Thursday, 14 January 2021

Doing Gender in Coffee Shops

"Overall my observations confirmed my assumption that the majority of customers frequenting Coffee Corps displayed either hegemonic masculinity or emphasized femininity (Connell 1987). However, the focus of my research was to identify gender maneuvering strategies (Schippers 2002), therefore the results of this study suggest that many individuals performed gender displays which differed from their perceived primary gender expression to varying degrees...

...These displays often seemed to reify hegemonic masculinity when enacted by individuals displaying an overall masculine or feminine gender display, and conversely a few individuals appeared to challenge the gender hierarchy through a display of an alternative femininity. Examples of gender maneuvering were often observed in the interactions of mixed-gender dyads in which individuals attempted to access masculine cultural capital through a temporary display of hegemonic masculinity or emphasized femininity." 
McClean, 2014 

"The way in which customers interact with employees shapes and reinforces present notions of gender. Many of my coworkers are verbal about their under-standing of male and female gender performances. At times, they were quick to assume passivity or compliance from female customers regardless of their engagement with emphasized fem-ininity as well as assumed assertiveness and confidence in men regardless of the performances of hegemonic masculinity. In es-sence, they were quick to essentialize male and female behavior based on the traditional gender performances that took place at The Coffee House. Therefore, traditional gender performances were also upheld by my coworkers through their narratives of essentialist gender differences." 
Limbourg, 2003

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- Limbourg, A. (2003). Large Americano, Extra Masculine: How People Do Gender at the Coffee House. Journal for Undergraduate Ethnography, 3(2), link
-McClean, J. (2014). Gender Maneuvering over Coffee: Doing Gender through Displays of Hegemonic Masculinity and Alternative Femininity. Journal for Undergraduate Ethnography, 4(2), 19-31.
- photograph by Saul Leiter via

Thursday, 7 January 2021

Sunny and cold with a small chance of snow and a higher chance of inclusion

New German Media Makers, an association of journalists with different backgrounds, has named a low-pressure system bringing low temperatures Ahmet, after a boy's name of Turkish origin in order to make weather news more cross-cultural and make the country's ethnic diversity more visible. Other names to follow for low-pressure systems are Cemal, Goran, Hakim and Dimitrios, and Bożena, Chana or Dragica for high-pressure systems (via).

"The weather-naming project, which the group dubbed #WeatherCorrection, is a symbolic initiative demanding that Germany’s diversity be better reflected across society. The group is lobbying German media outlets to establish hiring quotas for journalists of colour and from migrant families. The group estimates that journalists of colour are vastly underrepresented in the media in Germany. They say only between 5% to 10% of reporters and editors in Germany have migrant roots."

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photograph by Saul Leiter via

Monday, 4 January 2021

The Pandemic. The Best Time for Elder Financial Abuse.

"Abusers are using the threat of the virus and the isolation to provide misinformation to people. One of the threats that abusers are using is… 'If you don't hand over your check, I can get you put into a nursing home, and you will die there' or 'If you don't hand over your check, I'll come visit you, and I've been out and exposed. Being locked in the house with the person they might be most afraid of — who might be threatening, hurting or manipulating them — it takes a situation that was rocky beforehand and makes it worse in this environment. We expect that it's getting worse."
Bonnie Brandl

photograph by Richard Kalvar (NYC, 1969) via

Sunday, 3 January 2021

Rodriguez. Bigger than Elvis.

I wonder about the tears in children's eyes
And I wonder about the soldier that dies
I wonder will this hatred ever end?
I wonder and worry, my friend
I wonder, I wonder, wonder don't you?

"The first white anti-Apartheid movement derived [inspiration] from a few rock bands. Rodriguez was the first artist that actually had political content that was anti-establishment that got heard. ... By remote control, Rodriguez was actually changing a society." 
In the 1970s, Sixto Rodriguez was a superstar in South Africa where some of his songs became anthems of the anti-Apartheid movement (via) ... making him bigger than Elvis ... and where his music was "outlawed by the authorities and only played on pirate radio" (via). 
It’s the plaintive, yearning, totally honest-and-true way that Rodriguez sings, combined with his easy fingering on a six-string guitar, that touches the heart and mind. That’s why his music is said to have the political impact and cultural clout of the early Bob Dylan. (via)

