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29 pictures of people refusing to accept the status quo.

Hey, hey! Ho, ho! This protest art puts on a show!

The world is too important, and life is too short, for us to accept that it cannot become better than it is.

And so many people won't. Over the past 100 years, protestors have fought for equal rights, education access, justice, and democracy, creating epic and emotional art in the service of making our world more fair.

These are a few of the sculptures, murals, and performances that caught our eye, moved our hearts, and made us think. Up first: a few classics.


1. In May 1913, women marched in New York's Suffrage Parade carrying the American flag and demanding the right to vote.

Image by Paul Thompson/Topical Press Agency/Getty Images.

2. In June 1917, these pro-prohibition British children took to the streets, demanding sweets.

Image by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images.

3. In the 1920s, American Prohibition-era protestors made their desires known with a giant barrel of beer.

Image by Henry Guttmann/Getty Images.

Many creative protests grow from political frustration.

4. In May 1989, pro-democracy protestors and art institute students built a 30-foot-tall statue dubbed "The Goddess of Democracy" and planted it in Beijing's Tiananmen Square.

Image by Toshio Sakai/Getty Images.

This photo was taken May 30. Just days later, the government tanks rolled in.

5. In San Sebastian, Spain, supporters of the pro-independence movement covered the field of Anoeta stadium in long cloths representing a ballot box.

Image by Ander Gillenea/Getty Images.

6. Ukraine is no stranger to political protests. This photo, filled with orange balloons and festoons (the colors of 2004's presidential candidate Viktor Yuschenko), was taken on the sixth day of protests after a disputed election.

Image by Mladen Antonov/AFP/Getty Images.

Protests would continue for another two months.

7. For 79 days in fall 2014, Hong Kong's student-led protest movement, the "Umbrella Revolution," occupied busy city streets.

Image by Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images.

Why umbrellas? Because they are excellent for blocking pepper spray, the crowd-dispersing weapon-of-choice for military and police.

8. In the Umbrella Revolution's camps, art installations were a symbol of the creative expression sought by the pro-democracy protestors.

Image by Paula Bronstein/Getty Images.

9. In March 2016, thousands of protestors — including these extremely unflattering inflatable effigies — filled the streets of Sao Paulo.

Image by Victor Moriyama/Getty Images News.

They were calling for the resignation of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and the incarceration of former President Luiz Ignacio Lula da Silva

Some protestors use art to call for urgent, transformative justice.

10. These Czech activists imprisoned themselves in Prague's Wenceslas Square to protest unlawful detainment at Guantanamo Bay.

Image by Michal Cizek/AFP/Getty Images.

The protestors bound their feet and hands, wore black sacks over their heads, and covered their ears with headphones. They called their protest "Two Cubic Meters of Human Rights," a reference to the size of their cages.

11. A protestor lies on sculptor Ai Weiwei's sunflower seeds installation in London's Tate Modern Museum after covering the piece in flyers demanding the artist's release from detention in China.

Image by Carl Court/Getty Images.

Each seed in Weiwei's installation is handmade from porcelain, then hand-painted. There were approximately 100 million made for this piece, which the Tate Modern described as questioning, "What does it mean to be an individual in today's society?"

12. After leaving Johannesburg's 2002 global summit on sustainable development in disgust, environmentalists pinned placards on a nearby art installation. Each one reads "betrayed" in a different language.

Image by Joav Lemmer/AFP/Getty Images.

13. In September 2010, Argentinian teachers marched through Buenos Aires with a mighty pencil while demanding increases in education funding.

Image by Juan Mabromata/AFP/Getty Images.

Other times protest art can transform tragedy into beauty.

14. This powerful light sculpture recognized seven female victims of political violence in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire.

Image by Sia Kambou/AFP/Getty Images.

Between 2010 and 2011, post-electoral violence cost the lives of over 3,000 people nationwide in Côte d'Ivoire.

15. After the only bridge linking Mitrovica's Albanian and Serbian neighborhoods was blocked with cement barricades, Albanian artists created one out of waterlily pads instead.

