an image, a thought

I’m just adding text to my photography (an experiment).

Racism around me

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In October I did a short series based on an open theme, I attempted to briefly illustrate the relationship between women and society. I tried.  It was part of a Jazz Vespers event Wicker Park Grace holds every month. This is a jazz music, prayer, photography, poetry, prose event. This photograph is from that project.

I work at Union Avenue Community Outreach, a youth centre on the south-side of Chicago, this is where the photo was taken. Through them I am able to take a lot of photographs of youth and people. I’ve had this floating, working idea to use the youth at the centre to illustrate racism in the communities they live in (Fuller Park and Canaryville). Well, when the theme of women came about, I decided to use my floating idea on racism. I asked a few counselors (leaders) and students to pose for me and between the flash of the camera and some laughs I got some good photos. I’ve gotten a lot of interesting comments on this image but something that was said repeatedly was that “they look angry”. Racism is a daily reality in Chicago, that’s not new. Yet, what I find extremely interesting is that depending on where you go and where you are it looks and feels differently. I’ve spent half my life in Chicago, the other half I spent in Guatemala. We all know racism is everywhere but Chicago is a little different, at least the way I see it and feel it. Racial micro-aggression? Critical social theory?


Written by myschisms

December 30, 2007 at 10:18 am

Posted in thoughts

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World Aids Day event (Chicago 2007)

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I believe most of us are familiar with World AIDS Day. Well, it was started in 1988 by the World Health Organization. World AIDS Day is observed every year on December 1st. So yeah, I did photography for a youth geared World AIDS day event at Q’4 (Quennect 4). Q’4 is an independently run and own art gallery/event space/art space. I really like this place, the gals/guys there are great and the events held there are good. You could call it underground but what is underground anyhow? I’m there often.

The photo; as I walked around in photographer mode I noticed the teen sitting at the table. It struck me, and perhaps just me but to see him sketching with what seemed to be no direct acknowledgement of his surroundings was very interesting. Of course, he had to have noticed the items on the table but the way it looked to me, he seemed to be taken away by his work. As usual, one can say a lot about a photo but I like the juxtaposition of him and the items on the table. For me It’s a reminder of how old sexual norms and mores are being re-interpreted and explored. It reminds me that sexuality is not just about sex but it also could be, and how we need to educate ourselves and others on the many things that surround us regarding it.

Written by myschisms

December 26, 2007 at 1:45 pm

Posted in Q'4

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Broadview vigil

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It was like… we stood before the monster, perhaps afraid or even unaware of what was before us but we stood there.

It was December 7, 2007@7am

As we returned to the Broadview detention center to participate in a prayer vigil, I, along with a group of people joined two nuns and others in this weekly prayer vigil. The vigil takes place in Broadview, IL (out-side of Chicago) every Friday at 7.15am. Now, for the last year, two nuns from the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, a lawyer and a group of volunteers have been praying in front of this detention center. They do this in solidarity and in support of the people being held there and for their families. The “center” is an ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency) facility. ICE is the largest investigative branch of DHS (Department of Homeland Security). The people being held there are either being processed or are going to be deported. There is a lot to be said about Broadview but for now I’ll this; It’s a great thing what this group of people are doing here, this vigil. There are many ways to support and to be in solidarity with people but what I find both amazing and interesting is the fact that it is just a prayer vigil, nothing else. The combined work of some of the volunteers along with the two sisters (nuns) ranges from; community organizing, immigration reform policy writing, art activism, organizing protests and demonstrations, practicing immigration law, educating on social issues and so forth. We all come (I just joined recently) together to stand there and pray, just pray. Now, you don’t have to be religious or have spiritual inclinations to understand that as an act, it is very powerful and meaningful -especially for the people and their families. That is why we were there, why I was there. It was a little early in the morning for me but I was there, I was there to pray. I was there in solidarity, in protest of this broken and unjust system. No one is illegal.

Written by myschisms

December 22, 2007 at 11:29 am