Monday, March 29, 2010

Conversations with dolls

Well, I took my dolls to class this weekend and received more comments and responses, which I turned into conversations with my dolls. Let's see if I can upload them....

They’re all over me – second conversation


I don’t want to engage with you
Don’t want to deal with your problems
Too much to deal with.

Misinterpreted and exhausted

Not my responsibility
– Get your life together
But don’t count on me to help you.

I just want to disappear for a while
Let it wash over me
And surface later.

Just do it –
No one is going to be able to do it for you.

Forced loneliness
Became what I was called
Wanting to be accepted.

Defeated by the labels imposed on you.

The thinker has been thunked
Way too tired to think any more
Embodying all negative labels.

Turn the other cheek!

Protective right arm shielding from emotions within and without
Left hand offering some protection and perhaps a little respite.

I’d say to this one:

Believe in yourself
Stand up and shake these [labels] off
Your hair is still vibrant
Blue-green symbolizes the ability to heal.

Depending on your point of view – 2nd conversation

Who is this?
How might I inform myself of this person?
Full-figured, she embodies it all
Negative and positive connotations
Which is “correct”?
What each sees, she becomes.
Something different to each person she meets.

Can’t see you clearly…
You know what?
You piss me off!
You are so letting others control you.
But that is the message!
Until we learn that,
The social labels will continue to fence/cage/imprison us.
The lens makes a difference.

I dance around her to see her.
Centered in the amphitheatre of life

Spinning self-pity pedestal!

There is nothing rational about the labels others put on us

Stand up!

There she sits,
holding out her hand in expectation and offering.

Sticks and Stones, Second Conversation

Nice to see you

You are my favourite.
You hold your head up high;
You are the writer and the erasure;
You are whole.

Who am I?

It doesn’t matter who you are
You are stuck with labels from the time you take your first breath
So very much tied to our gender.
Do not fret, as you get to decide
Which, if any, you respond to.

Detached… tattoos upon tattoos.

Can I trust you?
You don’t let me in
Difficult to read
Too difficult to figure out your words
And when I do, they make me nervous.
Why is it so difficult to get a handle on you?

But… but…but…

receiving strong support:
The ability to erase/rewrite your labels is hopeful.


Monday, March 22, 2010

Making dolls

Well, another semester is almost finished, and I have spent the past few weeks making dolls for my research project. Yup, dolls. It all started during a classroom discussion on the way we label people. It was a very animated discussion, looking at the pros and cons of labelling, when a classmate said, very upset, that the labels were falling so thick and fast that he/she could not pick them off fast enough. Wow, what a moment!

I started to think more about our labelling tendencies, and whether or not people could subscribe to the children's verse of "sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me". As I looked around and listened to people (in real life, on the radio, in the newspapers), I realized that so many, many people are affected by their labels. How does that happen? Do they not realize that they can choose for themselves what labels to wear?

There were so many angles to view this tendency of being overwhelmed by one's label, but I finally settled on three: someone overwhelmed by labels; someone able to control what labels she wears; and someone demonstrating that the labels seen on a person (or by a person) depend very much on the observer's point of view. After my three dolls were made, I showed them to a few groups of adults and was given valuable feedback from all of them. The dolls were catalysts for discussions that shed new light on labels and gave me new lines of inquiry to follow. I'll be making some more dolls in the future on the topic of labels and identity or self-perception and hope to show them to more people. How will different groups of people respond and what new discussions will ensue from viewing my dolls?
They're all Over Me!

Sticks and Stones

Depending on Your Point of View