:against the margins
‘Indivisible’ began as an exploration into the nuances of racism. It can manifest in many ways: microaggressions, gas-lighting, bullying. But as the project evolved, I realized how much racism influenced development and realized this project is as much about identity formation as it is about racism.Racism and prejudice are pervasive in our culture. But often times, we think of racism as big traumatic events that one recovers from and eventually moves on from. What many don’t realize is how racism, in its many forms, can affect one’s identity formation so pervasively and insidiously that the person will make themselves a different version of themselves, or even invisible, to protect themselves.
There’s not enough discussion around the effects of racism and systemic racism on a human level. The denial of culture, the assumptions around our bodies, the condescension towards accents, the biases against skin color, and the intergenerational effects all have an effect on identity formation and need to be part of our conversations as we build a culture of anti-racism.
Racism has huge implications on our society, on our culture, on the systems we live in, and on who we become as individuals. While ‘Indivisible’ hints at the Pledge of Allegiance and the political controversy of patriotic traditions, ‘Indivisible’ is also a reference to the identities within each person. While nearly every person has expressed how they have fractured their identities in attempts to assimilate, to belong, or to safeguard themselves somehow, each person is still only one person. Their various identities are interconnected, woven together in an indivisible individual.
At the conclusion of each interview, I ask the participant to describe themselves. For so long, their identity has been affected and shaped by external forces and descriptors that are rooted in power dynamics. This statement allows them to define themselves for themselves: a reclamation.
* If you would like to send a message of gratitude or self-reflection to any of the participants for their stories, please feel free to email me using my contact form and I will make sure they receive your note.
**Big thank you to APIC Spokane
for helping to fund portions of this project. If you are an individual or part of an organization that would like to help fund this project, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org*