How does ‘Rumours of War’ represent a ‘monumentally unequal America’

Wiley’s creates a piece of work that addresses the issue in America of monuments.  Around America there are many statues of dead civil war heroes in public places for everybody to see. Most of these people being glorified used to own slaves. Our society’s values have changed since those times, therefore, Wiley confronts the idea that these old monuments should remain up as he believes it is not what their city represents.

Looking at the statue itself, it consists of a black sitter on top of a horse.  Black sitters have rarely ever been subject to power in monuments such as these in the past, so by choosing a black subject and placing him on top of this massive horse with a strong and confident posture, it empowers the black community which typically are underrepresented in monuments.  Wiley proves that monuments with black sitters can be as beautiful as any other monuments. Furthermore, the statue itself is massive and requires the viewer to literally look up at it. By making it so grand, Wiley is making the statement this monument and this sitter is powerful, which collides with the traditional views of black people being undervalued ultimately representing an unequal America.

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Personality Quiz

Recently in PSE, we spent a lesson doing a personality quiz by Truity.

I feel that it is important to properly understand your strengths and preferences in order to figure out what you want to do as a career in the future.

The results I got were ENTJ, ENTP, and INTJ

The one that I resonate most with is “The Inventor”, I disagree with the others because I feel I am not a very logical thinker.  Also, I looked up the careers that work well with the other results I got and none of them particularly interested me (accounting manager, budget manager, financial analyst etc)

However, the career options that work well with the ENTP personality type sparked some interest with me (Film producer, lawyer, stock trader). I decided to research more into this personality type.

ENTP generally have Visionary personalities because of their passion for new, innovative ideas.

  • Extroverted: Enjoys spending time with others
  • Intuitive: Focused on facts and details rather than facts and details
  • Thinking: Makes decisions based on logic and reasoning
  • Perceiving:  Prefers to be spontaneous and flexible rather than planned and organised

I found out that most famous people that share this personality type are actors, which I found interesting.

Anecdote – My Language

My parents only spoke Hindi to me when I was born, yet strangely 16 years later I am completely unable to use that language. This was probably because from a very early age, my parents put me into an international school where I was surrounded by more western communities.  Generally, throughout my life, I only speak in English, but I have noticed that my dialect (e.g pronunciations, accents) have slowly tranformed overtime.

When I was younger my English accent was strongly influenced by Hindi,  creating a form of dialect known as Hinglish. The pronunciation of my W’s and V’s would be occasionally mixed up, and generally, my tone fluctuated more often. Surprisingly, I found that in old videos my accent was leaning towards being British rather than American.

Overtime, when I joined UWC and was surrounded by a variety of different cultures, my friends, teachers, and all the people around me heavily influenced my accent which I would say sounds more western. After a while, my parents stopped speaking to me in Hindi, and this created such a significant impact that overtime I pronounce my name differently to how it is supposed to be pronounced, and so much so that it feels weird for me to use the original pronunciation of my name.

This may have a significant impact on my identity, I feel that I have strayed away from my origin and that makes me feel conflicted and lost. I still visit India a lot and I am surrounded by it’s culture, but I feel more disconnected from what surrounds me, for example, when I travel to India I sometimes do not understand what people are saying and also feel outcasted when they hear the way I talk.

My Indian origin will always be apart of my identity, but I feel like my language and dialects reflect another aspect of my identity that make up quite a big part of it.

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Do you believe that the law limits freedom?

Dear Aditya,

Law puts structure into our chaotic world. It is a complete necessity in order to create a functional society, without it, everything would be total havoc. It’s a set of rules that apply to everyone, but I think that law does limit our freedom.

By definition, law literally constrains us and doesn’t allow us to do something we would otherwise be able to do. If somebody were to live in a place with no laws, they would have more freedom of will than somebody living in a large city full of laws to follow. But the difference is that the first person would not be able to reap the benefits of living in harmony with other people in a massive system.  That’s the sacrifice you have to question if it’s worth taking. Someone living in a city full of laws would be able to find a job, earn a living, gain a purpose, be motivated to work. Therefore, in a kind of way, they can do more than someone just living with no laws, completely purposeless.

