Foretaste Nº 4

An occasional newsletter as a deep dive into the minds, habits, obsessions, affairs, and influences of our friends and fam.

Together & Saba Babas-Zadeh

On her about page she writes Saba represents the new generation of unseen talents who dare to stand out from mainstream. But we know Saba for more then that. With a highly aesthetic taste level Saba represents not only those unseen talents but an often unheard voice; A strong protagonist of diversityhuman rights and a struggling communities. On the slack she represents this voice with great enthusiasm and we can’t say enough how much welcome and needed that is. This newsletter is no stranger to that voice. Enjoy!


Currently

“Everything you do shapes who you are.
It’s just about how you deal with it.

Next to trying to stay sane during this pandemic I am work on making our industry diverse and inclusive as a catalyst by coaching young BIPOC talents who dare to dream big on their path towards greatness. Best way you could describe me is a bridge between two worlds, more info coming soon [laughs].

Currently reading

I just finished ‘Your Silence Will Not Protect You’ by the amazing Audre Lorde for the second time. Her name might ring a bell, as since the return of Black Lives Matter movement you might have seen her words being quoted on social media. I advise you to read her books to fully understand her exquisite usage in words and to better understand the pain many Black and POC women are feeling at the moment and have to deal with our whole lives.
Furthermore at the moment I’m reading 4 books at the same time —Shoe Dog by Phil Knight, as I much needed inspiration on how a dream can come to reality when you least expect it to. JUST DO IT!
I never borrow books, but when I do it means that you feel like home to me, a friend lent me The Win Without Pitching Manifesto by Blair Enns, for me to prepare myself for the next big journey.
Last but not least reading Curatorial Activism by Maura Reily and Race After Technology by Ruha Benjamin, for a research project.
And Body Keeps The Score by Bessel van der Kolk is lurking at me on my nightstand.

Currently watching

Each time I miss my home country, Iran, I watch Iranian movies. We have many talented and unique Film Directors like Abbas Kiarostami, Samira Makhmalbaf, Marzieh Meshkini, just to name a few.
But I always end up watching ‘Persepolis’ by Marjane Satrapi, don’t know why I torture myself becasue afterwards I always feel down for a few days [laughs]. This movie shows very accurately where it went wrong with Persia as we knew it and why it will never ever be the same since the takeover of Islamic Revolution, which has destroyed the country and its beautiful people.
So, to refugees and immigrants as myself, the only way to be able to get that “home feeling” is by watching movies that take us back to our lost homes. Just for a few hours...

Currently listening

It depends on which emotion I feel when I start up my day at home or my studio. But two albums have been on my ‘recently played’ list — ‘Canto Ostinato Audio Visual’ by Simeon ten Holt ( one of the best Composers the Dutch have ever known) and ‘E2-E4’ by Manuel Göttsching.
I can totally lose myself in Canto Ostinato—the highs and the lows, the depth and the balance, mind blowing steady tempo, everytime I listen to it I discover a new sound. It’s absolutely overwhelming how diverse a musical composition can be and each time it generates a different emotion. There hasn’t been one time I haven’t shed a tear while listening only because it touches me in a way I can’t describe. The trilogy of the different instruments (3 pianos and an electric organ) creeps into your head and spreads itself like a volcano which is about to explode.
‘E2-E-4’ is totally different, but yet a bit the same. The energy is much higher and a bit more “curated.” The magic lies in the fact that the record has been recorded in one take.
You know what, I’m not going to explain this. Something you must do is discover it by yourself, because I could literally write a whole essay when it comes to these two music pieces.

Currently eating

This absolute bae of a miso peanut butter cookie. No words needed, it’s a mega taste orgasm. Get your bae at the ultimate hipster coffee place TOKI if you live in Amsterdam.

Currently drinking

I live a pretty healthy veggie life, but I do love a good bottle of natural wine. Only thing I dislike about natural wine is it has become so hype’ish and the wine industry is pretty biased.

My favourite one at the moment is def ‘La Grande Piece’ from the Loire made by Japanese-Canadians duo Mai & Kenji. It’s so unique, full but at the same time fruity and stony light red. Their adventure on winemakery is pretty ace, it all started at a Japanese winery. Google it!

If you live in Amsterdam, get the best wines at Clavelin, Bolomey, Zuiver wijnen or support your local female wine wizard Karlijn from Chateau Karlito and ask her for some plum yuzu —absolute taste orgasm!!! And follow my peachy friend Laura for some free wine advice while you are sitting behind your screen.

Currently obsessed about

People who know me would say 1940’s-1990’s Land Rover Defender / Range Rover [laughs]. And this is 100% true! But it’s more than an obsession, I’m actually thinking of creating something around my massive love for this absolute banger of a car where I reveal where this “obsession” comes from.

And let’s be honest, it is the best vehicle on the planet. Innit? I also love their advertisements, which are so diverse and they (almost never) used any human models. The car sells itself — there isn’t any other vehicle you could name which is more powerful, sexy, chic, rough, solid and def not hypertuned. And the sound of the engine OEF!

Now I start to sound like a cheesy car salesperson in a cheap suit [laughs]. 

I take pictures of every single one I see, I have hundreds of pictures and also receive lots from people through Instagram. Which is pretty ace, because a lot of people text me with “Everytime I spot a Land/Range Rover I think of you.”

