Is procreation and expanding the gene pool still the end-all be-all of human existence? Though more and more people choose not to have children, the assumption remains that the goal in this game of life is to get married and have children. Of course, this is especially true for women. This essay will resonate with anyone who is tired of hearing about biological clocks or of others telling them what they should do with their bodies.
“The Reason Cars Go Fast” relates to the absurdity and complexity of things that we think are important in the moment. A desire or fetish seems like the most pressing thing in the world until it has been satisfied.
How are gendered patterns of behavior ingrained within human beings? Do certain societies seem to praise and prioritize a particular gender above the other(s)? How does viewing the world through a gendered lens determine our values? According to this visual artist, if the human race has hope for rectifying its wrongs, it must prioritize its lost feminine side.
Is it just me, or is life just surreal? The common theme of this photo series is conveying everyday surreality. Granted that New York is a very good place to capture this, but to some degree, examples of this can be found everywhere. There is normality and order, and then there are exceptions to this. I find the exceptions stirring. Is there a moral or profound conclusion? I don’t think so. Some aspects of life can escape notice to an untrained eye — I used my camera to linger on them long enough, intending to bring them more firmly into the conscious mind.
“Flight of Fancy” explores themes of adolescent attraction, personal freedom, disappointment, and misunderstanding. There is a strong focus on the ego as part of the human experience and the way it disrupts relationships. The protagonist is guided via his perception of supposed “signals” of attraction and acts according to what he believes is expected of him. There is rarely a display of his honest feelings; rather, he often interprets the behavior of his female companion in terms of what the other boys at the school yard have told him. There is a mode of behavior, a template, which he believes dictates female displays of attraction. That mode is of course incorrect, but the protagonist is too young and inexperienced to escape that mentality. This exploration of the protagonist’s expectations is relevant today because it speaks to the very human difficulty of establishing stable relationships early into one’s life. Due to simple inexperience, a potential relationship can be abandoned or ruined based on perception and a lack of open communication.
“Us, The Girls” is a flash nonfiction prose piece exploring the complexities of sisterhood, my relationship to which has been based in familial obligation, close proximity, frustration, and unabiding love. It is for anyone finally recognizing the power of a bond they might have previously taken for granted.
Dissociation is an experience of human existence that affects one’s sense of identity or perception of time, and can create a feeling of disconnection from one’s thoughts, feelings, and surroundings. How does a dissociated state impact our youth, our development, or (more integrally) our personalities?
How do we stand up for ourselves and overcome bullying? All human beings want to stand up for themselves, prove that their lives matter, and feel like they are repairing the world for others to feel pride or acceptance. How do standup comedy, storytelling, and performance serve as acts of defiance against the norm? How do certain events give us the power to fight back?
A common human experience is feeling our differences outweigh our similarities, amounting to the formation of groups we feel we can identify with. The formation of socio-political groups based on religion, race, social background, or class (i.e. identity politics) has become a primary feature of the modern culture wars in the United States as a method for rectifying historical wrongs and engaging with social justice — but is this way of thinking helping? “Lafayette #2” grapples with these cultural qualms and what it means to hold a particular identity amidst societal upheaval.
How does art act as an indication of societal upheaval? This unique piece combines personal narrative and art history to remind us the roles we play are often conditioned by the structures we rail against.