence that sadly become normalized. This work is my effort to add to our cultural memory what we have gone through, and what we must overcome.

Lyrics of the Song

We are actors of the most radical play of the millennium
It took us by surprise, it left us to improvise

The cities transformed, isolation is norm
Exposing the ruptures of fantasy-centered growth
Then there are the ones who need us the most, yet mandate stated to just stay home
While those who are in charged can rest safe in comfort of systems that raised disparity as their own…

Backtrack and find, where was the point in that led us to fight?
Brothers and sisters encountered towards an individual desire
They said forget mutual aid, now is the time to win, who cares who you step over to achieve
If we let ourselves lose track of the essence of being alive, we risk the torture of exploiting against our kind, our kind…  

They said to fight!
Is not our war!
We are just one!
Hold my hand!


Music Composition, Performance, and Production: Víctor Manuel Rubio Carrillo

Featured Image: World Peace – Josh Hild

Photos used in the video: Man Laying in the Street: Harrison Haines; Street in Vadodara – Chris John; Woman Holding Coins – Riya Kumari; Children in Mbale – Dazzle Jam; Man Sitting in the Street – Milan Rout; Girl in Fence – Namo Deet; Man’s Face – Pixabay

Videos: Protests and Aerial View of Buildings in Squared Property – Kelly Lacy; City’s Aerial View of Business District – Taryn Elliot; Moon, People Throwing Fire, and US Dollars – Pixabay; COVID animation – Victor Varetto; Money Inside a Bottle – Ricardo Esquivel

8 responses to “We Are Just One”

  1. Safiya Jackson says:

    The lyrics of this song describe the reality of living in a world that has been turned upside down and inside out. Listeners may be left to ponder various philosophical questions, such as, “What does it even mean to be normal in this society?” or “Why do bad things happen to good people” This video and the lyrics have left me with thoughts and ideas to ponder. For example, “What realities have I not been aware of that are contributing to an exclusive and hierarchical social culture?” and “What can I do to implement preventative measures to counteract the injustice so that it does not reach the point of horrific violence?”

    • Víctor Manuel Rubio Carrillo says:

      Thank you for your thoughtful comment Safiya.
      You raise an important issue regarding hierarchical cultures. Indeed, we are embedded in cultures where we reach roles of increasing authority. With authority, we gain power. I think it is on how we deal with power that makes the difference between abuse, domination, and cultivation of balance and the wellbeing of the whole. It is easier said than done, and easier to think about it than to act upon it. More so, when we often face the constraints of institutionalized cultures that may force us to keep acting unilaterally. For that, we need to create new spaces, even if temporal, but spaces where we can mobilize the awareness towards action. It is a struggle, but liberation has never been an easy task.

  2. Jose Hidalgo says:

    I fully agree on the fact that everything just took us wildly by surprise. It’s been very difficult to mentally redo plenty of things that we have always taken for granted during this isolation time. It’s hard not to project what we know of our world into a world that’s new and can’t be compared to the old one. I see how difficult it really is to just try and be “normal” when things are not normal anymore. I see it in my job: My teachers were, at the beginning, trying to replicate their on-site classes during online lessons, but students weren’t there, there was no smell, no contact, no board, no chalk, no notebooks, no offices and no contact. It took them very long to create a new set of rules and mechanics for their classes. I project to to everyone else, and I know we are all enduring this situation.

    Unfortunately, be it human nature or ugly capitalism at its prime, many have arisen to get advantage of this new constructions to try and intervene on how and what we do regarding our views on society. People have gotten richer making others miserable, isolation is not the same for everyone, many have died and there are many to fight for. I also agree very much on this criticism of “stepping on anyone that’s needed if it means you’ll succeed”, I think more people need to be aware that creating bonds and communities are the only real and actual ways to overcome hardships such as the ones we’ve faced during this pandemic.

    I’m sorry if my ideas are just all entangled and it’s hard to follow my writing. The images, the music and the lyrics just overflowed me with thoughts and feelings. Maybe I’ll be able to return to it soon and I’ll be able to organise what I feel and think much more.

    • Víctor Manuel Rubio Carrillo says:

      Thank you for engaging with this work. Such is the intention of this type of artistic representation. I understand what you mean by the new senses of normality, we really are adapting to new sets of normal. I share with you the experiences while teaching, where things have disappeared. Even when we go face-to-face now, there are no more smiles, only masked faces. It is harder to relate and interpret each other, we are still understanding it…

      You are right, isolation is not the same for everyone. As I portray, staying at home is for those of us who have been privileged enough to safely watch this unfold from our computers. I also share with you the idea of creating bonds and communities. Where we are now, virtual communities are a valuable outlet. This interaction we have shared here, we could not have done otherwise.

      Thank you again for engaging, and for being receptive and open to feel with me what the music depicts.

  3. Nicolas Coffman says:

    Thank you for addressing the privilege of staying home. I think it has become easy to criticize those who leave out of necessity while ignoring the infrastructure that allows so many to stay at home, while simultaneously siphoning resources away from community members to a few service providers. I fear it is only becoming easier to oppress others, not from a lack of concern or increased malice, but the complacency that comes from being physically detached. I believe that your previous comment about watching events unfold from the safety of screens extends into the arenas of public discourse, long observed to be isolated from dissenting thought and so those most in need are increasingly excluded from economic, political and social participation.

  4. Adrienne Adams says:

    Thank you, Victor, for this incredible piece. The composition of the background instrumentals generates a sonic motion for the words and images you share. The effect of these instrumentals is a reminder of how music composition and performance are central, rather than decorative elements of social protest. I am then reminded of the how issue of form, instrumentation, and genre are critical for understanding the content and context of a piece.

  5. David Echeverria says:

    Nice, Dr. V. Music to change the world (and the people)

  6. Ionah Scully says:

    Such beautiful music and so important to remember the need for music and arts as ways of interrupting the world as it is now.

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