BUCKNELLâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S MAGAZINE FOR ARTS, CULTURE, & EVERYTHING ELSE
published the thirteenth of april in two thousand seventeen
Smells Like Home
21 Varansi Dreams
27 Nowhere To Go 31 Interconnected 39 The Other Dam 43 Ty Chungâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Guide
Food: Savory or Sweet? Playlist: Cruise Control
Fashion: Redefining the Runway
Film: American Honey
Art: Art En La Calle CLOSINGS
57 61 69
75 Staff List 76 Colophon 77 Overheard
Leaving Arriving Supercenter Sunday
A word to describe that earthy fragrance that fills the air after the first rain of the season.
A lot of primary principles come in threes. There’s the semi-desperate “third time’s the charm;” middle school math’s Pythagorean Theorem, which so eloquently breaks down the right triangle; and the dismal “celebrities die in threes.” As demonstrated in the previous sentence, there is also the literary rule of three, a principle that suggests that things that come in threes are funnier, more satisfying, or more effective. There’s also now the three issues of Et Cetera Magazine— there’s definitely that too. The theme for the culminating issue is petrichor. The word’s literal meaning has to do with the distinct, earthy smell that follows the first rain after a period of dryness. We ran with the macro idea of smell, acknowledging the sense’s strong power to elicit memories of places or instances; this idea is eloquently conveyed as three brothers trek through India in Wes Anderson’s Darjeeling Limited. As the plot unfolds, a content Adrian Brody states, “I love the way this country smells. I’ll never forget it. It’s kind of spicy.” Smell permeates consciousness, like the piercing recollection of a warm, comfortable home created in a downhill Gateway while a large pot of sage butter gnocchi simmers on the stove. It reiterates the notion that happiness can stem from being present for those small
details otherwise left ignored, like coming home from a lengthy trip to a house filled with a scent so inexplicably, unequivocally yours. Beyond the word’s more literal concentration on smell, petrichor represents an inflection point, a moment of change. The newness that comes with the post-rain earth, transitioning from coarse dirt to rich soil, intrigued our nearly-graduated selves. In just a few weeks, the familiarity and comfort of campus will fade into what we can only hope will be an invigorating sense of newness. The roots of petrichor run deep beyond our experiences to anyone moving to a new home, getting married, starting a new job, transferring schools, or adopting a new pet. It stems to the millions of people seeking, and hopefully attaining, a new life after escaping their home countries this year. And through all of this, we realize that times of change, while often exciting, require a great deal of understanding and patience in order to ensure they happen seamlessly; they require compassion. This very empathy is what we keep at the core when making a decision pertaining to the publication—whether content planning, selecting visuals, or copy editing. A story can unfold anywhere when your senses are engaged—lines of graffiti sprawling across
a brick wall, a playlist carefully curated by a friend, a conversation overheard while on your weekly Walmart excursion. The way it’s told and presented is an entirely different story. We initially set out to tell stories in a novel fashion three semesters ago. Complete with a constitution and a multitude of lengthy vision and mission statements, we began the process of relaying untold stories to our ill-defined audience. And while we switched our printing source, got a new faculty advisor, converged on one continent, introduced new typefaces, increased the number of pages, held fewer staff meetings, and took more risks, a lot stayed very consistent. We’ve managed to miss a deadline (or a few) each issue; to cover our workspace, often the island in the MIDE Studio, in a pile of snacks each D-Day (Deadline Day); to scour whatever metropolitan area we were in for magazine shops; to blast the Mag Sesh playlist; and to nearly cry while thinking of a headline. We also included a reference to Jim Carey or one of his films in every Letter from the Editors—we’ll count this as the reference for issue three because we couldn’t make it through Liar Liar. We also had the unique opportunity to go one step deeper in our uncanny obsession with publications via the independent study research we are in the process of conducting this semester in conjunction with the faculty advisor of this publication. After a little over half a semester of using Post-its to code nearly every page of every issue of Kinfolk—a publication that served as one of the preliminary inspirations for the publication you’re holding—to better understand its aesthetic, we learned a trick or two. Some of those visual tropes are manifested in this issue. Like the other issues and this publication in general, Issue 3 has international origins.
Two pieces were largely inspired by a documentary film festival in Amsterdam this past November. Many of the layouts and graphics you’re about to look through were composed in Paris, France. Part of the letter you’re reading right now was written somewhere over the Atlantic while en route from Puerto Rico to New York. And just like every other instance of abroad work, we came back home to Lewisburg to finish off what we started. This pattern will soon change. Through it all, we had the opportunity to work with 76 staff members, hanging around an average of 57 members per semester. We published 218 pages, 118 photos, and 61,866 words. And it seems like this issue is where it all culminates. So in this moment of change, a clear inflection in our lives’ trajectories just 38 days before we graduate, we want to thank you for engaging with our publication, whether over the course of three, two, or just this one issue. We are so grateful for the overwhelming support we’ve received, and continue to receive, for this passion project we thought up nearly four years ago and got off the ground halfway across the world just last year. It’s happening. Or it happened, we guess. Thanks for reading along.
WORDS Madeline Diamond PHOTO Erin Ditmar
Southern California-scented candle, which has hints of cactus, orange, and the ocean, is burning in my room as I write this. And while it doesn’t smell exactly like my old house, old school, or the beach that I grew up going to, it reminds me of home — a place very far from my central Pennsylvania apartment. Homesick Candles are aptly named. The brand makes a soy wax candle for each of the fifty states, as well as for some cities and regions. The Texas candle includes notes of leather, fresh cotton, and sage. The Nebraska candle apparently smells like the open plains, fresh linen, and vanilla. The Pennsylvania candle has hints of chocolate and molasses. These scents may not represent the universal Texas, Nebraska, and Pennsylvania experiences, respectively, although their ability to capture a state’s general essence through scent is unique. But, these candles ultimately have the same collective goal: to bring you home. So, even if you’re far from home, you can be—at least somewhat—transported back to your roots through your olfactory senses. While many smells are personal and evocative of specific memories, other scents have more general effects. Peppermint, for example, is invigorating to most people who smell it, while jasmine is known to have a relaxing effect and can be used as a sleep aid. Whether we like it or
not, scents can manipulate us emotionally, so it’s no surprise that brands use scents to evoke certain emotions from consumers. I’ve romanticized many of my memories because of the smells I’ve attached to them, but there’s also a scientific explanation for why scent is so closely connected to memory. Incoming smells are processed by the olfactory bulb, which has close connections to two areas of the brain that process emotion and memory—the amygdala and the hippocampus. Since the olfactory bulb runs from the nose to the bottom of the brain, it comes into contact with the emotion and memory centers of the brain more directly than the other four senses do. Because of this, perhaps our scent memory is more intense, or even more emotional, than memories triggered by other senses. There are plenty of smells that immediately bring me back to childhood. Freshly sharpened pencils. Pool chlorine. Vinyl school bus seat covers. Playground woodchips, especially just following a rain shower. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but I even remember what my kindergarten classroom smelled like. Beyond our visual and auditory memories, and even family photographs and videos, there’s something about the power of smell that can transport us to a time or place we’re trying to hold on to.
WORDS Madeleine Silva
ILLUSTRATIONS Kelsey Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Donnell
LE RISQUE “Just jump, the sky’s getting dark!” The statement broke my anxious stream of thought, while I uncomfortably shifted from one foot to the other. Beneath me, the rocky cement pressed into the soles of my feet, as if to make me leave its safety. Again, I peered over the side of the bridge, my friends laughing and swimming below. Jealousy crept through my body. Why were they so comfortable with reckless abandon? Why was I not? Tracing my hand to the back of my neck, I re-fastened my swim suit top, stepped up onto the top of the barrier, and leapt off the edge. With eyes clenched shut, I was
floating in the silence of fear, waiting for impact. Water rushed over my body in a deafening fashion as I let myself sink into its depths. Breaking the surface, I paddled to the edge of the water, slightly shaken, but content. Thunder rumbled in the distance while our group piled into an old SUV, and the engine hummed as we pulled off the dirt and onto the road. Back to our summer homes, back to our parents, back to cautiousness. An electric buzz of a secret ran through each of us, never to be divulged to anyone. Rain pattered on the windowpanes of the car, the glory of carelessness washed over my thoughts.
