I found that Simonette’s object was a symbol of heritage. Simonette’s object took the shape of a hand-sized plastic square. Thr plastic object was very tiny and could fit in the palm of my hand. The object was double sided and had an identical picture of a young boy on both sides. The object’s picture in the center was of a young boy dressed in red, green, yellow, white, and black. The colors appeared in stripes. The boy also had a hat on that appeared to be rather large. The hat also contained the same colors as the outfit the boy was wearing. In short, the foreground picture takes a play on the colors red, green, yellow, white, and black. The colors are sparsely scattered throughout the young boy’s outfit.
The background of the picture needs to be taken into account as well. While the background objects are not as dominant as the foreground, the background contains stars that are small and scattered above the young boys head. In the right-hand corner, you can also see a tiny red beach umbrella. The umbrella might allude to that main feature of the picture.
The words “GuyanA” appear underlined above the main picture of the boy. Guyana is a country and this highlights the purpose of the picture. As the boy carries a flag in his hand, one might be able to infer that the picture is symbolism for patriotism.
While the plastic border and tiny frame hold the picture into place, this object is more than just plastic, this object is a tiny piece of art.
The three questions I asked Simonette where as follows-
- Where is your family/you from? She answered Guyana
- What are the colors of the Guyanian flag? Red, yellow, green, white, and black.
- Have you ever gone back to Guyana? Yes, about two or maybe three years ago I went back.
In short, her answers to my questions highlighted and reaffirmed my suspicions of what the object was. While this object is obviously a tiny keychain, this practice really helped me in practicing the idea of thick description. This keychain is special because art is evident in it. The art also is a form of patriotism, which I find to be great! I suspected that is keychain represented some part of Simonette’s background but was pleased to find out more about Guyana. The fact that Guyana is in the Caribbean is what the little beach chair in the corner alludes to. Finding out about Guyana was possible through thick description observation and questioning Simonette.
During the year 1987, the NAMES Quilt was brought to life. For one to understand the NAMES Quilt one must understand the pain that comes with NAMES. Resources, funding, and acknowledgment of an AIDS epidemic were not always seen as important as it is today.
The NAMES Quilt features patches that make a giant quilt. Each patch of the quilt, however, represents a person who died due to AIDS. The idea of a quilt is a non-traditional memorial paying tribute to the people who are no longer here due to AIDS.
I found it interesting that the NAMES Quilt remains the “largest community art project in the world”. The metaphor of a quilt is moving. The patches on a quilt are more than just patches, they are mothers, they are fathers, they are innocent sons and daughter. The patches on the quilt are more than just fabric; they are poets, they are teachers, they are culture. The NAMES quilt is more than just a quilt, it is a heart that still beats, it represents the never-ending legacy of people who battled with AIDS. It is a reminder to all of us that people with AIDS are just that, they are people.
The idea of a single patch draws me in because each patch tells a story of someone, Each patch represents a name and with a mere name, we recognize that no two names hold the same story. The patches are incredibly vital and remind me that we at times dehumanize individuals who are different than us. The stigma that comes with AIDS is denied entry to the NAMES Quilt. The quilt raises a sense of humanity and gives NAMES to AIDS.
I will admit when I first started reading the Haltman introduction I had little to no clue what was going on. However, I find the work to be a literary guild. This assertion led me to my next question; why? I almost feel that one could read this work backward and still be able to grasp the understanding of what a Prownian Analysis is. From “description, deduction, speculation, research, and finally interpretive analysis” (11) the reader is taken on a step by step walk of how to conduct quality observations and analysis. I started to wonder, why once again. Why is it vital to know how to conduct research on such a detailed level. While detail after detail may seem picky, it is essential that when conducting research that the research conductor not only provide bland results but quality evidence which shows passion throughout the research process. I found what I took away most was that “words do not analyze objects, we analyze our descriptions of objects”. The statement was profound in the sense that it summaries to me what the NAMES research project is all about. AIDS and HIV are more than just stereotypes and passive vague evidence, it is about stories that have depth and our research must reflect that. I now feel more confident in what my research will turn out like.
The work analyzed this week was a photo essay titled 50 Years Ago in Photos; A Look Back at 1968. While the title of the essay is almost self-explanatory what each individual takes away from the year1968 is different. From the Civil Rights Movement to the beginning of what would become the Cold War; from hunger, famine, to war and death, and triumph in Olympic arenas-1968 was a story of chaos and change. From “riots” (#kbaker) after Dr. King’s death to “beautiful scenery” (#mvolmar) from the moon, it is undeniable that 1968 was full of change but also discovery. Change in this period stems from war, regime changes, civil rights, and the Olympics which brought people from all walks of life together. However, while the change was occurring we as a people were inherently discovering who we were and where we as a nation and a world would be heading. 1968 was violent and many times it seems we forget the lives lost in the civil rights movement. I find the author of the photo essay did an exceptional job at illustrating that we here at home in the U.S. were in the midst of change ourselves. The author showed me that change is not easy and that change is the pain but in the midst of 1968 we can reflect today on how far the change has brought us and see through photography the stories of others.
This semester in English 1102 I will be compiling research about HIV/AIDS and how much progress we have made in terms of finding a cure. I will also research narratives, poems, and monologues composed by HIV/AID survivers with the hope of finding common themes within a groups literary work.