Wednesday, 29 June 2022

World Industrial Design Day

"World Industrial Design Day 2022 marks the 65th anniversary of WDO Organization (formerly known as the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design – Icsid). This year, as we reflect on more than six decades of championing design for a better world, we are celebrating the theme of leadership and the many ways in which designers are leading the charge towards a better future." (via) This also includes "inclusive design leadership" and "women in design leadership", talks that will be part of the programme (programme).

One of the core values: 
"We respect, embrace and leverage different perspectives/diversity among our members, community and staff." (via)

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photograph (Gelbes Herz by Haus Rucker Co) via

Monday, 27 June 2022

Anonymous Women. By Patty Carroll.

Patty Carroll is a photographer based in Chicago, known for her "highly intense, saturated" colour photographs for decades. Her impressive project "Anonymous Women" is a series (heads, reconstructed, demise, draped) that addresses "women and their complicated relationships with domesticity". Carroll turns situations into hide-and-seek between the viewer and the Anonymous Woman by camouflaging the latter (via).

Series "Heads":
"This intial series of Anonymous Women began when husband and I moved to London for a few years, and I was having a very hard time adjusting to British society. As a photographer and educator I use my maiden name, but in England no one knew me professionally and I was addressed as Mrs. Jones. It made me acutely aware that in more traditional societies, most women are still seen through the lens of their domestic status. It was a situation that led to a small identity crisis. My response was to begin a series of photographs depicting a female model whose identity was hidden behind various domestic objects. These were ‘unportraits’ – about being unseen. This anonymous woman represented the situation in which very many women find themselves." Patty Carroll

Series "Demise":
"I construct narrative, still-life photographs that are imagined interior rooms engulfing the lone figure of a woman. Home is a metaphor for the internal life of women; their worries, desires and interior dialogue. The “stage”sets are full size, using household furniture and objects that combine reality with fictional possibilities. As we have been confined to our homes during the pandemic, the overwhelming experience of being “at home” has new meaning and importance for almost everyone. Home is not only a place for comfort and safety, but the central locus of work and play, and where psychodramas of life are experienced." Patty Carroll

Series "Draped": link
Series "Reconstructed": link

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photographs by Patty Carroll via and via and via and via and via 

Sunday, 26 June 2022

Cross-cultural perspectives on music and musicality

Abstract: Musical behaviours are universal across human populations and, at the same time, highly diverse in their structures, roles and cultural interpretations. Although laboratory studies of isolated listeners and music-makers have yielded important insights into sensorimotor and cognitive skills and their neural underpinnings, they have revealed little about the broader significance of music for individuals, peer groups and communities. This review presents a sampling of musical forms and coordinated musical activity across cultures, with the aim of highlighting key similarities and differences... 


...The focus is on scholarly and everyday ideas about music—what it is and where it originates—as well the antiquity of music and the contribution of musical behaviour to ritual activity, social organization, caregiving and group cohesion. Synchronous arousal, action synchrony and imitative behaviours are among the means by which music facilitates social bonding. The commonalities and differences in musical forms and functions across cultures suggest new directions for ethnomusicology, music cognition and neuroscience, and a pivot away from the predominant scientific focus on instrumental music in the Western European tradition. (Trehub, Becker & Morley, 2015)

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- Trehub, S. E., Becker, J. & Morley, I. (2015). Cross-cultural perspectives on music and musicality. Philos Transactions of the Royal Society of London, Series B, Biol Sciences, 370, full text: link
- photograph of George Harrison via

Friday, 24 June 2022

J'accuse. By Emile Zola.

French novelist and journalist Émile Zola (1840-1902) reacted to the Dreyfus affair (Zola called it "the most preposterous of soap operas") by publishing an open letter to the president entitled "J'accuse".  In the letter, which ran on the front page of the newspaper "L'aurore", he accused the army of conspiring to convict Dreyfus using the public's anti-Semitism. 200.000 copies of the newspaper were sold in Paris alone, Zola was convicted for libel (via).       


