Street Smarts

Swoon is taking her populist graffiti from derelict buildings to museum walls.

The street artist Swoon stands in her apartment-cum-studio, barefoot amid shavings from the sheets of linoleum she has been intricately carving. She lays the linoleum on the floor, inks it with a roller, covers it with paper, and then, as if stomping grapes, dances atop it, transferring the image onto large sheets of recycled paper.Swoon pastes her finished pieces-emotionally expressive faces atop bodies that morph into images of tenements, teeming streets, and toiling workmen-onto the walls of cities around the world, always positioned with their feet at street level. "I want the figures to have the same physical presence as a human being," she says. "I want you to be able to stand in front of it and relate to it." Street-art appreciators and pedestrians alike have done more than just relate to her work-the panoply of life-sized figures has made Swoon a legend in the streets of New York and as far afield as Berlin, London, and Mexico City.
I don't buy that some absentee landlord neglecting the side of his factory is better than citizens participating in what happens to it.
Before graffiti crossed her mind, Swoon, 29, was studying fine arts at New York's Pratt Institute. But after being gripped by a "stifling feeling of being trapped," she left the atelier for the streets, where she's been "getting up" ever since. After years of toiling as a waitress by day, artist by night, praise by street-art aficionados led to critical acclaim: The Museum of Modern Art recently purchased six of her pieces. Even so, she still hits the streets each month so that you don't have to drop $20 at MoMA to see her art. "It remains important to me to make work that has an outlet and participates in other people's daily lives," she says. "I find that people respond to things differently when they know that it's free and temporary and when you're bringing something to people in unexpected places."

Those unexpected places, which she terms "third spaces," are where public and private converge: half-forgotten alleys, the walls of dilapidated warehouses, and derelict buildings adorned with billboards. "Once you start selling off that space," she observes, "you're declaring it open for communication." And she eschews the idea that neglect is better than defacement: "I don't buy that some absentee landlord neglecting the side of his factory is better than citizens participating in what happens to it."Her portraits of Havana street kids, New York construction workers, or the soccer-ball-sewing women of Oaxaca, Mexico, are embraced by neighborhoods under assault from billboards run wild. "What if I can make something twice as powerful, so much tinier, and right at the ground where everyone is?" she asks. "What if I made something with my hands that became more important to people's experience of the city?" She has done just that. And so, though it would be easy to wash away the paper of Swoon's street folk, most of them remain, slowly becoming a part of the city itself.
Julian Meehan

Young leaders from around the world are gathering at the United Nations Headquarters in New York Saturday to address arguably the most urgent issue of our time. The Youth Climate Summit comes on the heels of an international strike spearheaded by Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old climate activist from Sweden, who arrived in New York via emissions-free sailboat earlier this month.

Translated from Swedish, "berg" means "mountain," so it may feel fated that a young woman with Viking blood in her veins and summit in her name would be at the helm. But let's go out on a limb and presume Thunberg, in keeping with most activists, would chafe at the notion of pre-ordained "destiny," and rightly so. Destiny is passive — it happens to you. It's also egomaniacal. Change, on the other hand, is active; you have to fight. And it is humble. "We need to get angry and understand what is at stake," Thunberg declared. "And then we need to transform that anger into action."

This new generation of activists' most pernicious enemy is denial. The people in charge — complacent politicians and corporation heads who grossly benefit from maintaining the status quo — are buffered from real-life consequences of climate change. But millions of people don't share that privilege. For them, climate change isn't an abstract concept, but a daily state of emergency, whether it comes in the form of "prolonged drought in sub-Saharan Africa…devastating tropical storms sweeping across Southeast Asia, the Caribbean and the Pacific…[or] heatwaves and wildfires," as Amnesty International reportsare all too real problems people are facing on a regular basis.

RELATED: Greta Thunberg urges people to turn to nature to combat climate change

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The Planet

Millions of people in over 150 countries across the globe marched for lawmakers and corporations to take action to help stop climate change on Friday, September 20.

The Climate Strikes were organized by children around the world as an extension of the of the "Fridays for Future" campaign. Students have been walking out of classrooms on Fridays to speak out about political inaction surrounding the climate crisis.

"We need to act right now to stop burning fossil fuels and ensure a rapid energy revolution with equity, reparations and climate justice at its heart," organizers say.

There's no doubt the visual images from the marches send a powerful message to those on the ground but especially those watching from around the world. GOOD's own Gabriel Reilich was on the scene for the largest of the Climate Strikes. Here are 18 of the best signs from the Climate Strike march in New York City.

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September 20th marks the beginning of a pivotal push for the future of our planet. The Global Climate Strike will set the stage for the United Nations Climate Action Summit, where more than 60 nations are expected to build upon their commitment to 2015's Paris Agreement for combating climate change.

Millions of people are expected to take part in an estimated 4,000 events across 130 countries.

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The Planet
via Apple

When the iPhone 11 debuted on September 10, it was met with less enthusiasm than the usual iPhone release. A lot of techies are holding off purchasing the latest gadget until Apple releases a phone with 5G technology.

Major US phone carriers have yet to build out the infrastructure necessary to provide a consistent 5G experience, so Apple didn't feel it necessary to integrate the technology into its latest iPhone.

A dramatic new feature on the iPhone 11 Pro is its three camera lenses. The three lenses give users the the original wide, plus ultrawide and telephoto options.

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via I love butter / Flickr

We often dismiss our dreams as nonsensical dispatches from the mind while we're deep asleep. But recent research proves that our dreams can definitely affect our waking lives.

People often dream about their significant others and studies show it actually affects how we behave towads them the next day.

"A lot of people don't pay attention to their dreams and are unaware of the impact they have on their state of mind," said Dylan Selterman, psychology lecturer at the University of Maryland, says according to The Huffington Post. "Now we have evidence that there is this association."

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