Social Justice Paintings
Artist: Hailey Rosart
The social justice issue that I chose to comment on is sweatshops and the work that reporter Raveena Aulakh has done surrounding it. I chose to focus on this issue because in grade 8 we had done a research project on the truth about sweatshops and I wanted to continue that research. A large amount of products that we purchase day-to-day are manufactured in sweatshops in developing countries. In fact, Bangladesh is the leading exporting country of goods, generating 80% of the total exporting revenue. The image that I chose is a screenshot from an interview that Aulakh had done for the Toronto Star, commenting on her experience in Bangladesh.
The text in the background includes article titles and pieces of text written about the work that Aulakh had done, posing as a worker in the sweatshop. I chose to paint Aulakh in pink because while working in the factory she worked alongside a 9-year-old girl who was in charge of supervising many of the workers. This image and overall project hold a personal significance to me because often times I will buy something, not thinking twice about why this item may be so cheap.
A stylistic quality that I think is successful is the contrast between the text in the background and the image of Aulakh. I believe this choice allows the viewer to first focus on the portrait, creating the illusion that the article headlines are surrounding her. I chose to paint Aulakh in pink because often times people make a connection between pink and little girls. This was to represent the 9-year-old girl who worked as a supervisor in the factory. One obstacle that I overcame while creating this piece was starting the face. I had a lot of fear in starting this because I have never had to paint a portrait of a face before. I wasn't sure how to start and applying the principles of painting seemed very daunting to me.
Aulakh, Raveena. "I Got Hired at a Bangladesh Sweatshop. Meet My 9-year-old Boss | Toronto Star." Thestar.com. N.p., 11 Oct. 2013. Web. 29 Feb. 2016. http://www.thestar.com/news/world/clothesonyourback/2013/10/11/i_got_hired_at_a_banglades h_sweatshop_meet_my_9yearold_boss.html
"Shocking Facts of Sweatshops." N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Feb. 2016. http://brandongaille.com/36-shocking-sweatshop-statistics/
"Pink Color Meaning – The Color Pink." ColorMeaningscom. N.p., 17 Mar. 2013. Web. 01 Mar. 2016.http://www.color-meanings.com/pink-color-meaning-the-color-pink/
No More Stolen Sisters
Artist: Sabrije Mitrovica
The issue I decided to focus on is that of the unjustifiable number of missing and murdered indigenous women, and the cause for no more stolen sisters. In Canada, there are an estimated 1,200 women who are either missing or murdered. Through some research done by the Native Women’s Association of Canada, within the years 2000 to 2008, 10% of all female homicides in the country are indigenous women, while they only make up 3% of the greater Canadian population. This issue is grounded in violence, inequality, and discrimination. The efforts to end this cycle of violence are largely lacking in identifying the causes and accurate responses and acknowledging the immense threat and discrimination indigenous women face daily. I chose this image because I wanted to represent this issue through a person that is integral in the fight to raise awareness, and ending the cycle of violence and discrimination for indigenous women in Canada. The woman depicted is Beverly Jacobs, she has made immense efforts and advances in this cause.
I chose this image because I wanted to represent this issue through a person that is integral in the fight to raise awareness, and ending the cycle of violence and discrimination for indigenous women in Canada. The woman depicted is Beverly Jacobs, she has made immense efforts and advances in this cause. For example, she acquired the lead research position in 2004, for Amnesty International’s report “No More Stolen Sisters” on this issues (one of the first of it’s kind). From that point on she has persevered in the fight by being the president, and amazing leader of NWAC.
This is an image that portrays Beverly Jacobs speaking into a microphone, and filmed for a news organization. I thought this was important because she is sharing her influential and necessary message about the injustices in this our country that so little know about. The sharing of stories and knowledge about this prevalent issue to the greater public in essential in the breaking of the cycle. As a Canadian Women, this issue is important to me, as I strongly believe all women should be treated the same. I want to be proud of my country and as Canadians, we always refer to it as an advanced country with little discrimination. However, injustices as severe as this go on each day without real acknowledgement from our government and police. I have a vested interest in how this country is run, and how the women of this country are treated. As a result of the lack of response to this issue, it more people, including myself must add to the fight and push for change to see real action. I rely on people like Beverly Jacobs to inform me, and lead the fight. This is why I chose to have the text based on a radio interview done by her, where she outlines the facts, problem within the government and police, and personal connection to this issue.
Blue represents stability, and red represents energy, and the combination is purple. I used purple because I think these are two things relate to this issue. We strive for stability for this issue, but also this cause has a fiery energy from the people that fuels the fight to ending the cycle of violence. Purple is also the colour that represents bravery, which is so essential in going against the bigger institutions that perpetuate this injustice.
