Quaranzine 029

The Akin's email of bits.

It feels like Spring has arrived in Europe; the sun is bringing with it hope that we will surface from our lockdown lairs soon. 

For me, this has meant an onslaught of emails offering to help me emerge ‘ready’ to enter society with a bang. It’s clear from my inbox I should come out of lockdown waxed, injected, highlighted, spray-tanned, manicured with my summer bod perfectly dressed. How boring. Didn’t the last twelve months teach us anything? I have read stories of make-up sales reducing; people celebrating their grey’s, so is this only an at-home attitude? 

Always on the zeitgeist, a dear friend Steph Morrow, Head of Strategy at Virtue EMEA, explored this on her Medium a few weeks ago. “The modern beauty standard is one of the most powerful lies that we have ever been sold… We know a beauty that is nurtured within our guts, within our muscles, within the books we take in, the orgasms we allow ourselves, the sleep we don’t deprive ourselves of, the patience we have for those around us, within the trust we have in our point of view.” I implore you to dig into her article; it helped me soothe my own post-lockdown anxieties.

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If you read this email every week, you might have noticed; the internet has got exciting. It’s hard to see some of it through the noise but take a step back: Gamestop, NFT’s, Clubhouse, Telegram, and the Creator Economy – what is a fad and what is about to blow this shit UP?

Well, yesterday, RecRoom, the social gaming platform, announced creators can cash out their in-game tokens for real $$. And with cashout options from $400 – $10,000 per month, RecRoom is making its 2020 promise a reality: ...the studio promises that its creators will one day be able to support themselves by being a full-time Rec Room creator. Will RecRoom Creator become as ubiquitous as “Youtuber” in the coming months?

What does this mean?

It feels like a creative explosion is coming. More creative platforms are paying creators for what they make – not as a cut of ad revenue but as a cut of platform value. This is a good thing because, let’s face it: these unpaid content creators are the reason we made a TikTok account in the first place. Fueled by the democratisation of power, due to these powerful fintech tools, individuals have the ability to generate a real income through launching and scaling complex projects and businesses. 

But buyer beware: putting your income into the hands of a privately-owned company with no creators in decision-making roles – or riskier yet – algorithms in decision-making roles can make for a sad and poor creator. 

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Here’s a rundown of our adventures across the internet this week. 

  • Over the last year, due to Covid Xenophobia and racism hate crimes against Asian communities worldwide have increased by 1900%. Historically, Asians have faced disparities such as the model minority myth created after WW2 to pit Asian immigrants against other BIPOC races. The myth is untrue and fails to recognize the different experiences of all different Asian racial groups. Sophie Li, in Vogue articulately explains why it’s so important that we stand up against anti-Asian racism and how we can help support the community. 

  • Worried about your digital carbon footprint? Well, you should be. Ecosia is an eco-friendly Google alternative. The search engine—which just selected as the default search engine for privacy-focused browser Brave at the end of January—offsets carbon emissions generated from online activities by planting a tree for every 45 searches run through the engine.

  • Looking to invest in some NFT’s. The Mint Fund is a community project created “with the sole purpose to build a support network for all artists (with an emphasis on helping BIPOC + LGBTQIA+ communities) interested in bringing their art into the world of NFTs.” Another solid option is Rarible, the first community-owned NFT marketplace.

  • A project worth shouting loud about is Somewhere Good, a social platform designed for people of colour to connect. Built by a team of Black, LatinX and Queer folks to “centre and celebrate our voices, beauty, bodies, innovations, feelings, knowledge, thoughts, experiences, visions, creations, presence, stories, dreams and futures.” 

  • We know that over lockdown, women have been unfairly taking on household labours and childcare; they also have taken the biggest financial hit accounting for 1.8x of job losses. This could explain why they aren’t feeling so sexy; new sex tech research has revealed how hard their libido has been hit over this year. The study provides a unique insight into the intersections of the pandemic, stress and sexuality.

  • Two of my favourite cultural creators Charlie Brooker and Adam Curtis over on VICE discuss Curtis' new six-part BBC series, 'Can't Get You Out Of My Head: An Emotional History of the Modern World'. Which you better have watched, or we can’t be friends. “The pandemic is a bit like those mirrors in old fairgrounds that reflect back a grotesque version of reality.” You won’t regret reading it.

  • With fashion weeks going on right now, a great article to set the fashion scene is over on The Cut, “The newest fashion trend in New York is — unironically, hyper-specifically — New York itself”. It seems the cliche NYC merch that real New Yorkers once gave a look of disgust has now been adopted. “Wearing New York on our chests — it’s a way of saying, ‘We’re not going anywhere.’ And when you see it, it gives you a little warm feeling. It just means so much more now.”

  • Know what Basic.Space is? Well, you should. Basic.Space is the invite-only shopping platform Naomi Osaka, and Virgil Abloh have already joined. “Each prospective seller goes on a waiting list and then a Basic.Space committee reviews the application (this Soho House or Raya vibes)...Basic.Space allows you to buy from someone whose taste you already trust.” Please read about it on Vogue here.

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Thanks for scrolling. As always, keep positive and testing negative. 

TA x