Latin American Culture from an Outsider's Viewpoint
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For the past five years or so, since I have taken up Spanish, I have not only been learning a new language, I also got to learn about a new culture: that of Latin America. Throughout those five years, I had the luck to meet people, mostly my own age, from different Latin American countries. The persons who have left the strongest impression on me are those whose countries I represented today in my Senior Individualized Project: Latin America from an Outsider's Viewpoint. The young people I did meet, the figures depicted in my paintings, are exchange students, seasonal workers, or immigrant children, trying to build a better future either in a foreign country or back home once they would return. The figures in charcoal are my own versions of appropriated photographs from National Geographic and Google Image Search; they are the usual representation we, outsiders, have of Latin America, the usual representation I have of Latin America. Nevertheless, as an immigrant myself, I could relate to what they were going through being in a foreign country. By sharing our experiences, I realized that we had many points in common. They accepted me the way I am, so that my SIP, in a sense, reflects my necessity to say "Thanks."