I thought that the topics covered in this class were amazing. I wish that it was a legitimate class that other students could take because i think it would get a lot of attention. I also think that it is a course that would help get students to think about everything with a new mindset. The biggest part of the class was learning how to discuss a top from different perspectives and backgrounds. If a pediatrician and a fashion designer read the same book and proceeded to have a conversation about it they would both bring insight from their respective areas. In turn, the pediatrician thinks about the book and how it impacts the fashion world while the fashion designer thinks about the book and its impact on children. Both become better rounded and more cultured on the topic. Yes the example was a bit broad and extreme but you get the point.
It is incredibly important to learn in an interdisciplinary manner. I interned with an educational non-profit that was working towards a new program in a couple of school systems in which all of the teaching and learning was done/happened interdisciplinary. For example, the book you are reading in english would be about the war that you are learning about in history while in math you are calculating how to build a life-size cannon (like the ones used in the war) and then in science you are studying how tear gas (the evolution of warfare) is created. This kind of learning makes everything click and be so much more understood by all students. It also allows for the school to cultivate a greater community as the teachers have to coordinate their classes and lessons with one another.
It was really interesting to learn about how much cross over the worlds of fashion and health have. When I look at a piece of clothing the first thought that goes through my mind is either, “oh that's cute” or “no” but definitely not “I wonder how many animals died for this and how many mothers ingested toxins to make this cute faux leather jacket for me?!” I want to be a more conscious buyer and work on making my fashion choices and my clothes sustainable.
I left this course feeling like it was okay to major in a humanity and that I still had the chance to do or become something great. “The humanities will save humanity.” -Me
Enter- New York City, 1911 (late March (the 25th to be exact))
Asch Building, Greenwich Village -- 4pm
The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory is located on the 8th, 9th, and 10th floors of the Asch Building. The factory has about 500 employees, most of whom are young women and a majority of those workers are immigrants. A fire begins on the 8th floor from unknown causes though it is speculated that a cigarette butt caught scraps on fire. The building had many a scrap from the thousands of produced blouses per day.
It is almost time for the workers to leave when a large fire breaks out on the 8th floor and quickly spreads through the rest of the two floors above it. People run to get out of the building which is filled with employees who are making around $4.00 per/hour in modern currency for around 52 hours of work a week, including weekends. To the horror of many, the doors are locked, they cannot escape. The owners of the factory locked the doors as a precaution against unwarranted breaks and theft by their employees. This action would later lead to multiple charges of manslaughter for both owners when the case makes it to court.
Due to the lack of exits, only a few lucky people are able to use the elevator before the flames engulfed it, those who are beginning to be eaten by smoke and flames turn to the windows as a final escape. The fire escape itself had not even been functional and ended up killing around twenty people who were using it for its purpose of escaping when it twisted under the heat, they landed on the concrete below.
Sadly, those were not the only people to land on the sidewalk. As the fire raged on, an estimated sixty-two people either jumped or fell from windows, leaving the street and sidewalk surrounded the building littered in cold, lifeless bodies and splatters of deep red stains.
The final death count totalled at around 146 people, most of which were women, and even children as the youngest death was of a fourteen year old female worker.
Today, in America, we have child labor laws so I hope that something as terrible as the Triangle Shirt Factory fire would not kill innocent children. There are also laws protecting workers rights in general...laws that allow for breaks, meals, and put a cap on the amount of hours a person can work in a week along with minimum wages.
Thought these kinds of regulations are placed on workers in the United States, tragedies such as the Triangle Shirt Factory still occur, more often than one would like to imagine, in less advanced countries and cities all over the world. This needs to stop.
“Art changes people and people change the world” - John Butler
Art changed my world because it shaped me into who I am today. I was obsessed with art when I was little, I had about forty picture books about different artists and the pieces they made. My mom would read them to me and then we would go to the museum and see the artists work in real life. I fell in love with Van Gogh, I knew all of his pieces and even had large posters of them in my room. I must have been about 7 or 8 and all my other friends watched tv and knew characters names but I, I knew art.
I have no doubt in my mind that art can do incredible things. It can evoke hatred, spark romance, or unite people.
I think that art is very important especially now where they world seems to be on the brink of WWIII. Activist art by artists like Banksy make a point and get people thinking. A favorite Banksy piece of mine is the image below in which the letter “F” in life, from the statement “enjoy your life” has been crossed out so instead the street art reads “enjoy your lie.” I find this piece incredibly relevant to today as we are witnessing the rise of social media. It seems that people's lives are solely the lies that they post to keep up the facades of they life they portray. What we see is not always how they (the person who posted) see or feel. So much is fake, from conversations to smiles. As time passes people seem to loose their genuineness and I believe that this is a modern social issue. How can I be expected to get to know a person or fall in love with somebody when the only thing I get to be around is that individual with their mask on and walls up? It’s the only way to keep the lie alive which eventually morphs into life.
