Search

Dark Ecology: Race, Gender & the Environment

English 252 @ Hunter College

Women’s Rights are Human Rights

IMG_1675

On March 8, 2017 I attended the women’s Strike in Washington Square Park. Knowing that we were all there for a common goal to speak on issues that affect us as women daily really inspired me want to do something more for the cause. A photographer who started a women’s series project for the month of March reached out to me about possibly sharing my story. While we were there he interviewed me to be featured in the series. At first I was a little spectacle to volunteer, I didn’t want to get judge for sharing personal feelings. After much contemplating I decided to do it because being scared of getting judge wasn’t a good excuse. It was silly for me to turn down an opportunity that would possibly impact other women in my same position. Below is my interview. It is extremely personal but I’m sharing it because I know it is an issue that many daughters and mothers faced. It’s a relevant issue for women.

 

Interview: In High School, I didn’t have many worries. I often would be hours at school because it was better than being at home. I avoided drama whenever possible because it remind me of what I was trying to escape. In high school I used to have fun, I was passionate about things and I remember always having a smile on my face and laughing all the time. When you are that young it seems like nothing can really ruin your life, until something actually does. When my father left it was life changing. And not because I was destroyed in the fact that he left. I actually wished countlessly that he would go. When your dad starts. But my mother and I didn’t have similar feelings. So when he left it destroyed her. She didn’t know how to pick up the pieces. She didn’t know how to pick herself back up again and I had to pick up the pieces. I was no longer carefree because I spent my days worrying and caring for her. It was a heavy burden to bare and it definitely took a toll on me and our relationship. She went through a deep depression and I was forced to grow up not because I wanted to but because I had to. Everything was different; I wasn’t passionate about things anymore. I think I lost myself through my mother’s pain. I wasn’t even able to deal with my own pain because I was worried about fixing hers. I was concerned with her healing; I was obsessed with her getting over it. In an odd way I thought, “If she got over it then our lives would go back to normal”. But that didn’t happen, for a long time things weren’t normal. When I was younger I was really artistic and it came natural to me, it was one of the only things I was passionate about and suddenly I just stopped, I quit making art. I put it aside for a long time because in a way I felt guilty for pursuing things that I enjoyed. My mother’s misery weighed heavy on me and giving up art was one of the hardest things I think I’ve ever had to do. I lived a lost and stressful life for a very long time. One night I broke down, I just started crying and I couldn’t stop. I think that after maybe hours of dry heaving and ugly crying I realized how unhappy I was and came to the realization that even though my mother was going through something it wasn’t my burden. So, I turned to art, I needed a way to release my pent up emotions. Eventually it helped me find my youth and myself again.

 

My advice or I guess mantra to other women would be to embrace challenges. I feel like embracing challenges made me who I am today, without them I wouldn’t have a story. I dealt with resentment towards my mother and her decisions after my father left. she often talked about taking her life away and is was painful to hear because I had this image and expectation of her. I wanted her to be strong and courageous but she wasn’t. I realized I had to be those things for the both of us. what i’m getting at is that many of us like to judge other women and put them down because they aren’t the “ideal” woman. I was guilty of it, but this only creates barriers between us when we should be untied rather than out casting other women for choices that you don’t agree with, why not lend an ear, a hand, a hug, why not help? why not embrace your challenges and understand theirs?

 

 

Lets no longer be lost?

For a feminist art show on April 22nd entitled “Treat Yo Self”, in which the purpose of the art show was to empower women through art and to create a platform for women to express their individuality. Many female artist made up a collective to show off their artistic talents and passions. I created two works of art that were displayed for exhibition. Along with the art works I created poems that represented by influence behind the process of those pieces.

Both works of art are centered on the theme of oppression within a relationship. I try to convey the consequences that come from women not controlling their own roles in a relationship. when women allow the male in the partnership the permission to govern over their lives we lose our sense of self. Even though there might seem to be times of peace and affection, these act of control go on for a long span of time. Often women lose their identities and ability to think for themselves as well as the freedom to show up as a person in the relationship.

FullSizeRender (3)

“Drowning”

She found herself hopelessly anchored in love

Weighed down by cosmic kisses beneath salty foamed galaxies

In a celestial darkness, drowning, sinking, uprooted.

Left disturbed where she landed, fading.

Her rusty arms dangled, swaying above her casting shadows onto her as she immersed into the depths of this static earth bound sky,

Flooded by lucid dreams and a sea of stars

One swift breathe in,

She saw the light.