Rodriguez grew up witnessing first-hand the oppression throughout the city (Detroit). What he experienced on the streets inspired his songs, and he began his musical career–or attempted to. During the day, Rodriguez was a hard-working laborer who worked in demolition and housing restoration, and by night he was a melodic, poetic messenger, a voice for the locally oppressed. (via)

photograph via, song "I wonder" via YouTube

Saturday, 2 January 2021

... entirely spurious ... but important

"All nationalistic distinctions - all claims to be better than somebody else because you have a different-shaped skull or speak a different dialect - are entirely spurious, but they are important so long as people believe in them."
George Orwell

photograph by James Barnor via

Thursday, 31 December 2020

2020. Over.

"Stop pretending this nightmare will abruptly stop with the arbitrary changing of the calendar year." 
Werner Herzog

The thousand days of 2020 have flown by and we have finally reached the last day of the year: Thursday the 42nd of December, also known as the seventeenth month of the year. I wish you all the best for 2021, lots of love, health, sunshine, art brut, optimism, patience, hope, inspiration, wonderful adventures in jungles and under water, delicious food, beautiful inclusive design, happy-ends, and the most marvellous and diverse people around you. And thank you so much for following this blog.

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photograph (MLM), cat and bird inspired by the great Saul Steinberg, clock by twitter

Tuesday, 29 December 2020

Young + Black + Male + Stop + Search

According to an examination of stop and search data (67.997 vehicles were stopped by officers) in London from July to September 2020, young black males were 19 times more likely to be stopped than the general population and 28 times more likely to be stopped on suspicion of carrying weapons (via).

“Being male and being aged under 35 are more powerful predictors of a group having a higher search rate than that group being non-white. The reasons for these differences are likely to be complex: many types of offending are concentrated among some groups (particularly young men) as well as in some neighbourhoods, and there are longstanding issues of bias and stereotyping among police and in society.” (via)

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photograph by James Barnor (wedding guest, London, 1964) via

Monday, 28 December 2020

Our Culture is Our Resistance

These images are from my first book, Our Culture is Our Resistance: Repression, Refuge and Healing in Guatemala (powerHouse Books, 2004). This was an eight year project about the primarily indigenous-Mayan people of Guatemala that were uprooted by the long internal armed conflict, the internally displaced populations, refugees, and the 200,000 people who were massacred, assassinated or disappeared between 1960 and the end of 1996. 

These images were taken between 1993 and 2001, mostly of the internally displaced Communities of Population in Resistance, their return and resettlement to new lands, and exhumations of clandestine cemeteries. This work intends to show what happened in Guatemala and express solidarity with both the victims and the survivors who continue to work for truth and justice in their country. 
Jonathan Moller 

photographs via

Saturday, 26 December 2020

When pushing, hitting, beating, taking money from bank account are not seen as elder abuse

The pandemic is making vulnerable people more vulnerable acting like a "pressure cooker" since due to the lockdown they are "unable to speak out" and lack "the safeguards of day-to-day contact with neighbours, friends and the outside world". The abuse of older people is, according to a poll, at "unprecedented levels". In the UK, one in five aged over 65 have been abused, i.e., approximately 2.7 million people.

It gets even worse. The survey reveals conflicting views about what is elder abuse. More than a third do not believe that "inappropriate sexual acts directed at older people" or "pushing, hitting, or beating an older person" or taking money from their bank account without permission count as abuse (via).

"Our polling shows that while people know that abuse of older people is a problem in the UK today, there’s a complete disconnect between awareness of the issue and a true understanding of the role we all play in preventing abuse."
Richard Robinson

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photograph by Tony Ray-Jones via

Wednesday, 23 December 2020

The Radical Beauty Project

Fashion and art photographers shoot photographs for the Radical Beauty Project, all of them for free, the models all have Down's Syndrome. The collection - a photography book - does not aim to be a "charity coffee-table" one but high art (via).
“I didn’t necessarily want crowd-pleasing images. Some people find that disturbing. They don’t want to empower people with Down’s syndrome. They don’t see them as powerful people. So they resist it.”
Daniel Vais, creative director

“This is hardcore art. It’s not charitable or cute. We don’t want to play that card. This is avante-garde art and fashion.” 
Daniel Vais 

photographs of Lily D. Moore by Elisaveta Porodina via and via