My True Self

By: Johana Aviles

This shadow box represents my own identity, and my true self. The objects in my shadow box represent my assigned identities. When people look at me,they see a young girl with black hair, is 5’1 and has brown eyes. Many people may assume that because I am  Latina I’m automatically an Immigrant. I see myself as a young female who is able to pursue anything that comes to my mind. In my shadow box I have chosen to include a wall to represent were I came from, to represent what my parents had to go through so I could be standing right here. I’ve also chosen to include clouds, they represent who I am. The clouds represent metaphors of my life, they represent how I have become. The clouds represents my life, when they are cloudy they rain, like when I am sad I cry when they sky is sunny they don’t appear at all, like when I am having a good day , and finally they are always there no matter what, even if we cant see them in some part of the world they are big and high in the sky. I’ve also chosen to include foods and snacks from my different cultures. They represent a little from where I have come from, and what my life is a little like regarding foods and snacks. On the back side I choose to put black tape and a plethora of images of my Dominant narratives. They represent what others may assume of me if they aren’t already believing these things. On the inside  I’ve also chosen to put images of myself, friends, and family. The reason that i’ve also chosen friends is that I see them as family to me because they’ve been here for me whenever we need them. Many people believe that because I am Hispanic I have to have a religious belief, which is not the case. I’ve chosen to add a cross on the inside of my box because it represents the fact that I don’t believe in any religion. While many of these objects represent the fact that I’ve had to work twice as hard as for someone else they still represent who I really am and who I choose to be.

  1. Kathleen 2 months ago

    Dear Johana,

    I am a student at San Jose State University and I enjoyed learning about your personality! I love your determination to defy the odds, and not adhere to stereotypes, which prove to me a large issue in today’s society. I love that you see yourself “as a young female who is able to pursue anything that comes to [your] mind.” I relate to our parents having to work hard to have us be standing where we are now, and that means a lot to me. Thank you for sharing your ideologies and please continue to live by your own values!

  2. Yadira 7 months ago

    Dear Johana

    You did a good job explaining how you don’t fit all the dominant narratives. I really like how you put the wall around the shadow box to represent your parents struggle. I didn’t know what the clouds represented until your explicit explaining
    Helped me understand what it was for. Overall you did great in your shadow box and u enjoyed reading what you had to say about it.

    Sincerely Yadira

  3. redifiningbeautiful 7 months ago

    Dear Johana,
    My name is Jenny and I am a student at San Jose State University and I love your art work. The meaning behind it is very beautiful. I believe that you can you anything you put your mind to and you have achieve so much in life to get to where you are! Your project really symbolizes strong women empowerment and it’s a great way to show people who you truly are on the inside rather than what they already physically see on the outside. Your description for each object display was really meaningful upon how it relates to who you are as a person. This project overall is very lovely and I’m glad you were able to share it others!


  4. Jessica 7 months ago

    Dear Johana, I absolutely love your art that you have created. Thank you for realizing that you are so much more than what people see at first glance. The symbolism of the wall is very meaningful, and I think it was a great way to demonstrate your home and your appreciation for your parents and for the opportunities America has provided. The three flags on your box are a wonderful representation of who you are, and shows that you can be proud of all your cultures. The cross was also very creative, and I am glad you don’t feel that you have to stick to a certain religion just because it may be common in your culture. Just by your shadow box, I can see that you are a very hard worker, you’re dedicated, and you believe in the empowerment of women. You will go very far in life, always believe in yourself!

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