FullSizeRender

“Castaway lovers”

Helpless, hopeless at the edge of a waterfall

Afraid of what may lie at the bottom

Shattered pieces everywhere

As I drift closer to our end

End this I tell him

End it

Incapable of escape

Utterly impossible to avoid

Seduce me so I’ll never have to leave

Engross my thoughts

Ignore the fact I am falling

Falling for him?

Drowning

Crashing through to the center of the world.

You black hole

Dismantling my walls

Has me by my heartstrings

I’ll do anything to take back control

Fear of losing myself

Hoping to be rescued from myself

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/snow-white-doesnt-live-here-anymore/201106/why-do-women-still-feel-oppressed

http://www.emerson.edu/news…/israeli-playwright-explore-role-arts-social-change-emerson

Love Beyond Outsiders

Human rights group, Amnesty International Japan, recently released a proposal to the Japanese government earlier this month on measures that they must take to tackle discrimination against those in the LGBT group. The contents covered a range of situations from discrimination in workplaces to when natural disasters hit.

Continue reading “Love Beyond Outsiders”

“Hanging out with Shakespeare at Central Park.”

http://www.shakespeareonthesound.org

Fun things you can do this summer at Central Park IMG_1450

 

 

 

During the semester we have went on many field trips as a class. My favorite was the “Frick Collection,” but my second favorite was taking a stroll through central park to see the statue of Shakespeare. I found this really exciting because we were ending The tempest and starting to read Prospero’s Daughter so it was interesting to discuss the comparisons and differences in each book as we view the statue, asking ourselves “I wish we can ask Shakespeare some questions about The Tempest,” (I know I was thinking about that).

Its interesting to realize that although Shakespeare’s writing can often come by as confusing and sometimes dense, but once you grasp his writing your able to appreciate the text a little bit better and are able to generate ideas as to why he wrote a play like this, or why he made certain characters the way that he did. After reading The Tempest twice I have a different concept the second time around then I did the first time I read this play. I have appreciated this play this time around and I enjoyed it a lot more in English 252.

Shakespeare was a great writer and his words made you think outside of the box. Shakespeare wanted his readers to “close read” “close look” and most importantly “close listen” it is because of Shakespeare that I have enjoyed reading a little more than I did before.

In Central Park, we were also allowed to explore the park and the beauty in the park. The trees, the flowers blossoming it was very peaceful. Nature also played a role in this trip because it was out doors so we were able to explore the park and other statues and gain knowledge on other parts of the park, but it was really a great experience for our class and I’m glad we were able to explore that all together.

Continue reading ““Hanging out with Shakespeare at Central Park.””

Power!

Playlist for the book Prospero’s Daughter.

  • Monster by Rihanna and Eminem

This song is relevant to Carlos and Caliban because they have Prospero’s voice stuck in their head.

Monster Link

  • Power Of the Empire – Empire cast

This song is relevant to Dr. Gardner because he seeks power.

Empire Link

  • Prisoner By Weekend feat. Lana Del Ray

This song is relevant to Carlos and Virginia love.

Prisoner Link

  • UnKiss me By Maroon 5

This song is relevant to Arianna and how she felt.

UnKiss Me Link

  • Wicked Ways By Eminem

This song is relevant to Dr. Gardner and how he used wicked ways to become powerful

Wicked Ways Link

  • Won’t Back Down By Eminem feat Pink

This song is relevant to Carlos as he fought for is right.

Won’t Back Down

  • Yes By Demi Lovato

This song is relevant to Carlos’s Mom.

Yes

  • You’re So Beautiful by Empire Cast

This song is relatable to how Carlos’s dad saw his wife beautiful.

You’re So Beautiful

  • Worthy By Jeremih feat. Jhene` Aiko

This song is relatable to Virginia and how she felt.

Worthy

  • Where Are U Now By Diplo and Justin Bieber and Skrillex

This song could be relatable to how Carlos and Arianna feel when they think of Arianna’s mother.

Where Are U Now

  • What is love By Empire Cast

This song could be representing how Carlos felt when he Arianna was meeting a suitor.

What is Love

  • Not Afraid By Eminem

This song is relatable to Inspector Mumford and Carlos. Its representing how Carlos took his stand and wanted Mumford to join him.

Not Afraid

  • No Pressure By Justin Bieber

This song is relatable to how the Fisherman felt about Arianna.

No Pressure

Links:

All links to songs are added under the songs.

