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From Necrobotics to Infidelity Sex, the Best of The Swaddle in 2022

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Dec 30, 2022

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Image Credit: Getty/Wikipedia/Hitesh Sonar For The Swaddle

We look back on 2022, and what we were passionate about.


This year’s editorial fixations, hang-ups, and hot takes – in case you missed it. 

This year in Culture, we… 

Dove deep into the seismic shifts in tech internet culture, fandom, and the quiet agitation against work norms. As the world turned against Amber Heard, embraced anti-capitalism, rebranded quitting and carried cryptobros on its shoulders for a time, we had a different take:

Called out casteism, and all its various discontents. Caste has pervaded our texts, food, education, bedrooms, and minds for thousands of years — and we explored how exactly it’s managed to persist.

Unpacked where popular media is going. In the year where streaming took over and Internet criticism blended in with media analysis, we waded through the avalanche of opinions to make sense of it all. Plus, we examined everyone’s unceasing fixation with celebrities — and introspected our own.

Took a closer look at sex, against the grain. If the last few years were about celebrating the freedom and agency that we found through sex, this one was about pausing to take a closer look. There’s more to enjoying sex than what we’ve been told — and it’s got repercussions.

This year in Health, we… 

Highlighted gender bias in medicine, healthcare, and public policy. It’s a tale as old as time, constantly re-written by the year in different iterations. And we are wont, we looked at what it means for people who continue to suffer health inequalities due to their gender.

Looked at how cultural trends affect health, and why the idea of “good health” is so fraught for many. Our bodies respond to structural causes and social norms as much as they do to internet trends — often, illness arises before we know it.

Explored the unknown side of eating disorders. There’s more to them than we’re fully prepared to understand — and we documented with alarm the new ones that have emerged:

Grappled with some ethical quandaries about reversing death, ageing, and disease — and found more in common with other creatures than we realized:

This year in Science, we… 

Covered various solutions to an ever-growing crisis: climate change. In previous years, we reported the effects of global warming extensively — but as the urgency built, so too did our obligation to go further. Here are some perspectives that challenge the mainstream narrative about how to tackle this mess:

Discovered more about animals than we were fully prepared for. It gets really weird — but also wonderful.

Looked into the cosmic abyss (and it looked back)

Freaked out about: plants, parasites, and ourselves.

And finally, this year, we were most passionate about…  

Independence

The reason this feature stood out to me out of everything else I wrote this year was because the process of diving into the ableism entrenched in society’s glorification of independence forced me to confront my own internal prejudices, allowing me to be kinder to myself, in the process. It has granted me the boon of a new perspective — one where my perception of independence isn’t as informed by society’s dominant standards.

– Devrupa Rakshit

Asexuality, Cryptocurrency  

This year I explored something I’d grown from being merely curious about, to feeling deeply invested in: how asexuality fits into queer culture. In my feature series, I learnt that asexuality is a way of interpreting the world itself. In a sex-obsessed media and pop culture landscape, peeling the layers back to look at the world through a lens that keeps sex at arm’s length wasn’t just revelatory – it was so much fun! My favorite fun fact along the way: Marilyn Monroe might have been ace. The layers to unpack here are just delicious. 

I also loved scrutinizing dubious trends in tech as they happened. This year saw the metaverse gain and lose prominence, cryptocurrency ride the hype wave and come crashing down, NFTs and ultimately AI changing art itself. At the heart of my gripe – and ultimately, fixation – with all of these is a core belief in wanting the world’s resources to be directed toward something good. Instead, they were funneled into tech kaleidoscopes that mesmerized the world for a time, before it realized their folly. We love to see (and report) it. 

– Rohitha Naraharisetty

Local Kung Fu

This was the first time I was reporting long-form, and to begin it with inspecting one of my favorite pieces of cinema and its cultural significance was really fun. The piece allowed me to dive back into my childhood, while also offering me the chance to understand how independent artists are trying to create an original, homegrown film culture in a state without adequate cinema infrastructure.

– Amlan Sarkar

Metaverse Nation

This piece looked at the intersection of the climate crisis and the changing nature of the digital landscape  – two subjects I am deeply interested in. To write this, I had to suspend my disbelief. A country uploading itself to the metaverse in response to the climate crisis may sound bizarre, but it also lays bare the need for urgent climate action.

– Ananya Singh

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Written By The Swaddle Team

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