darwin: (Intentionality.)
Kerry and I were reading the Yacht Mollymawk website, which we found by chance while poking about on a thread on Wordpress localisation. It's a travelogue written by an English family who travel round the world in an old yacht as their permanent home - well, I think most of their travel has been in Southern Europe and the Caribbean - places like Spain, Brazil and the Dominican Republic. Much of the writing there is beautiful and the photography is too! (I have to say that the website is very well designed as well; the son, Caesar, is a web designer who learnt his skills while travelling.)

Jill, the mother, is the most common writer on the blog and I like many of her observations about education and travelling, but I have a hard time getting my head round some of the characterisations she makes about the people living in the countries she and her family visit. Things about how you can ~learn~ from people in third-world countries, that sort of thing. Or equating voluntary minimalism that those of us in western countries can do with the enforced minimalism that people in poor countries have to do. It's not quite on the level of...the stereotypical Victorian English explorer banging on about noble savages, but it is a bit annoying to see that. I think you can get cultural impressions from people but I don't know how I feel about generalisations like 'People in country X are nice' or 'People in country Y are all nasty'. People are...people wherever they are and they can vary!

Yes, there are things you can learn from people...but you can learn things from people anywhere, whether they're in England or Eritrea or Egypt or Estonia. Travelling round the world is a wonderful experience, but there are ways to gain perspective even within a 'first world' country like the UK (...like the increasing need for food banks over there?) or the US (there is more income inequality in the USA than any other industrialised western democracy).

I like the emphasis on conservation and not buying useless things that you're really not going to use, and questioning consumer culture is important but I don't think it's necessary to romanticise other groups while doing it.

...now I feel like a SJW. *sighs*
darwin: a watercolour painting of a girl with red hair flowing round her (flameheaded)
I've not heard of Maru & Friends until now, but they are a company that specialise in making dolls of colour (there are a few white dolls too but the emphasis seems to be on the characters of colour, particularly the main character who's a Hispanic immigrant to the USA). As they're an American company they're focussed on people that you'd find in the States (like Hispanic and Black people).

Little Ghost is an artist in Manchester who designed the covers for the 'Girl for All Time' books and did the face concepts. Her art style is dreamy, feminine and a bit unearthly. I rather like it!

There was American Girl, Maplelea Girls and A Girl for All Time: now there's Australian Girl. I was wondering if there was an Australian Girl, as I knew there were equivalent companies in the UK and Canada (American Girl were the first of these '$COUNTRY girl' lines to come out.) There are some differences though; Maplelea and Australian Girl seem to be focussed on modern-day characters while American Girl and A Girl for All Time have large historical components.

Tootsa MacGinty are a company that make gender-neutral clothing for children. Obviously we haven't got any direct need for this (kids are not on the cards for quite some time!) but I like the idea of colourful, fun clothing for children of all genders. Too bad they're so expensive though.

Supermundane is an artist in London who has lots of lovely geometric and colourful and intricate pieces of artwork!

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darwin: a black-and-white butterfly on an orangey red background (Default)
Darwin

April 2014

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