August 9, 2022


More than makeup and flowers

My shadow box represents the dominant and counter-narrative of my identities as a Latina woman from Oakland.

I decided to make the outside of my box represent dominant and counter-narratives of my identity. I added pictures of former President Donald Trump, because of the racist/sexist thing has said. His words have affected my family and have influenced the opinions of his supporters. I also added pictures of typically “girly” things, like makeup or flowers. The dominant narrative about my women is that they’re supposed to be feminine and proper.

I decided to make the inside of my box my chosen identities and counter-narratives. I added pictures of the Mexican and American flags because I’m proud of my Mexican heritage and it’s a big part of my identity. I added an isle and a painting to symbolize the artistic things I do. I added pictures of me and my brothers because I’m so close with them.

Art helps me express who I am

My Shadow box represents the dominant and counter narrative of my identity as a Muslim, Middle Eastern, Arabic speaking woman from Yemen.

On the outside I decided to put a picture of a woman doing the housework and taking care of the kids because the dominant narrative of my gender and cultural identity is that women can’t work. This dominant narrative impacts me because my mom fits this narrative, and I don’t  want to be that narrative. I also added two  picture that shows a woman wearing a hijab and one that isn’t because the dominant narrative is that Muslim women can and can’t show their hair.

This dominant narrative impacts me because in middle school there were these people that always asked me “why do you cover your hair when other Arabic people don’t,” and I said that there were some Muslims that don’t cover their hair and some they do.

On the inside of my shadow box, I decided to put two pictures of Yemen and one picture of the Yemen flag. I put this in my shadow box because it represents the place I was born. I also included my art project because I’m an artist and it’s part of my identity and counter narrative. Art is my passion and it helps express who I am. Art is very important to my identity. When people look at me they don’t think of me as an artist. I also added a picture of me and my sister as a kid in Yemen and a hot Korean guy from a Manhwa that I read.