ORIGINS Editorial

Alok Vaid Menon // New York City

Alok Vaid Menon // New York City

Mukul Bhatia: With a North Indian mother, and a South Indian father, growing up in United States, how was it like and how did you become the individual that you are today? Alok Menon: I grew up in a small conservative town in Texas which simultaneously confirms and challenges every stereotype you might have about Texas. From a young age I navigated two disparate worlds: the tight-knit pan-Indian immigrant community and the white conservatives of my hometown. Because there were so few South Asians around I didn’t really understand the particularities of what it meant to be Malayalee and Punjabi – I just understood myself as “brown.” It was the kind of place that made you immediately aware of your difference, in all of its permutations. I experienced constant and routine racism, homophobia, transphobia, the works! Because I needed an outlet to process everything I was going through I started writing poetry. I didn’t call it poetry at the time, it was more about keeping a diary, but I began to understand the power of art to externalize trauma from your body and make it into something beautiful. So many of the coping strategies I picked up growing up in Texas are the skills that I still call upon today: how to work a room, how to perform like your life depends on it, how to argue for the legitimacy of your being. When did you discover about your sexuality? How did the world around you take it? I don’t know. I think we do this thing where we ask queer and trans people when they “first knew,” but we never ask that to heterosexual and cisgender people. This is because heterosexuality and cisness are normalized in society, whereas queerness and transness are seen as aberrations. The idea here is…

ORIGINS Editorial // Kaveri Acharya // Bombay

ORIGINS Editorial // Kaveri Acharya // Bombay

Kaveri Acharya is a 26 year old romantic with a flair for the dramatic. She’s drawn to anything that is fabulous and with a gorgeous story. She states that “ a good story and innate fabulousness is the most precious gift that can’t be bought but can be shared – It’s electric and contagious and totally delicious. I’ve decided I’m going to have a rip-roaring time along the way and make sure I’m always in love. I’m like a sunflower, with love being my source of light and nourishment.” What do you do? Broadly speaking, I work in the art world. The tectonic plates of the ‘what-do-you-do’ are moving though. I’m given myself this year to try out a whole bunch of different things and see which show fits. It’s definitely going to be within the realm of art/fashion/design. What’s your life story so far? I think the underlying theme of my life would be that I’m a little bit from everywhere and not really from anywhere. My parents belong to different parts of the country, came from very different worlds I spent most of my childhood in the wonderful play land of boarding school and have, in my adult life, inadvertently moved every couple of years. So I’ve been influenced by many worlds and I feel very blessed for it. I’m a Cancerian so moving with the ebbs and tides comes somewhat intuitively to me. Or at least I hope so! How did travel change you? I think it gave me a lot of perspective and gave my dreams beautiful, rich layers. My parents always made sure we went to interesting, beautiful parts of the India and the world when my sisters and I were growing up. Traveling was something that was an important part of my growing up…

MATTER Editorial // Emiel Gerardu // Amsterdam City

MATTER Editorial // Emiel Gerardu // Amsterdam City

  Inspired by the precision of the classic technique, blended with modern minimalism, Emiel Gerardu loves to find a story in every object, and aspect of life. He works as a Head Retail Manager at a sustainable water & cosmetic company in Amsterdam City, where he gets to interact with a various stories of diverse individuals everyday. He loves Denims, because of its complex production process and easy nature of use, and runs a popular denim/bicycle club called ‘The Denim Run’, that rides to various spaces across Holland and beyond, simply for the love of creating a community of inspired, nature loving individuals who share passions and thus touch lives with creative journeys, personal experiences and sharing a memory.   His favorite spot on the globe is Cape Town, since he does not have to choose between its grounded mountains, and the wild sea, he loves journalizing stories of its locals for pleasure. He prefers to live with a local AirBnb to a hotel. Emiel’s evening was documented in his apartment in Amsterdam.

MATTER Editorial // Marie Dls // Paris

Marie is a Parisian who lived in Sydney and studied Contemporary art education. A silent observer, Marie loves coffee beyond measures and it plays a vital role in her travel itineraries. She does coffee travelling across the world to Vietnam, Turkey, Australia, Vienna and of course in her own city, Paris. Cafes inspire me as I spend hours every morning in new territories to observe locals run with their mundane morning routines, while I am the outsider, the spectator. This moves me to create wonderfully unique travel postcards based on the recent muse I discover a particular morning, or an idea I see. This is my most favourite bit of travelling.While in French countryside hearing the usual old men discussing the news at the bar, the early surfers coming back from the ocean in Sydney, the Vietnamese doing TaiChi early morning, while sipping on Vietnamese coffee, the old very elegant men reading their newspapers in Turkey, the luscious Italian espresso near the forum in Rome, the ocean view in Cape Town, I’ve covered it all and made a little collection of my travel scribbles. Marie loves read and imagine about a city much before she steps her foot in it, and discover for herself how close it matched her imaginative perception of that space. Aesthetics define her choice of travel, and her dream travel is Mongolia.