May 16, 2022


My True Self


By: Aida pablo

The objects in this shadow box represent my true self and my counter narrative and the objects outside represent Dominant Narratives. When people look at me they think that I  am a weak girl because of my gender and that I do not put in a lot of effort in my classes, I have low grades, do drugs, that I am dum, and that I am a depressed person since the 8th grade. I included some significant objects in my shadow box which represent my counter narratives in my life. One of them is a rosary beads adding on I also have a key chain of the virgin and jesus to represent that my parents are so into the religion. I also have an object which shows how Guatemala i important and included a handmade wallet from Guatemala from my grandmother and these represent ethnicityI also used a picture of me when I was a little girl this picture represents me that I am always so happy and that I am never depressed and that shows how people are always assuming that I am always depressed in life. I also have photos of an ultrasound which represent that I am going to be the second oldest. My name means happy, returning, helper, and distinguished. Well I put my name in my shadow box because I like my name and the meaning it was also a unique name which not that many people have. I also have a drawing of a rose which represent that I love drawing I also have a bracelet which represent that I love being creative. The flowers and the color inside my shadow box represents that I am free and an outgoing person in life. Many people assume that I am dum weak worthless useless just because of my race and who I am in life. That is the counter narratives that I hope I represent in my shadow box.

Countering Assumptions

This Shadow Box represents my Counter Narratives. When people look at me, they see a young male that looks comforting in the places he goes because of  how he smiles. This is connected to me and are my assigned Identities. I see myself as a young, hard working male that loves to do many activities such as hiking, rock climbing, swimming, exploring, and bike riding. I chose to include all the items that I discussed because it explains a large amount about my Chosen Identities and because I love participating in these activities. All this is important to me because people can see my life inside that shadow box and the activities that I do. From the inside, I added all the important objects about me which are Counter Narratives, while the Dominant Narratives are on the outside which shows about people’s assumptions about us Mexican people. Although I have many struggles in my life, I find a way to solve them, and this is one way. Welcome to my shadow box.

Shadow Box Artist Statement

My Shadow Box represents the real me and topics about me that no one notices or knows. When people look at me they only see a teenage girl that looks happy and ok nothing to deal with but I actually have many problems that come along with me. My shadow box might not tell everything about my chosen or assigned identities but the ones I feel a little more comfortable sharing with others because I want people to know that it isn’t always an easy time for me. People can judge on how you look but doesn’t know the reality of a person or their life.

Maribel’s shadow box

The two main identities that represent my shadow box are being Mexican and being a Female. I choose to put these two identities in my shadow box because in both identities there is a lot of counter and dominant narratives. I say this because in the past and not much in these days their has existed sexism. Also in the USA a lot of people are Racist to Mexican people and talking crab. Additionally the items that I’m going to mention the most important / significant  items in my box the Mexico Flag , La Virgen de Guadalupe , Mexican pesos , The female gender symbol. I say that these items are important for me and also for other people because each has a different important story. In Mexico La virgen de Guadalupe is very important because she is part of our culture / religion and over their we celebrate her and she also has her own day. To finalyzed I also put the gender symbol because I identify as a female and I’m proud to say it.

Shadow Box

By: Jose Cordova

The objects in this Shadow Box represents myself as a human. When people look at me they think that I’m Mexican but I’m not or people see me as a young boy with black hair and brown eyes. While my Chosen identity is to love sports and love my country to work hard, to love sports, I like to play video games. I choose to include in my shadow box those are my favorite subjects to do when I ́m not doing anything at home. My including subjects that I put in my shadow box I put a Barcelona logo also some baby pictures when I was a little kid what I like and what represents me as an Oakland kid and this explain my chosen Identity. That’s how I want people to look at me. I choose to put a Counter and Dominant Narrative are on the outside and on the inside there is the counter narrative. Although there are many strugles im still going to be successful by just being me.

Roberto shadow box

The objects in this Shadow Box represent Dominant Narratives. When people see me they see a drug dealer, alcoholic, and fugitive. While these Dominant Narratives may be seen everywhere on people It’s not true. I chose these objects in my Shadow box because It represents all of my Counter Narratives of who I am. My Skateboard, Legos, and Pokemon card says that I am very unique person. My Race is Mexican/American which means that I’m a bilingual person.  Some Dominant narratives people see me as is that I could have more power than others. My gender identity is a male which people see that males have more amount of power than a woman. Many people see that my skin is White which in their perspective they believe that White people have more power and money than others. Many of these objects represent some of my struggles but also growth and these are some counter narratives I would share in my Shadow box.

