My character will be an extension of myself. I will push her to say things that I might not say myself. I will make statements that I don’t necessarily agree with. I will question everything. I will not let anyone off the hook. Because this is what it will take to make change. Accountability. Which this country has not seen since conception.

I’ve decided to take on college as a project. My college career will be comprised of small projects that are interconnected in many ways. As of now, I am studying Indigenous knowledge systems and research methodologies, media theory around social change movements, ethics of the necessity to give aid, and general film history. All of these are things that will contribute to my project that is college and my pursuit of education.

In my Intro to Ethics class at Pomona, I had to argue on whether or not it was morally permissible to spend money on a Pomona education if a UC Santa Cruz education is half the price and I have the opportunity to attend either one. I discussed how the remaining money by attending UCSC could be used to help people who are dying and suffering due to lack of food and medical care instead of the Pomona education, and if they were of comparable moral importance. This essay was based off of Peter Singer’s article “Famine, Affluence, and Morality” and extensive conversations in class. When I had to form an objection to the premise I explained above, my Professor called into question my own consumerism and why I think it is valid that I have inessential goods in my life. It was more than an objection to a philosopher simply for the sake of writing the paper, or even for the sake of understanding the class, it was diving directly into my own system of beliefs. This essay forced me to think about and begin to define and support my ideas and opinions into solid beliefs that could contribute to a moral framework of some sort.

My Intro to Film class is giving me a general background in film history and exposing me to film theory and analysis as well as films themselves. I am learning fundamentals that I am interested in, even though they are not incredibly action based. I realize that I need them in order to understand and really be able to pursue media arts.

Media and Social Change is giving me the theory and history of social change movements that use media as a main platform for change; it is giving me the tools to develop my own voice and platform as an activist. I am doing a deep study in character development for a character that I will become. We are experimenting with manifesto style writing and developing projects around which we are constructing our manifestos.

So I am now challenging myself to develop my voice on the ethernets. I must tap into another part of myself to develop the character I will turn into when I go to work as a full time activist. But what does this persona entail? It has to be controversial, someone who is provocative. I am inclined to believe this character should be big and loud and get in peoples faces. But I realize that I am not that kind of person. I’ll get in people’s faces, but not usually by being loud or big – that is, unless I have to. I need to be strategic about the character I become, and it has to be someone I will enjoy being (to an extent), because if I don’t enjoy being her I simply won’t.

My character will be an extension of myself. I will push her to say things that I might not say myself. I will make statements that I don’t necessarily agree with. I will question everything. I will not let anyone off the hook. Because this is what it will take to make change. Accountability. Which this country has not seen since conception.

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2 responses »

  1. Wow this sounds pretty incredible. But how much is it a performance and how much will it be authentic expression? When will you start and will the project have an end point? Do you worry about “breaking character”?

    • gennabear says:

      Those are all very good questions. I know the answer to none of them, but I can start figuring it out right here.
      Although I am just beginning college, I already think I have figured out a lot about myself. I think I will use this persona for a long time on many projects. The character will change just as my personality changes.
      As for this project’s dates, the project I am working on right now is an ongoing relationship with Sherman Indian High School. The phone drive I am conducting is one event within the larger project of Indigitize. And hopefully, once we put this in place, it can be something that is done often or continuously.
      Performance versus authenticity… I’m really not sure. I think I’ll write on it more. I’m tempted to say that it can be a performance. My main goal with this character is to raise awareness of the topic I am addressing. At this point, I will be writing a manifesto in some way related to Indigenous youth and media.
      The character is close enough to myself that I don’t think breaking character will be a problem. I expect there to be a bit of fluidity between the two of us, as we have similar ideas.
      Thanks for these questions, I’ll continue to think about them.
      Do you have any thought on the character?

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