Loss of Culture (working title) is an exploration of how seemingly innocuous objects - such as food and clothing - can be instrumental in assimilation and the loss of culture experienced by immigrants and their descendants. The pressure to conform comes from outside the individual, but can be internalized, influencing decision-making, as well as perception of self and self-worth. Although often done with the best intentions, such as laying the groundwork for an easier life for future generations, assimilation can have long-term repercussions for individuals and families and can result in a struggle for self-identification and a feeling of belonging.
Working with the materiality of the tintype process, short, first-person narratives have been stamped directly into the metal image substrate, melding image and word. Using first-person stories that are not specific to ethnicity allows for both a direct, personal relationship between the viewer and the work and a general application of the sentiment to a wide swath of experiences. It is my hope that this work will help people recognize experiential commonalities that exist among different ethic and racial groups and allow them a deeper understanding of others' struggles.