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{Though our stories are often written, our platform welcomes stories told in other ways. We invite submissions of Spoken Word poetry or performance art, dance or music, and visual art as well. We only ask that if it's not a literary submission, that you offer some written contextualization of the piece.

Photography taken by Rhea Shah, "i ain't a kid no more" accompanied by description

       As a child, my parents tried to “protect” me from the “harsh realities” of the world around me, and, because of my privilege, they largely succeeded. Due to my lack of awareness and education, I created a false reality in which people of all races were equal and discrimination was a thing of the past. However, over the years, slowly by surely, my perception of the world was challenged and this fabricated reality started to unravel. The event that finally forced me to come to terms with the reality that my worldview is flawed is George Floyd’s murder. The realization that the abhorrent police violence that resulted in the tragic murder of George Floyd is not abnormal but rather just one instance of police brutality and systematic racism against black people in America impelled me to better educate myself and rebuild my worldview.


       This process of breaking down my flawed perception of the world and using education to reconstruct it into something more accurate served as inspiration for this piece.


       This strip of photos features five identical photos that shift from vibrant color to striking black and white. The photo itself is a candid photo that I took of my 10-year-old younger brother; I chose this particular photo because I felt it emanated a certain innocence that is representative of the naive worldview that I held at his age. The transformation of the photo from color to black and white represents the shift from my naive view of the world being a utopia to the harsh realization that the world is still laden with injustices in need of tackling, and the gradual progression of these photos from full color to completely black and white reinforces the idea that my change in worldview was not sudden but rather a process. The phrase written over this entire strip of photos is a line from Frank Ocean’s “Ivy” that stresses the idea that the worldview that I created as a child no longer exists.

rhea shah.JPEG
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