My Life Shadow Box

By: Angel Gutierrez Solorio

The objects in my Shadow Box represent my faithful self, my counter narratives. When people look at me they see a cool young man with dark hair and brown eyes. While these assigned identities are true they do not tell my true personal story. I included crucial objects in my Shadow Box to represent counter narratives of each of my important parts of my self identity. I included my toy cars, Rubik’s cube, Legos, Money, food, and finally extraordinary grades to show that I’m educated, and proud to be part of the Mexican Ethnicity and American Nationality. Our president brainwashes people to think Oaklanders and Mexicans sell drugs and guns so he can give the power to the upper class. For me, identifying and expressing myself as a Mexican American makes me feel empowered, liberated, and fearless to overcome the oppression I’m going to face in the future. It was also significant to include objects that represent my dominant narratives. These objects represent what people assume about me my Race, Ethnicity, and Nationality. Just because I’m a colored Hispanic people believe I have imperfect grades or that I don’t belong in America which is wrong because I’m a American Citizen who does care about education. Since I’m Mexican and from Oakland people believe I’m a dangerous criminal who like to sell drugs and kill people. Even though there have been tough times in my family involving criminals my predecessors have always tried their best so I wouldn’t end up on the streets, killing, and going to jail. While many of these objects represent my struggle, they also represent my strength, and most importantly my life.

My Shadow Box

By: Jose Cordova

The objects in this Shadow Box represents myself as a human. When people look at me they think that I’m Mexican but I’m not or people see me as a young boy with black hair and brown eyes. While my Chosen identity is to love sports and love my country to work hard, to love sports, I like to play video games. I choose to include in my shadow box those are my favorite subjects to do when I ́m not doing anything at home. My including subjects that I put in my shadow box I put a Barcelona logo also some baby pictures when I was a little kid what I like and what represents me as an Oakland kid and this explain my chosen Identity. That’s how I want people to look at me. I choose to put a Counter and Dominant Narrative are on the outside and on the inside there is the counter narrative. Although there are many strugles im still going to be successful by just being me.

emily shadow box

Story of me 

By:Emily Rangel

 The objects in this shadow box represent who I truly am; my counter narrative. When people look at me, they see a short, brown skin girl with black hair. Many people assume that I don’t like studying or always skip school. But actually I see myself as a cisgender young woman, with educational talent; I am a diligent girl. My religion, being Catholic, is a great part of who I am, it represents me and makes me be a better person. I have chosen to include the Mexican flag because I am proud of being Chicana it makes me feel strong. I was born in the United States but I don’t really feel proud of it, especially with our president now. This is why you can’t see an American flag in my box. All of this is my counter narrative of what people believe or say about me. 

Fighting Against Dominant Narratives

By: Jesus Ramirez

The objects inside of this box show who I am and my counter narrative. When people see me, they think of a Mexican kid who probably does a lot of negative actions and gets in trouble. I am the opposite, I love to respect others if they respect me. I love art and I just love to look different compared to other people. I chose the colors purple and black because I feel like those two colors are really weird. They represent how different I am. I chose pictures of me as a smaller kid because I wanted people to know what it was like to grow up as a male. I had a really good childhood, I loved being male and I felt comfortable in my body. I chose the art supplies because I am an artist. I have always loved art with all of my heart, it had taken up most of my childhood. From drawing little doodles to drawing very good landscapes. I also have loved music since I was a kid. I have worked in the music industry as a small producer, I tried to make a small studio with a laptop computer to show how I made music using only a usb connected keyboard and a microphone. And finally I chose Mexican ornaments because I am a Mexican and I love my culture. So using the ornaments, I was able to really show that I know what it is like to be a Mexican.

The Real Me

My shadow box represents my identities. One identity is chosen by me: being  a scholar. Me, being a scholar, brings up multiple thoughts to the mind, such as knowing everything and not having a problem with school. This is far from the truth, and I as everyone else, who has gone through school, have struggled and obviously I am not perfect. My assigned identities represented in my box are my ethnicity Latino and my gender and sex being male. I did not have a choice over these and they are heavily stereotyped. The inside of my box goes against the outside pictures. Being male causes unwanted power and being Latino causes unwanted oppression; This plays into the idea of intersectionality. I always want to remember my roots, where I came from, and how I don’t ever want to fall into society’s negative stereotypical view of me.

