I believe that both Europe and the United States are built on the same values, which I hope to show through my artwork with the help of symbolism. These values are based on quality and acceptance, which are the foundation of the western world.
The US and Europe are very alike in terms of their stance on social justice. For instance, both the “US and every Western European country but Italy, roughly two-thirds or more said that gays and lesbians should be able to adopt children” (PEW). Most recent civil rights issues arise in the form of LGBT equality. This is why I chose to showcase their similarities through articles on civil rights.
Moving from Europe to the United States has allowed me to become enriched in the history and culture of both places. Through my art piece, I tried to show how both American and European culture has become a part of me. I did this by putting together a bunch of civil rights newspapers, old and new, like a puzzle to create an image of myself. One of the more prominent pieces in the image, are the “High Court Bans School Segregation: 9-to-0 Decision Grants Time To Comply”, and “Rev. King Slain By Memphis Sniper” as they mark an important turning point for America. All of the pieces used to create the image hold some significance to me, which I hope the image conveys.
My clothes and hair showcase pieces of American history because American values and culture have only become part of me recently; while I’ve always been Belgian which is why I chose a famous Belgian letter to depict my face. My ears, on the other hand, showcase how contemporary historical events become a part of me as I learn about them. In particular, they highlight the recent societal progress made when it has come to equality with the LGBT community, to the point that Cyprus is “the only area of Europe where homosexual activity is a crime” I have personally witnessed this progress myself, as I attended Brussels’ annual Pride Parade in 2017 with my family (76Crimes).
As an expatriate, I am able to see the many similarities between the US’s and Europe’s values making their creed interconnected. My art piece shows these similarities through me by showcasing both European and American civil rights newspapers symbolizing my dive into American culture and my European heritage.
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谢瑞睿 Sree Sreenivasan. “POWER OF PRINT! Imagine How Confused Someone from the 1990s or Even 2000s Would Be about Both These Headlines. Pic.twitter.com/0VPhbAwuMU.” Twitter, Twitter, 27 Apr. 2018, twitter.com/sree/status/989837145614503936.
Eckholm, Erik. “Gay Rights Advocates Set to Take on Bias in Jobs, Housing - The Boston Globe.” BostonGlobe.com, The Boston Globe, 27 June 2015, www.bostonglobe.com/news/nation/2015/06/27/next-fight-for-gay-rights-bias-jobs-and-housing/2rDPJQXuWDdi5biBDidENJ/story.html.
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