September

Cracks of Boundary

In this artwork, I aspire to instill a feeling of hope; as although the figure is presented with limited categories to force themself into, they still chose to be themself. I dually aim that this instills hope amongst those who have been faced with a similar scenario, who feel alone in their struggles. I hope those who do not struggle with such issues feel a call to action—to emotionally support those struggling and help the reform of gender & gender norms within our society.

The Harvard Computers- Henrietta Swan Leavitt

My entry depicts a group of women known as the “Harvard Computers” who worked at the Harvard Observatory for a man named Edward Charles Pickering. In 1877, Pickering became the director of the Harvard Observatory during a time of great technological advancement, increasing the prevalence of photography, and subsequently the astrological data available to interpret. Pickering, in what appeared to be a progressive maneuver, employed his female staff to work examine, catalogue, and observe the data presented, however, the decision loses appeal when you take into account the workload of these women, their 25 to 50 cent wages, and their capacity to achieve greatness. Despite this, the women made significant contributions to the field of astronomy, especially Henrietta Swan Leavitt (pictured in the front) who discovered the period-luminosity relationship for Cepheid variables, a contribution that helped shape future astronomical discoveries. Henrietta and the many other talented “computers” performed incredibly important work, however, they received little to no recognition for their contributions.

Stop Asian Hate

My artwork shows a group of Asians protesting to get justice for them, you can see in the middle picture I have a picture frame of a woman, she is Michelle Go, a victim of racism, as well as anti-Asian hatred, she has pushed down the tracks of the New York subway. I drew her because I want to reclaim justice for her in general and Asians in particular, Ms. Michelle Go’s incident has been a wake-up call because Asian Hate Crime has gone too far. Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Asian racism has also become more frequent, some people call our community the cause of the pandemic, and they also make derogatory comments, and said that we should return to our country

Hope bares fruit as a team

This idea goes way back to when I was in a bad state of mind. I was not in a good position to do anything because of my mentality. Everything felt like it was crumbling and then one day I bumped into a family member watching the news. As I looked up at the television I saw this news report of a person being stopped and helped my multiple people. A picture of this event is what I used as a reference for my painting because after seeing all of those people help one person reminded me and still keeps reminding me that there are people out there to help me when I am at my worst.

Why We Fight

My entry is about the recent overturning of Roe V. Wade. On the canvas, there is a television playing a news coverage of a protest fighting against the overturning. The people protesting look upset and are all holding signs with pro-choice designs. There is a woman intently watching the screen looking slightly unkempt with bandages. This ties into the theme of justice I was going for, where even if you are not able to personally be there, you can still watch others fight for the same cause. With a constant barrage of bad news in today’s media, it’s easier to feel desensitized and pretend like it doesn’t affect you. A lot of people don’t understand the repercussions of such a case being overturned or who it affects. Even if Roe V. Wade being reversed doesn’t affect you, it can harm the people around you and takes away women’s rights to make healthcare decisions for themselves. You never know when something like this could affect family or friends—it hurts everybody. Understandably, there are a lot of circumstances that would prevent someone from being able to fight for themself. The good thing about this world is that there are still people willingly putting themselves out there despite all odds to fight for everybody, both for you and me. I felt like a protest was a great example of this message.

Role Model

This story brings me back to elementary school. With all the discussion about how teachers are being treated by parents and administrators, I wanted to try and see the perspective of a school environment as a teacher and what struggles they face. I have had a love for learning since kindergarten and that would have never been the case if I didn’t have teachers guiding me and nurturing that appreciation. I’ve created this piece to give hope to the future of education and teaching.

Glimmer and Shine

I chose the category Hope because it is one that I have a lot of experience with. My sister is two years older than me and one year sober from opioids. Writing about addiction comes fairly naturally to me; and I think that’s because I watched her struggle for so many years. I want other kids struggling with substance abuse to know that there is hope in recovery, and that getting help is never a bad thing.

A Mirror Worth Your Life

My piece is about some of the struggles that me and countless other trans people experience on a daily basis. It belongs in the justice section of the writing challenge because I am writing about issues that pertain to our society and social justice issues. This poem is my way of bringing light to some of the emotions that come up when I hear people misgender or disrespect me or anyone else that does not identify as cisgender. In one part of the poem I refer to myself using he/him pronouns because it reflects some of the self doubt and gender dysphoria I feel when explaining to people that I am trans. While it does include some dark components, my poem is not necessarily meant to depress or dishearten people, rather it is meant to educate people on how their actions can affect gender queer individuals, especially youth. The second to last stanza of the poem touches on the high suicide rates among trans youth and the last stanza and last line explain my apprehension to being apologized to because it makes me feel like I’m in the wrong. Sometimes an apology is necessary, but when overdone, it actually has negative effects in this situation.

Fighters

My entry relates back to the required submission criteria of hope, as I talk about towards the end of the poem my hope for the next generation, and how I want the standards of society towards girls and women to be changed. A description of my piece is: My poem dives deeply right into the raw realness of what so many girls in today’s world go through partly due to society’s standards. How we suffer to try to fit the mold and the cost of it, and how it’s just not worth it. My piece circles back around to my hope that the narrative can be changed, and that the next generation of girls won’t have to suffer like this one.

“She”

My piece is a reflection, a part of myself. It’s a memoir told in third person, about how I overcame my trauma and found the beauty in life.