Flowers Inside

This Shadow Box represents my country, what do people wear in Guatemala and my race. When people look at me, they see a young woman and they see what kind of clothes we wear in Guatemala.

My assigned identity is we use different clothes and different kinds of shoes. We use the huipil blouse, luxury handmade girdles made with chaquira.  My people assume that I am Guatemala.

I see myself as a young woman that represents my country that people with different kinds of clothes the clothes different color. we can put flowers inside the huipil blouse or other things that people can put inside.

People may believe that I am a Latina person. All people are very different and different colors of the people and races.

Shadow Box

Did you know that my chosen Identities are being male and that is true because I identify as a Male. An assigned Identity of mine is being Mexican because of my family. When I was smaller I never knew what being a Male or Female really meant, so my understanding of that is that I didn’t pay attention to what happened to Females from past events (Not being able to have a job, vote, etc). Also how being Mexican is not at the same power level as White people, yet we still do much more than them. So my childhood wasn’t exactly simple but i’m excited to say i’m proud for being me. Based on my life experiences I  say my life has been impacted by these Identities. 

Ivan’s Shadowbox

By: Ivan Guerrero

This shadow box represents how people view me on the outside and how I really am on the inside. The objects in this shadow box represent my true self. When people see me they think of me of a person who can potentially be dangerous or someone who is up to no good, that’s what people assume of me because of my race, or my assigned identity, which is being an immigrant/Mexican. But that is not the full part of me. The Mexican flag and the virgin mary that I put inside my box represent my chosen and somewhat assigned identity because I chose to believe in god and his mother but I also had the choice not to believe in that. But I did not choose to be Mexican even though I didn’t choose, I like to represent myself as a latino/Mexican because now I know how strong we can be. As an immigrant im often told by others that I should go back to my country and that this place would be better without us. I have noticed that many people expect more on Male bodied people and since my gender identity is male, I am expected to behave in a certain way at school. Me and other male people also are expected to get a good job to maintain the woman we will have one day. That’s just how our society/nationalities expect us to grow up. But I think that all women can take care of themselves and I know, and they know that they don’t need someone to rely on. The counter narrative that i hope to represent with this shadow box is that not all Mexicans are how Trump described us to be. And that any Male and Female person can be themselves and not have to grow up how our society is expecting us to grow, and that we all have a choice of who we want become.

Sugeiry’s Shadow box

The items in my shadow box represent the counter narratives of my assigned and chosen identities. Some of the items that I chose to include in my shadow box include pictures of my family, a bi flag, a little pot with beans and legos. The pictures of my family and the pot represent me being Mexican. I decided to mostly put a lot of little objects that represent me being Mexican because it’s an identity that I am really proud to have; especially at this moment in time, where we have a really racist president. Some people may feel ashamed of who they are because he is able to make them feel like they aren’t welcome here and that their sacrifices and efforts to be here mean nothing. But I’m not ashamed at all. My parents made many sacrifices and put in a lot of effort to get me to where I am today and I’m extremely grateful for that. No one should ever feel ashamed for wanting a better life for their family. I included a bi flag because it represents my sexuality which is being bisexual. it’s an identity that I’ve struggled with for a while because I would always think that I was disgusting for liking girls. I’ve always had the mindset that liking the opposite gender was disgusting from a young age because of the dominant narratives that people from the LGBTQ+ community would burn in hell and that they should die. But now that I know that there is nothing wrong with liking the opposite gender I’m not ashamed of who I like. The legos represent my childish side. Being childish makes people think that I can’t be serious about anything when I can. Some people think I’m weird for being childish at this age but being childish is what keeps me happy. By putting legos it shows that I don’t care about what other people think about me and that I’ll keep being myself.

Josue’s shadow box

by Josue Mendoza This shadow box represents the dominant narrative and the counter narrative of being male and Mexican. So on the inside it is showing The counter narratives. But the outside is showing the dominant narrative. Many people may believe that I am an immigrant or a male that can be unemotional. But what I really am is a Latino that is legal and emotional And someone that can show off and be proud of who they are. A counter narrative that I see myself is that I am ready to face the world I’m ready to go against all the oppression that the world hits me with.