Citation of Prospero’s Daughter

  • Nunez, Elizabeth. Prospero’s Daughter: A Novel. New York: Ballantine Books, 2006. Print.

Rappaccini in Court

The court is crowded with people who are impatiently waiting for the deliberation. The defendant, Doctor Giacomo Rappaccini, is staring into the space with hollowness in his eyes and is waiting for the judge to continue. The judge is staring at the defendant but is speaking to the Defense Attorney.

Judge:

Today after a long journey of a year this court has seen both sides of the case and now before the jury is sent for deliberation, is there anything you must say Mr. Rob in defense of Mr. Rappaccini?

Defense Attorney:

Yes your Honor, I do.

Judge:

Well Mr. Rob the floor is yours.

Defense Attorney:

Thank you, your honor. Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen of the jury and people of Padua. Today we have gathered here for a case so unique that people of Padua and the media has called it the case of the century. For the past year, we have seen the media turn this case into a typical news story for which this case has gained a lot of fame. However, we have seen the media version of this case but we have not seen the facts, but I am not here today to fight the people nor the media. I am here today, to ask a question and ask you all to not only hear me but to listen to me. I want you to listen to the questions I am about to ask of you and think of an honest reply and answer yourself and see a side of this case that the media nor the prosecutor has presented. Ladies and Gentlemen, I want to reintroduce you to Dr. Giacomo Rappaccini, not the man that the media or the prosecutor has presented, but to a scientist, who once was a superhero to his daughter, but now has become a grieving father. You may call him Dr. Rappaccini, Giacomo, or even Gia but you may not call him a criminal, at least not until you have heard Rappaccini’s side of the story or until he is proven guilty. The question I want to ask you is, have you ever done something with the best interest at heart, but when somehow something goes wrong, you get punished for helping? Or have you ever dreamed of saving people by creating a cure to all diseases and poison known to mankind? If you have, then you might have experienced what Rappaccini had, which is passion. Passion and desire is needed to change the world. However, not only did Rappaccini dream of a cure, he had dared to act upon that dream. Rappaccini is a scientist who envisioned a world with a cure to every disease. He tried to save the world through his work and like any ambitious man, he had to make sacrifices. As a scientist, he had to sacrifice his social and personal life just so he could save others, just so that no one else would have to experience the loss of a significant other, or a child being raised without a parent. Imagine having to live in constant fear of someone you love being forced to leave you by a serial killer called nature. So to ensure your only child is not a victim of this killer, you raise her in a way that no disease will be able to harm her. Now imagine being accused of murder just because you wanted your daughter to be protected against a nondiscriminatory murderer? Not only did Rappaccini try to save his daughter but he also had choosen to use this situation to benefit the society as well. If the treatment works, it could become a cure. However, as she will be undertreatment, she will be sacrificing her chance at a normal life. However as a father, Rappaccini had found a solution and that solution was called Giovanni. Earlier on, we have heard the prosecutor stating, “Rappaccini should be put on the chair for a heinous crime of murder.” What I would like to ask is why Rappaccini? On what basis is the prosecutor claiming murder, when all of the evidence is stating that Rappaccini is the victim in this case. The only crime, if you must say, Dr. Rappaccini has committed, was hoping that his daughter will not be alone for the rest of her life like he was. The crime he committed was to want a better future for his daughter and let her love. He was a selfish father who wanted a normal life for his daughter so by letting Giovanni close to his daughter, he was ensuring normality. Even though her life was far from what would be considered normal, he still tried.  He had sacrificed his daughter, not only for himself, but to make this world a better place. He had done it to help and increase the speed of science and did something only a true scientist would do, sacrifice the one thing they loved the most. Now you must be wondering why Rappaccini was put on trial if he had not committed a crime? Well people of the jury, it is simple. It is because this is a typical case of stereotyping. She had labeled him something that he was not. The prosecutor has assumed as stated, “Rappaccini is a heartless scientist.” Why has that been stated? Because in reality Rappaccini loved his daughter more than anything. He might have lost his wife but not his heart, as being a single father, he had to be the mother and the father to his little girl. After knowing this is it believable that a person who has to raise a child as both parents can be heartless? No, because a heartless person will not be able to fulfil the role of both parents. So why was he called heartless? Maybe because he was ambitious. People of Padua, I am asking of you to stop for a moment and look through Rappaccini’s eye and see, to help science progress, he has not gained anything. In fact, he has faced many losses and has lost his daughter. The only criminal in this case is Giovanni as he was the one who promised her love and a normal life and then snatched the dream away heartlessly. Not only did he murder her dreams but had murdered her, literally. He had given her poison and promised her it was a “cure.”

