It’s the quicksand of the mind

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Hands, 2021

One of the strategies I often come across for managing the shame that results from dysfunctional coping mechanisms and toxic beliefs is to behave like a scientist. Gather evidence for why these beliefs can’t be true, make lists, rally a group of witnesses to support you. In essence, fight these ideas with new ones.

But I’ve found this doesn’t track in the real world, at least if you’re as skeptical as a scientist as I believe one should be.

Often when we undertake these mental pilgrimages to prove we are worthy and reject the dusty messages we inherited from our…


How to escape the modern plague.

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If my aim is to prove I am ‘enough,’ the project goes on to infinity — because the battle was already lost on the day I conceded the issue was debatable. So it is always ‘one more’ victory — one more promotion, one more sexual conquest, one more company, one more piece of jewelry, a larger house, a more expensive car, another award — yet the void within remains unfilled. — Nathaniel Branden


The right thing to do is sell the company and disappear.

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Allies, 2018

It’s important to start by making a key point:

To buy-in to the production of feminist apparel (lowercase, not uppercase) or any commodity that suggests activism-through-purchase requires a comprehensive knowledge of impact at every point from supply chain to employee to customer to donation bin (and onward).

As writer Arabelle Sicardi succinctly wrote soon after she was contacted to serve as a brand ambassador to Feminist Apparel: “It’s not just a t-shirt, it never was, and fashion was never just about how good you feel in your clothes. …


Diaz was deeply abusive. And he is immeasurably brave. How do we place him?

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Vulnerability, 2018

It’s been just over a month since Junot Díaz shared the abuse he suffered as a child with the world. In light of allegations leveled against him by authors Zinzi Clemmons and Carmen Maria Machado, some called Díaz’s autobiographical essay a preemptive strike. Others likened it to Kevin Spacey’s diversion. And others still perceived Díaz as an opportune figure, a man straddling both victimhood and abuse, the “fulcrum of healing.” A week ago, two dozen professors criticized the media’s treatment of the misconduct allegations as a “spectacle.” Díaz himself writes: “I’ve come to learn that repair is never-ceasing.”

Is he…


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5 Hands — Pencil, Paper, and Digital

Every so often, on a train platform or in a busy city center, I’ll have that thought: “This is it. We’ve arrived at the dystopian hyper-capitalist future of my nightmares.” It sounds dramatic until you start to notice the emerging technology in our reality that mirrors the concepts of far-future science fiction.

In the second episode of the British sci-fi anthology Black Mirror, the writers explore a world where our time, energy, cognitive space, and attention have become consumables as opposed to inherent, a birthright.

The characters are housed in small rooms surrounded wall-to-wall by advertising. They have the option…


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11 Hands — Pencil, Paper, and Digital

Whenever I’m stuck, there are 3 places I look for wisdom:

Friends
Books
The Internet

In this most recent instance, I found myself wondering day after day, usually on the train or in the shower, how to carve out time for art-making while simultaneously working full-time, finishing a graduate program, maintaining a reasonable level of civic engagement, and going to therapy twice a week.

I went to friends first.

I asked the question to a few good friends in a few different ways and the responses I received were more vague and explanatory than concrete and actionable:

“That all comes…

Yasmeen Fahmy

I’m an artist that writes about gender, self, technology, art, and the future.

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