Why Our Art Matters


John Green made a fabulous video about artists and their work today using the metaphor of the world’s largest ball of paint. I let him tell the story:

He said we might put all our energy into painting that one layer, and making it the most beautiful, only for it to be painted over by others. In the end, our layer of paint did contribute to the size of the ball, to its magnificence. There will be people remembering how we painted that one layer. One day, they will be gone as well. The artwork remains.

As artists we spend a lot of time wondering about if it matters what we do. Certainly through the blog I have shared my work with more people than I would have ever imagined. But even this is temporary. At only a few years old I did a lot of arts and crafts. I loved that. I always glued pieces of paper together and drew on them. That was my art. It is probably tucked away in some box I will never find again. But it contributed to the ball of paint that is my life. Five years ago I started drawing portraits and I still have these first sketches in a binder. Another layer on the ball of paint. Now my artwork is a lot better than those old sketches. I have painted over the old layers. All this time invested contributed thin layers.

If we see our development as artists like that, no perceived failure will ever trouble us again. Because they are all just lumps and bumps in a layer of paint we will soon go over with another colour. We might decide that we don’t like this ball anymore and start a new one. We might glue some paper onto it. We might write some verses on it. But with everything we do, it grows. We grow.

We also spend some time discussing the inevitable question in our head: Are we really undiscovered geniuses or are we just normal human beings thinking too much? Can we really ever know? Is it important?

What do we want our art to do for ourselves? Do we want to be recognised in the streets for our artwork? Do we want to appear in fancy magazines? Do we want our art to sustain our lives? Or do we want to make people happy, make them think, bring them joy? Do we want to send a powerful message? When we pose these questions we will know what we expect from the world. What the world can expect from us.

A genius can work silently in their studio day after day, from dawn to dusk. A genius can get up at 4 in the morning to cram in some extra hours of painting before the day job, only to come home at night exhausted and tired. A genius can get up at 12, write for ten minutes, eat ice cream the whole day, and go to bed five hours later. A genius might have picked up ballet dancing at forty years old and be amazing, despite everything everyone ever told them. We are all geniuses in our own way. We make it work. We struggle through insecurities. Through self-hate. Through doubt. Through anger at ourselves and our equipment. At unsaved documents. At word counts that won’t grow. We will curse our writer’s block and the muse that has left us. We will curse ourselves most often. That is just part of the process. We go on anyway because we have to. We are artists.

Whatever you might want to create today, know, that it will count. It will count for your own development, your growth. It will count for the world. It will count for the large ball of paint that is our culture, and our common humanity. We have always created something to make life more beautiful. We have always used art as a means for communication, to express our wonder about the world. These are challenging times we live in – let your art tell the story of this time. Use it to create even more. Art is what connects us on a much deeper level and this connection is what we need right now. There is so much division, hate, and fear out there. Let’s work on the beautiful ball of paint together that is our planet Earth.

In which way are you an artist genius? Let’s have a little chat in the comments!

International Women’s Day


womens day

Happy #internationalwomensday!!! 💐🌹🌷 A day to remind us of the progress women have made and the long way we still have to go.
Here is to all women – you are strong, you are intelligent, you are creative, you are capable, you are beautiful, you are gorgeous, you are loved.  ❤

My gallery of amazing women is growing, whom should I paint next?
@adele @michelleobama @malalafund

NaNoWriMo Day 21: My Favourite Painters


Nanowrimo is starting to suck all energy out of me. Many people have asked me how I find the time to write. It’s difficult and I’m struggling a bit at the moment. However, I’m eager to keep going. Juggling all my other interests, uni and work. Today, let’s talk about something very dear to my heart – ART. Particularly my favourite artists. I will present you my ten favourite men and women artists.

In school, I only knew about Frida Kahlo as a female artist. We never talked about women also creating amazing paintings! Never! I never questioned it either. Why are our art books full of men? Why do we never discuss the great efforts modern female artists make to change this system?

The Guerrilla Girls (http://www.guerrillagirls.com/#open) asked the question: “Do women have to be naked to get into the Met. museums? Less than 5% of the artists in the Modern Art Sections are women, but 85% of the nudes are female.”

