Dirk van den Berg
dirk [at] 1979bigbang.com
pascal [at] 1979bigbang.com
After the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 it didn't take long and the Soviet "Empire of Evil" crumbled as well. That felt like the end of an era. Historian Francis Fukuyama didn’t lose time to announce that the end of history had cometh: "That's it, ladies and gentlemen, please move on, there's nothing more to see here". But history wasn’t over by a long shot. On the contrary: the end of communism was just one of the remarkable results of a new era - an era that silently begun 10 years earlier.
What was happening in the world in 1979?
The Iranians overthrew the shah and proclaimed an Islamic Republic ruled by Imam Ayatollah Khomeini, immediately questioning Saudi Arabia's dominance over Islam.
The British started the revival of free-market economics in the West by electing Margaret Thatcher.
The Chinese were set on a new economic course by Deng Xiaoping, who opened up his country to the world.
People behind the Iron Curtain listened to a new Polish pope who told people that their credence was stronger than communist dictatorship and expropriation of private opinion and property.
And the Soviets began their self-destruction process by invading Afghanistan.
Almost forty years later, each of these events still has profound consequences for the world.
Today the Americans are in Afghanistan, fighting the sons of the people they once armed, while the Russians make pacts with the Taliban. Thatcher's free-market model brought the biggest financial crisis since the Depression, where banks were bailed out while many lost everything, and that paved the way for Brexit.
A SERIES BY DIRK VAN DEN BERG & PASCAL VERROUST
In China that thanks to Deng Xiaoping has become the world's factory, his heirs are rapidly gaining on the American hyperpower, with forecasts indicating that Chinese GDP will be the biggest in the world by 2027. And as the most terrifying legacy of 1979, the radical Islamism that far beyond Iran inspires an invisible network of terrorists still holds the world firmly in its grip.
WIth this series, writers / producers / directors DIRK VAN DEN BERG and PASCAL VERROUST will narrate the untold story that began ten years before 1989.
It is a story whose effects continue to influence our daily lives to this day. And a story that will help us all understand why our present is like it is.
No one saw it coming. But our modern age owes much to 1979, the "Big Bang of the Present".