Smile, the Fiction Has Already Begun

By Zoe Hough

Why do we value happiness so much more than other emotions? The pursuit of happiness is accepted as a good thing almost without question. Happiness, however, is no longer just the desire of the individual, but of governments and legislative bodies.

Following the UN Resolution 65/309 in 2011, which encouraged all member states to measure happiness, countries are now ranked according to the happiness of their citizens; Happiness is starting to be positioned as a better measure of a nations success than GDP.

This project aims to question the motivations behind this global legislative trend of focusing on happiness, which in its essence is immeasurable. Although as individuals we may each wish to be happy, when our emotions become an indicator of government ’success’, where might this attempted control over our emotions end, and at what price?