My Reality

My Reality

By: Nahum Efigenio

The purpose of the shadow box is a virtual representation of someone’s dominant and counter narratives. The dominant narratives are on the outside of the box and counter narratives are on the inside. To simplify, the dominant narratives are stereotypes about me and the counter narratives represents My Reality.

My shadow box represents what I am proud of and negatives that come with those options. For example, I am proud of being from San Bernardino, and to represent that I have a picture of a bridge in San Bernardino. The reason I am proud to represent being from San Bernardino is because I have many family members that are from San Bernardino. I also have a lot of cousins I enjoy being around. But negatives that come with being from San Bernardino is people thinking I am somehow involved in gang activity, in addition to those people thinking I’m somehow involved in any type of gang activity is when I say I live in Oakland. And some people think I’m in the gang they will assume that most people in game games are illiterate but for me that’s wrong because I like to read and write, and the book “There There” is the first book in a long time that I enjoyed reading.

The Truth

This Shadow Box represents my Race, Gender identity, and my Creativity. When people look at me, they see a Black female. Yes, I am a Black female, but I am not only a Black female, I am also mixed with Puerto Rican and Mexican. Many people assume that I’m in a gang or that I am rude because I am Black. The Dominant Narratives I have affects me because to me people assume what I am and then people make it seem like I’m a bad impression. Even though that’s what people see me as I see myself differently. I see myself as a mixed female who is independent and focuses on more important things like grades and school then getting into gangs or fights. I have also chosen to include the yarn to show my creativity because my cousin taught me how to make scarves with yarn and since then I’ve always made scarves with yarn. Many people believe that I am an awful influence because of the color of my skin and music that I listen to out in public but, I’m not an awful influence I actually help people when they need it and I never focus on anything unacceptable like people in public think I do.

Ashley’s Shadow Box

Artist Statement

This Shadow Box represents my counter narratives. One of my identities is being Guatemalan.  I am a proud Guatemalan and want others to talk about and learn about Guatemala. My country experiences  erasure by the other countries because Guatemala is so small and for some reason not worth talking about that often. I want people to know what my culture is and what we do so they can appreciate and love what we do. My other identity is being a female. And being a female gets oppressed by people who think we are weak and vulnerable just because we are “different” than men. But I want to show that we aren’t too weak as we seem. And how we are just like them able to control our lives by not depending on men and taking care of serious stuff. By showing we are strong and can get through everything as they do. My other identity is being the youngest sibling, this identity brings me problems because everybody just sees me as “…. younger sister” and I feel like I have to make myself be seen because I don’t want to be seen as that identity.

Artist Statement

When people see me they will normally think that I’m White because of my skin color and the way I talk but in reality I am a Latino human being. When people look at this shadow box they will ask me why the pictures of the bands and my answer to that is no I am not emo but really like music and these two are my favorite albums and they are my favorite band, what I’m trying to say is that I really like music and that’s my main identity I’m a music lover really can’t do anything without music, music is what keeps me going and it’s what gives me ideas. If you are wondering why there is a picture of me, the answer to that is just for you to see me. The gun with the cross means that video games do not cause violence. The Switch and the games mean that I am a video game lover and that I play a lot of video games. The word beaner is a dominant narrative that people say about Latino people. The game that is on my shadow box is my favorite game and the game that I have been laying for so long.