Heat filled my body as coffee slowly resurrected the blustery Sunday afternoon. Walking next to my friend, we crossed the street without looking and sat down on a bench. It had rained the night before, and the wood was damp under my shorts. I drew my legs up to my chest and wrapped my arms around them to warm up. As the details of our weekends were discussed, I debated mentioning the penultimate part of mine. “I have to tell you something.”
While I told the story, I watched my friends’ eyes widen and mouths frown at each climax. But the verbal transgression was not the difficult part of the story for me. With eyes full of tears, I spoke the truth that I had refused to acknowledge for the last seven months. As my body shook on the bench, I tried to compose myself, remembering I was in public. Looking up to see my friend’s response, I was greeted with the words, “I know.”
LA COMPÉTITION Lacing up my shoes, I concentrated on the turf field beneath my sneakers. Stretching, I methodically went through my routine, back and forth on the field until it was time to line up. Approaching the starting line, a light rain began to seep into my jersey. I sized up my competition. “Grey uniform isn’t going to be hard to beat, blonde ponytail will go out too fast, the girl in the black uni—“ Suddenly, my train of thought was broken. “Remember that Ajax raced
best in the rain!” Looking to my right, I saw my coach standing behind the wire fence that lined the track, reminding me that his old racehorse performed best in the rain, and his athletes were no different. The gun went off, my stomach sank, and I dashed forward. After two and a half laps on the shoulder of the first place runner, I knew it was time. Running until nothing was in front of me but a light, damp, cool breeze and the finish line.
Maneuvering through bodies, I raced to escape the heat that had surrounded me for the last hour. Bounding off the back steps of the house I turned the corner toward the street. It had begun to rain heavily since I had been inside, but I didn’t mind. Slowly, the rain washed away the heat and sweat of the party. Cutting through a yard, I made my way to Sixth Street. Walking up the street, rain soaked hair stuck to my face, I saw the
figure I had been waiting to meet. Automatically, my pace quickened—smiles, a quick kiss, and we began walking hand in hand. Relaxing, I began to take in my surroundings for the first time since I had been outside. In the night, the rain made everything glisten. A car raced by us, creating a blur of light and noise to my left. Conversation suspended after a truth spilled out, and a spring breeze moved between us.
The sun beat down so strongly that, by afternoon, it felt as if the heat actually was heavy on your head. The concrete beneath my sandals seemed as though it could melt my shoes on a whim. Adjusting my backpack, I looked up the idyllic suburban street I lived on. I could see it happening at my house; looking down, I stared at my shoes and began to walk on the curb. Trying to balance, I realized how similar this was to life—one misstep, and
everything you hoped for becomes skewed. Different. I didn’t want to go home, not yet. Circling the block, I procrastinated, feeling anything for an hour until it began to rain. Taking my cue, I started to walk up my block. I saw the truck pull away from my house. The street was steaming, since the rain had relieved it after its day in the sun. Tilting my chin toward the sky, I let the rain mask my tears and smelled the earth begin again.
Bemoaning change may be the easiest way to strike up a conversation, quickly becoming intimate through a shared distaste for the unfamiliar. From the new shampoo that youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re forced to try because your usual was discontinued, to the unwelcomed deposit of snow after days of sunshine, or perhaps our current political system, change has paradoxically become a source of familiarity for many. Our lives are characterized by a state of flux, changing constantly in ways that are often unobtrusive but on occasion momentous. Flux permeates our world, visible in art, music, film, etc.
Culture Guide: Food
FOR THE BASE LOAF OF ZUCCHINI BREAD: Ingredients: 2 large eggs ½ cup brown sugar 1 cup grated zucchini 1 stick unsalted butter softened 1 tsp vanilla extract 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled-off 1 tsp ground cinnamon ½ tsp ground nutmeg 1 tsp baking soda 1 tsp salt ½ cup sunflower seeds Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix dry ingredients and zucchini in a bowl. Whisk wet ingredients in a separate bowl. Add the wet ingredients into the dry until combined. Place mixture in a well oiled loaf pan and cook for 40-45 minutes until golden brown on the outside. Looking into the depths of any ology uncovers significant subjects of knowledge. Bromatology, the study of food science, leads to one of the most perplexing social constructs we may never uncover or defeat. Is this ology to blame for why we, Americans, subconsciously eat sugary cereals in the morning, and burgers in the evening? Is this ology to blame for putting ketchup on french fries but not on ice cream? The science behind food and food decisions has isolated us for decades, prohibiting change and food risks. However, we can, and we will, take the ingredients sought after in one light and change them, making them just as delicious and sought after in another. We have taken one of the most manipulated foods of the past year, the zucchini, and made it into noodles, replacing one of the most requisite of dishes, spaghetti. Bromatologists would be rather disappointed in this flavorless modification, no? We can do more; we can change the zucchini in such a way that places sweet and savory at a parallel.
ZUCCHINI FRENCH TOAST WITH ZUCCHINI JAM: Ingredients for the jam: ¾ cup sugar 1 tbsp lemon juice 1 zucchini ribboned with a peeler Butter for the pan Syrup to taste
Directions: Prep the Jam by making zucchini ribbons using a peeler. Put all of the jam ingredients in a pot and cook on high until sugar dissolves. Once it starts to boil, simmer and let it sit until thick and turn off the stove. Butter both sides of the bread and pan fry in a skillet until golden brown on both sides. When all are done, assemble each toast with a scoop of jam and drizzle with maple syrup to taste.
ZUCCHINI SMØRREBRØD WITH ROASTED ZUCCHINI & RICOTTA Ingredients: 1 zucchini 1 onion 3 tbsp olive oil 1 cup of ricotta cheese Fresh or dried sage leaves Salt and pepper to taste
Directions: Cut Zucchini into rounds and toss with 3 Tbsp of olive oil. Season with salt pepper and sage. Put in a 400˚F oven for 20-25 minutes. Sauté onions with 1 Tbsp of oil in a pan until caramelized. Toast slices of bread and assemble. Place the ricotta cheese, onions, and then the zucchini. Drizzle with olive oil to taste.
WORDS & PHOTO DANNAH STRAUSS
Culture Guide: Playlist
CRUISE CONTROL WORDS Staci Dubow, Eric Gowat, & Will Frost PHOTO Kelsey O’Donnell
There is something about movement that pairs so seamlessly with music. Whether you are listening to heavy rap on a long run, quirky jazz as an elevator descends, or bassthumping EDM as you walk into a party, the amalgamation of music and motion pervades all contexts. The following artists manifest the sounds of driving when winter’s bitter nuances fade to a milder spring air. The buoyancy of each track mirrors the cadence with which we flock to the outdoors once the thermometer passes a specified threshold. Anything can serve as a valid excuse to hop
in the car and cruise down the winding country roads of Pennsylvania to prove that hibernation has truly ended once spring commences. Such a momentous occasion requires a soundtrack. There isn’t a word for that feeling you get when you roll the windows all the way down on the first long drive of spring, with the first few notes of the perfect song surmounting the roar of wind rushing against your ears, but we think this curated set may serve as a solid accent to it all.
Culture Guide: Playlist “Dancing in the Moonlight” was originally penned by keyboardist and songwriter Sherman Kelly 1969. On a trip to the Caribbean Island of Saint Croix, Kelly was attacked by a gang. During his recovery, he was inspired to envision “an alternate reality… the dream of a peaceful and joyful celebration of life.” A year later, Boffolongo would cover the song, followed by King Harvest, whose keyboarddriven take brought the song over to the U.S. Nearly 40 years later, a more well-known version of the song by the U.K. band Toploader emerged. Their rendition envisions a harmonic space where, as the title suggests, we can coexist underneath the moonlit sky. Like Sherman Kelly’s initial vision, the song continues to resonate as a reminder of life’s most “natural delights.”