A sob is heard from Rappaccini as Rob continues*

People of the jury, I am asking of you to look at the case and its facts, as the fact is that Giovanni has taken a child from a father. So the person on trial should not be Rappaccini, but instead should be Giovanni. Before I finish today, I want to ask of you to look at this grieving father and not to pity him but think of the pain the murderer had inflicted on him.  The pain he is going through just because he wanted his daughter to have a normal life and because of his desire to change the world. So ladies and gentlemen of the jury I hope you have heard the facts now and will decide in favor of justice. I rest my case.

Silence prevails in the courtroom and the Defendant is seen crying but in silence.

 

Work Citied:

  • Hawthorne, Nathaniel, and Simon Schama. Rappaccini’s Daughter. London: Hesperus Press, 2003. Print.

http://www.columbia.edu/itc/english/f1124y-001/resources/Rappaccinis_Daughter.pdf

Set in Supreme Court of Padua similar to USA court:

Trip to the Botanical Gardens (Blog Post #3)

It’s finals week for CUNY students. People are burning their candles late into the night, just to finish the third paper due, just to study a little more for their exam tomorrow. Anxiety rises among students quickly, causing nerves and emotions to fray easily.

These kids need a break. So, we went to the Botanical Gardens in the Bronx!

Upon entering the Mertz Library, we were treated to several, well-preserved works from multiple points in history that stuck to the theme of Dark Ecology, most specifically nature. My favorite book here was the one French work where the characters were humanized flowers — each “specimen” was made into a woman in a dress that fit the image of the flower itself; if I were a fashion enthusiast, I would have definitely used that book for inspiration. The work entitled Sea and Land was comprised of stories and descriptions of monsters and flora from the prehistoric era to the then-modern times of approximately 18th or 19th century. These accounts would be of great help to someone like me, with the almost storybook and fantastical-style of recounting this book had.

The Botanical Gardens were absolutely awe-inspiring and filled with plants I had never truly seen in person. It brought upon a weird feeling of being lost, even though I knew exactly where I was. I felt absolutely relieved of the stress finals was pressing onto us at that time.

I’m absolutely returning to the Gardens at some point this summer.

The New York Botanical Gardens

The Botanical Gardens were extraordinary. It was an intimate class experience with a small group of five and we started the day off at the Mertz library. At the library we were able to examine some rare texts including one which was about (praising?) Carolus Linnaeus who created the system by which plants are identified and named according to the sexual components of the plants. The book contained hand-painted plates and florid poetry—the production of the texts lead to the financial ruin of the man who published them (they were great!). There was even a book about a man-eating plant named Elizabite which was written by the same guy who made the Curious George series. The book about Elizabite was the basis for Little Shop of Horrors.

The gardens were also having a display of beautiful contemporary glasswork by an artist named Chihuly, which was an interesting contrast to the old texts we viewed. The sculptures complimented the plants so well and they were littered all over the conservatory—the area in which there were multiple artificial environments (rainforest, more rainforest, more rainforest, and desert).

In the gardens there were so many interesting plants. There were cute little Venus fly-traps and pitcher plants, a palm tree covered in spikes of all sizes, and a turkey oak. It’s amazing to look at these plants and to think of a time when New York was covered in forests. Taking the D-train uptown (despite the crowding) was such a worthwhile experience because it allowed me to feel a little closer to nature and history itself. The gardens are so beautiful and have such a rich history that it’s truly a transcendent experience.

18579188_1710660025618753_843775961_n

18600616_1710501175634638_1683987689_n18601210_1710500415634714_1951429687_n

Botanical Garden

It was an amazing experience to explore the Mertz library and to go into the special collection they have with rare and ancient books. It was like going back in time looking at these books and the amazing condition they were in especially the color. One of the books we saw that I think we found pretty amusing was the little pamphlet for women, called Burnett’s floral handbook and Ladies calendar from the year 1869 that tells them the meaning of whatever flowers they received. Unfortunately I didn’t get a picture of the inside of the book but it’s amazing to see how many things were made especially for women but not in the sense for educational purposes. ladiescalenderfloral

We saw this other book called Le fleurs animées which shows mostly females, as flowers and their names resembled flowers as well. They were all made very beautifully and so fragile as well.

28317_3

It was a great experience over all and I’m so happy I went because it isn’t something I would’ve normally figured out how to do on my own time.

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