shadow box artist statement by Daniel rodriguez

I chose shades, a book and anime statues and action figures for my shadow box. I chose these objects because this is evidence that I am a big fan of many things. I want people to know who I am like no one else can. I am a very complicated person with a habit of many things like curiosity, bad memories rage poor patience and mistakes. I do not hangout with my friends. I am usually a loner. I have a sense of rage and hatred. I feel like no one cares about my life. I keep some characters secret, but it is not that easy. Most of my life has been stressful and humiliating. I have no sense of patience. I had to learn new things from scratch. I have a stubborn sister and a lazy brother. I watch a lot of anime. I also watch a lot of movies. I want to be a traveler and martial artist when I grow up. I want to watch tv with my brother, but he wants to watch it by himself.  I have always hoped for a better life, but the world opened my eyes and helped me understand how sick the world really is. I soon gave up on hope, but I have one final idea that could be my best trump card, but I will keep it secret until it is time to reveal it. I learned a lot of information in life that surprised and enraged me. the one discovery that angered me most is how my life became a disaster. the reason my life is bad is because my dad made the wrong choices. he is a coward, not standing up and making good choices like a true man and father would. what was he thinking?! how can he be that stupid?! what a wimp. I’m sorry about the temper, but he can be so insufferable a lot of times.I want to be different than that. I’ve been through a lot of pain and no one had my back most of my life. that is when it hit me, “if this is what life is like for most kids, then how is trust, family and friendship worth anything?”. then I learned that the the trust is worthy rumor is not true. it’s fictional and unnecessary. it is very important to be careful with your choices or there will be big consequences in life. trust may sound like it earns you what you want, but believe me, based on my life outcomes, trust earns you nothing but trouble, so it’s a good call to avoid it. I won’t be needing such worthless things in the future. it could haunt me. I may sound  delusional, but maybe it’s also the truth we’ve all been waiting for. the only people you should trust are the people who actually care about you, people who are strong and have the courage to stand up like true worthy people, not a bunch of weaklings like people who aren’t very reliable and idiotic with no sense of will to admit.  the idea I have is so unbelievable, it will change our world’s history forever. I’ve stood by and didn’t stand up to help most of my life. now I feel like another cowardly weakling that must be cast aside. I will soon show the world what a true kid is capable of. they will see that they were a bunch of misunderstood people with no faith in the world at all. my dreams will come true. it’s gonna be a lot of fun when my greatest project will be revealed to the world. for now, no one has a clue. 

For all of those who have been mostly through tough times, I’m like that too, so I’m familiar with the feeling. you will  make it through life because I know how. in order to avoid bad outcomes, you must decide who you want to be in the future. But be careful or else bad things could happen. it has an honor and a pleasure to share my story, and hopefully some people will read it. I am Daniel rodriguez and you will meet me if make the right choices. thank you and farewell until we meet again. peace my friends.

My Counter Narrative

The objects In my shadowbox represent the counter narrative of who I am. I have chosen to include a picture of both the flag of Mexico and the United States because it represents my nationality, I am a Mexican American due to the fact that I was born in the United States but my parents are from Mexico. Being a Latino is a very important part of my identity because along with it, it brings stories of bravery and courage. I have decided to put pictures of my Mexican family and my pets in my shadow box because they are one of the most important things in my life and they show what type of people we are, good people. This is actually a counter narrative contradicting what society assumes of Mexican families some people say that we are criminals because we came into this country illegally but in reality we are nicer than most people. Another part of me is being a women this is my assigned sex at birth and my chosen gender. And I break all dominant narratives that women are weak because of how I have managed certain experiences. I hold my head high because of the fact that I have been smart and resourceful when finding an escape from society’s stereotypes. I have strong traits that overpower all of the dominant narratives. And I lean on my faith when needing a solution. Having faith is very important due to the fact that I am a Jehovah’s Witness by choice. I included a picture of my bible and God’s name next to it because it’s the most important part of me.The bible has affected me positively. When I face complex problems, I turn to the Bible to enlighten me and help me cope with daily pressures, and to ease my distress.

Hello stranger! THIS IS ME!

Anthony Magana Sarabia

Ms portugal


         Hi, My name is Anthony Magana.This is my shadow box.  For some, it may look goofy for others but it can be relatable. For me, it’s my life in a flash.I get really happy and then I get that “eh”feeling, It’s my shadow box, my humor is funny, for others it’s dark and this box represents me. Yellow for my hope and future dreams and wishes but also is the black of my love for games and basketball the dice with 3 and 2 combine them and you get 32 my lucky number.The yellow side shows all my aspires that I want to complete but at the same time my life flashes fast.The taste for fun is non existent, meaning I don’t know if i’m happy right now I don’t know if i will be happy when those times come.I don’t reach for the stars i reach for the sky is high but not that high just how i like it to be i would like the avg, life I know that sound bad but for me that’s perfect for me and I hope that it will be like that…The same cycle until I turn 50 or 60 and I retire sure i’ll have some fun,sure I had some good friends but the sad things you will probably remember 1-6 of them(friends) when your way older some forget about you or you forget about them that’s just how my life is but there’s one group of friends that will never forget you that’s your family.If you have a good or bad relation with them they’ll always be family the thing that separates them from friends is blood they will be with you through good and bad even if its 1 of them.MICH.standing for michoacan my state were I was raised where i was until 1st grade. I am a catholic thats a picture of jesus and the virgin mary throughout life I always prayed when we were doing good and when we were doing bad.Lastly the this box represents me in a good way because it does not show a plastic version of me and I’ll never be one I was born with real skin not plastic.

