Edit One: Identity
In her talk given at a TED Institute event organised in partnership with BCG earlier this year social psychologist Dolly Chugh mentions that at any given moment 11 million pieces of information enter our minds but only 40 of them are being processed consciously. As a result, the tremendous work our brains do relies on shortcuts and simplifications, which make it easier for our brains to understand and deal with the world around us. One of such simplifications would be grouping objects based on a shared quality and then defining these groups of objects by contrasting them with one another, for instance dull objects as opposed to sharp objects, white as opposed to black, familiar as opposed to foreign. We often use the same mechanism while trying to understand and define ourselves and other people. In order to cope with that task, we'd ask a newly met person questions like: where do you come from; what do you do for living; which university did you graduate from; are you liberal or conservative; are you religious or atheist; do you have children; are you a cat or a dog person, etc. But as the search-and-classify rocket deploys, we need to be cautious about the danger of a single story as the famous novelist of Nigerian origin Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie warns in her brilliant talk given at an official TED conference in 2009 in Oxford, England. The talk that certainly inspired the theme of this edit. Who are we and how do we define ourselves? What does identity mean and why does it determine our lives? Does being young mean that you don’t understand the needs of more mature women? Does being a feminist mean that you cannot compromise in your private life? Do victims ever become oppressors? Do you get to choose your own identity? These are some of the questions we tried to find answers to in Edit One: Identity.
Kasia Kiliszek and Natalia Fiszka
Huge thanks to our contributors, this edit would have never happened without you: Olivia Atkins, Olga Dziedzic, Hazel Gibbens, Linn Lemhag, Florence Neville, Amelia Paquin & Kiki Darma Roberts.
We would also like to thank Jack Fairey for capturing us so nicely, Natasha Murphy and Christine Apiou for your invaluable help with the new website. You’re exactly the heroines and hero that we needed.