The Multi-Cultural Project



Ethnicity is not something that can be assumed, it is genetics, and yet many people think that they are able to detect another’s “Race”, or correctly put, cultural background with intense study. Coming from a multi cultural background myself, I constantly struggle with family, friends and co-workers about my ethnicity. Pressure from family to choose one side, while friends and co-workers passive aggressively seek proof of my mixture, other than my last name of course.

Pause for a second, I want you to imagine never being able to feel completely comfortable any where…with anyone. After many years of suffering this kind of silent torture, I decided to find out if there were any other multi cultural people that were experiencing these similar encounters. This project consists of portraits of participants, ages ranging from 8 – 40yrs, and personal essays written by them, expressing their thoughts about being multi cultural and shortened narrations of encounters which they were being pressured to choose one. Some participants chose to discuss issues like “good hair” and skin color in their essays. Both of these things are what most believe to be telltale signs of a multi cultural person.

I must share that I struggle with this project. Every time I attempt to work on it, it’s like I am reliving those painful encounters where I have been made to feel as if I do not qualify to identify as one ethnic group or the other. But thus far, I have learned that multi cultural people are forced to constantly walk a dimly lit line that exists between ethnicity. In most cases, one ethnic group thinks that we are not enough like them and rejects us, while another seems to except us by default, all the while cautiously keeping us at bay, serving as a reminder that we do not truly belong. Although this project is not yet complete, I have noticed that the younger participants seemed to wonder why I was even doing this project. They expressed that there  a large number of  multi cultural students sharing their classrooms and that they were rarely asked about their cultural origin or  pressured to choose. So maybe there is hope, after all we do have a multi cultural president in office. I realize that the change I am seeking through this project takes time, and I pledge to keep my sinicism on the shelf. I hope you enjoy the posted portion of this project. I would really like some positive feedback, please feel free to send me an e-mail.

Powered by SmugMug Owner Log In