Shadow box – Mario

Artist Statement

Mario Garibay-Hernandez


My shadow box shows both chosen and assigned identity for myself. Firstly, the cars in the middle show all the side shows happening around Oakland. I believe that’s a chosen identity because it just happens, we don’t choose to see that happen but the people doing it do choose to do it. That is why I have the streetlights there for because it mostly happens during the night. Also sideshows is entertainment for us to watch and for the people doing it. Therefore, the picture of me represents being light skinned. Also the flags represent my nationalities, although only my mom was born in Mexico and I was born in the USA. Moreover, the pictures on the side represent my chosen identity because the lil pump pictures show my love of music and the other guy shows my love of graffiti.  

My Shadow Box

I have been called many things in the past like a beaner and a mexican and a lot more. My name is Victor Corral and I am from Oakland. I am fourteen years old and I care about school and my family. Many dominant narratives affect me. A dominant narrative I have been called many things in my past I have been called a mexican, an immigrant, and a beaner. Based on my life experiences I feel that the three parts of my identity that have affected my life the most are being male, being the son of a supportive mom and dad, and being mixed ethnicity.

Being a mixed ethnicity has impacted my life because people think that I crossed the border to get into the United States. I am mixed with Mexican and Honduran. This has impacted me because people who don’t know me are wrong because not every Latino is illegal and I hear people behind my back talking  about me. For example when I went to costco and I was getting eggs and milk in the back of the store a white female called me an immigrant and then I said “ You’re a fucking bitch and I hope you go back to your abusive father and your fucking slutty mom and I hope you fucking kids go to hell you bitch.” I was pissed off because people can’t just assume that you’re an immigrant  just because of your race  your parents were born at. This affected me because I do not want racism to affect my life because i can’t let someone to bully me because of my race. I am proud of being a Latino because we are strong we would fight back if something isn’t fair to the latino community.

Another part of my identity is having supportive family this impacted me because my mom and dad have supported me in my education in my lifetime  and my mom and dad want’s me to be the first one to go to college in my family and they want me to have a well paying job and they want me to be a doctor when I grow up. An example of how my family has stayed strong is when Donald Trump was elected president, by thinking about the future not the past and moving forward in life. The fact that Donald Trump became president made my family a little bit nervous because if both of my parents get deported then I don’t know where to go. We have stayed positive by not thinking about it and the plan is if they get deported I would have to go and live in my cousin house. This shows that we have stayed strong because we have been planning if I.C.E comes to my home. In conclusion, this has affected me because I have been called many things in the past and that has in powered me to stand  for myself in the world. And my my claim was being male being supported by my parents and being because they would remind me by doing my work mixed ethnicity


The objective of my shadow box is to represent me in my lifetime  being alive and I using thing’s that I remember when I was little and thing’s I remember now and why I used black paper it’s because of the raiders and it makes things pop out more like the chain and I can add more things to my shadow box like pictures more things that represent me. Why I put a chain of Jesus because I believe in Jesus and why I added a pattern of black and grey because I go for the team of the NFL the Oakland Raiders. One dominant narrative I when a lady called me a immigrant and one counter narrative is that I am not an immigrant I was born in the United States of America

My Shadow Box

This shadow box represents my chosen and assigned identities. A assigned identity I have in this box is being Mexican and this is represented by the hot sauce bottle and the Mexican flag. This is an assigned identity because I did not chose to be Mexican but I am Mexican and I am proud of it. Another assigned identity I have is being born in America. My parents came to America before I was born and had me here and this is shown by the L.A sign, my birthplace, and the Uncle Sam and the California sign. One of my chosen identities is football. I like football and it’s my favorite sport. This is a chosen identity because I chose to like it. The reason I made my box green was because I like the color and it shows my preferences. These is my identities that represent me.