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2021 SPE Annual Conference: Imagining Legacy: Archives, Collections, and Memoria

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Gina Washington

SPE Member since 2008
Member Chapter: Midwest

No Evil

Re-examining the phrase see no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil created No Evil. It is a proverb that many cultures grow up with that has a dual meaning. You are either of good mind and action or you are turning a blind eye. Your upbringing in an Eastern or Western philosophy may be the ultimate deciding factor on how this image can be interpreted. It is not my intent to hold the viewer by the hand in an explanation but to coax them into a discussion about their role in the action of each gesture. I like to work with layers so it helps to know that monkeys are usually depicted in the proverb and my choice of using three different generations of African Americans matters. The timeless nature of this 17th century old image has proven that it can stand up to the test of time and all of its changes. Therefore if the viewer, in 2014, were to consider/refer to this proverb as a wise saying they would need to use it as a reflection for themselves in their everyday lives and examine each situation to determine a course of action. Ultimately I was thinking about the pervasive bullying, the anonymity of the Internet, the “Bro- code” that allows public gang rape/rape period to go on and other examples that makes this reflection a challenge. What would happen if we were all acting in the present and cared about our interactions in society? When my daughter freaked out about bugs she began to look for them. I told her if you look you would find them. So if you stop looking and they find you what do you do?

No Evil

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