I always passively noticed the blue signs around Pitzer’s campus and found myself curious every time I saw them due to their uniqueness. I always wondered what they meant or represented but never really took the time to discovery more about them. Through a bit of research, I discovered that Edgar Heap of Bird’s installation is beautiful and powerful in so many ways beyond what meets the eye. Not only does it force the viewer to understand our history more fully but it also allows for reflection and growth. Many are unaware of just how many people were forced out of their sacred homes or really take the time to acknowledge the loss faced by Native American communities who once used to call this place home.
In self reflection, I feel regretful and almost embarrassed by my privileged ability to walk about campus and not really have to think about these atrocities. Not only do I not have to think about it but I also didn’t even really know about it which concerns me because it reveals just how uneducated a person can be on the place they spend my every waking moment for much of the year. Oblivion is such a privilege that frustrates me and I want to be more aware of my surroundings. I am glad for this assignment because now I am aware of my privilege and I also know just how powerful and complex the message behind these seemingly simple signs is. I am also grateful to Pitzer and the artist for challenging us and representing such a progressive attitude. In order to heal the past, we have to face it, deal with it, learn from it, and hopefully move toward a less violent and more positive future.