Welcome to the Animo Photography Club! Through photography and video, students learn how to express themselves, explore issues of identity, heighten their awareness and perception, discover a voice for change and service within their communities, learn technical skills in shooting and editing, and much much more!!

You can view all of our photos on Flickr at http://www.flickr.com/photos/living-histories/

Monday, May 24, 2010

Identity and Community

Journal Topic
  • Identity: Who are you?
  • List at least 3 things you want people to know about you
  • What do you think of your community? Why? Give examples
There are many ways people identify themselves. "Hi, I'm Jennifer Moon." I am identifying myself with my name. "I am your teacher." I am identifying myself with a role, job, responsibility, function. "I am also an artist." Again, I am identifying myself with an occupation or a passion as well as a culture and all the things that one thinks of in relation to an artist. I can take it a step further and say, "I am a master of fine art." Now I am identifying with my accomplishments, a degree. I can go in another direction and say, "I am an American born Korean." I am identifying with a nation and my race or ethnicity. Or I can also say, "I am a revolutionary who believes in continuous expansion for all on this earth and beyond!" Here, I am identifying with my beliefs and values. But are all these forms of identification accurate to describe who I am?

Some of the ways I identify myself have practical purposes. I identify myself with my name so that people know how to address me. I identify myself as your teacher so you understand my function in a classroom setting. Other ways in which I identify myself, such as an artist, a master of fine art, a Korean-American, a revolutionary who believes in such and such, etc., can give me a sense of purpose or value, a sense of belonging, and can also shape the way others perceive me. But again, are all these things who I am? Some contemporary, spiritual-type writers, like Eckhart Tolle, would say who we are are not the various things we identify with but rather, who we are is simply consciousness, awareness or being. He says this because the various things we identify with are constantly shifting and changing. Sometimes I'm a teacher but sometimes I'm a student. I may look Korean but I don't necessarily feel Korean. I may believe in revolution now, but who knows about tomorrow and I definitely didn't believe in revolution a few years ago.

There is no right or wrong way to identify oneself. The idea is simply to be aware of how one identifies, what does that look like or how does it translate in my appearance or behavior, and how does it function for me and my community (is it helping me or limiting me, is it functioning as a necessity, does it provide me with a sense of belonging or purpose, or does it make me feel separate, am I representing a community, does it provide me with a voice, or is it keeping me locked in and limiting my growth, can I change my identity from moment to moment, etc.).

Below are two examples of students journaling the topic above. They are examples of how young people identify themselves and their community.

(transcription of above photo)
Who are you?
Name: Daisy Nicole Ramirez
Birthday: August 31, 1994
Gender: Female
Hometown: South Central
Favorite Color: Rainbow
I am human
Race: Black, Latina, Mongolian, Spanish
Love numbers

3 things you want people to know about you
- I wish I was a mathematician
- I wish I had the power to control time
- I have an oral fixation

What do you think of your community? Why? Give examples
I don't like my community but I fit in.
- a lot of babies
- Hispanics
- oppression

(transcription of above photo)
Who r u?
David Palacios
I listen to rock
I like body art
I'm misunderstood
I don't judge others
I love animals
I'm a vegetarian
I'm into photography
I like all types of art
I wear black
I'm not depressed
I just find beauty in black or dark stuff

I hate this community because it's ghetto and I don't like being in a community where there's violence and murder.

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