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Flashback: Exactly two years ago I remember walking in to teach my fashion journalism class, unsure how or if I should make the massacre that just happened at Pulse Club Orlando a part of that day’s lecture. But the students brought it into discussion straight away. After two hours, we found ourselves somewhere in between feeling lethargic and wanting to take initiative in face of the brutal assassination of 49 people and the 53 wounded.
If fashion is escapism, distraction, the beautiful - what is it that future fashion journalists as opinion formers could do? Should fashion journalism be political?
We started a project called #ArtDrei referring to article three of Germany's basic law: every human is equal. What happened at PULSE club on June 12, 2016 was not just the biggest mass shooting in American history at that time, but a brutal reminder for the whole world, that America’s gun politics is still fucked up and of the danger the LGBTQ+ community lives with every day.
With our ARTIII tees we wanted to start a conversation on pseudo-equality and discrimination of minorities - a term that legitimises treating groups differently because they are officially recorded as numerically less - but are they really or is that what heteropatriarchy would like us to think?
We got a lot of press for ARTIII - swipe to see some of the media coverage - and we sold out both of our editions in only a couple of hours. All of the money (literally 100%) we made with selling the tees, thousands of euros, was donated to a non-profit organization that helps resocialize street kids in Hamburg, Germany - where the uni is based.
So this is not only a reminder of the tragic mass shooting, of the lives taken, but also that there‘s no time not to speak and stand up, because nothing we do is apolitical any longer. Don’t let lethargy happen and fear block you, your voice counts, your vote counts, so start a conversation, fight back, celebrate diversity and being #DefiantlyDifferent
📷 Roman Rätzke
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Anzeige: Spent the day at the @hugo_official headquarters earlier this week getting to know the team and introducing their first collection shaped by their Social Media following.
Go check out HUGO‘s IG stories this weekend to vote for your favorite designs, too!
You could think that being gay has never been more accepted in our culture than it is today. Same-sex marriage is legal, a lot of politicians and celebs are out openly, but don‘t ya think that we’ve become way too comfortable? Homo-, trans-, bi- and interphobia are real and so is pseudo-acceptance and faux-equality.
If we step out of our big city life that we made it to a couple of years ago, the levels of acceptance drop with every kilometer / mile further to the smaller cities and villages. Even in a different neighborhood you might start feeling uncomfortable as a LGBTQ person holding hands, kissing, just being yourself in public. Not to mention the states and countries like Chechnya or the United Arab Emirates where being #LGBTQ is not only illegal, but punished with torture and death.
Even though we’re aware of these facts, there’s a lot of queer people who’d say things like “I don‘t wanna make a big deal out of my sexuality“ or „It’s only my business who I see or go to bed with!“. I was one of them, too. Even though I came out at a young age, I so often was busy trying to convince others that I’m not a threat to the masculine order, that I‘m #gay, but not too, no fag or ‘Schwuchtel’. So ‘not making a big deal out of my sexuality’ meant that I was just trying to conform and pass as a ‘normal’ aka straight guy. That kinda is a big deal.
It‘s Pride month and worldwide the LGBTQ community honors the Manhattan Stonewall riots of June 1969. It took decades of LGBTQ activists fighting for equality, risking and losing their lives so that we can live a comfortable life today, more or less. And it‘s the less that should keep us going.
That doesn’t mean you have to get wasted during a Pride parade (it can be fun though!) and you certainly don‘t have to dress in fast-fashion Pride collections. Find your way to make yourself visible, raise your own flag and express your otherness, queerness, your #PRIDE! Do it for yourself and for those who can‘t. On a Bus, at your family table, here on IG, during a parade or march, at a friend‘s party or whenever you dare to be unapologetically you. 📷 Nina Hollensteiner