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The Bronx Boys – Stephen Shames

What started out for Stephen Shames as an assignment for Look magazine back in 1977 turned into an epic twenty two year project documenting the lives of young boys in the Bronx, New York.

Stephen Shames is known for his award winning photo essays on social issues for foundations, advocacy organizations, the media and museums. In this project, the Bronx Boys captures the powerful and overwhelming notions of hope, love and violence in the northernmost of the five boroughs of New York City.

As Shames attests,

“The Bronx has a terrible beauty— stark and harsh—like the desert. At first glance you imagine nothing can survive. Then you notice life going on all around. People adapt, survive, and even prosper in this urban moonscape of quick pleasures and false hopes.

In the 1700s Thomas Hobbes described life in a state of nature as “continual fear and danger of violent death; and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.” Life is still that way in The Bronx.

These are pictures of friends I met as children who became my family, as well as people who stepped in front of my camera once and disappeared forever. I watched my friends grow up, fall in love, have children of their own.

Often I am terrified of The Bronx. Other times it feels like home. The interplay between good and evil; violence and love; chaos and family are the themes—but this is not a documentation. There is no “story line”. There is only a feeling.”

Check out these INCREDIBLE photographs featured in TIME Lightbox.   Click  here for images!

Also check out this feature in Slate Magazine  – Here.




The Midnight Oven by Meghna and Aneesha

There is lots to be said about the work-life balance but have you ever wondered how to balance your passions and hobbies with your full-time job? The Midnight Oven is a delicious venture founded by Meghna Mehrotra and Aneesha Shah in Mumbai, India who have definitely managed to strike this balance successfully.

This one’s for all of you who love baking and all of you that love eating these baked goodies.

Co-founders and bakers of The Midnight Oven (L-R): Aneesha Shah and Meghna Mehrotra

Meghna Mehrotra and Aneesha Shah share the story behind their delicious venture, ‘The Midnight Oven’.

PS: We apologize in advance if this post causes cravings or salivation.

What drove you to start The Midnight Oven?

The two of us have always loved to bake and used to meet up to bake together quite often. We had been planning a bake sale for over 2 years now, but never managed to pull it off because of work and travel! It was when Meghna got permanently posted back in Bombay that we decided to just give it a shot10717572_10153153743267802_347029212_n

Its really impressive that both of you and are able to balance your work life while starting The Midnight Oven – what’s your secret?

Haha! There’s no secret, really! Just a lot more time management and a little less sleep!

Tell us a little bit about yourselves and your favorite food(s)? 

Meghna : I am born and bred in Bombay and I currently work in marketing at Loreal India. I am a huge foodie and picking a favourite is close to impossible! But if I had to answer at gunpoint- my favourite food would be anything Thai and Crème Brulee is my all time favourite dessert!


Aneesha : I’m also a Bombay girl and I’m an actor. Unlike Meghna, I am NOT a foodie and barely experiment when it comes to food. Desserts on the other hand, are my weakness! If I had to pick a favourite, it would be something boring like Butter Chicken and Roomali Roti! Favourite dessert would have to be anything Red Velvet with Cream Cheese Frosting!!

Red Velvet deliciousness by The Midnight Oven

What’s in store for The Midnight Oven’s future?

At this point, all our efforts are focused on planning the next 24 hours – the future is too far to think of!! We’re just having a lot of fun doing this and are super grateful for the love we’ve received from customers! So we’re just going to wait and see where this takes us – we’re really excited !

Aneesha and Meghna at The Midnight Oven’s launch bake sale in Mumbai, India

We wish The Midnight Oven the best and most delicious future and hope this inspires all of you to follow your passions :) Thank you Meghna and Aneesha!!


Follow their Instagram account and be sure to place an order with them!


Europe: Through a black and white lens

The architecture, the sights, the sounds. Europe is at once a whirlwind of the aged and the marvelous, the grandeur and the quaint, the emotional and the sublime. Steeped in a rich and burdensome history, the continent has seen periods of enlightenment and darkness.

