anxiaostudio anxiaostudio

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An Xiao Busingye Mina

Hate (and resistance) start small, and it trickles upward into a powerful machine. On top: a protest flag made by Martin Friedländer in 1935 and a book called Anti-Anti, offering an argument against anti Semitism. Below: an election poster for the National Socialist Party in 1920, and a report from Central-Verein-Zeitung condemning anti-Semitic attacks on Kurfürstendamm in Berlin. Shortly after the Nazis' success in the Reichstag elections in 1930, attacks against Jews began in different German cities. Movements of hate are like seeds, starting small and seemingly harmless, and you can almost ignore their growth till it's too late: by the time you pay attention, their roots are firmly planted in society, difficult to disentangle.

Flags of countries that accepted Jewish refugees between 1933 and 1941, at the Jewish Museum Berlin. The refugee crisis that emerged during this time was met with quotas and categories of allowed immigrants amongst most of these countries, turning away many. In October 1941 the German borders officially closed to emigration. According to the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, most of those who were left died in camps or ghettos.

Outside the Jewish Museum, Berlin

Head covering styles for women in Jewish, Christian and Islamic traditions at "Cherchez la Femme: Wig, Burqa, Wimple" at the Jüdisches Museum Berlin (Jewish Museum Berlin). In the background is a video installation of men's eyes titled Blicke/The Gaze. #lafemme17

Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp

Shortly before they were killed at Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp, Soviet soldiers had their photos taken by camp staff as part of a propaganda campaign to paint them as untermensch—subhumans. Printed on translucent fabric, the pictures are oddly beautiful, a reminder of photography's capacity of aestheticizing atrocity. Shortly after their portrait was taken, each of the individuals here would be executed by a bullet through the back of the neck.

Window studies, Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp.

I'd never thought about the dominant colors of a concentration camp till I visited one in person. They're so often frozen in time, black and white to match the prisoners' uniforms. At Sachsenhausen Camp outside Berlin, I see green grass, green wood at the prisoners' barracks and the execution ditch, a turquoise entrance gate, a blue skull and bones to mark the "neutrale zone" where prisoners would be shot, the green forest just outside the perimeter. The sun beats down from the bright blue sky. All around, the song of birds. I wonder how often you could hear them in the morning light, during the hours-long roll call.

In my opinion, one of the more compelling uses of AR that gets very little play in tech publications is that of translation. The images here are screen caps from me holding up Google Translate's feature (thanks to Word Lens) that combines optical character recognition with automatic translation overlaid on top, often mimicking the font of the original. The original text here is in German and where once would be impenetrable text I now get a general sense of the subway sign (above) and the knobs of a laundry machine (below). The tech isn't perfect, as it's more effective at the moment with languages in similar families (so it's better with German and English than, say German and Arabic), and with rich corpora of data (this tool will be less effective with Eritrean and Dari), but the AR opportunities of translation are just beginning, I think. It's difficult to overestimate how much this feature streamlines a number of travel headaches, and as it catches on it will have significant and subtle effects on how we interact with our physical environments.

Tired of how heavy SLR cameras have been on my journeys, I've finally obtained a micro 4/3 camera. Did some filming/documentation today for an ongoing project, and was pleasantly surprised by the quality. Got me thinking about the gear we bring and how tech has optimized for travellers and itinerant lifestyles over time. In the bottom pane is Maria Ressa's gear for live stream coverage, including a headphone mic and smartphone ready gimbal and tripod. For my travels, I carry a tiny tripod with gripping feet, effectively enabling me to turn many objects — in this case, a chair back — into a tall tripod. It occurred to me recently that many of these objects come out of design and manufacturing hubs like Shenzhen, composed largely of workers who've had to move, maybe multiple times.

My first time seeing an ad for a karaoke app in a Western context. In Shenzhen I saw a variety of karaoke mics designed for smartphones, as what the person in this photo is depicted doing -- singing into a headphone mic -- is suboptimal. I'll be curious to see if karaoke apps take off outside east Asia, and if the mics follow suit.

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