Where “Dancing In The Moonlight” relishes in the beauty of the moment, John Legend and Chance the Rapper’s “Penthouse Floor” trills for movement—both physical and social. Using the metaphor of a climbing elevator, Legend and Chance communicate their own social ascent. The song also subtly invokes thematic critiques of race inequality and social mobility. While Legend croons over deep bass and elaborate percussion, creating an alluring vision of success, Chance’s verse, “My folks downstairs still waitin’ in line/They never been in these rooms/ Never stayed with these folks/Never laughed at the news, never hated these jokes” questions this illusion and the people it leaves behind.
“Crooked Smile,” a piano-heavy track by J. Cole, was released as the second single from Cole’s Born Sinner Album. Originally, the song consisted of only three verses sung over a Tupac sample. Its ultimate form wouldn’t transpire until later, during a jam session J. Cole held at a private show in Los Angeles. The track’s structural transformation mirrors a more symbolic one—that of Cole’s shifting vision of himself. Cole describes Born Sinner as being made of two parts—heaven and hell. “Crooked Smile” sits at the album’s juncture, where the artist and listeners begin to enter lightness. He says, “I don’t have that Colgate smile, and people keep reminding me about that.” An ode to self-acceptance, the song cherishes not only the artist’s own “crooked smile,” but more broadly, the inherent individuality in existence. It’s a song about everyone’s imperfections, insecurities, and an embracing of those individual quirks.
Stacked with prolific artists—Mase, Notorious B.I.G., Puff Daddy, Kelly Price—and samples of Diana Ross’ hit “I’m Coming Out,” “Mo Money Mo Problems” is considered one of the most popular songs in the history of hip-hop. The track, posthumously released on B.I.G.’s album Life After Death, articulates the problems that money and success can inadvertently bring. The song was inspired by the attacks and lawsuits Puff Daddy’s Bad Boy Record Label faced as it gained success. But the track more broadly tackles larger systemic issues, suggesting that conspicuous consumption will never really address our yearning for contentment.
Culture Guide: Fashion
WORDS Joanna Harrold
Longtime fashion icon Vivienne Westwood has led the charge in designing non-binary apparel.
orn in Cheshire, England in 1941 and a three-time recipient of British Fashion Designer of the Year, Vivienne Westwood is no stranger to the fashion world. But it was not always this way. In school, Westwood studied silver-smithing, and later went on to become a primary school teacher while simultaneously selling her jewelry designs at Portobello Road Market in the Notting Hill district of London. Through this, she met Malcom McLaren, owner of the London boutique “Let it Rock.” Eventually, Westwood went on to become a principal designer for the boutique and, to this day, still sells her designs at the store. McLaren, manager of the British punk band the Sex Pistols, later hired Westwood as a designer for the band, elevating her status as a designer. Westwood went on to play a significant role in bringing modern punk and new wave fashions to the runway in the 1970s and 80s. She has always been a rule-breaker and a fan of the unconventional, using her designs as a platform for causes such as equal rights, nuclear disarmament, and protection of the environment to name a few. Along the way, she has acquired fans
including Marion Cotillard, Pharrell Williams, and Gwendoline Christie. In recent years, Westwood and her partner and second husband, Andreas Kronthaler, approximately 10 years her junior, have shifted their focus to a new social issue: gender. For Westwood, “Gender was never the most important thing,” and it certainly shows in her designs. Since 2015, with her collection titled “Unisex,” featuring trousers and dresses for women and men alike, Westwood has been pushing the boundaries of what gender signifies in the fashion sphere. She has continued with this trend over the past two years, especially with her most recent autumn/winter 2017 collection shown at London Men’s Fashion Week. The collection merged together her menswear line MAN and her women’s Red Label, with pieces designed to be worn by both sexes. Although it was Men’s Fashion Week, the show included both male and female models. The line evoked a critique of the upper class uniform, with exaggerated doublebreasted suits, “IOU” in chicken-scratch on belts, blazers without trousers, and paper crowns assembled arts-and-crafts style with pieces sticking out haphazardly.
There were also plenty of wide-leg trousers, patched knitted sweaters, and heritage plaid suits mixed with ragged scarves, all demonstrating Westwood’s experimentation with shape and texture. A standout was a Red Riding Hoodinspired slim pantsuit with a matching floor-grazing hood. Westwood’s punk roots were also apparent with pieces featuring embroidered skulls, opposing patterns, and phrases such as “antipeople.” Not forgetting about her passion for climate change, Westwood’s show was titled “Ecotricity.” Her designs included slogans about saving the environment along with tribal prints and photos of herself. For Westwood, gender-fluid fashion and environmental awareness go hand-inhand. “Unisex is good for the environment, as couples would not have to buy so many clothes,” she stated. Her coed runway show itself was a demonstration of reducing resources while maintaining the same outcome. With a turnover of £33.8 million in 2015, Westwood certainly knows a thing or two about staying relevant in the ever-changing fashion world. With that statement, she could be setting the tone for future trends. It certainly wouldn’t be the first time for this punk revolutionary.
Culture Guide: Film
WORDS Staci Dubow ILLUSTRATION Morgan Robison he road film is a genre that extends back even before the medium’s creation. One can trace the narrative to ancient Greece, the site of Homer’s The Odyssey. In fact, its origins may date back even farther, to human’s nomadic ancestry, to our primal need for movement and an essential want to transcribe it. If we subscribe to such a primordial definiti--on of the road film, we can trace the narrative all the way back to cave paintings, the earliest records of what has now been coined the bildungsroman—a change in character, marked by both the physical and spiritual. These changing sceneries and emotional states, depicted by movies from Sullivan’s Travels to Easy Rider and from Thelma and Louise to Bonnie and Clyde, mark a character’s evolution just as much as a culture’s. Often, the two face off in a crisis of national versus personal identity. British director Andrea Arnold’s American Honey draws on the history of its genre: circuitous in motion and primal in imagery. The film was inspired by a 2007 New York Times article about “mag crews”, which are traveling groups of teens and young adults who go door-to-door selling magazine subscriptions. The magazines available for subscription range from porn to boating, but the product is irrelevant. The point is the open highway, set to the tune of trap, bass, and the occasional country track between stops. Featuring mostly unknown actors who were discovered by the director on her own trip across the USA, the film follows Star, an 18-year-old drawn to the crew’s restless lifestyle. After all, they drive around in vans and sleep in cheap motels – not to mention
one of the male crew members, Jake, played by a rat-tailed Shia LaBeouf, who first invigorates this restlessness in Star. This lifestyle allows Star to escape her less than romantic life of caring for two young children and being groped by their father. The film itself is long and winding, like the highway it follows. It runs nearly three hours, but, despite its length, time is of no importance, as we become a part of the movie. Instead, sensory details like sin-lit shots, close-ups of insects, and breezy freeways take precedence over a three act structure. Despite robbery, prostitution, and violence, we see no cause-and-effect relationship—their world moves, and the audience moves with it. Meandering camera movements mimic the wanderlust of Star and her free-spirited contemporaries by capturing both romantic notions of exploration and the bitter uncertainty of youth. The film’s 1:1.33 aspect ratio boxes American Honey’s subjects in, while shots of the sky go on infinitely, reminding us of the freedom they long for.
shot of a manicured lawn set against another shot of children with empty fridges as they drink Mountain Dew for breakfast. Parts of the country are ravaged by recession while others revel in wealth, often in the form of oil and other natural resources. American Honey’s American dream is all too near collapse. The magazine subscription scheme itself, the very reason for Star’s odyssey, exists in a world already shifted away from print. But the film’s protagonist—with a name that is blatantly American—is often as wishful, and sometimes as ignorant, as our own national reverie.
Somehow, Arnold romanticizes refuse into intrigue. She poignantly captures the main paradox of her subjects, and more generally, American existence, flaunting Middle America with gritty realism and Star’s romantic inclinations with dreamy euphoria.
