Research Mentor(s)

S'eiltin, Tanis

Description

"Family Portrait: Insert Here" by Josie Szankiewicz (Photograph printed with graphite pencil drawings, white pencil, acrylic paint on watercolor paper) I have gazed deeply into every face of the individuals photographed in this family portrait of the Szankiewicz family. This photograph was most likely taken in 1923 in New York, shortly after the family’s immigration from Poland. Though I will never know much of the stories of each of these individuals, I have constantly felt the pull to delve into the mystery of my family’s history. Although I feel a clashing of cultural identities, due to my Japanese-American identity and Polish-Jewish identity, I begin to enlighten my family’s history through the short annotations I provide surrounding each of the individuals within the photograph. The immigration officers at Ellis Island wiped the slate of lineage once my family crossed over into America. Neither of my great-grandparents spoke English. My grandfather, who is not pictured, was put into an orphanage shortly after the death of his mother, at the age of two. I ponder whether this family would accept me. I am not the same as they are, but we both face the issue of starting to figure out our position within this westernized society that we live in: America. If they did ever meet my grandmother Hideko, would they have shunned her, forbid her to live a life with my grandfather? Would I just be a mere object of the alienation between the two cultures of my lineage? I sit in with my family in this family portrait as I take with me the representation of my Japanese cultural identity through the wear of my grandmother’s garments.

Document Type

Event

Start Date

18-5-2020 12:00 AM

End Date

22-5-2020 12:00 AM

Department

Critical Art Pedagogy

Genre/Form

student projects, posters

Type

Image

Keywords

Multi-cultural and racial identity exploration and expression through art, Photograph printed with graphite pencil drawings, white pencil, acrylic paint on watercolor paper

Rights

Copying of this document in whole or in part is allowable only for scholarly purposes. It is understood, however, that any copying or publication of this document for commercial purposes, or for financial gain, shall not be allowed without the author’s written permission.

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

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May 18th, 12:00 AM May 22nd, 12:00 AM

"Family Portrait: Insert Here"An artistic multi-media manipulation of familial cultural and racial identity exploration as a multiracial student.

"Family Portrait: Insert Here" by Josie Szankiewicz (Photograph printed with graphite pencil drawings, white pencil, acrylic paint on watercolor paper) I have gazed deeply into every face of the individuals photographed in this family portrait of the Szankiewicz family. This photograph was most likely taken in 1923 in New York, shortly after the family’s immigration from Poland. Though I will never know much of the stories of each of these individuals, I have constantly felt the pull to delve into the mystery of my family’s history. Although I feel a clashing of cultural identities, due to my Japanese-American identity and Polish-Jewish identity, I begin to enlighten my family’s history through the short annotations I provide surrounding each of the individuals within the photograph. The immigration officers at Ellis Island wiped the slate of lineage once my family crossed over into America. Neither of my great-grandparents spoke English. My grandfather, who is not pictured, was put into an orphanage shortly after the death of his mother, at the age of two. I ponder whether this family would accept me. I am not the same as they are, but we both face the issue of starting to figure out our position within this westernized society that we live in: America. If they did ever meet my grandmother Hideko, would they have shunned her, forbid her to live a life with my grandfather? Would I just be a mere object of the alienation between the two cultures of my lineage? I sit in with my family in this family portrait as I take with me the representation of my Japanese cultural identity through the wear of my grandmother’s garments.

 

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