Image by Armand Nimani/AFP/Getty Images.

16. During 2012's Rio+20 conference on sustainability, an artist created these giant fish from discarded plastic bottles.

Image by Vanderlei Almeida/AFP/Getty Images.

The fish were hollow, allowing them to be illuminated from within at night. The sign nearby encourages passerby to "Recicle suas atitudes" ("Recycle your attitudes").

17. In May 2013, activists floated 12,000 candles on a river in Sclessin — one for every job that would be lost to closures at nearby steel plants.

Image by John Thys/AFP/Getty Images.

18. Located on the sidelines of Men's Fashion Week, Milan's "Wall of Dolls" showcased increasing violence against women.

Image by Olivier Morin/AFP/Getty Images.

19. To set an example for openness and tolerance, German artist Kurt Fleckenstein installed 175 prayer rugs in front of a church in Dresden in 2015.

Image by Arno Burgi/AFP/Getty Images.

20. As world leaders negotiated a climate deal in Paris, artist Olafur Eliasson brought pieces of Greenland's ice cap to melt in front of the Pantheon.

Image by Eric Feferberg/AFP/Getty Images.

Some protests demand a little theatricality.

21. At this 2003 protest in Avignon, French artists staged a "die in" to protest government welfare reform.

Image by Boris Horvat/AFP/Getty Images.

22. The face of Greenpeace's Save the Arctic campaign is a polar bear, so it's only natural they'd make a giant one (with moving limbs!) to celebrate their big victory against Arctic drilling.

Image by Niklas Halle'n/AFP/Getty Images.

The polar bear first appeared outside the U.K. headquarters of Royal Dutch Shell in September 2015 after the company announced it was suspending its preliminary drilling campaign in the Arctic. It later travelled to the UN climate talks in Paris. Fun fact: just out of frame in this photo? Actress and activist Emma Thompson.

23. In July 2013 in southern France, the women of Banyuls-sur-Mer put modesty on the line, as they strung garlands of bras across streets to protest a private marina project.

Image by Raymond Roig/AFP/Getty Images.

24. On the last day of the COP16 climate talks in Cancun, youth activists dramatized a rescue for the "drowning" negotiators with a giant life preserver and some much-needed optimism.

Image by John Quigley/SpectralQ.

Other protests use art and performance to transform pain and let people heal.

25. For her entire senior year at Columbia University, Emma Sulkowicz carried her mattress everywhere to protest the school's lack of action on rape allegations she brought against another student.

Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images.

She even brought the mattress to her graduation ceremony.

26. Shortly after indigenous activists posed for this photo, they finished digging a trench through this temporary dam, "freeing" the Xingu River and allowing it to resume its natural path.

Image by John Quigley/SpectralQ.

"Pare Belo Monte" translates to "Free Belo Monte." It refers to the site of Brazil's controversial Belo Monte Dam on the Xingu River. When completed, the dam will displace thousands of Indigenous people and flood their traditional villages.

27. With negotiations once again locked in a stalemate, hundreds of schoolchildren in Durban, South Africa, created this living lion to encourage world leaders at the COP17 climate talks to have courage to effect change.

Image by John Quigley/SpectralQ.

And sometimes artistic protests can look a little silly.

28. Whatever your position on Facebook, it's hard not to Like this float of its founder Mark Zuckerberg created for Viareggio's annual Carneval parade.

Image credit: Claudio Giovannini/AFP/Getty Images.

Viareggio's Carneval often lampoons cultural figures, particularly politicians, who dominated public discourse over the past year. Previous floats have featured Russian President Vladimir Putin and current U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

29. When Italian artist Graziano Cecchini poured thousands of colored balls down Rome's Spanish steps in 2008, he said each one "represented a lie told by politicians."

Image by Filippo Monteforte/AFP/Getty Images.

As folk singer and activist Phil Ochs' lyrics are often paraphrased: "In such ugly times, the only true protest is beauty."