Really, if art draws attention and makes people think, that is the important part. Thinking and talking about subjects are how we propel them into a stronger light. In Hong Kong, the Umbrella Movement has been largely impacted by art. Photography has captured the realism and fleeting moments during the protests. I am biased towards photography because it is my strongest artistic suit so I found some of the photos to be phenomenal.
I really enjoyed Raymond Kam staged picture, “Umbrella Revolution (shown above).” He used actors to represent the major groups of people involved and their individual stances such as the “westerner” on the right hand side of the image who is casually watching it all happen but clearly it has little to no affect on his daily life. Kam was able to capture something that a photojournalist or other photography wouldn’t be able to capture because you don’t see the westerners or the natives in or around the protesters. In this manner, it could also been seen as a satirical piece that criticized those who aren’t involved or who are active bystanders.
Some people make art because they love to, others make art to change the world.
When I was thirteen years old I saw the movie Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Though it was not advertised as a horror movie, it should have been. The very realistic looking apes that allegedly take over the world was not the part that frightened me. The scariest part of the whole movie were the final credits which rolled over a background of the globe becoming infected with a deadly disease.
Here is a bit of backstory, in the movie there is a scientist who is working towards finding the cure for Alzheimer's but instead creates the insanely contagious and highly dangerous virus known as the Simian Flu.
An unknowingly infected pilot goes to the airport and as he walks away we see a drop of blood fall from his nose (nosebleeds are a symptom of the flu.) The pilot has already contaminated people in the airport and on his flight which is headed to Europe. This is the part where the credits are going and we start to see little dots fill up the globe. What began as a single dot in California was now a fast-paced wave of blue dots that were filling in the globe.
How realistic was that part of the movie? Honestly, possibly much more so than I wish. It is uncommon that with modern medicine and technology that we experience such outbreaks as the one alluded to in the movie however, it's not impossible. A few years ago there was the Swine Flu and more recently the Ebola epidemic.
In 2014 the world was on high alert as an outbreak of the Ebola Virus was breaking headlines. It began in West Africa where it quickly spread through villages of people who did not know what was wrong or that they were infected accidentally infected others. Many people were sick and dying and nobody knew how to stop it, actually almost nobody knew it was happening for a while.
Within three months of the first death from Ebola, over fifty others were dead. This is when the government stepped in and called for reinforcements from Doctors Without Borders. Sadly, Doctors Without Borders lacked enough resources to even dent the outbreak, the WHO (World Health Organization) was notified. They, however, decided to leave the responsibilities to the local Guinea government who had no experience with Ebola. This was the WHO first major misstep. Ebola began to spread across western Africa.
The second misstep was when WHO did not announce an international health emergency so as to avoid panic. When Ebola reached the United States, WHO declared an international emergency.
Another epidemic, SARS, was also not considered an international health emergency until reaching North America. Again, the WHO had taken too long to alert the general public. In their defense, Chinese leaders had originally fabricated the reported severity of the breakout.
At this point, it has been years since either of the diseases listed above have had any reported cases. In the long run, WHO did it’s job but could they have done it better? Yes, there may have been chances to save lives but it is sometimes hard to tell severity without seeing it in person. In the case of SARS, the WHO was able to run a dress rehearsal of their most intense, possibly detrimental plan. A plan that is saved for something like you see in the movies, a plan in case Rise of the Planet of the Apes becomes a reality.
I had a friend who once said to me “I didn’t know stuff like that actually happened.” By “stuff like that,” she was referring to people who were not financially stable, kids who had to couch surf or get food from a local pantry or soup kitchen.
Now, I live in a town just outside of Boston, we are known as the “poor town” by our rival towns like the Lexington’s, Wellesley's, Belmont’s, and Winchester’s of the state...a.k.a. the rich preppy kids who all lived in big single family houses not duplexes. Their towns don’t have projects. My friend mentioned above happens to live on the town border in a lovely single family by the lake, her father works most days but not all and her mother has not worked in years. She and her sister come home 3/7 days to a new piece of clothing on their bed. Their closets are filled with pieces that still have their price tags on.
In my friends charmed world, she has overlooked all of the homeless people holding signs at intersections and sleeping in doorways in Harvard Square, where we have spent many a day wandering.
