"I had been ready to give up the word [hipster] in search of a new one to unite today’s bohemians, but now I want to take it back. After all, there’s no reason we should sit back and remain the victims of journalists. People have been redefining themselves for centuries to gain power and solidarity. In the nineties, LGBT people reclaimed “queer” and launched a political offensive. More recently “nerd” and “slut” have emerged as sources of pride and group identity for other maligned groups of people. I’m tired of sitting by and watching others control the narrative around me…"
"…anti-hipster discourse must be recognized for what it is: an urbane, and socially acceptable, form of ideologically inflected shaming on the part of American elites who must delegitimize those segments of a largely white, college educated population who didn’t do the ‘acceptable thing’."
"A gay man was here. November 19th."
Click the tag #wearehere to learn more about this project and how you can get involved.
"A gay man was here. November 13th" "
Whether ignored or invisible, social minorities exist in Japan. Through this project, I hope to create change by bringing these people to light.
I use my own presence to represent the existence of other gay men in my community. At the same time, I wonder about invisible others: the hidden poor and homeless, trans people, etc. I invite anyone else to speak out about the qualities that make them and others like them different and ignored.
If you want to lend your voice to this project, send me a message with an idea how. International participants are welcome. I can send you a custom PDF or mail you a cut stencil for you to use. Stand up and tell people that you are here.
Six draft pages from autumn 2013 edition of The Yoka, a publication by and for JET Program participants in Kumamoto Prefecture, Japan. I developed the color scheme from local wild flowers which I threw under the scanner.
I’ll post the finished publication when it’s released later this month.
I wrapped up the Before I Die project two weeks ago today. Throughout the month I was surprised at the speed at which the wall filled up — about every two days. The responses came mostly from young students, and it was a great joy to read their responses. Though they’ve grown up on an isolated, struggling island, their dreams were filled with the humor, warmth, and excitement I would expect from children anywhere. I was happy to give them and other people a chance to speak about their dreams.
The project is featured permanently on the Before I Die website.
Kumamoto Nichi Newspaper. October 25, 2013.
"Before I die I want to…"
Written on a blackboard placed at the Kawaura-machi Nakamura Community Center are those words along with the hopes of local residents.
Zachary Johnson, twenty-five from Illinois in the US, working as an assistant language teacher in Kawaura, created the wall. According to Johnson, it’s part of a public art project which began in New Orleans, US. In over forty countries, various people have installed the same kind of project, he said.
Some hopes written by Kawaura residents were, “I want to become rich”, “I want to have lots of dogs”, etc. Johnson stated, “I want to give people a way to express the dreams they normally keep silent.” The piece can be seen until the 29th.
This is the latest English newsletter I made for my middle school students. With each newsletter I try to present English as doorway to art and culture, rather than an onerous school subject. I also work to make them very multicultural and therefore always include at least one section about second-language English speakers. In this case, I featured the Norwegian “What Does The Fox Say” video and the Brazilian Humanae art project.
You can download the PDF version here!
A small, old house in the fishing village of Fukami. Ushibuka, Japan. 2013.