I especially love this poster they made: The Advantages of being a woman artist. http://www.tate.org.uk/art/images/work/P/P78/P78796_10.jpg

“Working without the pressure of success.
Not having to be in shows with men.
Having an escape from the art world in your 4 free-lance jobs.
Knowing your career might pick up after you’re eighty.
Being reassured that whatever kind of art you make it will be labeled feminine.
Not being stuck in a tenured teaching position.
Being your ideas live on in the work of others.
Having the opportunity to choose between career and motherhood.
Not having to choke on those big cigars or paint in Italian suits.
Having more time to work after your mate dumps you for someone younger.
Being included in revised versions of art history.
Not having to undergo the embarrassment of being called a genius.
Getting your picture in the art magazines wearing a gorilla suit.”

Here is an amazing video by Sarah Urist Green about The Fierce Women of Art: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zHair5dvG0s If you are interested in art, this is the perfect channel for you. Thoughtful, diverse and intelligent.

Women are underrepresented in museums, in art history. Think of all the art periods: Renaissance? Da Vinci, Tizian. Baroque? Rembrandt. Rubens. Romanticism? Friedrich, Turner. Impressionism? Degas, Monet, Renoir. The list goes on and one. Could you name even one female painter in each of these periods? I couldn’t either.

It’s difficult for female artists to reach the art galleries of this world. The poster explains it perfectly. There are, however, some female artists recognised by history.

1. Frida Kahlo

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frida_Kahlo

My favourite one. A beautiful, strong woman who survived through her art. She made a lot of self-portraits. The colour contrasts are stunning. What strikes me most about her portraits is that she creates that intensive stare. That determined look that has the ability to see deep into you. Her art can be characterised as surrealistic, although she said that she doesn’t paint dreams, she paints her own reality.

2 . Kara Walker

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kara_Walker

This lady is astonishing. She creates huge black paper silhouettes and depicts aspects of American history like slavery. She hasn’t narrowed her materials to just paper, though. She works with animations and projections and also makes paintings and sketches. Her figures are so vivid, so full of life. Even if they are just cut-out, she has found a way to make them express feelings and emotions. They are beautifully crafted and are critical in the same moment. In her own words: “I wanted to make work where the viewer wouldn’t walk away, he’d get pulled into history, into fiction, into something totally demeaning and possibly very beautiful.”

3. Amrita Sher-Gil

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amrita_Sher-Gil#/media/File:Amrita_Sher-Gil_Group_of_Three_Girls.jpg

She was an indian-hungarian painter of the first half of the 20th century. Her paintings tell the stories of women and girls in India. Her colour choices are wonderful and she works a lot with light. The relations between the people in the paintings seem so intimate, so caring and loving. She has the ability to depict faces and catch their expressions without being that realistic. She knows how to reduce forms to a minimum.

4. Georgia O’Keeffe

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georgia_O%27Keeffe#/media/File:Blue-green.jpg

Her pictures have a certain harmony to them. Flowers carefully studied with shadow and light, so plastic that you want to touch them. Skulls with antlers that remind me of the famous surrealists. Vibrant colours and calm landscape scenes. Hills like cloth discarded somewhere. The variety of her work is amazing.

5. Artemisia Gentileschi

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artemisia_Gentileschi#/media/File:Self-portrait_as_the_Allegory_of_Painting_(La_Pittura)_-_Artemisia_Gentileschi.jpg

The only rather famous female painter of the baroque period. She was a master of her craft and learned from an artist you are more likely to know. Caravaggio. She painted dramatic scenes, brought painting light to perfection. If you see her pictures, you might think it was done by one of the great male painters of that time. Women are just as good, however, history is not very kind to them. Their works were attributed to men, they were not allowed to paint – you name it. This is why it is so incredibly important that we know about the female artists who were pioneers.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artemisia_Gentileschi

Never in my entire school life, did we cover the topic of female artists. We never went to a gallery were female artists were shown. Picasso, Caspar David Friedrich, Monet… not one woman. Let me show you my favourite male artists now:

1. Rene Magritte

https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ren%C3%A9_Magritte#/media/File:Magritte,_Rene_1898-1967_Signature.jpg

I have a special place in my heart for surrealists. I always tried to paint like them but failed. Magritte – what can I say about him. His ideas to trick our eyes are so intelligent, so well thought. Incredibly minimalistic sometimes, he always reveals new strategies to make us think, make us laugh, make us question. Looking at his paintings always makes me happy somehow. I love the colours and the out-of-world-ness about them. The strangeness. I could never decide on a favourite. Every time a new door is opened, with every new painting a new border passed. A line of what is possible and what isn’t crossed.