Quite simply, Star is good. She buys food for the children of an addict (whom she meets while making sales), bails one of her crewmates out of a drunken tussle turned dangerous, and repeatedly saves insects to the point that it becomes its own sub-plot. However, she is also caught in a web of empty promises that manifest into exploitation. This contradiction reveals itself most poignantly as Star saves a bee from the pool of a wealthy gang of pseudocowboys just before drinking a bottle of mescal and stealing their car with Jake. As the camera closes in on the insect, resting on a metallic wrapper, natural goodness and artificial wealth come head to head.
The film’s documentary style makes audiences feel as if they’re a fly on the wall, like the insects shown in the film that are onlookers to the American landscape in flux, just as much as the characters themselves. We bear witness to a fractured nation, with one
Conquest, exploitation, and capitalization exist unequivocally in our American DNA. But so does opportunity, adventure, and, well, stars. American Honey is an ode to both of these truths and, above all, a testament to the constant flux of human existence.
Culture Guide: Art
PARA LA GENTE QUE VIVE EN LA CALLE WORDS & PHOTO Emily Malmquist
t doesn’t take spending much longer than one day in Madrid to realize that the city’s inhabitants have a remarkable liking for passing time in the street. Madrid’s unique blend of sociocentric culture, perpetually sunny weather, and conveniently central location within Spain has resulted in one of the highest ratings for bars per capita in the entire world. House parties are an alien idea to madrileños; all socializing and entertaining is done outside of the home, as madrileños typically bounce around from plaza to restaurant terrace to park (all of which are overwhelmingly abundant) all night and all morning... that is, until the metro reopens for the day at 6:30am. The narrow, cobblestone streets that make up Madrid are alive not only with people, but also, as of late, with art. The city has carried out a cosmopolitan nature for a long time, but not until recently did it catch on to the street art trends of role model cities like London, Paris, and New York. While Madrid has yet to offer an urban artist on par with London’s Banksy or Los Angeles’s Shepard Fairey, its walls are screaming in a beautifully intrusive way. Street art has infiltrated even the most obscure neighborhoods of Madrid, covering a multitude of building surfaces with socially relevant and politically charged content. On
one brick wall, a decrepit message in stucco reads, “social mente iguales, humanamente diferente” (“socially equal, humanly different”). Further down the block, the facade of an abandoned building is brought to life through a depiction of a woman of color surrounded by the words “Iguales, totalmente libre” (“Equal, totally free”). The city’s impending topics, such as its rapidly increasing immigrant population, high unemployment rate, and worsening air quality, are finally impossible to ignore, even for those who once had the privilege to do so. This recent boom in urban art is overdue for a city with art museums as rich as Madrid’s; however, the movement is quickly gaining momentum. In general, the existence of street art is a testament to society’s current standards of stimulation, accessibility, and instant gratification. Art evolves with us, and for a generation that looks mainly to Netflix for entertainment and to Seamless and Postmates for nourishment, classical art museums are no longer the most efficient way to reach large audiences. Although street art is governed by a brand new set of rules such as impermanence and nonexclusivity, it is one of the most popular and prosperous markets for art today and easily the most culturally relevant.
WORDS & PHOTOS Morgan Robison
n the heart of a country where streets are fuller of mystery and intrigue than people, one of the holiest cities in the world resides. Varanasi sits on the Ganges River in India, informally known as the City of Death, but it swells with life. Nightly, a choreographed ceremony is performed to honor the river, its gods, and other deities. People flock to the river; colored red and yellow by flames, smoke, and floating magnolia votives. This is not a place for the faint of heart. Strays, hungry children, cows, and rickshaws pack together; there is no moment without contact, no breath
unshared. On the gnats, the colloquial term for steps, people wade out onto a sea of boats, the water unreachable. Floating away, four hundred meters from the ceremony is a crematorium. Two hundred bodies burn daily, needing approximately one hundred and fifty pounds of wood per body; those who cannot afford to completely burn a body release the remains into the water. The passing of night to dawn brings purple skies and peace. The morning orange sun contrasts with fog and stillness. Eerie in comparison to the
night before, the sound of creaking boats echo off the gnats. Locals silently wash everything from bodies to clothing, and they pray, presenting offerings. Mark Twain once described it as, â&#x20AC;&#x153;older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend, and looks twice as old as all of them put together.â&#x20AC;?The experience is an outof-body sublimity; the actualization of spirituality rushes through the veins. Hindus linger by its edges, seeking liberation from death that can only come from the life of the Ganges.
they tell us to prepare to stay close, to peer through so that I can tell my point of view of a hole in the wall a glimmer of sight to shape my understanding of a life I know nothing About. Forward. the only motion I feel the dirt of the road slipping into my sole I hear Screaming, Humming, Silence so bitter so beautiful Breathe and focus shutting off all except the hot sweet taste of air feels like water dumping down the throat to hone on the sound that plays Life on repeat Voices sing til they scream a woman grabbing my arm, a child extending a palm a man writhing limbless I know not how to respond I see the water through People packed tighter than the molecules below I feel everything
which feels like nothing rooted in one another religion, love, hate, pain reeling through the streets I never felt more even with death packing colors for every season but they did not care because this was about life so they dip into the river, until nothing is left but restoration My mind runs as my body falls Into the beauty of it all Before me burns like chemicals forming a photograph imprinted in the skin of my body an invisible tattoo as I hit bottom and give in just as the body caught flame In silence we watched a secret that was not ours I swallow and hope this feeling never fades as the flesh illuminates the night meeting the maker before I It seemed so easy never simple And I awake
the morning brings anew calm purple to water that gives and takes Licking the shore with the promise that tomorrow will come Swelling sound fills my being Washing, pouring over like a cloth to a fresh wound Elixing life a body rolls ripples through the river His palms up to the sky Cleansed like mine but to be erased and born anew he’s wrapped in scarlet and gold For you and how do you feel knowing he waits for you to greet you, death a friend he hasn’t seen in many years Is this divine sorrow? if only I knew Color swirling together Silence swirling together Life swirling together People whisper and the voices burn holes but my mind is far from the pain severed from this body a moment floating over water moving in slow motion time ticking away at different paces but for now I merely watch the intimacy of life These bones of flesh Carved by flame leave coal without taste Charred by the memory of this subliminal dream I will never be ready to write this justice to tell my view of a hole in the wall a glimmer of sight to shape my understanding of a death I’ll know nothing About.
The Story of Families Pending Asylum
WORDS Amanda Battle PHOTOS Caroline Sullivan & Serena Tramm
e stood outside the second residential unit, eyes fixed on the shattered glass littering the floor. It was a pigeon that broke the window looking for food. The refugee who lives in the apartment loves birds. He fled his home country by boat with no idea where he was sailing or how long the journey would be. One morning, the site of pigeons brought him to tears. He explained, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Where there are pigeons, there is land.â&#x20AC;? He now feeds the birds every day.
Asylum seekers must be housed in residential buildings while their asylum applications are processed, and if is illegal to house applicants in arrangements similar to detainment or jails. Families fit in rooms the square footage of a college dorm double. There is minimal furniture, white walls, and a bathroom with a sink, toilet, and shower. Some rooms have old televisions, others have windows. But all were very bare, lit by fluorescent light, tight on space, but very clean.
I biked to the tram, took the tram to the metro, rode the metro to the train, caught a train to the bus, and then walked fifteen minutes on the side
couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t understand. A little girl trailed behind them, walking, staring carefully at the pavement, placing one foot in front of the other. She looked TO COMPLY WITH INTERNATIONAL up when she LAW, STATES MUST PROCESS ASYLUM got to my feet, APPLICATIONS AS FAST AS THEY CAN. titling her head OFTEN TIMES, STATES TAKE YEARS TO sideways as she inspected my MAKE A DECISION. white sneakers. of a narrow back road to find the refugee center. Her eyes glazed past my undone shoelace Every building was unlabeled, so I sat on the towards my bag, covered in a flower curb as I waited for my class to arrive. pattern print. She then traced my jeans to my blue eyes, staring calm and A group of children scootered past me unalarmed. Her body language unafraid, on their Razors, speaking a language I she said nothing and continued walking.
