Who is She?
For my Drawing/Imaging final project, I created a multimedia piece, titled “Who is She?”, to comment on the lack of representation of women of color and the abundence of cultural appropriation in media.
The project was assigned in Drawing/Imaging: Language by Joseph Ayers. He left the final project to be open ended so that students could work with any medium and subject matter. The only requirement was that the project had to comment on or demonstrate a cause important to us.
Before I began my project, I sent my professor a proposal:
For my final I want to focus on the concept of underrepresentation of POC in media and also touch upon appropriation. So for my idea I want to create a physical collage out of magazines filled with white skinny people but then collage on parts of POC that white people often appropriate (such as dreads, full lips, etc) and then include like 3 actual POC. Then I’ll use illustrator to circle the POC and features from POC and on the bottom corner will be text that reads, “Who is she?”
With his approval, I began cutting up magazines, specifically the fashion ads. Even though the diversity rate in fashion ads are better than ever, finding enough WOC was still difficult so I had to cut up articles on runways. In my collage, I had intended to to represent cultural appropriation in Hollywood, however, in the magazines, I found blatant orientalism. That should’nt have been such a surprise to me as cultural appropriation is just as common in the fashion world.
After creating the collage, I photographed it and finished it on Photoshop and Illustrator.
It was challenging to create the collage because I had to be careful when layering because I wanted my composition to be engaging. When I was working on the poster in Illustrator, I realized that the composition wasn’t as I planned, but I had already glued the collage down, so I just had to work with what I had, and I’m happy with how to composition turned out.
I would like to explore the topic of women of color in media in the future because it’s a topic that has affected me growing up. Specifically, I would like to tackle the idea of cultural appropriation more specifically.