We're proud these artists and agitators are part of our world. They make it — and us — so much better.

Science

MIT’s trillion-frames-per-second camera can capture light as it travels

"There's nothing in the universe that looks fast to this camera."

Photo from YouTube video.

Photographing the path of light.

A new camera developed at MIT can photograph a trillion frames per second.

Compare that with a traditional movie camera which takes a mere 24. This new advancement in photographic technology has given scientists the ability to photograph the movement of the fastest thing in the Universe, light.


The actual event occurred in a nano second, but the camera has the ability to slow it down to twenty seconds.

time, science, frames per second, bounced light

The amazing camera.

Photo from YouTube video.

For some perspective, according to New York Times writer, John Markoff, "If a bullet were tracked in the same fashion moving through the same fluid, the resulting movie would last three years."


In the video below, you'll see experimental footage of light photons traveling 600-million-miles-per-hour through water.

It's impossible to directly record light so the camera takes millions of scans to recreate each image. The process has been called femto-photography and according to Andrea Velten, a researcher involved with the project, "There's nothing in the universe that looks fast to this camera."

(H/T Curiosity)


This article originally appeared on 09.08.17

Health

Her mother doesn't get why she's depressed. So she explains the best way she knows how.

Sabrina Benaim eloquently describes what it's like to be depressed.

Sabrina Benaim's “Explaining My Depression to My Mother."

Sabrina Benaim's “Explaining My Depression to My Mother" is pretty powerful on its own.

But, in it, her mother exhibits some of the most common misconceptions about depression, and I'd like to point out three of them here.

Misconception #1: Depression is triggered by a single event or series of traumatic events.

empathy, human condition, humanity

Depression isn’t just over sleeping.

Most people think depression is triggered by a traumatic event: a loved one dying, a job loss, a national tragedy, some THING. The truth is that depression sometimes just appears out of nowhere. So when you think that a friend or loved one is just in an extended bad mood, reconsider. They could be suffering from depression.

Misconception #2: People with depression are only sad.

family, parents, mom, anxiety

The obligation of anxiety.

Most people who have never experienced depression think depression is just an overwhelming sadness. In reality, depression is a complex set of feelings and physical changes in the body. People who suffer from depression are sad, yes, but they can also be anxious, worried, apathetic, and tense, among other things.

Misconception #3: You can snap out of it.

button poetry, medical condition, biological factors

Making fun plans not wanting to have fun.

The thing with depression is that it's a medical condition that affects your brain chemistry. It has to do with environmental or biological factors first and foremost. Sabrina's mother seems to think that if her daughter would only go through the motions of being happy that then she would become happy. But that's not the case. Depression is a biological illness that leaks into your state of being.

Think of it this way: If you had a cold, could you just “snap out of it"?

No? Exactly.

empathy, misconceptions of depression, mental health

Mom doesn’t understand.

via Button Poetry/YouTube

These are only three of the misconceptions about depression. If you know somebody suffering from depression, you should take a look at this video here below to learn the best way to talk to them:

This article originally appeared on 11.24.15

Here's how to be 30% more persuasive.

Everybody wants to see themselves in a positive light. That’s the key to understanding Jonah Berger’s simple tactic that makes people 30% more likely to do what you ask. Berger is a marketing professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and the bestselling author of “Magic Words: What to Say to Get Your Way.”

Berger explained the technique using a Stanford University study involving preschoolers. The researchers messed up a classroom and made two similar requests to groups of 5-year-olds to help clean up.

One group was asked, "Can you help clean?" The other was asked, “Can you be a helper and clean up?" The kids who were asked if they wanted to be a “helper” were 30% more likely to want to clean the classroom. The children weren’t interested in cleaning but wanted to be known as “helpers.”


Berger calls the reframing of the question as turning actions into identities.