The latest models are shit thou. I hate it when something good gets destroyed by the latest technology and hype.

Currently trying to avoid

Mass consumption and people [laughs]. I’m hypersensitive so my alone time is very important to me, being alone is like a fuel to my brain. It recharges my brain in a strange way! I always need time to charge up after a busy week where I have been surrounded by people. Also my brain just can’t take all those opinions I have to deal with on a daily basis [laughs].

And mass consumption is daunting because it’s destroying our awareness and how we are treating humanity and our planet. I like the minimalist way of living, we don’t need much to be happy. When you’ve  experienced poverty that is the moment you start to appreciate things in life differently.

That is why in my opinion it is crystal clear when it comes to mass consumption, it is separating us as human beings on macro level. And the racial wealth gap and gentrification are becoming a systematic problem worldwide which is mainly created by the Western world which has an enormous influence worldwide. We need replace the ego-system by eco-system.

Currently distracted by

Social media pressure for sure and a true love and hate relationship. It has become something pretty toxic if you ask me, the fake news spreading, ego system boosting and the performative allyship is super distracting. It seems that people find it harder to think for themselves lately, without any pressure from the outside world. And to be honest that scares me a bit, when people start substantiating their thoughts by quoting something they saw on social media, that’s the moment my brain logs off. Call me old fashioned, but I think social media is making our brains, opinions weaker and pushes us to lose our own uniqueness in everything we do. It is true that social media does connect us in a way, but it definitely separates us also from our own hyper reality. There are only a handful people I admire for their spot on opinion on social media and accuracy, Phil Chang is one of them.

The # trend is something dystopian which I’m staying far away from.

Currently frightened by

I’m a war child and my mom fled to the EU with one suitcase and three kids leaving her decades of family inheritance behind, so there isn’t much I'm afraid of.

But white supremacy and toxic masculinity really scare the shit out of me. The latest Dutch Election was a huge slap in the face for the BIPOC community, all though I did expect the right wing to make a huge “victory”. But the majority in the Parliament being far right is just heartbreaking. Just imagine you flee to choose for a better life and future, leave your home country and family, to a place where you are hoping for something better. But still you feel unwanted and ignored. That just breaks your soul. I was hoping that during this pandemic humanity was able to connect more and become a more solid unity.

But it seems that we are more pulled apart from each other than ever before in our generation. White people really need to check their bias and stop being so afraid of change and inclusivity. BIPOC have always been the majority, we are here to stay!

Racism is something which is deeply rooted within the systems, you can’t just take it away by joining a Black Lives Matter demonstration or donate money to any refugee work. You need to acknowledge it, face it, go through the “pain” of change and make the actual change. That is the only way to dismantle the systems which you are against. Allyship is important at this time, for companies, individuals etc. But performative allyship doesn’t mean anything. Decolonizing the mind starts at its root, grab that first!

At the end we are all walking each other home, aren’t we?

Toxic masculinity is also a huge problem within our society. Men really need to PULL UP! The misogyny, hyper-aggression, mental and physical abuse against women and LGBTQIA+ needs to stop. And the only ones who can make it stop are men by taking their responsibility for once and keeping each other accountable. It’s really as easy as you want it to be!

Personally I often hear from straight men that I am too vocal or not approachable enough. I never hear these words being said to me by a woman. It just makes me super uncomfortable and insecure. So, that makes you think where the problem lies…

Let us finish our sentences, let us be who we want to be, let us wear whatever we want to wear. See us as we are without trying to change us!

Demolish gender hierarchies by starting with yourself first!

There hasn’t been one day in my life where I haven’t experienced racism and/or toxic masculinity. And with me so many others….

Currently transcended by

… my ability in starting dancing ballet in my thirties. The female body is something incredible and we underestimate the power of our bodies way too often. Through Ballet I have learned so much about my own body, her strength, and I appreciate her so much more than ever before. I'm far away from being good but I can assure you that I have never ever been pushed so much in my whole life, my trainer is the best in teaching me about my own boundaries and finding balance [laughs]. In my daily life I try to hold on to this athlete mentality. Runners high, but make it extra on pointe shoes!

Currently fulfilled with

Nature and silence. I’m an outdoor person, I love my long distance walks. During the week I always end my days with a 2 hour walk and on the weekends I do everything by foot.

Can’t wait to travel again, my next destination will be Portland Oregon and LA. Till then, god bless Landa Conservatory and the Dutch land/seascapes [laughs].

And also one last note:

BLACK LIVES MATTER, WELCOME ALL REFUGEES, LGBTQIA+ LIVES MATTER, FUCK RACISM, DISMANTLE WHITE SUPREMACY, DEFUND THE POLICE, DECOLONIZE THE MIND, STOP TOXIC MASCULINITY, EDUCATE YOUR SONS, LOVE OUR PLANET MORE.

Saba

Quick highlights from the Slacks:

Hope you enjoyed this one - And let’s get Together soon IRL!

PS. There are enough bots and ghosts in our lives and we’ve always seen Together&, human and alive. If you’re a genius mind whiling to share your inspiration, we love you. With that in mind, and our upmost respect, we will keep inviting more lovely & inspiring people and letting others go, with the only aim that by doing so this Slack group will bring us all much more than the expected. If you know more people who should join, let us know!