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Coming from a visual design background, I was constantly baffled about how much of it is open to interpretation. Yet writing is as clear as it gets. A medium without distractions, no sounds or visuals that might have alternative meanings attached, only your eyes and my words, dancing across the screen, trying to make a point as clearly as I am able to articulate it. I never saw myself as a writer, but then, I would go back to old journals, old essays and be far more surprised at that compared to when I looked at my old designs, and that meant something to me. Designs grew old and withered, however, the words seemed as new as ever, alive and relevant but on the voice of a younger self. It was like a peek into the past. …


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For context, I was born in Mexico in the early 90’s. The movie happens in the 70’s. However, don’t let the historical placement fool you, the situation for the young indigenous women that work as housekeepers, nannies and often times cooks at the same time, remains unaltered. They don’t receive employee benefits or health insurance, they are paid below minimum wage and they don’t get paid vacations or sick days. If they miss a day due sickness they will have that money discounted off their salary. …


Greta Thunberg bravely speaking out about climate change at the United Nations and calling out the leaders who won’t make laws to protect the planet and everyone in it, the Parkland kids demanding for gun control regulation and surviving not only trauma but bullying and mockery by adults that should know better, the children in Europe demanding action.

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Photograph: EPA

The new generation is inspiring and truly remarkable, but I can’t help but ask myself, what about our generation and the ones before? what has happened to the adults? Where have they all gone? is it that everyone turned their backs on to the future? …


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For some people, this directly translates to an almighty God and for others to the concept of government. In some instances, we would complain about such entity, but we would always know, in the back of our mind, that if things went awry we could rely on it. My mother has always been keen of the idea of God, the way many Mexican families do. Whether this is in part a response to the complete lack of trust for the country’s extremely corrupt government, it rings the same. …


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It was a day that my boyfriend had left for travel that I dared to finally watch the show that my friends had been raving about.

It startled me to begin with the flamboyant attitude of all the contestants from the get go. The men full on drag were sassy, funny and vulnerable all at once.

Like many, I grew up in a culture that shamed men for ever resembling a woman. To play like a woman, to hit like a woman, to put on a dress were symbols of weakness and shame. …


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Photography is one of the most important tangible legacies we leave behind, of our life, of our experiences.

As I write this, I think about the way my boyfriend’s grandmother would lighten up telling the stories of her life and travels while looking at her photo album. Page after page, she was nudged to remember those small details that make her memories much more rich and vivid to someone who wasn’t there and even herself as the passing of time would naturally have faded those memories away otherwise. Photography captures more than an image, but the essence of the past, how it was lived and why it mattered.

At no other point in the past we were this fixated with the images from our lives or so able to access a camera all times. The amount of photos created in this decade is unprecedented and it rounds up to more images than the rest of human history compiled. It’s no longer a past time for some or a luxury, photography has been made easily accessible with the rise of social media and we’ve been incentivized to shoot and share increasingly more. …


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Working online is tricky being that the internet is essentially the ultimate distraction tool with constant triggers shouting for your attention. Imagine now that you’re sitting in front of your internet-full computer and working from home, being your own boss.

A couple red bubbles here to let you know that someone messaged you, and who knows! it might be very important, or completely irrelevant, but the urge to open it remains. …


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You could say I’m the quintessential millennial. I eat a vegetarian and gluten-free diet, I sold all of my things, became a minimalist, quit my job and moved to different continent to start my own business because working for someone else made me feel unfulfilled.

One of the things I constantly hear from managers is what a hard time they have regarding keeping their millennial employees happy and enthusiastic about their role.

Freedom has been touted as the metric of success to aspire in this generation, with a sound reasoning behind it. …


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The truth, is I can’t even excuse myself by saying I’m new to meditation anymore.

I have been practicing it and trying to find my way with it for the past 4 years. For a while I preferred to ignore and dismiss it as something that is simply not for me, but as a person who struggles with anxiety quite a lot, I see the potential that it holds and I’ve made it somehow a personal goal to tap into its power.

If this practice can truly rewire my mind and allow me to be a calm human being in the middle of running my own business and making a couple career changes as well, it is all worth it. …


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I have loved design since I was a kid.

I would draw for the entirety of my childhood, a notebook under my arm would be a must at any event and people at school would recognize me for it. I would design flyers with environmental messages in them that I would then put up on the wall in front of my house when I was about 7, when I wasn’t handing them at the park, leading my group of schoolmates.

I absolutely loved flipping through expensive fashion magazines at stores only to contemplate the composition of the ads on them, the sheer perfection of their photography, typography and colours, I would find them so beautiful. I would draw comic books with my best friend when I was a teenager and I embarrassingly illustrated one too many fanarts. …

About

Mariana Oka

UX/UI Designer passionate about design, emergent technologies and how they shape society.

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