I was a law student in the Netherlands studying international and domestic asylum policies, human rights, and European migration law. The center I visited was for families who applied for asylum in the Netherlands and were waiting on a decision from the government. The center also housed families that were denied asylum but could legally stay under Dutch law because they had children under the age of 18. My professor looked eerily like Vincent Van Gogh. He ate poorly, spoke French, and acted impulsively. But he was brilliant. He arrived at the refugee center exactly on time. We followed him to security,
Feature where they scanned our passports and introduced us to the director of the center. She was a hefty Dutch woman who had no patience for our nervous class.
application. According to the European Court of Human Rights, it is illegal for states to place asylum seekers in any condition similar to jail or prison.
“Stop clutching your bags to your sides. They’re not going to rob you,” she barked. I had learned quickly in the Netherlands how straightforward Dutch people speak the English language. By her side was the assistant director, who I later learned grew up in a family refugee center like this one. Together, they gave us a tour of the center.
“It’s pretty sweet they get a TV,” one student said. The apartments didn’t include a kitchen for each family, but there was one for the floor to use. It included basic equipment: an oven, stovetop, and refrigerator. Five to seven families have to share this kitchen every day. Each week, every family at the center is given a budget for food.
First stop: the apartments. I felt like we were on a college tour walking the campus. “The room we’re showing you today is intended to house a family of five. Amenities include a full bathroom and bunk beds, as well as a TV that gets limited channels,” the director said as we walked into the room.
When we toured the kitchen, there was a man cooking stir fry. He shouted at us, “You want some?” and chuckled at his own joke as he sautéed his small handful of food. I wasn’t hungry at all. Just an hour earlier, I stopped at Starbucks for a breakfast sandwich and an iced latte, and my entire class had a lunch reservation in an hour at a restaurant in The Hague.
According to the United Nations, every person has the human right to apply for asylum, but it’s up to individual countries to grant individuals asylum. A refugee is a person who has left his/her country and is seeking asylum out of legitimate fear of persecution. Persecution is defined as a threat or dangerous discrimination due to race, gender, religion, sexuality, or other aspects of someone’s identity within his or her home country. States often grant asylum to those who come from war or conflict ridden countries, like Syria today or Afghanistan in the 1990s. To comply with international law, states must process asylum applications as fast as they can. Often times, states take years to make a decision. While the application is being processed, asylum seekers are placed in centers like the one I visited. It is illegal for states to send asylum seekers back to a country they’re claiming persecution within based on a legal principle called non-refoulement, which is French for “do not force back.” A country must supply asylum seekers with proper food, housing, and healthcare until the state comes to a decision on their asylum
It must have been recess when we walked to the school from the apartments. All of the children were outside playing tag. The little girl in the pink shirt pointed at me and smiled like we were friends. This time, it was me who stared back. “Who can run the fastest to that tree?” yelled the director. Every child yelled back in a different language and took off running. Inside the school, each classroom was bare. The white boards had no markers. The desks had no name tags. There was no artwork on the walls. No storybooks on the shelves. Every room was locked carefully. “Kids learn languages so fast. It’s miraculous,” the director explained. “But the problem is they grow up learning languages their parents can’t speak, and this leads to problems within families. The children are speaking different languages than their parents.” Often times, children grow up in asylum centers unaware of the politics of asylum procedure. They attend the same public schools as the domestic children, join
sports teams, make friends, and ride Razor Scooters. They integrate into the society, many completely unknowing of the place their family fears. In the Netherlands, when the last child of any family denied asylum turns 18 years old, their families are kicked out immediately and must go back to their home country. The director explained to our class how most asylum-seekers at this center came from middle-class backgrounds. Some may have been doctors or lawyers back in their home countries, but they were forced to leave because they feared for their lives. Many left behind cars, homes, and all their valuables. They had to forget and forgo these items to escape. I realized how wrong I was to assume that refugees were poor, as it is only their refugee status that identifies them as low-income. The assistant director of the center was quiet until the end of our visit. He shared with our group how he grew up in a family refugee center similar to this one. I thought he would resent the failings of the European asylum system and the number of years people await asylum decisions. But he didn’t. He was grateful for the system. He glowed about how the number of Dutch volunteers outnumbered Syrian refugees at a nearby center. At the end of the visit, I walked back to the bus and passed a sign: “Next 100 years ahead.” I thought about the man cooking stir-fry in his kitchen, the little girl in the pink shirt, and the man feeding the pigeons each day. Innocent children. Anxious people awaiting their fate. Human beings echoing gratitude for an asylum system that oppresses them, decorating even the cages built around them.
INTERCONNECTED PHOTOS & WORDS Megan Martzolff
echnology and nature often appear starkly different, but they remain very much interconnected. We tend to forget or overlook the resources necessary to allow us to create and advance technologically. With this in mind, I tried to emphasize the relationship between technology and nature, while provoking thought on ways to continue our way of life in a more sustainable manner. Nature has always been an integral part of my life and my learning; as a child, some of my fondest memories are spent in nature. Growing up, I went to a school in Michigan that was surrounded by acres of forest and gardens. There, we spent hours roaming with our teachers. We would trek through the woods to get to the open grassy fields where my friends and I would run and play until the teachers told us it was time to go back. Other times we would walk to a garden where we saw an array of flowers. Each time we were told “look, but don’t touch.” From a young age
this allowed me to develop a deep appreciation for the world around me and understand that it was a resource to be valued, not destroyed. Reflecting on this belief and thinking about how technological development often utilizes and destroys resources, I found myself wondering if there was a way for the two to coexist in harmony. In the photographs, both technology and nature depend on each other; neither one is superior nor more necessary. They are equals. The combination of technology and nature led to not only intriguing visuals, but also to the creation of a space for conversation and reflection about current issues. While technology allows for societal advancement, it also uses many resources and creates mass pollution, thus diminishing the limited resources that the earth possesses. I feel that the question that we face today is not about the technology of nature, but rather about how to utilize both harmoniously for sustainable development of society.
the other WORDS, PHOTO & ILLUSTRATION Tom Bonan
“The Glen Canyon seems oddly anachronistic; it is almost an homage to an era of misplaced faith where great feats of American engineering solidified the grand path of the country’s future.” did not first see the Glen Canyon Dam until August of this past year, and its image has not entirely left my mind since. The dam was always an object of fascination to me — an abstract enemy that any environmentalist would undoubtedly share; a great totem of progress, hidden countless miles away in the recesses of the desert; a magical being capable of impounding astonishing amounts of water in a country where there was none. And yet, it was completed over thirty years before I was born, and planned many years before that. It always remained a strange kind of historical oddity—an object that, in my mind, exists in history and seems to have entered our own time rather clumsily. It is one thing to read about the dam and imagine the motivation behind it or the planning and execution necessary for its construction or even the eventual ecological devastation that it produced; it is another thing entirely to see the dam in person. It
stands seven-hundred and ten feet above the river, a brilliant, chalky white contrasted against the vermillion cliffs that it adjoins. That something so magnificent, so large and imposing could produce such chaotic destruction and death and become such an object of abstract and vehement derision is confounding. I felt my own blind rage washing away like the turbulent banks of the river beneath. For a brief moment, that space was occupied by two dams simultaneously: one superfluous, destructive, awash in blood; the other powerful, energetic, a beacon of light in a land where no one was. The Glen Canyon never got the attention of that other marvelous, concave dam, the Hoover, tucked away further down the Colorado River. The former was completed in 1964 and never did share in that same mythological light of the latter, which was famously constructed by one of the great public works programs in the depths of the
Great Depression. The Glen Canyon seems oddly anachronistic; it is almost an homage to an era of misplaced faith where great feats of American engineering solidified the grand path of the country’s future. While Hoover was adorned with great images of man’s progress over nature, of harnessing a mad and wild river to suit the energy needs of our great cities in the west, a symbol and monument that “buildeth again a nation,” Glen Canyon was given the informal label “cash register”—an acknowledgment by the Bureau of Reclamation that the dam was constructed mainly to pay for future water projects down the line. Many of those projects have not come to fruition, both because of the cost and the backlash from environmental groups. Even so, the dam has yet to fully pay for itself, let alone anything else. It is hard to reconcile such a senseless destruction of a place without the totemic status that has been given to the Hoover.
