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I am not a critic, I am not a writer, and I have very little expertise in photography. But I have feelings, and I felt I had to do something after I read the book from Marie Dailey about daily life in Singapore. So I wrote.

Being far away from your country, family, friends, in 2020, has been a complicated exercise. I recognize that 2020 has been stressful for mostly everyone in the world. But for those “abroad” or “far away from home”, it has also put us back again in front of what “distance” really means. Some — like Marie — had to see people pass without the chance of a last goodbye. A simple plane ride is off the cards. Traveling for business, for fun, or for life and death has become insurmountable. …


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Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

In these turbulent times, many of us, of you, are facing personal uncertainty, generating stress, doubt, fear. They will lose their job — a job that had become an identity. How to make sense of what is happening to you? How to build resilience? How to rebuild an identity?

“What the hell am I doing here?” Radiohead

I came across an HBR article by Jenna Koretz about burn out that immediately resonated a lot with me. This great piece deals with burn out in high-powered professional, and tells about “What Happens When Your Career Becomes Your Whole Identity”. How to see it coming and how to deal with it. In essence, there has been an increasing number of hi-potential executive who run themselves to a psychological ditch, and start to be haunted by a key question, “what the hell am I doing here?”. She describes beautifully how successful executives had become addicted to the idea of success as defined by others. However they might not manage anymore to internalize this success as a form of achievement, completion, or satisfaction. Something like “all inputs are right, but the output is wrong”. …


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Photo by Jason Dent on Unsplash

I believe in prosperity, I believe in technology, I believe in free economy, I believe in democracy. I believe that growing inequities are endangering them all.

I was born in 1973, the beginning of the crisis (the oil shock). It was actually like the “last round” bell sounding across the western world, marking the end of the “glorious thirty”. The unprecedented surge in prosperity that followed the rebuilt of European nations was coming to an end. Generation living at that time saw their world totally change after 1945. There was virtually no unemployment, and anyone without a degree but with some aspiration to work could make a decent living. On top of it innovation (boosted by the war industries redeployment) was providing more and more changes to the daily life of people across (primarily) North America and West Europe. Cars became ubiquitous, tap water came to every households, refrigerators changed the way people were shopping and living. TV became unavoidable. The perfection and simplicity of the American dream, that the whole western world embraced. …


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https://www.femalepleasure.org/

We went to an indie cinema last week in Singapore (the projector), that is hosting a film festival about inclusion, diversity and womanhood. #femalepleasure is a fantastic documentary following 5 characters, all women, whose life has been through traumas of different kinds. One flew a Jewish Hassidic community in Brooklyn, after a forced marriage. She tells about her fight. A German lady got raped in a catholic institution, where she was a nun, and tells her story. One fights to end what concerns 200 million of women in the world — and herself — FGM or female genital mutilation. Another one is fighting for love, and women, to be given an honest chance in India, where rape and misogynistic culture prevails. The fifth character is a Japanese artist who represents vaginas in her art in very funny ways and get indicted for “obscenity” while male genitals representations is ubiquitous and totally accepted in japan. …


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https://www.femalepleasure.org/

#femalepleasure is a documentary following 5 characters, all women, whose sexual and emotional life has been through traumas of different kinds. One flew a Jewish Hassidic community in Brooklyn, after a forced marriage. She tells about her fight. A German lady got raped in a catholic institution, where she was a nun, and tells her story. One fights to end what concerns 200 million of women in the world — and herself — FGM or female genital mutilation. Another one is fighting for love, and women, to be given an honest chance in India, where rape and misogynistic culture prevails. …


Perhaps is this is already a recession, and a crisis, both, or at least it’s becoming one. We might also as well be ready for the fact that what we’ve been through so far in the last 2 to 3 months might only be the shock. And the full ramifications of its impact are still spreading out.

I was born in 1973, probably for the modern era the time when “crisis” became a sort of continuity in economic terms, a way to describe what I happened since. And 1973 “shock” is a great way to explain what we’re going through. In a very short period of time, oil producers decided to make much more money out of the “black gold”. There’s been nationalization of oil production, alignment through a Cartel (which is a term that make my free-economy mind buzz), and a steep increase in the price of oil. And they were immediate consequences, across the world. All of of sudden, some activities were not affordable anymore — people felt the pain filling up at the pump, fuel became scarce. France engaged into a “zero energy waste” campaign, la chasse au Gaspi, as the Cartel did it again in 1979… Learning was that was societies had to adapt, but could not absorb such a big impact to their value chain in such a short time. There was the cohort of the consequences we’ve become since pretty accustomed too — economic slowdown inducing recession, bankruptcy, and unemployment. Gradually all sectors of economy started to lose ground… and loosening of monetary policies that come when governments try to “inject blood” in a dying economy induced inflation, that has plagued the world for another 10 years…what started as an increase in cost of energy — hence mostly transportation — had deep impacts on all sectors of a globalizing economy. …


Let’s get this straight, right away. There is nothing good about Covid-19. I wish every morning that none of that has happened. We have to fight together as much as we can to put Sars-Cov2 back in its box. It’s killing tens of thousands, wiping out the most vulnerable, the more venerable, and will leave families in tears. Economically, we’re still falling, and we don’t even know yet when we will actually hit the ground

Even for those who have not fully or partially lost their income with lockdown and what’s a tremendous economic shock, even “working from home” is not really the benefit it once was. When you have young kids around (as schools are closed), it’s an exhausting challenge to keep things going… with the two of us working, we end up working inefficiently in small time capsules from 5 am to 11 pm, intertwining life, meals, work, school, working-out for sanity and keeping the kids occupied — they are 3 and 5 1/2 year old. …


Cycyling manager: not for everyone.

Everyone has little guilty pleasures, one of mines is to watch endlessly the best stages of the Tour de France. From childhood, biking is one of the favorite things in my life, and in spite of the controversies around cycling in general and Le Tour in particular, my fascination remains indefectible. I love it all… The drama, the determination, the work that goes behind, the views of France from above. The winners. …


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I started writing this article sitting in a Landraumat in Singapore couple of months back, waiting for our clothes to dry (the glamorous expat experience, living for weeks off a suitcase). I want this ridiculous anecdote to clumsily illustrate that I strongly believe that women and men are absolutely equally equipped to assume the same duties and responsibilities. Household duties have to be shared equally (even if it’s only the second time I take care of laundry in 10 years!). Kids’ education too. All aspects of family life. …

About

Hemka

Husband and dad. Engineering a better world. Putting things on paper.

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