"Canada: No More Stolen Sisters." Amnesty International. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Feb. 2016.
Ballantyne, Robert. "Bev Jacobs on Canada's Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women - Home | As It Happens | CBC Radio." CBCnews. CBC/Radio-Canada, 15 Apr. 2015. Web. 29 Feb. 2016.
"Psychology of the Color Purple and What It Means for Your Business." Fat Rabbit Creative. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Feb. 2016.
By: Sophie Smith
The issue I chose to base this art piece on was anti-rape and violence against women. I chose to comment on this issue because of the ongoing prevalence of rape culture and the violence that women experience both on an institutional and personal level. I thought it was important to talk about this issue because of the attention it has been getting in the media lately and how people are starting to believe that violence against women no longer exists. Although the attention this issue is receiving is positive, it is becoming a trend to be a feminist, and unfortunately, trends pass. I made this piece show that violence against women is still an ongoing and relevant issue and we should stand in solidarity with women whether it is popular or not. The picture I chose is a woman named Amber who posted a picture of herself to Instagram right after being raped on a trip to South Africa. She captioned the picture with a detailed recount of the experience and why it is important to speak out about your own experience in order to inspire others to feel comfortable doing the same and ultimately create change.
I chose to use shades of blue in this piece as my one colour. I believe that blue is a colour that typically represents sadness and the emotions associated with it which is why I incorporated it into this piece. There is a lot of sadness, shame, and guilt surrounding rape and so I thought it was a more subtle way of expressing some of the emotions a woman feels after experiencing violence. Blue is also a colour that represents faith and healing, two things I believe are important when talking about violence against women. Although it is a sad issue I think that it is important to have faith and hope that if women stand together as one then violence against women will one day cease to exist, or at least to the severity it does today. It is also important to help women experiencing this violence to heal from the psychological effects it has on them so that they are able to move forward from their oppressive experiences.
Although the picture itself does not have any personal significance to me when I saw it it made me think about how relevant violence against women still is in this culture. Although I've never personally experienced what she has, as a girl I was able to connect with what she was saying and understand why she was coming out with her story. Her ideas inspired me to look more critically at the prevalence of violence against women in our culture and how it can be more subtle than we realize.
When reflecting on the stylistic qualities in this piece, I think I was generally successful in showing a gradient in the shades of blue. I think however that I did not commit to doing a painterly style or not and so in the piece, I can see that, because in some areas you can see the brush strokes but not in others. Next time I want to have a better idea of what painting style I am using so that I can begin the painting knowing how I am going to try and execute it instead of figuring it out as I go.
"Color Wheel Pro - See Color Theory in Action." Color Wheel Pro: Color Meaning. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Feb. 2016. http://www.color-wheel-pro.com/color-meaning.html.
"'I Live-Blogged My Rape'" Marie Claire. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Feb. 2016. http://www.marieclaire.co.uk/blogs/551474/ambertheactivist-instagram-rape.html.
By: Charlotte Arklay
The Syrian refugee crisis is a huge current social justice issue, and is very prominent in the media all over the world. I decided to compare Canada’s Prime minister, Justin Trudeau’s stance on the issue with that of Donald Trump, the Republican candidate in the United States. Trudeau thinks that it is very important to bring Syrian refugees to Canada, saying “Tonight they step off the plane as refugees. But they walk out of this terminal as permanent residents of Canada, with social insurance numbers, with health cards, and with an opportunity to become full Canadians.” On the other hand, Donald Trump is very unsupportive of the plan to bring Syrian refugees to America, saying that "this could be one of the great Trojan horses", and that they could be “ISIS”
I am very passionate about this issue, and I think it is very current. I am very interested in politics and different policies, and I think it is interesting to compare the stance of two influential people from different countries. Since Canada recently voted for Trudeau, and Trump is one of the frontrunners for the presidential election in the USA, it is a symbol of where each country is headed politically.
I wanted to choose two photos that are symmetrical, so I could contrast them with each other. I also tried to find two photos where I could clearly see the highlights and shadows, so I could incorporate them into my painting.
I decided to use black and white paints because I feel like it best represents politics. Many people assume that politics are simply black and white, however, there are many shades of grey that people may not focus on. I think it also ties into the media, because newspapers are traditionally black and white, so having my text painted over with grey mimics the style of newspapers.
I am very concerned with the issue of the Refugee crisis, and am very concerned for the future of America if Donald Trump is elected. America is a very powerful and influential country, and it would have an effect on not only Canada, but the world. As a Canadian, I think it is important for America and Canada to have a good relationship since we are neighboring countries, and this includes having similar policies.