Edward Abbey, the famed desert writer, travelled to Glen Canyon as they began blasting holes in the cliff side to make buttresses to support the base of the dam. He observed that the canyon, with its myriad of springs and secluded caverns, harboring antelope and deer as well as fish and birds, was the last “portion of Earth’s original paradise.” The canyon was later submerged under hundreds of feet of water—years worth of the Colorado River that slowly trickled in and became impounded behind the formidable backside of the dam. As the water level rose, the birds disappeared; the antelope lost their river crossings and their populations collapsed for hundreds of miles around; the banks, covered in dense, mercurial shrub, withered away underwater; the ancient Native American settlements were cleared of any artifacts and slowly lost among the lapping waves against their side; the water, a violent, turbulent red became a dark, placid blue and slowly stopped churning and whipping until a lake formed above its former course.
From an outcrop just off a side road in the town of Page, you can glimpse down into the gorge that once served as the downriver entrance into Glen Canyon. To lay eyes on the dam is most akin to a religious experience. It is impossible to not be inspired, to feel a sense of devotion to a civilization that would come to such an isolated and desolate spot and see value and promise that would warrant such an enterprise. And yet, the experience is schizophrenic; one cannot help but imagine what it would be like to bear witness to such a unique place, inevitably imagining whether such a place could still exist in the world. The water trickling out of the dam, through pipes and tunnels and turbines, is a surreal, deep azure—a rarity for these parts where red, sun-scorched rock fills the eye—as sediment is trapped behind the dam, filtering the ruddy complexion that gave the Colorado its name. Beyond is the white, shining face of the dam—a myriad of heavy cables extending in every direction, sending electricity off into the far reaches of the southwest. Their shadow
is felt directly overhead as though a tentacle monster were rising from the depths of the lake beyond. One can feel hardly feel the penetrating isolation that the desert typically engenders when they are staring at 5 million cubic yards of concrete and steel. The afternoon when I first saw the Glen Canyon was hot and dry; there was no wind, no perturbation to speak of. The air was preternaturally calm, and I was alone at the lookout that was constructed to view the great project off in the distance—everyone else, no doubt, was out on the lake, seeking respite from the high summer desert heat. The dam sat there stoically, as it has for fifty-two years, and the hums of the turbines rolled off the small mesas that adjoined the cliffs that recede down to the base of the dam and the emerging river. It seems impossible that such a place could exist; a place at once under such great pressure and force that only seems to continue standing with casual ease.
WORDS Jackson Pierce PHOTOS Mariele Saunders Shultz
I first met Ty Chung in early 2014 at a training session in the Posse D.C. office. Already wizened from a single action-packed semester on campus, he and a handful of other Bucknell scholars held a panel for incoming students. My Posse gathered in a circle of beanbags on the carpet and listened attentively to their stories of late nights in the library, looming oaks in the grove, and the promise of opportunity. I didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t remember Tyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s name, but I never forgot the tangible coolness that seemed to roll off of him in waves. Three years later, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m interviewing him from the front seat of a silver Honda Accord, firing off questions and speeding through Central PA. The violent sunset spreads into a smooth dusk as we approach our destination: a T-Mobile store in Williamsport. A skilled communicator, Ty answers my questions with a rhythmic cadence and narrative flair. Much has changed, but his vibe remains just the same as it had been three years ago.
Feature Ty is currently a senior at Bucknell double majoring in economics and geography. He works as a Residential Adviser in Bucknell West, a community of modular dorm-style homes across Route 15 often referred to as “the Mods,” and he holds a part-time position at the equipment desk in the library. In the past year, he’s seen four continents and half a dozen countries. A few days after he walks across the stage at 2017 Commencement, he’ll return to D.C. to start a job at a top tier consulting firm with a salary in the high five figures. His life runs at a constant incline, a train that does not stop. For many students, Posse or otherwise, Ty is our “whole father.” He’s a man of seemingly limitless wisdom who brings a cool head and a calm perspective to overwhelming situations. He’s always willing to discuss our trivialities and tribulations, to break down complex macroeconomic concepts, or to kick ass in a quick game of iMessage 8-ball. A peer, a mentor, and a fiercely loyal ally, he’s been a key component of our campus experience. I interviewed him in hopes of stealing his secrets, so that, once he graduates, I might be able to absorb his charisma and fill the void he’ll undoubtedly leave. This is what I learned:
Storms make the oak grow deeper roots. “I grew up in Washington, D.C., Southeast. I’ve lived in pretty much every quadrant of the District and three or four counties in Maryland. We moved around a lot, what with family situations being fucked up and all.” “I met my father for the first time when I was four years old. The second time, I was ten. Then, I didn’t see him again ‘til I was 19.” He never called on special occasions, birthdays, holidays. There was no contact, no financial support, nothing. Ty hasn’t seen him since, but this doesn’t bother him. He learned to be independent a long time ago. “I learned independence by watching my mother. I made my own car payments, managed my own phone bill, I file my own FAFSA. I had to. There weren’t any other options.”
“FOR MANY STUDENTS, POSSE OR OTHERWISE, TY IS OUR ‘WHOLE FATHER.’ HE’S A MAN OF SEEMINGLY LIMITLESS WISDOM WHO BRINGS A COOL HEAD AND A CALM PERSPECTIVE TO OVERWHELMING SITUATIONS.” According to his sister, Ty has 22 halfsiblings by his father, and three step-siblings by his mother. “But I may as well have been an only child. By the time I was old enough to remember, my brother was already moving out with the job corps and had a son of his own. My sister was basically raised in the streets... she was in and out of juvenile detention centers. So I was pretty much always on my own. I lived with my mother and my grandmother. Family members would stay for a little and leave.”
the streets, even when walking with their mothers. Or worse, they were arrested.
Ty recounts a turbulent relationship with his older brother, who currently lives at home. One time while roughhousing, he locked Ty in a chokehold and refused to release him. Once he managed to slip out, Ty bopped him on the sniffer, drawing a little blood. His brother left the room and came back with a knife in one hand and a baseball bat in the other. Ty exited the house before things got more serious.
A mentor is someone who allows you to see the hope inside yourself.
“I didn’t see him again until I was 21. At every point in my life where I felt like I needed a male figure, they just weren’t around. From ages 13 to 20, you go through so many developmental changes, you know? Physical, mental, emotional… they just weren’t around.” In Ty’s neighborhood, a mistrust of the police was instilled from an early age. The harassment was legitimate and unending. Sheriffs who worked as security guards in his school falsely charged him of multiple crimes on several occasions. Once, after being pulled over, an officer used the air fresheners hanging from Ty’s rearview mirror as probable cause to strip search his car. Once his innocence was determined, he was released, but he never got an answer as to why he was pulled over in the first place. Growing up in a single parent household isn’t easy, much less a single parent household in Southeast D.C., an area plagued by gun violence and narcotics. Ty recounted a few incidents where he was in immediate danger. Friends got jumped, robbed, and stabbed in
“I feared for my life every day, going to and from school.” He says this the same way someone might say, “I had cereal for breakfast.” “I was blessed to have the support system I got, though. I don’t mean to say I came from nothing. I saw a lot of shit and I went through some shit, but I really enjoyed my childhood. I had people.”
