Art as Protest in Iran and the U.S. and other Newsworthy Progress

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With so many crazy, sad things happening in the world, lets take a break and think about some people who are making their dreams come true, and making the world better in the process.

Tech

Even if it’s not so obvious in San Francisco, it’s summer in the Northern Hemisphere! And for the pale souls among us, pink skin season. One of the most embarrassing kinds of sunburns (I won’t say the most embarrassing, because I’m sure many of you have sunburn horror stories of your own) is the patchy kind. The kind where you actually did put on sunscreen, but you just clearly missed spots. To ensure your skin is one – preferably not pink – shade, Sunscreenr will show you all the spots you missed by using its own weak UV rays.

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Film

In Iran, graffiti isn’t just illegal, the government considers it a show of support for Western culture or even Satanism. But in fact, the work of most prominent street artists centers around children’s rights, peace, nostalgia, childhood and friendship, and incorporates Iranian literature. Mutiny of Colors follows 12 Iranian street artists as they create work in Iran, despite the constant threat of being arrested. One artist (masked in his interview as to not be arrested) says that “Our intellectual and artistic society are underestimating and ignoring ordinary people’s power … I prefer my work to be seen in public by the very same people who are not taken seriously enough.” In these circumstances, art as protest is as powerful as it is beautiful.

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Social Impact

Since we’re in RNC week, it’s no surprise that Trump-related campaigns are on the rise. An Oakland artist made a series of blind contour drawings of Donald Trump, which he put together to make a coloring book entitled “Make America Colorful Again.” With Donald Trump’s threats of seriously limiting immigration, the artist is donating all of the money he raises to the International Institute of the Bay Area, which provides legal services, education, and help settling in to immigrants and refugees.

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Another group of pro-immigration activists is making Trump his very own wall. A group of Latinx and Chicanx political organizers teamed up with several other amazing organizations to build a 15,000 ft. Wall of Trump out of banners around the Arena in Cleveland where the RNC took place. The wall is in protest of regressive immigration and social policies as a whole, but the campaigner stated that “Our wall won’t be the kind of wall that divides cultures and families… But a wall that brings us together to fight for a better future for our children.” Anyone is invited to decorate it.

Where are they now?

Kinsa is the thermometer that takes your temperature, tracks and advises you on your symptoms, knows about nearby illnesses, and stores your health data. They have run two successful campaigns and landed their product in pharmacies like Rite Aid across the country. But they are unstoppable! They just landed a partnership with Sesame Street, which is the most important street ever to many little kids. They are making an Elmo thermometer, or Elmometer, that looks like Elmo (if Elmo were an electric thermometer) and talks like Elmo to ease the pain of getting your temperature taken. And there’s more. Next month it will be in Target’s “Connected Baby” section, which brings to mind a baby with a bunch of cables coming out of it, or a baby typing away at a laptop, iPad, cellphone, and smartwatch.

We love hearing the success of our entrepreneurs long after crowdfunding! Feeling Inspired? 

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