If you’re not going to backup your Purpose Branding with real equality.

Photo by Hello I’m Nik on Unsplash

It’s international Women’s Day! Let all our sisters unite, clamor for respect and recognition, and let the brands, newspapers and other corporate interests publish their pinkish representations of female empowerment, so their social media channels can surf the ‘wokeness’ needed to keep their profit aligned with the times.

But these marketing strategies and celebration of female empowerement can distort and distract us from the work that there is yet to do to reach gender equity and parity.

Your average researcher examining life, truly capturing everything it means and penetrating the membrane of reality. Photo by Lucas Vasques on Unsplash

A few weeks ago I started researching market research fuck-ups. Turns out, there’s a long track record of marketers misinterpreting research results and throwing themselves into a new product without looking back on the conclusions they had reached.

Honourable mentions of this brashness in action are the launches of Crystal Pepsi, “New” Coke, and Colgate’s puzzling foray into frozen meals… Yeah.

As I kept stumbling across examples, it made me think about “dataification”: the idea that society is increasingly understanding data as the reality, rather than a sometimes inadequate reflection of it. This can be especially true of quantitative research, especially when applied to social contexts or human experiences. We’re not computers, there’s no human answer that can be boiled down to a binary yes/no, 0/1.

But it’s easy to think there is when human behaviour can be massively and extensively reflected in data: “60% of people are only saving 10% of their annual income”, “8 in 10 wants to eat…

Lets not forget the dark side of Berlin. Photo by Reto Simonet on Unsplash

Immigrant, activist, organiser and singer, Mimi was the glue holding the Ohlauer Straße refugee squatter community together. We visited her in October 2013.

Mimi is looking at a tiny television set, covered in layers of blankets and clothes. She says she is suffering from pneumonia and looks frail and tired. But the tall, thin thirty something has an exuberant character and an easy smile as she welcomes guests into her living room/kitchen/ bedroom in the former Gerhart Hauptmann- Schule on Ohlauer Straße. Since last winter, the building has been home to around 250 ‘squatters’, mostly illegal refugees and/or activists, mainly…

Five years ago I was working as an art journalist, and had the chance to interview extremely talented artists and activists throughout the winter months of 2013, as well as to get throughly disillusioned with it all. Winter in Berlin can be brutal, and I remember doing a Skype interview with Luigi Christopher Veggetti Kanku in the dark, at 4pm. The days were short, with hardly three hours of daylight and months without sunlight — or if there was, the sickly cold winter one of northern Europe.

The opening night was just as dark, and just as cold.

Luigi Christopher Veggetti Kanku

Faces and…

Credit: Photo by Matt Artz on Unsplash

The ugly history of foreign investors’ predatory practices. We follow the story of Dan Gertler, who got rich by speculating, investing and reselling, while obscuring beneficiary ownership and omiting to adhere to transparency standards.

The year 1997 saw Pol Pot put on trial by the Khmer Rouge, Titanic the movie crashing the box office, and the first genetically engineered lamb, Molly. Meanwhile, in Central Africa, a twenty- three year old entrepreneur sets foot on richly mineralised, bright red soil, in the recently renamed Democratic Republic of Congo. This young israeli national will form a long lasting friendship with Joseph Kabila…

Five years ago

I was working as an art journalist, and had the chance to interview extremely talented artists and activists throughout the winter months of 2013, as well as to get throughly disillusioned with it all. I found it hard to pin down how and why it made sense, how to give meaning, and whether art had any meaning. I mean, it hasn’t escaped anyone that art can be a self-serving exercise of Narcissus’ mirrored image, at times.

I’d later find out that according to Dickie’s institutional definition of art, art is that which is recognised by an institution, society, the beholder…


Arotin & Serghei

‘Flying Cells’ @Tausend — Opening 11.12.13, Schiffbauerdamm 11, 10117 Berlin Mitte

The Whiteloft is a large L-shaped apartment of white walls and furniture. Glass, the artists’ projects, and different frames are propped on the walls. A white leather sofa is set in front of the vast window, from which the shining lights of the Fernseher Turm are just slightly visible through the fog. In minimalist and elegant taste, both Serghei and Arotin fit in well as they greet us and offer something to drink, while lighting thin menthol cigarettes.

From Berlin to Barcelona, through Maastricht and Venice, Arotin&Serghei have worked…

Claudia Claros

Copywriter & PhD student. I like information: how we consume it, how we share it, and what it means. BA in Philosophy and MA in Digital Curation.

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