Sadly, this mindset is one that a majority of Americans have. It is such a misconception that because we reside in a first-world country that there are no problems like those that third-world countries face. Thus, in America, there is no hunger, there is no homelessness, there are no problems.
“564,708 people in the U.S. are homeless.”*
Charleston, SC took a stand to raise awareness for homelessness in their city. The town hall hosted almost 200 plywood cutouts of humans (200+ others were scattered throughout the city.)
The cutouts represented the number of homeless people that were in Charleston at the time, most of them unseen.
This art project is unique because most people and local governments included would find homelessness easier to ignore than address. This is not how it should be. We, just the United States, have enough money to end all of world poverty so we could at least put some of our resources towards helping aid.
I am looking into more ways that we can draw attention to this issue through peaceful projects that get people to think. I also would like to create empathy, maybe people would be more willing to help if they knew how it felt to not have a roof over their heads.
To me, it is a no-brainer, every body deserves shelter, it is a basic necessity.
*"2016's Shocking Homelessness Statistics." Social Solutions. N.p., 09 Jan. 2017. Web. 25 Apr. 2017.
Beauty standards are forever changing. In the medieval times, people wanted to be pale and overweight as it reflected that you did not have to be outside doing manual labor. In the 1950’s the hourglass figure was every female's ideal body type, courtesy of Marilyn Monroe. Today we are realizing that our obsessions with being the skinniest girl in the room has lead to an era of dangerous body images and poor mental health which brings us to what I believe is the future of beautiful; strong.
Body positivity is a huge trend right now, there is no “perfect” body because every body is perfect. However, with cities like London which is hitting some of its peak obesity rates, the idea of every body is a perfect one might complicate things. By 2020 it is predicted that half of London’s population will be obese.
It is hypocritical to tell somebody who is overweight that their body is perfect yet know that their health is suffering. The solution to this issue can be found in the beauty norms of the near future which will encourage people to be in shape.
With obesity and suicide numbers on the rise, it is time that we consider healthy as beautiful.
Heathy may not mean that your body looks like a supermodels that being said, healthy means fit and fit means strong. The female image of strength is portrayed by olympic athletes (think Simone Biles and Lindsey Vonn), modern day superheroes (think Katniss), and the everyday woman who works a 9-5 but still has time to go to soulcycle and prepare instagram worthy meals that feature avocado toast.
While this image does still constitute as being on the skinnier side, strong means muscle too. It is acceptable and even applauded for a woman to have arm definition and a six pack. You lift more than the guy you’re seeing? That’s badass. You do crossfit? That’s badass. You work your ass off and sweat? That’s badass.
Luckily, fashion also seems to have caught on to this trend. Fitbit and other personal activity trackers are all the rage of late with everybody trying to outstep their friends and themselves. These trackers usually come in the form of a wristband that has multiple color options which you can interchange to match your outfits.
Companies such as Nike and Athos have started manufacturing clothes with fitness trackers built into them. The tracker connects to an app on your phone so your every movement can be tracked by the clothes pressed to your body or the shoes on your feet.
This new wave of athletic fashion/athleisure will hopefully popularize the trend of strong being beautiful. The way we view beauty should influence the way we as humans act so if strong and healthy are “in” then maybe that means we can push obesity out.
All art is valuable.
Yes, this is true in a sense however, your 4 year old son’s finger painting on your refrigerator is slightly different than the Watteau hanging in the Louvre. I apologize that your child is not as great as the greatest artists that have lived. This does not take away from how special their work may be to you but famous, historic artists pieces are special to the world.
As an antique chairs worth increases over time, so does a paintings. That being said, mainly paintings by well-known artists such as Monet, Picasso, Pollock etc. are the ones that hold great value. Part of this is because works of art from the 1600’s are literal pieces of history. In such pieces, one can find the type of paints used during that time period based on pigments and markings. The pyramids are treasured because they were built years ago without modern technology. The paintings of the Renaissance time period did not use the same techniques because technology is advancing.
I believe that both modern art like Banksy and older art like The Mona Lisa are valuable. Though, they are valuable for different reasons, from a strictly academic viewpoint since I am not able to tell if a piece is sentimentally valuable to another person or not.
A piece such as Raphael's Portrait of Young Man is valuable due to it’s age. Like fine wines and cheeses, art gets more expensive with age. It is like a freeze frame into a specific time period. The paintings may represent the clothing and style, the jobs and architecture, the hierarchy of the times. On the other hand, a contemporary piece of art such as a Banksy piece is also incredibly valuable. A Banksy represents now and what is popular currently. Banksy is also a special example because their work is usually satirical/social activist pieces so they can be huge influencers to the public or statement pieces in general.