2. Salvador Dalí

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Persistence_of_Memory

My friend and fellow artist Hannah and I went to an exhibition of Dalí recently. There were a lot of sketches and series of drawings by him. Sculptures, prints, films. His sculptures have drawers in them! How amazing is that? We were astonished, in awe of his ability to draw. He really did know how to draw. “He’s a little weird, isn’t he?” was our most common sentence as we walked through the rooms. He was a great artist. I admire his forms and colours, his creating of entirely different worlds. He made a film together with Walt Disney and it is amazing to recognise the elements that they used in their art. You can never fully get what Dalí wanted to say with his paintings. You can never get to the ground. But you can admire his technique. One of my favourite paintings are “The Elephants”. His work “Muchacha en la ventana” reminds me a bit of Picasso’s “Nature morte devant une fenetre a Saint-Raphael”, which is my favourite one of Picasso. It is so tiny in real life! I was fortunate enough to see it, though. I fell in love with it. Windows to the sea, a re-occurring motive in art. Dalí painted landscapes and portraits and combined elements of seemingly every period of art, there is always more to discover. You might find him a little odd but you cannot deny that this man was a genius.

3. Lyonel Feininger

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lyonel_Feininger

An entire semester in our art class was dedicated to this painter. I love his work so much- just simple forms put together, carefully placed light. The composition is key. His paintings look like many differently coloured foils are put on top of each other. Illuminated with a single light source. Little broken glass pieces glued together to form masterpieces. I had the wonderful opportunity to see one of his works in a gallery in Lübeck. I didn’t want to leave. The museum was closing already and I wanted to stay, look at this painting. Absorb everything. His brush strokes, the hues he used, the clear lines. He mainly uses earth tones which makes his paintings look so natural, as if they just were photographs taken through a shattered window.

4. August Macke

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/August_Macke#/media/File:August_Macke_004.jpg

Before I even started to draw, I learned how to use watercolours. My grandfather taught me. That’s why watercolour artists are very dear to me. August Macke made expressionistic art as well. His work is colourful, full of life. It seems sometimes like the naive work of a child. A beautiful world, one saturated with colours. My favourite paintings of him are those he made in Tunisia. Bright, white shapes and harmonising, warm colours. Scenes so simplistic and yet beautiful. He fell in World War I, only 27 years old. Left behind only his work. Which had a great influence on my artistic development. I always go back to him for inspiration.

5. Vincent van Gogh

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vincent_van_Gogh#/media/File:Vincent_van_Gogh_-_Wheatfield_with_crows_-_Google_Art_Project.jpg

A few years ago I was in Amsterdam and I got the chance to see van Gogh’s work in real life. I don’t know what it is about paintings but they always look so small when you see them hanging on the wall. My favourite painting is his last one. The beautiful ending for a tragic life. He sold only one painting in his entire life-time. The world was not ready. His love for colour, his thick, pasty application of it onto the canvas – they give his work so much life. He learned to get away from the dark tones that were used before. From the calm scenes with subtle light. He wanted his paintings to shine. To be alive. He was an eccentric, he was a little strange. He ate yellow paint because he thought it would make him happy. To this point you should know that I love artists with heartbreaking stories. Their art is the purest. The most honest.

Those are a few of my favourite artists. I am completely aware that they are very Europe and North America centred. My mind is so narrow, concerning art. I always try to search for new painters whose work inspires me. Get’s me to sit in front of a canvas again, swinging the brush.

I would love to see more great painters from all over the world. Please tell me who your favourite painters are. Did you have the same problem with naming female painters in art history? What do you think we could change to get more diversity in our museums? In our art classrooms? I’m looking forward to your suggestions!

Current Word Count: 35157

NaNoWriMo Day 6: The Importance of Learning


NaNoWriMo Day 6: The Importance of Learning and a Painting

“If you feel naive, learn.” That’s what my dad said to me after we had a long conversation about the environment, society and politics in general. I get very passionate when it comes to the way we treat our earth. Then again, with every additional information I get, I feel like I know nothing at all. Every piece of knowledge opens up another world. You see that you haven’t discovered anything yet. It’s like the people who thought that the earth is flat. They knew everything about that round disc. Then they realised that our planet is in fact a sphere they knew nothing about. The more we learn, the less we know.

I believe in life-long learning. With every book you read and every person you get to know, you realise that you haven’t considered so many things yet. My dad and I were talking about carbon emissions. He said: “Wait a moment, has anyone considered that more people on this earth will also breathe out more carbon?” I said that this portion wouldn’t be that significant. Turns out that just the breathing of India’s population equals the emissions of our German transport system. Diving deeper into any kind of topic you find how little you actually know. There are three ways to react: a) You don’t care. b) You don’t consume any media anymore because it is too much for you. c) You want to know everything and you often feel naive and uneducated. Therefore you read book after book and try to keep up.