"It comes down to the difference between actions and identities. We all want to see ourselves as smart and competent and intelligent in a variety of different things,” Berger told Big Think. “But rather than describing someone as hardworking, describing them as a hard worker will make that trait seem more persistent and more likely to last. Rather than asking people to lead more, tell them, 'Can you be a leader?' Rather than asking them to innovate, can you ask them to 'Be an innovator'? By turning actions into identities, you can make people a lot more likely to engage in those desired actions.”

Berger says that learning to reframe requests to appeal to people’s identities will make you more persuasive.

“Framing actions as opportunities to claim desired identities will make people more likely to do them,” Berger tells CNBC Make It. “If voting becomes an opportunity to show myself and others that I am a voter, I’m more likely to do it.”

This technique doesn’t just work because people want to see themselves in a positive light. It also works for the opposite. People also want to avoid seeing themselves being portrayed negatively.

“Cheating is bad, but being a cheater is worse. Losing is bad, being a loser is worse,” Berger says.

The same tactic can also be used to persuade ourselves to change our self-concept. Saying you like to cook is one thing, but calling yourself a chef is an identity. “I’m a runner. I’m a straight-A student. We tell little kids, ‘You don’t just read, you’re a reader,’” Berger says. “You do these things because that’s the identity you hold.”

Berger’s work shows how important it is to hone our communication skills. By simply changing one word, we can get people to comply with our requests more effectively. But, as Berger says, words are magic and we have to use thgem skillfully. “We think individual words don’t really matter that much. That’s a mistake,” says Berger. “You could have excellent ideas, but excellent ideas aren’t necessarily going to get people to listen to you.”


This article originally appeared on 2.11.24

Pop Culture

A comic about wearing makeup goes from truthful to weird in 4 panels.

A hilariously truthful (and slightly weird) explanation of the "too much makeup" conundrum.

Image set by iri-draws/Tumblr, used with permission.

A comic shows the evolution or devolution from with makeup to without.

Even though I don't wear very much makeup, every few days or so SOMEONE...

(friends, family, internet strangers)

...will weigh in on why I "don't need makeup."


Now, I realize this is meant as a compliment, but this comic offers a hilariously truthful (and slightly weird) explanation of the "too much makeup" conundrum.

social norms, social pressure, friendship, self esteem

“Why do you wear so much makeup?"

Image set by iri-draws/Tumblr, used with permission.

passive aggressive, ego, confidence, beauty

“See, you look pretty without all that makeup on."

Image set by iri-draws/Tumblr, used with permission.

expectations, beauty products, mascara, lipstick

“Wow you look tired, are you sick?"

Image set by iri-draws/Tumblr, used with permission.

lizards, face-painting, hobbies, hilarious comic

When I shed my human skin...

Image set by iri-draws/Tumblr, used with permission.

Not everyone is able to turn into a badass lizard when someone asks about their face-painting hobbies. Don't you kinda wish you could? Just to drive this hilarious comic all the way home, here are four reasons why some women* wear makeup:

*Important side note: Anyone can wear makeup. Not just women. True story.

Four reasons some women* wear makeup:

1. Her cat-eye game is on point.

mascara, eyes, confidence

Her cat-eye game is on point.

Via makeupproject.

2. She has acne or acne scars.

acne, cover up, scarring, medical health

She has acne or acne scars.

Via Carly Humbert.

3. Pink lipstick.

lipstick, beauty products, basics, self-expression

Yes, pink lipstick.

Via Destiny Godley

4. She likes wearing makeup.

appearance, enhancement, creative expression

Happy to be going out and feeling good.

Happy Going Out GIF by Much.

While some people may think putting on makeup is a chore, it can be really fun! For some, makeup is an outlet for creativity and self-expression. For others, it's just a way to feel good about themselves and/or enhance their favorite features.

That's why it feels kinda icky when someone says something along the lines of "You don't need so much makeup!" Now, it's arguable that no one "needs" makeup, but everyone deserves to feel good about the way they look.

For some people, feeling good about their appearance includes wearing makeup. And that's totally OK.


This article originally appeared on 05.28.15

Joy

Adorable 'Haka baby' dance offers a sweet window into Maori culture

Stop what you're doing and let this awesomeness wash over you.

