Some have asked, “why an exhibit? Why not just put it on your wall at home?” It’s true that initially our participants wondered the same thing, and we admit it can be scary to think of hanging your work out there for others to see, particularly if you are not a “professional.” However the sharing of this kind of work with an audience is an integral part of the overall process. In this case, Oppression has spent a lifetime trying to define who the person should be, and the person has very little say in this. Through publicly showing what one has declared as their preferred identity, who they decide they are instead of who they are told to be, they now have a say in who they are, and this is witnessed by society. While the experience can have a certain degree of “stage fright,” it is also inherently validating and legitimizing to have one’s self acknowledged in a public sphere.

 

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