My non-textual artifact is a visual manifestation of how one can apply a method of therapy involving recognizing the different parts of one’s personality in order to better understand one’s internal feelings and outward reactions by engaging with each part individually. This semester, I have used this technique with my therapist and I believe the concept of multiple parts within a inseparable whole could be applied to modern American political discourse.
The first image is supposed to represent my own brain. The different parts within this image are actual parts of my personality that my therapist has helped me to identify. Each part has something to say, and they all effect the middle part, or my authentic self. I have used the colored sections to demonstrate that each part has its own identity and motivation. Yet, they all have to live in the same space (my brain) and function as a collective unit.
The second image is meant to depict the United States. I have certainly left out many identities (including native/indigenous people), but I wanted to try to hit the big labels that are often tossed around the media. There are no colors in this image to attempt to account for intersecting identities. The point of the different labels is to demonstrate the millions of different voices that all live in one place.
The United States is made up of those who are oppressed by those who are oppressors. Our nation was founded on colonialism and enslaved labor, which have only transformed into human trafficking and white supremacy. Is it possible to for everyone in the U.S. to live together and feel safe and heard? I am not sure. But I wanted to attempt to be radically inclusive by using my therapist’s technique with the different parts of the United States. How do we communicate with people who think differently from us without putting ourselves in danger? As Mikaila Rummage pointed out in her introduction of Ross Douthat, people with differing identities or political ideologies can find similarity in their motivation to make the world a better place. Just as communication between parts of my personality can help me live a more mentally healthy life, communication between the parts of the U.S. are key to making the country better place to live.
I encourage you to listen to and to engage with someone different from you. You do not have to agree on everything, but you might find that you are more similar than you think.