Serendip is an independent site partnering with faculty at multiple colleges and universities around the world. Happy exploring!

Reply to comment

Emily's picture


Upon first seeing the picture, the first thought I had was that the faces to the far left and right resembled the happy and sad masks that are used to represent drama. Yet these masks take the emotions even further because the mask that is sad is actually weeping instead of frowning, and the mask that is happy appears to be wiping a tear away from laughing so hard. I assume that the face is laughing and not also crying because its mouth is open as if in the middle of laughing. The face in the center, which also appears to be futher back than the faces to the left and right, appears neutral and doesn't show any emotion.

The face in the center is just a face, while the other two faces have chests, which differentiates between the crying and laughing face. The crying face appears to be the man while the laughing face is the woman. Yet I feel as if I should keep in mind that the face on the right is not necessarily laughing, but could very well be crying even harder than the one of the left. This could serve to portray the thought that while men's lives in Africa are difficult, the women's lives are even harder.

Perhaps the art represents the emotions that men and women feel inside, while on the outside they must portray the face in the center. The struggle and hardship they must endure is both the reason for the emotions felt inside and the reason they must keep their masks of the face in the center. Also the emotions on the inside could have been given a chest to show that they are the true, real people while the emotionless mask in the middle is not real, but simply a mask.


To prevent automated spam submissions leave this field empty.
2 + 2 =
Solve this simple math problem and enter the result. E.g. for 1+3, enter 4.