My painting style varies throughout different sections of the piece. For Donald Trump, I used more harsh paint strokes, because this reflects his harsher stance on the Syrian refugee crisis. For Justin Trudeau, I used smoother paint strokes to reflect his more lenient and kinder stance on the issue. I think that this was successful, but in terms of technique, I think that as I kept painting, my technique improves. An example of this is on Trudeau's neck, the gradations are a lot better than other parts of the painting.
News, CBC. "Full Text of Justin Trudeau's Remarks Ahead of Refugees' Arrival." CBCnews. CBC/Radio-Canada, 11 Dec. 2015. Web. 29 Feb. 2016.
Kopan, Tal. "Donald Trump: Syrian Refugees a 'Trojan Horse'" CNN. Cable News Network, 16 Nov. 2015. Web. 29 Feb. 2016.
Saul, Heather. "Donald Trump Claims Eight Syrian Refugees Could Be ‘Isis’ and Calls for ‘big Beautiful Wall’ to Be Built." The Independent. Independent Digital News and Media, n.d. Web. 29 Feb. 2016.
Freedom from Stereotypes
By: Morgan Madonik
For my art piece, I decided to focus on the issue of discrimination towards piercings and tattoos in the workplace. Body modifications are a form of self-expression, and people should be able to do what they want. However, piercings and tattoos are shamed much more than if you were to dye or cut your hair or put on makeup, because most people find them unprofessional.
Kendra Behringer stood up for her rights and made a petition stating people with piercings and tattoos should have the right to get jobs without being discriminated against. The unfortunate part is those who commented on the articles written for her. Most people are commenting horrible things about how she is a circus freak, and her face grosses them out. They are saying that she brought this upon herself and it is her fault because she wasn’t born with piercings or tattoos, however, one could argue no one is born with the perfect haircut they receive monthly.
No one deserves to be discriminated against, and it is not nice to encourage someone to be themselves but tell them they are doing it the wrong way.
GLOBAL BEAUTY CAMPAIGN:
By: Morgan Madonik
Lip plates have been seen as a sign of social importance and wealth in the Mursi Tribe Families of daughters with large lip plates can demand more for their daughter’s dowry as they are a beauty status symbol. Lip plates were made to symbolize self-esteem, strength, and the transformation into womanhood. Most tribes will consider larger lip plates to be a traditional sign of beauty. For tribal men, lip piercings are a rite of passage and they indicate their status. In other tribes, the senior tribal men will wear lip plates going up to be 8 inches wide. Some tribes put plates in both their upper and lower lips while others just do one.
Lip plates are either inserted when a woman hits puberty, when they turn 15/16, or when they are 6-12 months away from marriage. The girl’s mother, or a kinswoman will perform the ritual where they cut a small hole into her lip and remove 2 or 4 lower teeth to make room for the plate. Wooden clay discs are inserted into the hole and once it heals the girl can insert bigger and bigger plates. The typical size is around 4 inches. The process normally takes around a year to complete, depending on the size of the woman’s desired plate. The women will make their own plates to appeal to them, and a feast is often celebrated after the first time they put a plate inside their lip.Rumors say that in the Mursi tribe girls of the ages 13-18 have the choice to start the process of adding a lip plate. Some women in tribes have been against this process because they are aware of the pain and trauma inflicted upon the removal of their front teeth. These open wounds are at risk of infection and are a large commitment from the woman participating in this ritual. -Morgan, grade 11
GLOBAL BEAUTY CAMPAIGN:
By: Sabrije Mitrovica
Iran has the highest rate of rhinoplasty in the world, four times the rate of Americans. The picture I decided to draw was one of an Iranian woman with a bandage on her nose, indicating she had just undergone nose surgery. However in Tehran, women commonly wear their “bandages of honor” for much longer than needed. This is a result of a desire to show their community that she did, in fact, have a nose procedure, as it is tied to status and a connection with Western culture. The bandage is also a symbol of family prosperity, as it demonstrates that your family can provide for you. In this culture, many believe that even if you had a small nose to begin with, there is more of an emphasis on being able to get one than the final result. Iran is a conservative country, as the hijab is mandatory. This leaves a small portion of the face to their own self-expression. This has lead many Iranian women to put more emphasis on their facial features and wanting them to be symmetrical and European looking. Societal hierarchy in this culture can be influenced by a person connection with Western Culture. A Persian plastic surgeon Dr. Benjamin Rafii explains the phenomenon "Iranians over the last 50 years have had a strong cultural relationship with Europe," he said. "Applying the European ideals of beauty”. -Sabrije Grade 11