As I arrived in Paris during the Spring of 2013, the whole experience – the people, the food, the culture – seemed surreal. The picnics along the Seine, the canals of Amsterdam, the churches of Rome, the islands of Venice, the side streets of Barcelona – it was all so fantastical..magical..illusory. It was both everything and nothing like I imagined.

With my camera always in hand, I traveled as far as my budgeted hostels and overnight buses would take me. Here are a few of my favourite black and white photographs.

Europe: Through a Black and White Lens 

- Zara L Juneja




HoneyMaid’s “This is Wholesome” campaign celebrates the changing face of American families

Do you remember the Cheerios commercial that featured a bi-racial family?  Take a look at HoneyMaid‘s recent campaign that highlights and represents blended families, same-sex families and step families in America. HoneyMaid‘s “This is Wholesome” campaign celebrates the changing face of the American family (at present and in the future).

Advertisements are meant to resonate with society and people and HoneyMaid sure is doing a great job of it. Sticking to its main characteristic of an all-american brand, HoneyMaid‘s commercials and campaigns mirror the all-american family and successfully attempt to alleviate any taboos or prejudices against divorce, remarriage, interracial and same sex marriage.

In an interview with AdWeek, Senior Marketing Director of Mondelez International, Gary Osifchin explains, “We are tapping into a cultural insight that is very much about the change in the family dynamic and composition in America today.”



World Health Organization’s intelligent use of digital media to drive blood donations

The recent #ALSIceBucketChallenge went viral on the internet. Gradually, more and more people are using the web and social media to promote social good through both awareness and action.

On World Blood Donor Day, WHO (World Health Organization) and Ad Agency Y&R (Young and Rubicam) turned to the web to drive awareness and blood donations in Namibia, where only 0.6% of the population are active donor participants.

Check out this intelligent campaign that utilized the web to encourage the “most valuable kind of sharing of all” while keeping in mind user habits across the web. WHO took over the share button on major news websites and everytime someone clicked on the share button a Donor message from WHO would pop up.

An article by Digital Synopsis states that “Within the first 12 hours, WHO’s Facebook page likes increased by 250%. More importantly, the new share button led to a change in people’s attitude which resulted in a significant rise in blood donations.”

So remember to keep sharing, in the best way possible.








Music Feed 4.0

1. I’m Not the Only One – Sam Smith ft. ASAP Rocky

2. Sun Goes Down – Robin Schulz ft. Jasmine Thompson

3. A lot Like Love (Oliver Heldens Edit) – The Voyagers ft. Haris

4. Shake It Off (Adam Madoun Remix) – Taylor Swift

5. Happy (Neus Remix) – Pharrell Williams

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The Illusionists – A Film About Selling Unattainable Beauty

“Sex sells. What sells even more? Insecurity.

Multi-billion dollar industries saturate our lives with images of unattainable beauty, exporting body hatred from New York to Beirut to Tokyo. Their target? Women, and increasingly men and children.

The Illusionists turns the mirror on media, exposing the absurd, sometimes humorous, and shocking images that seek to enslave us.”

Skin whitening, ‘bikini bodies’, transplants – today we are caught up in a strangely paradoxical world where we are at once self-obsessed and self-critical. When we can’t get that perfect pout selfie, the skinny arm-pop, the macho flexed muscle or those flawless cheekbones – we seem to whirlwind into this cloud of doubt and frustration and find ourselves  judging our worth by our looks. And as is being talked about widely in the public debate forum, our generation is increasingly judging our self-worth or ‘attractiveness’ against these unrealistic standards of beauty created by the hundreds of photoshopped models and ‘perfect’ bodies that consume our everyday media.

Writer and director Elena Rossini recently released the first four minutes of her documentary, The Illusionists, that touches upon some of the most critical questions of our generation. What is this ‘western body image’ that is forming the core of our ‘globalized culture’? Is the skinny photoshopped model a symbol of power and success? How does the corporate world profit from our ‘insecurities’ and the ‘commodification of our bodies’?

We at Zoetic cannot wait to see this documentary! Check out the first four minutes of the film here:



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