Editor's Letter — July 2017

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“The Boy’s Club.”

It’s felt like this for far too long, where you look around and we continually exclude people from the conversation that will ultimately bring us together, to a place that’s more empathetic and well-equipped to face society’s modern challenges.

We as MAEKAN can’t make changes across every industry, but we can start here first, in our own backyard and in the creative community.

A personal highlight last month revolved around our story with Sarah Kim, somebody with an eclectic background spanning the worlds of advertising, publishing, and now art curation.

What made this story so important to us was for a long time, we were honestly, scared to approach the discussion of women’s equality and highlighting their challenges. I was so eager to get involved but felt I didn’t know enough or have sufficient perspective to contribute. Our hour-long talk with Sarah opened our eyes to the reality of women’s equality and that, in a time when a movement is progressing, it’s impossible to calculate each step.

Instead you pick and choose a direction with a goal in mind and you forge ahead, making adjustments as you go along. The vastness of the topic at hand, lends itself to so many interpretations, many of which under the eye of a big picture thinker, realizes there is no one size-fits-all ideology.

Despite it all, one story isn’t enough to sustain the necessary support and energy to make this world the place we want it to be. Nor should it be a badge of honor to do one singular highlight.

There’s a certain vulnerability about publicly putting this out there, it’s hopefully a way for ourselves and our community to keep us honest and accountable towards this goal. We’re also conscious of the fact that not every story going forward has to fall into the same narrative of “what’s it like as a female in this industry?” Because if anything, this discussion should be about one’s innate talents and character, and not a focus on their gender. That said, we’re aware of how that aspect might influence each personal narrative.

The biggest challenge will always be to highlight the appropriate untold stories across, not only females but in general but it’s a difficult journey we’d love to be a part of. We’re not trying to fill a quota with certain stories, but it has always been in our interest to tell good stories and ask the hard questions, especially if they’re hard for us.

You can never thank all the people that make MAEKAN possible enough, but in closing, I’d like to extend a special thanks to Charis—our designer, community manager, and living barometer of appropriateness—Julia, Jenifer, Tanya, Dani, Lauren, Sarah, Nicole, Lindsay, Gill, and more for their advice and support since the beginning.

Until next month,

Eugene Kan

Editor-in-Chief

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