- Friere (1972
My friend “the hummingbird” uses this after his email signature. He’s Diné (Navajo). It rings true. The people we oppress are the only ones who can liberate us.
When writing is forbidden or undervalued, it becomes invisible. When family and friends and society and even the law say that our writing does not matter, we compose in hiding.
We delete our MySpace pages. We hide our blogs. We create anonymous logins to post on Wikipedia. We write only in word processor files that we protect with passwords and in diaries that we hide in the sock drawer. We write letters that we can never send and poems that we’ll never share in class. We learn that that only certain writing counts and that only certain people are truly writers. Our texts disappear, and so do we.”
My photoshop students design their own final project. It’s a chance for them to pursue expertise in an area of interest, find their own tutorials, and explore the joyous business side of artistic pursuit: the articulation of a proposal, schedule and deliverables.
One of the questions they must answer is: Why and how is this work important to you personally and artistically?
And this semester’s most impassioned answer, from a student creating a self-portrait web page animation, is:
This semester has been indescribably rough, filled with tragedy and depression, which has led me anxiously astray. I urgently need the artistic therapy of the self-portraiture journey from self-expression to self-realization. An artistic drought has left me crawling the desert, mouth of disintegrating sandpaper, useless and desperately seeking to quench the thirst. For sanity’s sake, I vehemently crave this outlet.
All true and part B.S. at the same time. Who cares? The student took the time to craft a richly storied answer. If that’s not lying to tell the truth I don’t know what is. I’ll take it.