Cultural Identity
Figuring Out Who I am So I Can Cross Boundaries

I. Start by reviewing the items on this list. Check each that describes you.*

II. Then, we will watch John Stewart's interview with Bryan Stevenson. (If you enjoy this interview, consider watching Stevenson's TED Talk.)

III. Next, ponder this visual text by artist George Longfish called "Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses?" Use the suggestions below to further your thinking as you make meaning of Longfish's text.

IV. According to an art critic this piece "affirm[s] the creative survival of Indigenous consciousness, offer[s] insights into the concerns of a Native perspective and shatter[s] many of the stereotypes associated with Indians." Longfish is "critically engaged with the problem of decolonization." His work is "concerned with discerning truth from lies, the acknowledgement of spirit and memory, communication and dialogue — often expressed with humor and irony." In this work can you find evidence of each element of this criticism?

V. You will each be given a section of a mural on which you will create your own visual text in response to the list of attributes in Part 1 of this exercise. Consider what your message is; what will an art critic say is the value of your piece? Longfish used so many techniques and artistic conventions to convey his purpose. Purposefully choose the means by which you will communicate yours. Once you have completed your section, you will be invited to comment on the sections created by your classmates so that the mural becomes a dialogue about race, place and cultural identity much like the spoken dialogue between Stewart and Stevenson. Consider this work to be a visual "they say... I say" exercise.

*List adopted from Peggy McIntosh
McIntosh, P. (1988). White privilege and male privilege: a personal account of coming to see correspondences through work in women's studies. Wellesley, MA: Wellesley College, Center for Research on Women.