Ty was a student at KIPP DC College Preparatory, a non-profit charter school in . the city that grooms students for success. “If it wasn’t for KIPP, I wouldn’t be where I’m at. KIPP changed my life for the better. I have my own beef with them, but they helped make me who I am. A lot of things could have shifted my trajectory.” Part of KIPP’s curriculum involves a strong emphasis on personal character development. They achieve this through strict behavioral guidelines. Students travel in lines, tuck in their shirts, and are forbidden from chatting between classes. At this point in the story, I became confused. I asked Ty how he stayed grounded amidst the surrounding chaos of the District and the mounting pressure at school. “I had a teacher my junior year who saw potential in me that I didn’t see in myself. She gave me confidence in my own abilities. I always knew I was smart because I could do the busy work they gave me, and I could do it quick. But I didn’t know I had the capacity to comprehend bigger things, to make it to an elite university, to uplift myself.” On his teacher’s nomination, Ty and his mother were flown to Florida, where he
47 spoke at the KIPP summit. Included in their all-expenses paid trip were park passes to Magic Kingdom and a stay at a suite at one of the Disney resorts. “All it took was being a good student. Being in the streets brought me nothing but a few extra dollars and headaches. But working hard brought my mother to Florida.” Attending Bucknell presents an entirely different set of challenges, especially given the contrast between campus and his home. I asked what motivates him to push through the humdrum of Bucknell existence. “My mother still lives in poverty. I know I can make a difference in her life. Going back home is depressing. I always want to go back home until I actually get home. Bucknell has been good to me and it’s been good for me. Even for all the bullshit, being here is a blessing. I wanted to do this. I’ve been able to do so much because of this.”
Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has courage to lose sight of the shore. Ty spent the entirety of his junior year abroad—one semester on a rotational program with the School for International Training and one semester with Bucknell in Ghana. He studied urban development and performed an independent study on food insecurity. “I wanted to see as many places as possible. India’s home to a seventh of the world’s entire population. Such a rich culture, so many interesting people, all mixed up into one subcontinent. I thought I’d enjoy it least because of how it’s portrayed in the media, but it was actually my favorite. I was there during Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights.” “I enjoyed the hell out of it—even in the hot weather, sleeping in mosquito nets, getting sick a few times from drinking the water. It was all worth it. Everyone in my program knew what we were getting into. If you weren’t willing to sacrifice some of the amenities you had in the States, you should have gone somewhere else, or stayed home.” In India, Ty was exposed to the entirety of the financial spectrum, which is
characterized by unimaginably vast wealth and desolate poverty.
can prove they’ve been occupying land for at least two weeks.
“There were these pockets of wealth-trade centers and economic hubs right next to places that looked like they were trapped in the 1800’s. Abject poverty. Their society is arranged according to a caste system, this social hierarchy that you’re born into because of something you did in your past life. The lowest caste, the untouchables, handles the waste and sewage of the entire society. The system is supposed to be illegal, but it still rears an ugly head.”
“With an unemployment rate of 26%, there’s a lot of homelessness. People often squat on unoccupied land and develop small, selfsustained farms. But if the government sells that land to private investors, they’ll come in and burn the settlements to the ground. There’s a common rhetoric in the U.S. that welfare makes people lazy and all it takes is effort to lift yourself by the bootstraps. In this country, when they try to lift themselves, the government burns their work to ash.”
“My host family had servants, but right across the street, people were living in shacks. People believe that everything that happens to them is exactly what they deserve. They accept it.”
In Brazil, Ty visited a favela—a lowincome, informal neighborhood. Some favelas lack any legitimate infrastructure or roads, others are ruled by drug lords with assault rifles.
Barring the prevalent economic strife, he relished his experience. “I had a ball. Every day was my favorite day. Sometimes I wish I could just teleport back. Just close my eyes and open them in a rickshaw. It makes me want to cry tears of joy.”
“A lot of the favelas are off limits because you can’t travel through them in a vehicle. The crime is real bad there, every type of crime you can imagine. I left all my valuables behind, and I had to dress down so as not to appear American. I got to see the stairs where Snoop Dogg and Pharell filmed ‘Beautiful.’ There were bodegas where people were selling hard drugs like they were Danishes, just out in the open.”
But he doesn’t. Instead, Ty moves on to describe his studies in Bo-Kaap, a South African neighborhood just outside of Cape Town. “The terrain was spectacular. When people think Africa, they think deserts and fields, but there’s so much more.” Much of the data for his study of food systems and food insecurity was gathered through personal interviews. “My host brother in my second homestay was obese, even by American standards. He was maybe six or seven-years-old, and he already weighed over 120 pounds. His grandmother had nearly starved to death under the apartheid regime. There was a point in time where there was simply nothing to eat. After being denied food like that, how could she ever say no to him?” Some laws in South Africa that were designed to combat the effects of apartheid often end up continuing oppression in a different form. There’s legislation that bequeaths property rights to anyone who
“Brazil was incredible. I had the time of my life. I enjoyed every minute. Even hot days when we walked for hours and I had no idea what anyone was saying because I didn’t speak Portuguese, it was all perfect.” After flying around the world and escaping the Bucknell bubble for an entire year, things don’t bother him like they used to. He’s not as materialistic or wound-up. He’s been blessed with a new perspective.
By uplifting others, you rise higher towards your own destiny. Ty’s been able to come a long way because of the people in his life who believed in him. He fully intends to repay that debt to society. “When I work in management consulting at Accenture, all of my clients will be government agencies. I’ll work to make them more efficient and effective. But long term, I don’t know. I want to make a change. I see
a need for it. It doesn’t take nothing to help nobody. People always want to hoard shit, to keep others from reaching their full potential because they want to be selfish. The whole point of an economic system is to create a set of equitable circumstances... resources should be allocated to enable people to live flourishing lives—and they aren’t.” Ty’s passion lies in economic development and poverty alleviation. If were up to him, he’d return to work in Africa. “As far as American development goes, I think we’ve reached our peak. There’s still work to be done, but as far as other countries, they’ll always be playing catch up. So long as we adhere to the norms of greed imbued by capitalism,
we’ll never see developing countries become ‘developed.’”
If we don’t like something, we destroy it, instead of learning to live around it.”
What’s it all for? Why are we here?
“I went through all that shit, and look where I’m at now. Who knows, I might not have been as appreciative had I not come from a semi-fucked up environment. Everything I been through in life, it was all worth it.”
“True happiness is seeing other people happy. If I can do something for you and I see that brings you sincere joy, then that makes me happy.” “Love is just being selfless and realizing that the world doesn’t revolve around you—other people need things to. You know, being able to give up something you have for someone else. It’s humanity. People complain about taxes and free riders and all that bullshit. But if everyone gave up just a little bit, we would all be doing so much better. I think education is the only solution. Instead, we resort to war.
After that, we sit in silence for a while. It’s Friday night, and the Gateways are alive with open windows and a medley of party sounds. For just a little, I can see order rumbling beneath the chaos. It’s all conquerable.
WORDS & PHOTOS Sean Gilchrist emories brought back by a photograph are often colored by the aesthetic of the moment. Warm or soft hues, cool or poignant tones, bias one's emotional understanding of the event captured. A sad day is remembered with more remorse if it were cloudy, a happy day more impactful in golden lighting. This photo essay is about the ability of pictures to portray emotional information to the viewer. Although absent from the place and time where the photo was taken, the audience can gain a sense of mood from the subject through visual cues such as lighting and color schemes. Between the viewer and photograph a new relationship is formed, a personal interpretation based off of aesthetics alone, entirely independent from the emotions felt by the photographer or subject in this moment.
Photo Story II.