Of course, the law isn’t perfect. It is not 100% just and not everybody follows it. It greatly varies around the world, oppressing certain groups, and everybody didn’t agree to follow all of the laws made in the past. Hypothetically, if we had the ability to create a new society from scratch with our current knowledge and resources, I believe we would be able to make it a lot fairer for everyone, as the Social Contract theory, where each and every individual would agree to participate in it, and decisions can only be made if all support it as all are respected equally. This would be ideal, but as of now, that’s not how it works.

Freedom is an interesting concept, I think if something is free it is not constrained, able to move however it wants whenever it wants, or in a sense able to do more physical things than something that is constrained. Law does limit our freedom, if there were no laws, we would be able to do anything we wanted. But by willingly giving up some of our freedom, we can live in relative peace, which I would say actually gives us more freedom as we are able to pursue our interests rather than just focusing on surviving.

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Art Expressed through the BLM Movement

 

This photograph was taken by Brandon Bell and it shows an open shot of a man with his left arm raised up in a fist standing in front of a building that is on fire and is burning down. This photo was taken during the Black Lives Matter movement and it is likely an example of the protests and rioting that have been occurring these past few weeks.

I find this photograph very powerful, the large amounts of bright orange fire in the background resemble destruction which symbolizes the amount of effort that is needed to redesign the established racist system that oppresses black people. The system made by white supremacists many years ago that everybody has continued to live in. This photograph shows that people want change and if the higher authorities won’t listen then they will make their voice heard, because ultimately, the people outnumber everybody else, and they have the power to cause change if they work together.

To me, this photograph shows the power of a free world where everybody has the right to speak up and cause change. We only see the silhouette of the person in the shot which shows that this person could be any regular person, not some superhero with incredible strengths. The pose in which the person is in shows strength, power, and a willingness to fight no matter how hard the fight may seem.

It feels as if society as a whole as developed so much, it is already the year 2020 and we would expect to have come together as a human race by this point and all that’s left for us to do is to work towards evolution. Everything that is going on inside of this photograph feels as if it happened many years ago in the past, but the fact that it was taken so recently shows the great distance we still are away from global equality.

The shot is taken from a lower angle looking up at this person which makes him seem powerful like a leader. There is only one person in the photograph rather than many people, which seems to me that even if just one person stands up for their vision, they are able to make it happen. The person seems to be looking at something, it feels as if he could be looking at a large group of people who support his actions and are looking up to this person as a leader. The angle of the photograph is taken from the side which doesn’t make the viewer feel apart of the large crowd he may be looking at, but rather makes them feel like a spectator observing what is happening from a distance, and this is emphasized as the subject is not looking towards the camera. I find this interesting because it suggests that we are not doing anything to fight against the problem, however, it makes the photograph feel like more of a historical event rather than a call for action. It makes the viewer think about the situation as a whole, at a larger scale, where we were, where we are, and where we are heading.

 

CREST Reflection #2

 

I have finished my CREST project and I am going through the reflection process. I think I did well with the way I presented my information as I kept it engaging and interesting. I also think I did a good job of coming up with a realistic conclusion, but I should have worked on narrowing down my idea or maybe choosing something more established in the scientific community.

I learned a lot about meditation, I used to doubt it and not really believe it, but I learned now that there can be many benefits and I know that because the evidence doesn’t just come from my mom but also from scientists. I realized that meditation actually does have several benefits being able to connect structures and renovations in the brain, but I found out in the process that you are unable to make any large conclusions on this topic right now because it has not been tested enough and studies still have a long way to go to find out if it is 100% reliable.

I feel that my topic and video would have a large impact on people around the world as meditation has drastically increased in popularity over the past few decades and it has a 1.1 billion USD industry. Meditation is constantly being promoted by others as a good way to reduce stress and anxiety, however, the religious origins of mediation make it seem as if it is not scientifically reliable and not a real way to cure problems. Therefore I believe this video may shed some light on the useful benefits that it can provide to people.

I should have had a stronger structure overall and made sure that I constantly drew back to the topic question. Another thing is that I should have tried to use more creative visual elements to help the viewers understand the concepts more instead of using images from the internet while explaining things.

In the future I may try to conduct a research experiment based around this topic to get some actual data to support my argument, however, the problem with this is that it would be hard to make it reliable as I would need a control group and make sure there are no other factors effecting the results.