There are a few factors that impact the value of an art piece. Age is a huge one that I do not think will ever change. Social trends can alter the value of a piece. Abstract and very contemporary pieces are pretty “in” right now and thus their value may be perceived as higher than if a modern artist made a cubism piece. Pop culture trends and age are good predictors of the value of a work of art.
It is possible that one day your child's work may be worth millions but for right now, young adult pieces are not very “in.”
Sustainability is a word that has become growingly common in headlines and conversations. It refers to the “avoidance of the depletion of natural resources in order to maintain an ecological balance.” In simpler terms, sustainability is making products that are environmentally friendly while being economically beneficial and are made in an ethically correct manner.
It is hard to state which of those three major components (listed in the above paragraph) is the most important. Of course, I want my products to come from ethical production and that's a basic human importance but honestly, I think that environmentally beneficial is the most important. This could be because of how prevalent going green and “saving our world” are pretty popular topics right now.
If we could reach a point where a majority of the clothes purchased world-wide came from old clothing or recyclable goods then that would be amazing. However, it is hard to achieve sustainability in the large-scale (major companies) working world. This is because there are many changes that usually occur such as the initial changes that may have to be made during production...things like fabric. It is also a financial risk, who is to say that your customers will still buy from you if you have to increase your prices because the quality of your goods are higher? Advertising has to happen, programs such as H&M’s are a great example of the start of the sustainability revolution.
Sadly, there is a downside to the movement towards fashion (and all products in general) becoming sustainable and that is known as green-washing. This is when a company promotes their products as “green” when in reality they have more likely found a loophole in the term. An example of this is Comcast who created an “Ecobill” which is an online bill, thus claiming that using less paper is better yet their direct marketing and advertising still uses tons of paper/paper products.
Greenwashing is an especially tricky situation when paired with fashion. The biggest question being, can the world of fast fashion truly be sustainable? Sustainable products usually take time to produce and release which is problematic when the fashion industry is pumping out new trends weekly. Thus, it is expected by consumers that new products be available and accessible at a fast rate. Using more sustainable fabrics might be a step in the right direct but it is only one of the first steps in the marathon that is sustainable fashion.
It is December in London and people are rushing around buying last minute Christmas gifts. It is 1952. In the coming weeks over 10,000 people will die. This event will be known as The Great London Smog and will affect at least 100,000 aside from those who died. London was dark.
Though they did not know it at the time, London was experiencing one of the first large scale results of air pollution. However, London was accustomed to fog so people did not pay it much attention. Many people died from the direct effects of the smog while others would die later of respiratory complications caused by the polluted air during the event.
Today, London is still struggling with air pollution as are lots of other major cities globally. Emissions from cars and factories have polluted our air to the point that people in some Asian cities such as Beijing, wear face masks while outside. Visibility levels are decreasing while number of cases of asthma are increasing.
Particulate matter (PM) is one of the five major pollutants. PM has been showing up more frequently inside of people's brains and lungs. This may have something to do with the fact that PM 2.5 is biologically dangerous to humans. PM is measured on a scale from 10-1, 2.5 being the point in which it turns harmful. Though PM in general is harmful and aids in air pollution, PM 2.5 is small enough to seep into skin and make it’s way to the bloodstream. Particulate matter affects the human body in a multitude of ways from cancer to heart attacks to cognitive disabilities in children.
At this point, we can not undo the effects of PM or remove it from our bodies but we can work towards cleaner air so that future generations can live healthier lives. This has to be a world effort which starts with countries divising individual plans such as the United States’ Clean Air Act and New Zealand's plans to meet the PM 10 standards.
Our world is facing major issues with air pollution and it is time that we do something about it. The Great London Smog should have changed how we viewed air pollution yet it just sits as another sad story in the history of our existence. If there is no change, our entire existence will be just another sad story.
-A large variety of incomes...Some of the most wealthily in the nation live just blocks away from some of the most impoverished
-Upper East side v. The Bronx
-Income can change everything about a persons life
-Personal chefs v. soup kitchen
-Impacts health and healthcare options
-Areas/burrows that have large amounts of poverty have less to put towards education
-One of the top private schools in the country is across the street from a dilapidated public school where those of low status may attend
-The more money, the better the education
-There is a racial factor as well...more non-white people go to the lower quality schools
Social Class Inequality
-Goes hand-in-hand with economic inequality
-socialites, celebrities, illegal immigrants, homeless all in one area
-Many who fall into a lower category of social class are black or non-white
-The 1%, the top of all classes and the lowest of classes may go to the same coffee shop (doubtful but possible)
-clothing can reflect social class