Photography and Text by Faizah Khan, Copyright 2021
Everyday objects, as ordinary as they appear, often bear significant value for an individual. Whether it be a tired old shoe or a lively stuffed animal, the objects we hold onto serve as a symbol of the life we once lived, are living, or want to live. The ability for inanimate objects to possess qualities that reflect a piece of an individual consequently inspired this project.
All items photographed belong to college students due to location and proximity. However, this was ideal because given the limited space college students must face when moving in, they must constantly narrow down their most precious items they plan on bringing with them to campus.
Through a series of conversations, each photograph was taken to capture the heartwarming memories and worthwhile stories that these items carry. While each photograph reveals a unique story about the individual, an observer can make their own interpretations of what these stories could hold.
Photography and Text by Sharon Wang, Copyright 2021
Traveling Under the Pandemic
When we talk about traveling, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Beautiful scenery, exotic matters, fascinating culture, tasty food, and so much more. A year ago, the most unexpected and tough experience wiped over the entire human race — the COVID-19 pandemic. If the world before the pandemic was a constantly spinning wheel, one component stopped working one day, and the rest just crumbled down.
In light of the pandemic, traveling became harder and harder. Quarantine is the default when traveling from one place to another. International travel is nearly impossible. Even though the traditional way of traveling is limited, journeys still happen around us.
Usually during spring break, students will go outside of the school and have fun. This year, rather than us taking a trip to the zoo, the zoo traveled to us. Our fluffy friends comforted us with their cuteness, saving us from all the work, and healing our exhaustion quitely.
Another thing that travels is the endearment and attachment between loved ones. Because of the restriction of travel, lovers, or family members are sometimes separated. Although for international students on campus, who have been in this foriegn country for over a year all on their own, their emotions still travel to their loved ones. Even with all the restrictions because of the pandemic, love travels through words on the postcards and with packages to the people on the other end.
Time also travels. Last year, when the flowers were blooming, no one was here enjoying the blessed weather. Exactly a year later, the flowers are showing off their beauty again. Even though the world was shut down at one point, time continues, not caring about anything. After many years when I think back at college during the pandemic, I probably will not remember the problem sets that were driving me crazy, but I know I will clearly hear the husky, sensual voice of Lana Del Ray from my headphones. I look outside the French windows on the first floor of the library — the sun drizzles on the sprouts and buds; their reflections sneak into the room and hug me from behind. Everything is colored “warm” on this early spring afternoon. It is the time of the year where people wear clothes as if they were living in different seasons. It is a Saturday afternoon, one that everything is recovering. Time travels on its own, not caring anything about us. Time travels, and it heals everything.
Photography, Video and Text by Aliana Ho, Copyright 2021
Unity at the Initiative
Friday March 12th, 2021, we piled into my car and set for Vine Street. Through social media postings and online publications, we had heard about the Asian Arts Initiative’s exhibit, Unity at the Initiative. Dedicated to providing spaces and greater representation for queer and trans bodies of color, this partnering of the the two collectives involves multiple visual exhibits,pop-up indoor skate park made accessible through a Covid-safe, reservation-only system.
Upon our arrival, we were greeted by the brilliant Philly sun as we waited for someone to come and unlock the door. Stepping inside, the cool air graced our skins as our eyes adjusted to the lighting. We gazed in excitement at the skate ramps and rails, at the posters covering the walls and their beautiful artwork created by beautiful queer artists of color. After spending about an hour and a half skating, admiring the artwork, and even putting up some of the extra posters with the wheat paste method, we were told to go check out the visual installation on the backside of the building.
We collected our boards, extra posters to take home, and other belongings and wandered down the back alley, and came across the window display of the installation. Inside the window were countless posters, cans of spray paint, zines, tapestries, and an assorted clutter of other visual art pieces, illuminated by a soft yellow glow. The surrounding walls had beautiful murals, one titled “Color Me Home”, made in collaboration between the Asian Arts Initiative and the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program.
The main focus of the Asian Arts Initiative is to “create community through the power of art”. For UNITY, an Oakland, CA based organization, they focus on dismantling white supremacy by pushing for representation for queer, trans, and disabled, bodies of color in spaces like are typically dominated by white cis-men, like the skating community. In merging these two organizations and creating representative art and spaces for QTBIPOC, this installation provided a brilliant example of making changes within smaller communities to make impacts on a larger scale. Despite all the media attention these issues have been getting, especially since the shooting in Atlanta, Georgia, which happened just four days after we visited the show, does not mean that these issues did not exist before people started paying attention to them. This exhibit proves to show that conversations around accessibility, inclusion, and creating safe spaces for the most marginalized communities has and will continue to be important to creating lasting change.
About The Author: Aliana Ho is an Anthropology major, Visual Studies & Health Studie Minor student at Haverford College, Haverford, Pa. Class of 2022. To see additional articles by Aliana, click here: https://tonywardstudio.com/blog/we-thrive/
On entering Sanctuary: “Like my soul had returned to my body.
That’s how my story in sanctuary began.”
by Carmela Apolonia Hernandez, immigrant from Mexico
This timely publication, FACES OF COURAGE, highlighting the accomplishments of the New Sanctuary Movement at its 10th anniversary, coincides with the best opportunity in decades for undocumented immigrants to argue their reasons for achieving asylum.
The new guidelines, recently promulgated by the current administration, make asylum possible but not inevitable. And, at this moment, two families living in Sanctuary in Philadelphia have chosen to exit Sanctuary. New Sanctuary Movement’s effective support has given these two families the chance to give voice in their attempt to seek asylum.
*All royalties will benefit the New Sanctuary Movement
Please see the link below for more information and how to purchase the book in quality paperback or digital format.
About The Author: Anthony Colagreco is a master massage therapist and private investigator who enjoys writing poetry during his spare time. He also is an assistant and advisor to Tony Ward Studio. To access additional articles by Anthony Colagreco, click here:https://tonywardstudio.com/blog/poetry/