Until now, when we’ve talked about bubbles we’ve assumed that it was each individual’s choices or actions that kept them in an echo chamber. This week, we flip the script and take a look at the one of the world’s most tightly sealed bubbles–North Korea.
What pushes people to escape from this bubble and is there more than one way to break out? We talked to NK expert and Executive Director of Crossing Borders NK, Dan Chung.
‘Expectations’ is a digital art piece, representing the state of gender in the workplace.
It was inspired by the following quote in the episode, “Women are expected to be more polished to be taken more seriously. Like if I showed up to work 100% disheveled, then I’ know i won’t be taken seriously. But if I’m too groomed and look too good then that makes you seem ditzy and incompetent. So you have to make sure that you’re presenting yourself in all the right ways.”
There are two important aspects in ‘Expectations’; the color and the shapes. The choice of colors is an obvious representation of gender. The shapes signify how men are allowed and accepted in different forms regardless of their ‘edges’, whereas women are expected to be perfect, like a circle. No edges, complete, formidable but non-threatening.
SO. We hear a lot these days about women in the workplace and the really difficult conversations happening around harassment, equal pay, gender biases… the list, sadly, goes on and on.
This week we talked to both men and women in different industries to get a better understanding of the conversations that are (or are not) happening. And ultimately asked the question: What does it take to break through bubbles that are more nuanced than the generalized “glass ceiling” we all hear about so much?
In case you missed it last week, we’ve started a collaboration with Hellay Studios for this season of BTB. You can (and should) follow them right here!
For this week’s piece, here’s an explanation from the artist:
ApolloGs, is a collage art piece made from The Apollo Belvedere (c. AD 120 – 140) which is a Roman copy of the original Greek sculpture by Leochares, and stock photos of american dollar bills and a rope found on unsplash.com.
In the episode there was a theme of ‘the cosmetic industry profiting off of making people feel ugly.’ This art piece focuses primarily on this theme.
Apollo is the Greek god of the sun and epitomizes the idea of male beauty. His sculpture represents aesthetic perfection and was considered the ideal in ancient greek society.
In the background, American dollar bills can be seen ‘raining down’ and Apollo is seen holding a rope. The artwork personifies the cosmetics industry as The Apollo Belvedere, a marble sculpture of the god of beauty whose size is much larger than that of an average man, and acts as a metaphor for the enormity and power of the cosmetics industry. Apollo holds a rope which acts as a leash by which consumers are exploited into conforming to a superficial ideal all the while endorsing consumerist behaviur that brings in large profits for the industry.
Alright this week’s episode is brought to you by … psychology and tons of interesting media/links. No need for me to overly introduce what will probably be some of the most interesting reading you’ll do this week…
Gold Standard, is a collage art piece made from The Birth of Venus (1480s) by Sandro Botticelli, and a stock photo of mannequins found on unsplash.com.
In the episode, there was a theme of ‘difference in beauty standards’ around the world and cultures. This art piece was created on the aforementioned theme.
In Roman Mythology, Venus is the goddess of beauty and fertility. In the original painting, she is emerging from the sea, fully formed and ‘beautiful’, being flanked and revered by other godly beings on her either side. It can be perceived that Botticelli was concerned about creating a moment of beauty that ought to live on forever, and it has.
In stark contrast, the mannequin holds no divine status. In the original photograph, it is not clear at all why they (there were multiple mannequins) were placed where they were.
One may guess they were drying after being spray painted, or just waiting for someone to put clothes on them. It is also almost impossible to know who created these mannequins: were they hand carved by a person, or mass produced in a factory? Regardless, they are not fully formed, they are only functional.
Juxtaposing Venus and the mannequin was a bold action, inspired by ‘difference in beauty standards’. Aesthetic vs. functional, timeless vs. discardable, revered vs. unnoticed, conceptual vs. tangible, ancient vs. contemporary.
However, the aspect that allowed both Venus and the mannequin to be juxtaposed is that they are both used as standards of beauty. While the difference in their creation and form significant, the fact remains (over vast time and space) that beauty standards exist.
Another effect of the juxtaposition is that it morphs and swaps the power dynamic. In the original painting, Venus’ expressions and pose are that of ease, and magnanimity.
In the collage: in a different world of replicated mannequins, the same expressions and pose can be perceived as insecurities leaking and fear. The goddess of beauty no longer feels beautiful in a sea of replicated standardized mannequins.
The above explanation is from Hellay Studios, with whom we’ve begun a collaboration for this season of BTB. Every week, they’ll be releasing artwork related to the episode. Follow @hellaystudios on Instagram for more BTB fun, and to see the other beautiful artwork they create.
Hey y’all! Bet you thought we got sick of this podcast and not that we took 9 months to carefully source our tastefully curated season.
Well, joke’s on you because this week, we bring you a new take on beauty standards. Via South Korea, Kenya, the US and India, we decided to dig deep on the variations we see around the world, and the very real impacts those can have.
On that topic, voila, our happiness initiative that made us oh so happy this week:
If Priyanka had it her way, this post would start with an Eminem throwback (Guess who’s back? Back again…) but good thing time differences mean that I can sneak in here and change it. Because Priyanka is lame. duh.
But for real, BTB is back! It’s time for Season Two. Or almost. We’ll be posting episode one of the new season in a few weeks, but here’s a quick promo, so you know just how excited you should be (here’s a hint: be VERY excited.)
So if you’ve changed your phone or podcast app over the last year, make sure to re-subscribe! You can find us on iTunes or any podcast app. Just search for Breaking The Bubble.
You can also stay up to date on our latest episodes and musings on our Facebook page. And please let us know what you think of the episodes, or any ideas you have for future episodes, by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Welcome to our fourth and final installation of the BTB Case Study series where we tackle topics and try to “walk the walk” of discourse, break through our comfort zones, and learn about new perspectives and subject matters from experts and spokespeople.
This week, we’re closing out our first season by taking a look at what socio-economic divisions can look like by featuring three interviews that might give you new insight into how the “other half” lives.
We have stories about being the poorest kid in school, stories about breaking through the poverty bubbles, and some insight into aristocratic parties in France.
Happiness Initiative: We Wear Culture, Google’s initiative to shine light on the stories, history and culture woven into the clothes we wear.
Lastly, thank you to all of our friends, family, interviewees and listeners for your support this season. We are looking forward to using the next few months of hiatus to get our next season lined up and to figure out better ways to break through our own bubbles.
If you have any story ideas, happiness initiatives or feedback (we don’t bite and really really do want honest and constructive criticism!), please email us, tweet, leave a comment here or find us on Facebook!
We’ll see you all soon for Season Two of BTB and more tips, stories and case studies! BYE!
Welcome to our third installation of the BTB Case Study series where we tackle topics and try to “walk the walk” of discourse, break through our comfort zones, and learn about new perspectives and subject matters from experts and spokespeople.
This week, we surveyed the vast expanse of the internet (okay, not really) to do a case study on how political messages get spread in non-conventional ways. In light of the increasingly viral nature of campaigns, grassroots organizations, and even popular media, our examples this week might make you rethink how you draw boundaries between art and politics.