This week’s illustration by the ever brilliant Bangalore-based Sonaksha Iyengar, whose work revolves around the ideas of self care, body image, gender, feminism, social justice, community care, and inclusion. Hire her for your illustration needs!
This week I am thinking of the trust I am bestowed to be allowed in one of the many opportunities where I get to reflect how to consider care and safety in the work we do, and the spaces we share with others. I am also thinking of how honoured I am to have amazing, talented, and self-actualised friends who would never hesitate to invite me along in their journey of growth and learning.
This week my heart is with my friends and everyone in Beirut, in Belarus, in Zimbabwe, in Palestine, in Kashmir, in Xinjiang, and elsewhere. It is depressing to think that the list is still going on. Not to forget all of us in this Bolehland, having to contend with the audacity of our political leaders obsessively mired in their drive for individual power, while the country and the world is ravaged with a deadly pandemic and a debilitating recession. How dare. It feels futile to even hope. But wherever there is hope, there is resilience. Wherever there is resilience, there is action. Wherever there is action, there is change. What better way to alchemise anger, tire, and hope than to turn them, one day at a time, into action. After all, in the words of Ursula K. Le Guin, “Any human power can be resisted and changed by human beings.”
I also couldn’t stop thinking of this incredible photo of Frida Kahlo and the accompanying letter she wrote to Diego Rivera before her leg was to be amputated, or in her words, “to be chopped up in peace”. Whenever I think of how I want to express myself, I want to do like this exactly.
Reading in my tabs:
- Hey, brace ourselves — this coronavirus is here for the long haul.
- This is very fascinating: What Lego can teach us about physical interface design. Also, a hundred racist designs.
- Bosses started spying on remote workers. Now they’re fighting back. (Good)
- To demonstrate the inherent vulnerabilities in AI systems, researchers have demonstrated that they can fool a modern face recognition system into seeing someone who isn’t there. Yikes.
- “I came to think of Amazon and Google as the providers of the very infrastructure of the internet, so embedded in the architecture of the digital world that even their competitors had to rely on their services.” Urgh break up the tech giants!
- “Promoting openness and transparency nurtures mutual trust—and when the people and the government trust each other, new possibilities for collective action blossom. So the question becomes: How can digital tools be deployed to engender trust?” A profile of the fascinating Taiwanese digital minister, Audrey Tang, the country’s civic engagement approach, and the evolution of democracy and the Internet in the country.
- “[T]he Black experience is defined by a historical struggle for existence, the right to live, to be considered a person, to be afforded basic rights, in pursuit of (political, social, economic) equality. Because of this, the Afrofuturist can see the parts of the present and future that reside in the status quo’s blind spots.” How Afrofuturism can help the world mend.
- Some parts I don’t quite agree, but, a solid article on how PowerPoint activism is taking over Instagram.
- Do you want to (virtually) visit the tombs of Egypt? (yes yes)
- Pattern for a homemade mask with a clear panel, to make lip reading possible.
- “If I love, what language will I love you in…”
- Reading: Sasha Costanza-Chock’s Design Justice and Chigozie Obioma’s An Orchestra of Minorities.
- Listening: I return to Ibrahim Maalouf‘s music every so often.
- Watching: Audrey Tang, Taiwanese digital minister, on how digital social innovation can empower democracy.
- Food & Drink: Ordered Korean spicy fried chicken from 4Fingers. Also, we have rambutans! My prefered way to eat them is to peel the rinds off, keep the peeled fruits in the fridge for a couple of hours, and consume them cold! The Instagram consensus, where I shared a Story on this, agree with the method.