Artist: sage braziel (they/she)
Description: In the beginning of my Arabic lessons with Halema, we worked from an alphabet book without any English; it contains random nouns and verbs, some words with accompanying pictures and some not. The word طاووس was at the end of our page for the day, and Halema goes, “Do you know this bird? Beautiful bird.” There is no accompanying image for طاووس, and so I go, “No, Halema. What does this mean in English?” There is this gentle language barrier between Halema and I that we navigate with subtle humor and grace. I wait while she types the word into some translation app, and she exclaims, “Peacock!” Tawoos is my favorite word in Arabic so far because of this moment. In this piece, I speak of my desire to meet the woman who is giving me more language to express myself in this world. I have no idea what I will have to do, or what organization I will have to join, to get into Gaza to see Halema, but trust that it will happen one day. The beginning of this poem originally included a bottle fed squirrel; please be grateful that you have been spared from this. The milk addition stayed though. If you are curious as to why the second stanza feels so different than the others, I refer you to the Aretha Franklin interview where she is asked, “When you’re singing a song, what is the main thing you try to do?” and she responds, “Feel it.”
Description: I felt like I needed some colors in my life to brighten my mood, so I drew QT. Cartoons and anime have heavily influenced my life, and thus what I create. Brown and Black people expressing joy are beautiful and I want to see more of that. I hope the audience feels happy when they look at QT, because she’s a cute character having a good time. I want her energy to rub off on them. When I want to draw something I put on music that fits my goal of the piece. For QT, I played only pop so that she could feel very upbeat.
Under the Yuzu Tree
Title: Under the Yuzu Tree
Artist: Mei Bailey
Description: Inspired by the following excerpt from Lili Kunimoto's 2020 Race Monologue:
A long time ago, way before I was born,
my grandpa grew a lemon tree in his yard
and it turned out to be yuzu.
I love this story, it reminds me of my grandpa Tadashi.
It reminds me of how funny it must have been
when he first realized that the fruits were bulbous and lumpy
and didn't quite taste like he expected
the more oval, polished lemon.
Artist: Lili Kunimoto
Description: When contemplating “Joy and Justice” as a theme, I struggled to come up with something to represent the joy aspect. Much of my emotions towards my identity are often frustration, anger, and sadness. One prominent way that came up to me was celebrating my identity as a queer Asian woman with my partner, who shares these identities. Through this we’ve shared many vulnerable conversations, oftentimes sitting in each other’s comfort in our sadness. It has been a joy being with her, and is intrinsically tied to our identities and reclamation of ourselves. She wrote a poem that stuck with me— thinking about the hermit crabs from her home town versus where she was born in Guangzhou to represent feeling out of place. I wrote one of the most moving lines from her poem in my piece to simulate how it feels to be read this piece by her. The full quote reads,
“I can’t help but wonder how much warmer the water is along the Guangdong coast,
the hermit crabs, who always seem to know when they have outgrown their old homes. “
It felt so emotionally vulnerable, intimate with her feelings, relatable, and sad but also sweet and mundane. Connecting to others, romantic or otherwise, has been crucial in unlearning my identities as sources of love and euphoria. I hope to portray all aspects of our relationship, including the melancholy and nostalgia as a beautiful thing.
Diaspora & Dilution
Title: Diaspora & Dilution
Artist: Taylor Mittelsteadt
Description: the idea of ‘judeo-christian values’ is a modern concept. as a religious + ethnic jew, i wanted to touch on the disconnect that really exists there and the way the idea tends to dismiss jewish lived experiences and beliefs, by representing it as a dialogue between two angels.
Title: Guided Meditation
Artist: Amelia Madarang
Medium: Limited print run available at Watzek Library
Description: Guided Meditations can often feel clinical and idealized. The guided affirmations are meant to be a one size fits all mantra that can comfort a wide swath of people. The same can be said about the college experience. Yet, college can feel isolating if it does not fit in these generalized mantras.
This guided mediation was created for the eighteen year old version of the author. The affirmations are tailored to her struggle in finding community and acceptance in a new place. It is created with the love and perspective that has come with age.
As you read this work reflect of your own journey. Know that you are lucky. You are loved. You are kind. You are strong.
Artist Information: Amelia Madarang '22 had a lasting love affair with drawing and story telling. From a young age she understood that her biracial Filipino American family was not reflected back to her in the media she consumed. And from that young age Madarang has tried to create and communicate her own story. She continued story telling as she processed her feelings of the 2020 pandemic. Like most people Madarang had to learn new skills to manage her anxiety and depression. It was then that she found guided meditations, which she has a love hate relationship with.
Madarang is from Vancouver (not B.C.), Washington (not D.C.). She is a Senior Political Science major with a minor in Middle East and North African studies. Her passions include education policy, sustainable living, wearing matching outfits, hiking, getting cake to celebrate any occasion, plants and free things.