I love learning and studying. When I went vegan I read every book my library had to offer. I watched film upon film and read articles about it. I became obsessed with the topic once my eyes where opened. I found out that everything I should review everything I have ever been taught about nutrition. Now my family and friends ask questions about being vegan and I can answer them. I still feel like I don’t know enough yet. I still feel that I have to educate myself on nutrients and where to get them.

“I only trust statistics I have faked by myself.” My dad always asks me where I have those facts from. We live in a world with no independent media. Even if they talk about incidents objectively, they still can leave certain parts out. “History is always written by the winners. When two cultures clash, the loser is obliterated, and the winner writes the history books – books which glorify their own cause and disparage the conquered foe. As Napoleon once said, ‘What is history, but a fable agreed upon?” You find that sentence in The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown.

This is why we need science. You can objectify it. You can measure something and the finding stays the same. The interpretations may vary. The basis does not.

To be a good citizen in this world it is important to learn. To be open-minded and to accept criticism. It is always dangerous to adopt an opinion without any or little information. For me, it is difficult to stay up to date with the news in this world. To get them from different sources, compare their messages. We simply don’t have the time to think about every little piece of knowledge we acquire from five perspectives. We have to make sacrifices. Our news come in little portions, bite-sized.

Sometimes I want to cry out: Give me everything you have about this topic, I want more! In the era of the Internet, it is so easy to inform yourself. You can get knowledgable on the subspecies of rays. A little excursion to tree species that lived in the Ordovician?

Stay curious. With every new fact you learn a new door opens up and you find yourself in another corridor of doors. We are build to be curious and to seek knowledge. If our ancestors wouldn’t have played with fire, our whole evolution wouldn’t have been possible. Well, what’s that interesting animal over there? Ouch… Oh, Gaby, it’s hot! Let’s put some food around it and see what happens. I don’t know why my hypothetical Stone Age woman is named Gaby, but you get my point. Knowledge is a vital part of our development.

My favourite fictional character is Hermione Granger. “When in doubt, go to the library” seems to be my new motto. I adore her passion for her movement S.P.E.W. and how she pieced all information together before anyone else did. Her curiosity inspires me. She always read books before the term even started. She helped her friends when they needed it and she even used a time-turner to be able to take all the courses! Solving riddles, she always mentions the books she got the solutions from.

I’m sharing a painting with you today I completed last week. My admiration for Michelle Obama is endless. I listened to a lot of her talks she gave in the previous weeks and I just love how she speaks. She has the ability to capture people with her words. She values education and knowledge. The painting I did of her sits over my desk, next to Malala. Every time I feel discouraged or unwilling to study, I look at them and find strength. If you have any suggestion which amazing woman I should paint as well, please tell me!

The process of painting has been difficult. I started with a sketch and as I put some colours on the canvas I knew that it wouldn’t work out. I was discouraged, I had to turn the painting around to not look at it anymore. I tried again. The next sketch turned out a lot better. Creating a painting is a lot like writing. You put a sentence on the paper. Rewrite it. Change words. Change their order, their tone. In painting you try and add a bit of a risky colour. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn’t. You paint over it. Start again. It’s also a lot like making sculptures. You work a face out of a canvas until if finally looks at you. Nods. You’ve done a good job.

I’m not that easily satisfied with my work but I’m proud of this one. Painting, just like writing, is hard. There are days when it really doesn’t work at all. Then you have those days when everything falls into place. Where all the days you spent studying proportions of the human body are worthwhile. When all the hours you spent learning grammar make sense. You can never learn too much, stay curious.

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Education.


No matter what anybody tells you words and ideas can change the world.

says Mr Keating in the Dead Poet’s Society, which is one of my favourite films. If you are able to raise your voice and stand up for your rights, you can achieve wonderful things.

In the last days I have been very inspired by the many talks of Malala Yousafzai I listened to. Furthermore, I finished reading her book which I started ages ago. It was heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time. Her endurance, her strength, her wise words show me that you always have to speak up and that education is the key for peace and development. Here are some awesome speeches and interviews: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MOqIotJrFVM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iAhjiUh-Pho

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aKIQ_AyLi30

I have had the privilege to get a great education, primary and secondary and now even university. I will forever be grateful for that. I love studying and reading and following my curiosity. I love to go beyond what is in the curriculum, ask questions and teach myself new things. When times are difficult I step back and tell myself what a great honour it is for me to have this opportunity and then I go on and study for that exam.

