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Final Project

Kaitlin_Lara's picture

I decided to revolve my final project on what I have learned in this class as well as current events. I did this by making an art piece. I began by tracing out the words, “PAY ATTENTION.” I chose this statement because as a society we are often neglecting to see what is in front of us. I also wanted to make a message to the audience to pay attention to people who have been forgotten and historical events that have been erased. The letter ‘P’ has four images: Marcus-David Peters memorial, Disabled People’s Liberation Front, a cube, and the word RIOT. Marcus-David Peters was a young Black man who was shot and killed by the police. He was having a mental health crisis but the officers escalated the incident that resulted in his death. Police officers often use force when someone does not immediately comply. This can be dangerous for someone with a disability and of course anyone. The Disabled People’s Liberation Front in the 1960s played a crucial role in the disability right movement. The activist group fought and succeeded in prohibiting disicrimination of and creating rights for disabled persons. The cube has three emojis: a smiley face, a sad face, and a straight face. I wanted to add the cube to demonstrate that emojis fluctuate. The word RIOT is to demand people to take action. 

Additionally, the letter “A” has multiple pictures but the ones that are most significant are the cell phone and the blurry American flag. I wanted to incorporate the image of a cell-phone because we are often distracted by them. I believe it is a paradox because a cell-phone allows a person to have access to any type of information; however we are often blinded by social media and fake information. The blurry American flag represents the dark reality of this country. 

Moreover, the letter “Y” has two images: a medical air bag and a sentence. The images were used to reflect the COVID-19 pandemic and how people with disabilities have been affected. The sentence was from a news article that stated, “Confronting Disability Discrimination During the Pandemic.” The virus had been primarily portrayed as an illness that almost exclusively affects older and vulnerable adults. Like we had mentioned in class, people with disabilities felt as if they were ‘disposable’ during this pandemic. They felt as if their lives did not matter because the government and society deems them less than. 

Then, I added the 10 principles of disability justice to the word ‘attention’. I believe each word reflects what we continue to fight for today. For instance, anti-capitalist politics is very important because this pandemic revealed the burden of illness and economic impact was unevenly distributed across populations in the U.S. During the beginning of the pandemic wealthy individuals had the means to get tested, have access to medical care, and follow shelter-in-place mandates. As well as the principle of intersectionality. As mentioned previously, Black disabled people are more likely to be killed or threatened with physical force by the police. 

I also added Riva Lehrer’s art because she spent her entire career creating art of people with disabilities or body differences. I really love her art piece of Eli Clare, 2003 (the one on my poster) because it encapsulated the connection of nature and oneself. The root of the branch is connected to the soil. The branches and leaves represent the lungs. As we know, roots provide nutrients. It is a very beautiful art piece. 

I also added an image of an activist holding a sign that reads, “Sterilization of Mothers.” This class informed me about the Buck v. Bell case and the forced sterilization of people with disabilities. Earlier this week, a leak of the Supreme Court ruling of Roe v.Wade was published. The leak relieved the court plans to overturn the case. This is very scary because it means that individuals will be stripped from their reproductive rights and can lead other monumental cases to be at risk. It is like the saying goes “history repeats itself” so that is why it is important for people to PAY ATTENTION! 



PDF icon Kaitlin Lara’s Final Project.pdf27.1 MB