Posts by Giselle Defares

positive effects of social media

Social Media’s Emerging Tools for Mental Health

Instagram and Facebook aim to create positive effects of social media on users’ mental health. Countless think pieces have been written about social media’s negative impact on mental health, but are there positive effects of social media on our psyches? It’s often still a cultural taboo to openly discuss one’s struggles with mental health, but many celebrities have used social media as a platform to be honest about their experiences. Justin Bieber mentioned on Instagram that        …read more

STEM program

‘Hidden Figures’ Spotlights Black Women in STEM

Hollywood’s imagining of tech culture may have minimized women — particularly women of color — but ‘Hidden Figures’ is changing all that. The screen adaptation of Margot Lee Shetterly’s biographical book Hidden Figures shows a poignant conversation among three Black women who work at NASA during the civil rights movement. During their lunch break, the protagonists have a heated discussion on sexism and racism in tech jobs in the 1960s. Mary Jackson (Janelle Monae) quips to her        …read more

La La Land

Hey, Girl. Will ‘La La Land’ Join the Best Musicals in Film History?

The optimism and magic of ‘La La Land’ could propel it to a place among the top musical films of all time. La La Land, a sunny romantic musical film starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, is a pastiche of the great Hollywood musicals of yesteryear. La La Land combines modernity with nostalgia that drips from the screen. The film received a fair amount of buzz during the festival circuit. From Venice to Toronto, critics        …read more

The Myth of Sugar Man Sixto Rodriguez

‘Searching for Sugar Man’ documentary shows magic behind myth of obscure singer-songwriter Sixto Rodriguez. It’s the ultimate fairy tale: a singer-songwriter in the late ’70s fades into obscurity. He retreats and becomes a construction worker. Meanwhile, unbeknownst to him, he becomes a musical icon in South Africa. And via the Academy Award–winning documentary Searching for Sugar Man, he becomes known in the rest of the world. This isn’t fantasy; it’s the story of the Mexican-American        …read more

How ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ Elevated the Art

‘So You Think You Can Dance’ brought dance to mainstream prominence. From So You Think You Can Dance to Dancing with the Stars to America’s Best Dance Crew, the entertainment value of dance competition shows is endless. The unspoken message: You could move your body in the same way if you put your mind to it. British producers Nigel Lythgoe and Simon Fuller are behind the launch of the dance competition show So You Think        …read more


Contemporary Dadaism and Internet Memes

The internet is a gallery of contemporary Dadaism. Memes. The inexplicable internet phenomenon that gets better every time a fresh crop of Photoshopped pictures, gifs and Vines pop up on your screen. Thanks to the internet we can fully enjoy modern visual culture. Modern artists, such as Bill Domonkos, are using the internet to create their own digital art. The threshold to create art is lower than it has ever been and more people are        …read more

Cast of Human Synths

The Imminent Rise of the Synth — AMC’s ‘Humans’ and Our Fascination with Robots

Mankind remains fascinated by robots and the vast potential that artificial intelligence will bring. The idea that robots lurk and take over our hegemony in the world is anchored in our pop culture —  think Metropolis, Blade Runner, Cherry 2000, A.I, or I, Robot. In most stories the trust between humans and robots is reduced to zero —  technology as the ultimate form of self-destruction. Sci-fi allows us to visualize a world where robots are part        …read more