Today, I went for a run with my lovely friend Izzy today and our conversations are always very deep and honest. We talked about our school system and it was the reason for this little text. In schools in Germany you are often only taught what is in the curriculum. You do not learn how to study. You do not learn how to be interested in a topic. You do not learn how to solve problems and seek answers for yourself. You do not learn to think critically.
In their studies, teachers learn a lot about their subjects but hardly anything about how to teach. As I give private lessons now to students, I know how hard it can be to explain something to a pupil who doesn’t want to learn. In those moments I think back to my school experience, search for teachers I admire and ask myself what they would do. I find my answers in only two or three of them. Three from a period of 12 years!

It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge. Albert Einstein

I believe that it is as important to know about your subject, as it is to know how to talk to your students. How to motivate them. Being excited about is not required if you want to be a teacher. If you are highly motivated, you will soon see that not many people value that. You simply lose the spirit after some time. We do not value teachers who look beneath the surface or try to encourage critical thinking. We do not value teachers who want you to read and learn all by yourself. We do not value teachers who teach you about life and morality.

This is the situation in Germany. We still have a good school system, though, because every girl and boy is able to go to a school. Globally, the statistics are shocking. 60 million children in 2013 did not go to primary school which is devastating. Or as the UNESCO put it:

Among children of primary school age, 1 out of 10 girls and 1 out of 12 boys were out of school in 2013.

You can have a closer look at the figures here: http://www.uis.unesco.org/Education/Documents/fs-31-out-of-school-children-en.pdf

Schools are the key to a peaceful world. Education teaches us respect, tolerance, patience, understanding. It teaches us about culture and values, about moral and our human rights.

When in September 2015, about one year ago, the world leaders decided on the new global goals I was thinking about which my number one priority would be. I decided for number 4. Here is why: If investing in education, we can end wars and therefore bring peace and better lives to people. Education for every child is the first step in the direction of gender equality. Children have to learn about our planet and how to treat it, how to act responsible and sustainable.

In sociology in the first semester we had an interesting graph: People with higher education are more likely to act environmentally responsible. Out of this group, women are more likely to do so than men. What are the consequences? We have to educate people from a very young age and provide them with primary and secondary education to show them the importance of treating our mother earth right.
Many girls are not able to go to school because of war, of cultural aspects and they will stay at home. They will raise their kids to believe in the same values as they do. There is no escape except, they receive a quality education. It empowers them, gives strength to their voices and makes them stand up for their rights and beliefs. We need more women leaders in the world and I believe that they will also bring change in the way we treat our environment. If they are not in positions for change, they will at least ask the right questions, they will speak up and their combined voices will lead to rethinking of the challenges we face today.

I’m curious…

Which of the global goals would you choose as your priority?

What are your thoughts on education?

Artist Struggles: Painting


Over the last weeks I was never really happy with what I painted. I did a lot of practising sketches for anatomy but I wasn’t able to produce something I actually liked. I even started a portrait that now sits on the top of my shelf because I just can’t look at it anymore. The struggle is real. Today I made a second attempt and this went soooo well. I can’t wait to show you the result once it is finished.

How many of these struggles do you experience? I’m curious!

  1. Never having the right material at home when you have a good idea.
  2. Having the material but no idea what to paint.
  3. The fear of the blanc canvas.
  4. The smudges pencils make on canvas when touching water.
  5. Trying to copy a reference image onto a canvas.
  6. Not being able to decide which colours to use. Acrylics? Oil? Watercolours?
  7. Not really knowing how to use all those different materials but using them anyway.
  8. Brushes that lose hair.
  9. Little brush hair all over your painting that you can’t get off the canvas.
  10. Your own hair covered in paint.
  11. Your face covered in paint.
  12. Basically inventing a new nail polish.
  13. Not noticing that you are covered in paint and then asking yourself how many people have seen you with that blue on your cheek.
  14. Water that got so dirty from paint that you ruin the bright areas of your painting.
  15. Being too lazy to change the water.
  16. Knocking your water glass over and covering your whole table in black soup.
  17. Accidentally dipping your brush into your cup of tea.
  18. Accidentally drinking out of your painting glass.
  19. Putting the wrong colour in the wrong place.
  20. Trying to wipe this colour off but thereby ruining the whole picture.
  21. Getting too much colour out of a tube.
  22. Getting no colour at all out of the tube.
  23. Trying different needles, pencils etc. to get it working again.
  24. Colours that have separated into the pigments and something unknown.
  25. Colours that are already solid because you forgot about them.
  26. Paper that gets wavy when soaked in water.
  27. Not being content with what you are painting at all.
  28. Hoping that it gets better.
  29. It’s not getting better.
  30. Sitting on your chair defeated.
  31. With your back aching.
  32. And your head tired.
  33. Wanting to tear that canvas into pieces.
  34. Instead just turning it around so that you don’t have to see it anymore.
  35. Finally overpainting your first attempt.
  36. Getting loads of comissions from your family.
  37. Not having any paintings at home because you gave all of them away.
  38. Trying a new style.
  39. Having to answer the question: “What is that?”.
  40. If is is an abstract painting.
  41. If it actually should have been a person you both know.
  42. If it is the person himself you tried to paint.
  43. The smell of oil colours.
  44. After three weeks. In your one room apartment.
  45. The drying process of oil colours.
  46. Just having one little corner of a painting you actually like.
  47. Trying to do the whole painting in that way.
  48. Not liking this one corner anymore.
  49. Never being able to stop painting so that you sit there at 3am.
  50. Falling asleep with your head on the palette, a brush in your hair and your arm on the canvas. Good night.