If you've never seen a Maori haka performed, you're missing out.

The Maori are the indigenous peoples of New Zealand, and their language and customs are an integral part of the island nation. One of the most recognizable Maori traditions outside of New Zealand is the haka, a ceremonial dance or challenge usually performed in a group. The haka represents the pride, strength, and unity of a tribe and is characterized by foot-stamping, body slapping, tongue protrusions, and rhythmic chanting.

Haka is performed at weddings as a sign of reverence and respect for the bride and groom and are also frequently seen before sports competitions, such as rugby matches.



The intensity of the haka is the point. It is meant to be a show of strength and elicit a strong response—which makes seeing a tiny toddler learning to do it all the more adorable.

Here's an example of a rugby haka:

Danny Heke, who goes by @focuswithdan on TikTok, shared a video of a baby learning haka and omigosh it is seriously the most adorable thing. When you see most haka, the dancers aren't smiling—their faces are fierce—so this wee one starting off with an infectious grin is just too much. You can see that he's already getting the moves down, facial expressions and all, though.

@focuswithdan When you grow up learning haka! #haka #teachthemyoung #maori #māori #focuswithdan #fyp #foryou #kapahaka ♬ original sound - 𝕱𝖔𝖈𝖚𝖘𝖂𝖎𝖙𝖍𝕯𝖆𝖓

As cute as this video is, it's part of a larger effort by Heke to use his TikTok channel to share and promote Maori culture. His videos cover everything from the Te Reo Maori language to traditional practices to issues of prejudice Maori people face.

Here he briefly goes over the different body parts that make up haka:

@focuswithdan

♬ Ngati - Just2maori

This video explains the purerehua, or bullroarer, which is a Maori instrument that is sometimes used to call rains during a drought.

@focuswithdan Reply to @illumi.is.naughty Some tribes used this to call the rains during drought 🌧 ⛈ #maori #māori #focuswithdan #fyp ♬ Pūrerehua - 𝕱𝖔𝖈𝖚𝖘𝖂𝖎𝖙𝖍𝕯𝖆𝖓

This one shares a demonstration and explanation of the taiaha, a traditional Maori weapon.

@focuswithdan Reply to @shauncalvert Taiaha, one of the most formidable of the Māori Weaponry #taiaha #maori #māori #focuswithdan #fyp #foryou ♬ original sound - 𝕱𝖔𝖈𝖚𝖘𝖂𝖎𝖙𝖍𝕯𝖆𝖓

For another taste of haka, check out this video from a school graduation:

@focuswithdan When your little cuzzy graduates and her school honours her with a haka #maori #māori #haka #focuswithdan #fyp #graduation @its_keshamarley ♬ Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Ngāti Ruanui - 𝕱𝖔𝖈𝖚𝖘𝖂𝖎𝖙𝖍𝕯𝖆𝖓

Heke even has some fun with the trolls and racists in the comments who try to tell him his culture is dead (what?).

@focuswithdan Credit to you all my AMAZING FOLLOWERS! #focuswithdan #maori #māori #followers #fyp #trolls ♬ original sound - sounds for slomo_bro!

Unfortunately, it's not just ignorant commenters who spew racist bile. A radio interview clip that aired recently called Maori people "genetically predisposed to crime, alcohol, and underperformance," among other terrible things. (The host, a former mayor of Auckland, has been let go for going along with and contributing to the caller's racist narrative.)

@focuswithdan #newzealand radio in 2021 delivering racist commentaries 🤦🏽‍♂️ #māori #maori #focuswithdan #racism DC: @call.me.lettie2.0 ♬ original sound - luna the unicow

That clip highlights why what Heke is sharing is so important. The whole world is enriched when Indigenous people like the Maori have their voices heard and their culture celebrated. The more we learn from each other and our diverse ways of life, the more enjoyable life on Earth will be and the better we'll get at collaborating to confront the challenges we all share.


This article originally appeared on 01.28.21