April 10, 2016

Article 13: Art Installation


The Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts kicked off on Friday night with an eye-catching exhibit called Article 13 at Penn's Landing.  Here is a little blurb on the show/exhibition:
"Equal parts installation, spectacle, and documentary, Article 13 is a large-scale story made out of small stories in a constant state of evolution, based on current events related to immigration. A collaboration between Compagnie Carabosse (France) & Teatro Linea de Sombra (Mexico), Article 13 is a memorial to the thousands of migrants who have disappeared and at the same time it gives back human face, flesh and identity to the anonymous ones lost in search of a better world.
The memorial, made of sand and fire, personifies the scope of the phenomenon of immigration through the non-traditional presentation of statistical data, economic evidence, geopolitical aspects, the forms of those who have disappeared, and how things relate to each other. Along this path of inhabited installation, audiences are touched by words, snatches of conversation, and accounts given by migrants; providing seemingly lost perspective that these people — before they were statistics, or a number of 'disappeared' in the media, or even dangerous suspects — before all else, are human beings." (source)
Immediately after entering the gates to the outdoor exhibit, we saw these wooden statues 'walking' through bits of sand, surrounded by candles. Through the speakers, we could hear the voices of men and women with accents specific to the native lands telling their stories of wanting to make a better life for themselves-- having a dream and wanting to fulfill it. This resonated with me as I myself am an immigrant and the daughter of one. My mother told me stories of leaving Jamaica when I was 10 months and coming to America to make a better life for herself and her children. I am sure that most migrants share this story of hope and desire. This is also a relevant topic since immigration is such a hot button topic these days.

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As we walked into the main exhibit, we were coming upon the finale (gahh! finding parking downtown is the worst!). Every section of the lot had a fire pit of some sort set up. The performers all had a routine that no one seemed to understand initially, but then it began making sense. They doused the clothing in water, slapped it on the fire pit, walked around and showed it to everyone, and then laid it down on the ground. I saw this as symbolism for those people who risked their lives trying to cross the waters-- trying to cross the borders, but they didn't quite make it. The performers made it a point to remember those people. It was not enough to remember those who have made it, but to also remember those who had similar dreams, but were not able to make it a reality.

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The exhibit runs until tonight, April 10, 2016. It is completely free. If you are able to see it, then go.  It begins at 9pm.


April 4, 2016

I Guess This is Growing Up: Intro - Transitioning Into Adulthood

I Guess This Is Growing Up - Black and White (1)

In an effort to make sense of this thing called 'adulting', I have decided to dedicate a blog series to all the things growing up. 

The transition from high school to college was pretty easy. I had no real responsibility other than taking classes and getting good grades. I worked at a church as an administrative assistant when I was home during the summer and winter breaks for sophomore, junior and senior year. I also did some babysitting for a beautiful little German-American family throughout the school year. As I entered graduate school, I also had the ease of not needing to work, as my mother thought it was best to focus on my studies. She would deposit a little bit of money in my account once per week but that wasn't enough, so I did babysitting again and also landed a work study position at an AIDS organization in New Haven, CT. There wasn't much of a transition from undergrad to graduate school other than living on my own and having to prepare my own meals. I still had really late nights and pretty easy days.

In 2012, I completed grad school at the age of 24 and got married about 6 months later. After getting married, I was on  an everlasting mission to begin my career. This involved a lot of job hunting during the day --That was my full-time job. Since I had no real responsibility outside of the home, my late nights continued. This caused me to be stuck in a similar routine (and subsequently a similar mind-frame) to my college-aged years because I was not doing much during the day.  It wasn't until I began my part-time gig at the bank in 2013 that I started to realize that I had been stuck in that routine and needed to find my way out. But being part-time, my work days did not start until noon, so that meant I could continue to stay up late at night-- this time, job hunting instead of fluffing around doing nothing (but sometimes I did that too). As a year went by, and I began working more hours, and I got one year older, and then two... I realized the detriment of this habit even more and the need to cut it out. And this is where the growing up began. I started to realize other habits that I could no longer keep up with. My body trying to signal me to stop doing certain things because it wants- no needs- a change, and it's sending out blaring signals to initiate that change. That is the purpose of this series.

I will be sharing some of these changes that my adult self is trying to usher in and what that process looks like. Stick around.

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