Monochrome Monday #16 (Hiatus Special)

Hey, happy campers! So…obviously I’m supposed to be on hiatus. And technically, I still am because I haven’t done any photography “just for the fun of it.” Let me explain: for my Intro to Christian Thought class, we had to do a research paper based on one aspect of Christianity as understood by a theologian of our choice. But, thankfully (yay for Thanksgiving), my professor gave us a second option of doing an artistic interpretation of our chosen theologian’s work. Well, you can just imagine how thrilled I was for that option considering how I had another 10 page research paper due for my Childhood Guidance class the same day which was, thankfully (double yay for Thanksgiving), moved back 24 hours. [And just so you know, I finished writing both papers/projects in a total of 48 hours.]

Because I decided to use photography as my artistic medium for my religion class, I figured I should spread some of that love and joy to my faithful readers. So today, for your viewing pleasure (and to act as an official celebration of my freedom for the next week), I present to you today’s MM! Read on below:

I suppose I should give you just a little background info concerning my project. My theologian = Ada Maria Isasi-Diaz (Cuban feminist). Aspect of Christianity = women’s role in religion (namely, Hispanic women’s role in the Roman Catholic Church). More specific info = mujerista – a feminist liberation theology, a name for Hispanic women who are seeking freedom from oppression (both societal and religious).

So where does the art come in? Right here actually. My model (aka face of Hispanic women everywhere) was none other than Felicita, what with her being Guatemalan and all. Since mujerista theology is all about Latinas breaking free from the bonds of sexism, racism, and prejudice and developing deeper connections with God, I decided to focus on 3 things: the holy place (a chapel that we have on campus), traditional roles of women (the kitchen and worshipping God in silence, sometimes even blindly), and liberation (a sentence worth knowing: la vida es la lucha which means “the struggle is life” in Spanish…remember that). But I’m not going to show you the full 30 photo project. Instead, I’ll show you the most abstract and important images.

I’ve had someone ask me why the cross is in the stove. It’s a simple answer really. This is where religion and sexism meet. This is Where Traditions Meet which is why I have named it such. In Christianity, the general [traditional] consensus is that women are typically expected to serve God in silence and focus on the home. Another friend gave the following (lyrically written) interpretation: “I really like that it looks like ribs to me, so the cross is where the ♥ would be.” But that is so true. The expectation for women has been to remain silent and submissive while serving God and maintaining the home. The cross is the heart of the home, the place where women “should” be. (Do I think that? HA! I am much too independent to ever be a housewife [unwillingly]. Just saying.)

This photo, entitled The Prayer, also examines the idea of the traditional role of women in religion. Many people feel a connection to God through prayer. And since women are often expected to submit and keep quiet and all that jazz, what else do they really have to do but pray?

Liberation [Parts 1 & 2]. Possibly the two most important shots of the whole project. Continuing with this idea of silence and breaking free from oppression, these images sum up the whole theology. Mujeristas aren’t protesting by being loud and ridiculous. They simply want to be seen as important. They want to be viewed as being important to society and the Christian community. These women want to have deep connections with God. They want to be freed from some of the restraints of religion so they can freely worship God and give their best, their all to Him. (Deep? I know.) Below are a couple of others I took. Abstract art or what have you.

So there you have it. The best of my project. A silent protest against the injustices against Hispanic women. They may be women, but they have a lot to contribute to society. They want to be close to God. They want to serve others while maintaining their culture. They want to serve others while better understanding themselves.

This is nothing special, but I still found the whole experience interesting. La vida es la lucha. The struggle is life. We’re constantly struggling. But maybe one day we’ll figure it out. And that’s today’s Monochrome Monday!

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