 

All of these things have happened to me. With which of them do you identify?

Have a lovely weekend.

xxx

verena

Snowden.


Technology is amazing. The way we use it today is out of our control, though. It shouldn’t be but it is. The amazing ideas we are able to share through networks are used against people. If they aren’t, they are at least collected. Huge piles of data. On every one of us. Skyped with your mum? Walked your dog? Talked to your sister about this upcoming marriage? Shared pictures with your family? We know about everything!!!

I just watched the film ‘Snowden’ and it obviously got me thinking. What is this crazy world we live in? Big Brother and all… Not that I didn’t know it. Except… Who does, really? Do we know what is going on? Would it be good for us? To grasp the dimension of these actions? That all our data is collected? Everything?

I find it very hard to understand this. Maybe it wouldn’t be good if I did. Bad for the paranoia I guess. Our information is used and the profiles of people are connected to other profiles to other profiles. A database on everything we do.

My dad always says that the safest connection is no connection. What does this mean in this special context? Should we shut down all our accounts? Say goodbye to the social media platforms? Throw stones at cameras in public places? Do we even have a chance?

We have two choices. Either we change ourselves or we change the system. They always tell us that they collect all this information for our own security. I have no doubt that they do. To which percentage is this really useful, that’s the question here. I am not informed enough to make a judgement on that question. I am not sure, though, that we need to collect EVERY INFORMATION on EVERY PERSON to make sure we are save. I don’t get this system. It is frightening me. Since this all got public, who hasn’t thought about what they are texting or writing or posting on the Internet for a second time? Who hasn’t been influenced? Who hasn’t put tape on their webcam or at least thought about it? Who hasn’t watched a camera closely and wondered who might sit on the other side? It is a terrifying world we live in or at least they want us to believe that. To justify the actions.

Now we have to decide. Do we start building a defence system in our computers? Do we start using more encryption etc? Would that even help? Do we stop using them at all? Or do we change the way this information is dealt with. How it is collected. Do we change the way, our security is protected without knowing what Susan texted her boyfriend today? What the best apple pie recipe from aunt Rose is?

Many people say they don’t care about this because they have no secrets. Oh come on. You wouldn’t want your mum to read your diary, right? There is a reason why people invented doors. Why they invented curtains and blinds and why they don’t tell the truth all the time. This makes us humans! We all have secrets and that is perfectly fine. There is a reason for that. Up to the point where these don’t harm other people. Next time you say that you have nothing to hide… Just think how it would be to be completely honest with your mother-in-law. Yeah, this new hairless dog is veeeery cute and of course her cooking is spleeeendid and she looks amazing in this pink and purple curtain she is wearing. We are not honest all the time. It’s good that way. Just think about your mother-in-law seeing you talking to your spouse about this family celebration, laughing about her awful cooking skills. You wouldn’t want that.

These are all very small and laughable examples but we do have a right on the protection of our data. We have rights and I think they should be protected. Along with our security. I believe this is both possible at the same time. And if data is collected to gain an economic or political benefit… There must be something wrong with the system, too. This problem will probably be solved soon. When EVERYBODY is spying on EVERYONE. No one will gain any benefit from that. Also, talking helps. International groups sitting together and talking about problems. I’m a big believer in the talking bit. Where we work collectively together and not against each other to make this world a little better. With a little less data collection and more reasonable thinking.