Welcome to the followers, the curious, the drop-bys and drop-offs! CDid you know that the fashion business, world widely, is one of the more diverse and welcoming businesses in the world to people of different backgrounds? Growing up in Germany, I was judged more by my parent’s identity and provenance, then my own identity I developed, born in Germany and being a German. As well as negative perceptions always surrounded my parent’s provenance, without asking, how they or me really where thinking. Not being muslims, but having many muslim friends, I regularly felt offended by Germany’s one dimensional view on muslims, which existed far before terrorism. When I am in Germany, I feel like I can’t control my story, as nothing that I do is enough for people to see me as a full part of society. Working in Paris in the fashion business, that was the first time in my life that people solely judged me by how talented and hard working I was, a system which was very rewarding to me. If not, being a minority, was a cool thing to be and it was a sign for my peers that I was especially hard working to succeed to get where I was. Fashion people come from all over the world came to Paris to work in multiethnic and multi religious teams on locations all over the world. These experiences resulted in the art project “Crossing Identities”
Suddenly my ability to adapt to different cultural surroundings and to be non-judgemental became an asset to me. I thrived for the first time in my life and found myself a new home within a diverse community. A home, that we ourselves created for us, most of us being expats.
Interviewing Jacqueline, I found out she is an American growing up with Israeli-American parents. Moreover, she is growing up in different social and professional stratospheres. Therefore she has strong ties to low income families as well as high income families, as well as people with a celebrity background. That sort of diversity she grew up with, turned her into a very observant and empathetic being, as I found out interviewing her.
And coming from a background with struggling with mental illness, Jacqueline sees her future in neuroscience, in order to find more understanding to what happens in the brain and to heighten comprehension. Jacqueline’s experiences remind me of the experiences, that the schooling system in Finland produces. Finland has no school or university tuition and all schools have the same standards and financial funding. As a result all neighbourhood schools have the same high quality and children from families of diverse income bond together, making close friendships. Later, when children of high income families grow up to be decision makers, they will think twice before acting harmfully to their best friends. Here, diversity implemented into daily life can be a simple solution to an unequal society which has few regards for the weak. DIVERSITY ROCKS & FOSTERS A PEACEFUL SOCIETY!
Writer: Semra Sevin Photos: Semra Sevin