Artist statement

By: Alison Folgar

When people look at me they see right through me. All these people have this dominant narrative written on me way before they even know my name.  A dominant narrative is something that a group of people believe is true about you before they have even met you.  I start off by introducing myself “ hi, my name is Alison”. This name gave me my assigned identity. And before you ask, no I am not White, I’m actually full on Guatemalan. These assigned identities impact me a lot in what I value and how my gender identity is shown. In my shadow box I have quotes all around the outside, defining my openness, quotes that describe me as a woman, and some more objects that just help me be positive. Inside my shadow box, I have a few pictures that just bring out the warm feeling of home, laughter and love. I show off how important Guatemala is for me because I show off the pila which is a big sink with 3 holes to do whatever you need to do . These are the counter narratives that I show in my shadow box. I show what I believe what I value. I show off who I am and who or what I identity as.


CC BY-SA 4.0 Alison ‘s Shadow box – Artist statement by Alison is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

  1. Kevin 3 months ago

    Dear Alison,

    A lot of people do have prejudice within a person when they meet you, that’s how life works, due to our society being judgemental and in an area where it’s very diverse, people have certain stereotypes within a culture, would you agree that it’s because of the community we live in people have bias stereotypes? I’m asian but people assume I’m Chinese, but I’m actually Vietnamese, why do people assume from the outside rather than asking? The shadow box of your values is really important especially towards yourself, to value your culture is meaningful and shows how important you truly care about Guatemala and how it’s sentimental to you, what do you value the most in your culture specifically? Thanks for the post, it’s really interesting, I hope to read from your next future post, keep up the good work 😉

  2. Kevin 3 months ago

    Dear Ali-Son,

    I think it is very brave of you to share your story for the rest of the world to see. To share your story that might be impacting others. But I don’t think you should say All/Everyone are you saying everyone in the entire would would judge you when they meet you? I suggest saying majority, otherwise it would be like saying everyone is oppressing you. Are you reaffirmed of your identity by doing this project or did you already have a sense of who you were before the project? You talk a lot about counter narratives and dominant narratives, so how do you think you would be able to change that? Can you do anything to start change? I will be happily waiting for your response 🙂


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Youth Voices is organized by teachers at local sites of the National Writing Project and in partnership with Educator Innovator.

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