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Source: Junkee

Some complain about personal #SpotifyWrapped2020 lists taking over social media feeds, and even professional sites like LinkedIn. After all, why share? Nobody cares! Others, however, are lauding Spotify for a clever campaign idea that has offered the company free advertising. Even if for a brief moment, ordinary users turn into loyal brand influencers. But what exactly does Spotify’s Wrapped activate in us, both culturally and socially? After all, many people love the tool and place such great—and, perhaps, to some extent, blind—trust in having their personal data gathered, analyzed, and publicly curated.

It might be too obvious to state that…


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A series of full-screen ads featuring Breonna Taylor on Instagram stories.

Last night, the portrait of Breonna Taylor appeared on my Instagram stories feed. I gently pressed my finger on the screen, pausing to admire the painting created by Amy Sherald, the same artist who painted Michelle Obama’s official portrait in 2016. Graceful and beautiful, she stands brave and dignified in a tender blue evening dress. Nearly six months have passed, and the police officers who murdered the 26-year-old Black woman while she was sleeping in her own home have not been arrested. But Breonna Taylor hasn’t been forgotten. For the first time in 20 years, she was chosen to appear…


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Photo courtesy: W.E.B Du Bois Collection, Special Collections and University Archives, UMass Amherst Libraries

“I have spent most of my life … watching white people and outwitting them so that I might survive.” — James Baldwin, Nobody Knows My Name (1961)

Books on race and racism are dominating bestseller lists. Netflix has recently launched a new Black Lives Matter collection on its streaming platform, where films like Ava DuVernay’s When They See Us and Spike Lee’s Malcolm X have been trending for weeks. One of the most popular books right now is Robin DiAngelo’s White Fragility, which, as of today, has been a New York Times paperback nonfiction bestseller for 93 weeks. While sales…


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Photo by Ehimetalor Akhere Unuabona on Unsplash

I was swiping through Instagram stories when I saw a humorous Tik Tok video poking fun at the pressure that many parents feel to stay calm when disciplining their children in public. Embarrassed, they timidly smile at onlookers and diplomatically negotiate with their screaming kid, only to blow up with rage and reach for the belt as soon as they make it into the doorway. It seemed like befitting content in these pandemic times as stressed, overextended parents are forced to work and homeschool at once. Perhaps, for others, it was a short comedic relief from the stream of rage-inducing…

anastasia kārkliņa

Cultural critic, theorist, abolitionist. Ph.D. candidate at Duke University in Black studies & feminist theory.

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