Letter to Mr. Félix Faure,
President of the Republic 

Mister President,
Allow me, in my gratitude for the kind welcome you once gave me, to be concerned about your just glory and to tell you that your star, so happy so far, is threatened with the most shameful, the most indelible stain? You came out safe and sound from slander, you won hearts. You appear radiant in the apotheosis of this patriotic celebration that the Russian alliance has been for France, and you are preparing to preside over the solemn triumph of our Universal Exhibition, which will crown our great century of work, truth and freedom. But what a patch of mud on your name - I was going to say on your reign - that this abominable Dreyfus affair! A council of war has just, by order, dared to acquit an Esterhazy, the supreme bellows of all truth, of all justice. And it's over, France has this stain on its cheek, history will write that it was under your presidency that such a social crime could have been committed. Since they dared, I will also dare. The truth, I will say it, because I promised to say it, if justice, regularly seized, did not do it, full and whole. My duty is to speak, I don't want to be an accomplice. My nights would be haunted by the specter of the innocent who atones over there, in the most dreadful of tortures, a crime he did not commit. And it is to you, Mr. President, that I will shout it, this truth, with all the strength of my revolt as an honest man. For your honor, I’m sure you don’t know. And to whom will I denounce the harmful peat of the real culprits, if it is not you, the first magistrate of the country?

(...) O justice, what frightful despair sinks the heart! We go so far as to say that he was the forger, that he fabricated the telegram card to lose Esterhazy. But, great God! Why? What purpose? Give a reason. Is that one also paid for by the Jews? The beauty of the story is that he was justly anti-Semitic. Yes! We are witnessing this infamous spectacle, men lost in debts and crimes whose innocence is proclaimed, while the very honor is struck, a man with a spotless life! When a society is there, it decays. So there you have it, Mr. Speaker, the Esterhazy case: a culprit that was to be found innocent. (...)

And what a nest of low intrigue, gossip and squandering, has become this sacred asylum, where the fate of the fatherland is decided! We are horrified by the terrible day that the Dreyfus affair has just thrown into it, this human sacrifice of an unfortunate, a "dirty Jew"! Ah! all that has been agitated there about insanity and foolishness, crazy imaginations, practices of low police, mores of inquisition and tyranny, the good pleasure of some braided men putting their boots on the nation, entering it in the throat his cry of truth and justice, under the pretext liar and sacrilege of reason of State! And it is still a crime to have relied on the filthy press, to have allowed oneself to be defended by all the scoundrel of Paris, so that this is the scoundrel who triumphs insolently, in the defeat of law and simple probity. It is a crime to have accused of disturbing France those who want it generous, at the head of free and just nations, when one plots the impudent conspiracy to impose error, before the whole world . It is a crime to mislead public opinion, to use this opinion which has been perverted to the point of delirium for a death task. It is a crime to poison the small and the humble, to exasperate the passions of reaction and intolerance, by sheltering behind the odious anti-Semitism, of which the great liberal France of human rights will die, if she is not cured of it. It is a crime to exploit patriotism for works of hate, and it is a crime, finally, to make the saber the modern god, when all human science is at work for the next work of truth and justice. (...) I have said it elsewhere, and I repeat it here: when we shut up the truth underground, it accumulates there, it takes on such a force of explosion that, the day it bursts, it blows everything up with she. we’ll see if we don’t just prepare for the most resounding disasters for later. (...)

I have only one passion, that of light, in the name of humanity which has suffered so much and which has the right to happiness. My fiery protest is only the cry of my soul. So dare you put me on trial and let the investigation take place! I wait. Please accept, Mr. President, the assurance of my deep respect. 

::: link to complete letter: LINK

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photograph via

Saturday, 18 June 2022

Asian American Media Representation: Emasculate, Timid, Nerdy

Abstract: While the number of Asian Americans in the U.S. continues to grow and media use increases, misrepresentations of this group remain common in U.S. films. Examining representation of Asian Americans in the media is important because media can positively and negatively impact identity development, which is a fundamental cognitive, social, and developmental task related to understanding one’s place in the social world. Misrepresentations can also shape intergroup interactions by influencing how out-group members view and interact with Asian Americans. 


This study investigated representations of Asian Americans in the media through a film analysis. Observations of the film analysis focused on identifying the presence of representation that either resisted or confirmed stereotypes portrayed by Asian characters in films over the past 25 years. Data were collected on the frequency and type of role (e.g., lead vs. supporting character), characteristics displayed, and the content of dialogue by Asian characters in the films. Results suggested that the frequency of lead roles increased over the last 25 years, with more diverse genres emerging in recent years. Stereotype-resisting representations were present (e.g., brave, loyal, mischievous), especially in more recent films. However, stereotype-confirming representations remained prevalent (e.g., emasculate, timid, nerdy), which affirms the historic trend of misrepresentation of Asian Americans in film. The discussion centers on how Asian American representations in media may affect identity development in Asian American adolescents and young adults and influence intergroup interactions. The authors conclude with recommendations for future research and implications for practice.

