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Caminante - Putting the right foot forward - anxiety manifested, anxiety contained
Does struggle, drastic change and/or adversity make us more resilient? Is it true that what doesn't kill us makes us stronger? Does the age of when someone experiences these events matter? Anxiety can be a common feeling that everyone experiences at some point in their lives in response to a stressful emotional situation. Children often manifest anxiety when faced with a life changing event such as moving to a new place. However, at a young age they are so resilient that they overcome such obstacles by finding outlets such as reading, art, sports, music, family, pets, etc. Nevertheless, it is always reassuring to anyone enduring a life changing experience that they are not alone. It is reassuring to know that our lives are interconnected, that we often share similar struggles and we are capable of finding purpose, passion, and hope through adversity. Lastly, we share a common goal of making this journey life a happy and fruitful one.
When I moved to the states from Peru I was 10 years old and my senses were on overdrive as I was trying to learn a new language and get to know a new culture. Somewhere along the first months of living in the states, I had heard the expression that if you start your day with the right foot you will have a great day. So my way of assimilating to this new life and new language I decided to take this statement literally instead of figuratively and I clutched to this expression and made it my shield to survive my new life. I had become to be very anxious on school days and and through this ritual is how I assimilated my anxiety. This ritual became my lucky charm and my shield to confront my anxiety on school days. The school environment, the language barrier, feelings of inadequacy were the causes of my anxiety. If I accidentally put my left foot first I would go back and lay back on my bed and start over again. This ritual became almost like a chore until I gradually exchanged it for books and drawing. My goal is to indefinitely collect right footprints and to connect them with a red silk cord, signifying that all our lives are interconnected. The red silk cord represents our humanity, that we are all fragile, we are not invincible, nor invisible, that it’s OK to struggle because as humans we are capable of finding outlets and solutions to our problems and we are resilient with the ability to cope most obstacles. The items on the desk represents our positive outlets, how we are capable of successfully containing anxiety in a positive manner by leisurely enjoying books, music, drawing, etc.
Would you like for your footprint to be part of this continuing installation?
Please read statement below to see if you meet the criteria.
Contributors may be anyone who has ever moved as a "child" to a different "country" than where you were born in. "Child" can be also considered a state of mind not necessarily under 18 years of age. "Country" could also be a state of perception, for instance for many young kids when moving just around the corner is like moving to a different country. I would like for you to grab a piece of loose leaf paper and outline/draw/print/paint your right footprint on it. Also write your name if you would like and the place(s) where you moved to and from and with a date/year and/or age if you remember it. If accidentally you print your left foot on the paper that's fine, if you print both that's fine too, I want to know what was your first instinct. If you would like to participate simply pin your creation behind this announcement, I will be picking up creations regularly. I will keep your creation unless you really want me to mail it back once I've exhibited the installation. Thank you so much for willing to help me with this project! This installation was exhibited for the 1st time on September 13th 2016, however I will be receiving footprints indefinitely. You may scan and email your right footprint to firstname.lastname@example.org or contact me if you rather snail mail it.
Site specific installation, University of Arizona
Collection of right foot imprints/drawings, silk cord, student desk, welcome mat, silk cord, various books