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- Besana, T., Katsiaficas, D. & Loyd, A. B. (2020). Asian American Media Representation: A Film Analysis and Implications for Identity Development. Research in Human Development, 16 (3-4), 201-225, abstract
- photograph by Dorothea Lange via

Friday, 17 June 2022

World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought

According to a report published by the United Nations, women - who account for about half of agricultural employment across low-income countries - are more susceptible than men to negative consequences of desertification and drought ... the very reason: sexism. 

A lack of land rights (in more than 100 countries, women are denied the right to inherit property belonging to their husbands) and social equity bars women fom accessing capital, training and assistance which in turn makes or keeps them powerless. Often, they are not recognised as farmers due to gender norms. The lack of recognition keeps them from having access to protection against climate-related damages (e.g. access to information: climate forecasts are often shared in meetings women cannot attend). Women struggle to secure loans and credit to recover from these damages particularly if they have no land titles or assets. Having no financial resources and no technology also mean that there is no adaptation to sustainable land management practices to prevent further climate damages. Despite playing a vital role in the global food system, women's contribution is often unrecognised and unpaid (via).

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photograph of a Dust Bowl refugee taken by Dorothea Lange ("A mother in California who with her husband and her two children will be returned to Oklahoma by the Relief Administration. This family had lost a two-year-old baby during the winter as a result of exposure.") via, caption via

Thursday, 16 June 2022

"John Rennon's Excrusive Gloupie"

She is known as an artist but - perhaps even more - as the woman who broke up the Beatles:. In an interview, Ono offers a different perspective: “I was used as a scapegoat, a very easy scapegoat. You know, a Japanese woman and whatever.”
“You think some of it was sexism, racism?” 
“Sexism, racism. But also just remember that the United States and Britain were fighting with Japan in World War II. It was just after that in a way so I can understand how they felt.” (via). An Esquire magazine article published in 1970 used racist language to mock her accent and called her "John Rennon's Excrusive Gloupie".


photograph of Yoko Ono via

Wednesday, 15 June 2022

Falling Over versus Having a Fall

In her article written for The Guardian, Zoe Williams describes the different terminology used for identical incidents, differences that are based on age (and ageism) alone and what impact language has on her stepmother's feelings.

"It’s the terminology that’s getting her down. When a young person falls over, they “fell over”, or more commonly “FOWT” (fell over while texting). Over 70 and you’ve “had a fall”. The nurses audibly describe patients as “breakfasted” when they have had breakfast, she says. It sounds quite cute, though, doesn’t it? A bit bucolic, as if they are little lambs. Nope, apparently this is not cute. She used to hate the word “sprightly”, but now it’s been so rudely, suddenly excised from her CV that she has changed her mind. Someone in her notes calls her “quite alert for her age”. I find this difficult to believe – call her “quite alert” if you like, doc, but I’d love to see you try to give her the wrong change."
Zoe Williams

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photograph by Jane Brown via

Tuesday, 14 June 2022

At the silky tones of my rich and comfortable aunt

"I think I knew first what side I was on when I was about five years old, at which time nobody was safe from buffaloes. It was in a brownstone house in New York, and there was a blizzard, and my rich aunt - a horrible woman then and now - had come to visit. I remember going to the window and seeing the street with the men shoveling snow; their hands were purple on their shovels, and their feet were wrapped with burlap. And my aunt, looking over her shoulder, said, "Now isn't this nice that there's this blizzard. Now all those men have work." And I knew that it was not nice that men could work for their lives only in desperate weather, that there was no work for them in fair. That was when I became anti-fascist, at the silky tones of my rich and comfortable aunt."
Dorothy Parker

photograph of Dorothy Parker by Richard Avedon (1958) via

Friday, 10 June 2022

Ageing, Getting Fatter, More Wrinkles and the Happiness and Freedom that Come with It

“Ageing brings a lot of happiness. You get fatter and more wrinkles, and that’s not so good, but there is a freedom that comes with it...


...The freedom is: I better do what I want to do now, because I’ll be dead soon. So this is my last chance. Also, there’s a serenity that comes – I had the career I had, good or bad, I did the best I could, and now I continue pursuing what is interesting to me.”
Isabella Rossellini

photographs via and via