WORDS Dante Fresse PHOTOILLUSTRATIONS Emma Rieser
“MY SHELTERED, EVERYDAY LIFE—A RESTLESS CYCLE OF SCHOOL WORK, FAMILIAL STRESSES, AND SOCIAL ACTIVITIES—WOULD TRANSFORM ITSELF INTO A SERIES OF RACY EXPLOITS: SIGHTSEEING, EXPLORATION, EXTREME SPORT, TRAVEL, SKY DIVING, LANGUAGE LEARNING, DINING, DRINKS, AND ROMANCE.” The wild and exotic spectacle of Europe invites travelers to expand their individual purviews—to voyage beyond the familiar fences of their routine, daily lives. Upon entering a foreign country, one encounters a bevy of new sounds, sights, sensations, and social interactions, all blending together seamlessly in an alchemy of enriching experiences. Casual conversations develop organically into emotional expositions; private walks mysteriously prompt meaningful encounters; unassuming nights rapidly evolve into urban adventures, which live on as fond memories in the foggy hours of the following morning. These delicate moments and visceral sensations offer both rigorous challenges and profound rewards to those who expose themselves to the strange cosmos of cultures that compose just about any city around the world. While living through these experiences, it’s easy to forget how deeply they influence the construction of our characters. Only later, during the meditative pauses of a quiet evening or somber hours of a lazy afternoon, can we be mindful of the vast world of events that have been lain out so beautifully before us. An adventurous spirit is required for accessing these humble treasures that travel truly offers. Our natural reservations and timid hesitations must be replaced by keen and vital ambitions—active desires to explore both the outside world surrounding us, as well as the inner landscapes of ourselves. One must fully embrace Europe, for Europe to embrace them. At first, the thought of being the only Bucknell student studying at the University of Nottingham this semester was thrilling. In epic fashion, I would charge off into
the howling jungles of Europe and extract raw experiences from the world’s richest quarry of human culture, sculpting a handsome identity from my findings. All of the recent stresses tied to my school or home life would disappear, and I would discover a newfound respite in this alien place. I craved to live differently—to break myself from the repetitive style of living that I had grown so accustomed to for years. My sheltered, everyday life—a restless cycle of school work, familial stresses, and social activities—would transform itself into a series of racy exploits: sightseeing, exploration, travel, skydiving, language learning, dining, drinks, and romance. The emotional swirling of youthful angst that overtook my concentration was fueled by these quixotic visions of selfhood. I pictured my future self as cosmopolitan, welllived, and wise. It was my assumption that, by cultivating all of Europe’s great art, architecture, landscapes, music, food, people, night-life, and culture, I would finally become a part of the exclusive world that stood aloof from my own. I landed in London’s Heathrow Airport three days before the start of my university’s program. As I got off the late-night train after riding from King’s Cross to Nottingham Station, I saw that this seemingly small city, while quite tiny in comparison with London, resembled a bustling, vibrant metropolis. The city streets were decorated with shopping centers, street performers, food vendors, and aged pubs. A gigantic, brightly lit ferris wheel stood proudly in the city’s center, adjacent from the large, marble Town Hall. In the evening, passersby and families would eagerly board the brightly lit wheel, indulging themselves in a panoramic view of Nottingham’s
night skyline. As I attempted to register the new and complex sensations of the city, a medley of emotions seeped into my mind. Shifting gradients of bewilderment, enthusiasm, nervousness, and impatience flooded my thoughts. I was on my own, let loose in a foreign space without any clear direction or planned itinerary. I was free to forge a new pathway for myself. I wandered about the streets, making my way in and out of popular landmarks and pubs, being as amicable as possible to anyone I encountered. Groups of tourists greeted me warmly, other international travelers conversed energetically about music, culture, and personal stories, and, thankfully, locals reserved their judgments until after our conversations. As I moved from Nottingham Castle to Belles Tavern to the City of Caves, I found that the people I met were making deeper impressions on me than the places themselves. From this wide array of voices and personalities, I began to discover new aspects of my own character. I was astonished at the openness and transparency of the people surrounding me. The unconscious, protective barrier that we erect when speaking distantly with another human seemed to be removed from the body language and dialogue of these foreign folks. Each person was individual and different, holding a separate set of values, interests, and mannerisms that distinguished them from the man or woman beside them; and yet, each one was equally as dynamic and exciting. Despite their friendly addresses, I felt like a bit of an outsider. Not so much because I did not know or understand the people surrounding me—each of their characters were made beautifully plain by their expressive attire and distinctive
60 music, and then by the latest basketball statistics of the Golden State Warriors and foremost writings of Ernest Hemingway. It was as if the gamut of world cultures had been condensed, collated, and seated at one table. I left Belles Tavern with a newfound comprehension of this space. I felt very naked walking back to my flat that evening; as if the structured castles of my identity had been torn down and discarded by some enigmatic force, leaving heaps of sediment and refuse in its wake.
behaviors—but because I lacked a holistic familiarly of my own character. It was a rather eerie experience. While I spoke on subjects that engaged me—literature, film, politics, food, music, and Last Week Tonight with John Oliver—there was a certain degree of emotional reserve in my speech. Individual voices from Greece, Turkey, South Africa, Australia, and China all demonstrated the remarkable ability to empathize, exchange, and intimately interact with each other’s personal emotions and biographies. While I lacked the unabashed confidence to disclose my
family history to the amiable strangers surrounding me, I listened keenly to their stories—expressing a desire to learn and understand each personality in full. As pints were poured and the evening darkened, our discussions shifted from cultures to sports to art to drunken recollections of families and friends. Always, at least one of us knew nothing about the subjective world of another. The formal rules of rugby were followed by a basic introduction to the Afro-Caribbean genre of calypso
I paused at a hillside overlook just outside of campus. A potent moonlight illuminated the expansive vista of cinnamon colored rooftops that extended out into the far reaches of my vision. The world suddenly felt very large, open, real, and wonderful. Like many ambitious youths, I had left home with the assumption that the metamorphic experience of travel was consistent with checking places, exploits, and landmarks off of a fabled bucket list. I think it is truer that one must work more diligently to crack the inner casings of his or her own sheltered identity in order to feel real change. It takes profound courage to open oneself up to the vast unfamiliarity that dwells beneath the surfaces of our expectations and desires. While it sometimes seems that a perfect portrait of our futures rests so elegantly in our imaginations—depicting a quintessential relationship, lucrative career, ideal family, or sensational lifestyle—often, what we actively need most in our lives is either unknown or placed plainly before us. We are all investigating the exotic spectacles of our outer worlds, with the hopes of providing much needed clarity and enrichment to our inner ones. Through travel, we learn that our happiness is not planned; it is subject to circumstance and choice—how we react to the contingencies of everyday life. Usually, the most sincere joys come from unexpected, foreign places. I anticipate that I will not fly home with that sculpted, righteous identity that I so boldly imposed upon myself before leaving, but, hopefully, by then, I’ll have gathered a little more of myself than I left with.
WORDS Avid Khorramian PHOTOS Soni Madnani ILLUSTRATIONS: Kelsey Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Donnell
Name: Eddy López Role: Professor of Art & Art History Country of Origin: Nicaragua Year Arrived in the U.S.: 1987, age nine Reason for coming to the U.S.: Nicaraguan Civil War As a child, you normalize everything. I grew up in the middle of a war zone. Most days, I would go out and play baseball or a game of hide and seek with friends. I’d come home in the afternoon exhausted; while I’d catch my breadth, the walls often used to shake. Nicaragua is in the Ring of Fire, so there’s a lot of volcanic activity. To a young me, the shaking walls were a result of little volcanic tremors. When I grew up, I realized that it wasn’t volcanic activity causing the house to shake. It was the warplanes that would fly overhead—the Blackbird, the stealth bomber. And yet, I remember a happy childhood in the midst of it all.
“It’s a long story, but I’ll try to keep it more or less brief,” López starts. “Nicaragua has gone through a lot of upheavals.” Every 19th of July, Nicaraguans take to the streets to celebrate Nicaragua Liberation Day. The national holiday celebrates the 1979 overthrow of the of the Somoza family’s harsh dictatorship by Sandinista’s troops. Through the majority of the 20th century, starting in the 1930s, the Somozas ruled Nicaragua. Power flowed from father to son, son to brother, and back for nearly half a decade. The dictatorship was abrasive until the end; in the final chapter of the Somozas’ rule, Anastasio Somoza Debayle instructed
that parts of his own country be bombed. He eventually fled with all of the money in the national treasury, leaving Nicaragua penniless and in debt. Although the past was bleak, post-Somoza Nicaragua flourished under a new, socialistic system. The country came together behind the “Revolution of Poets,” a name coined to describe the idea that many Nicaraguan poets were also politicians or revolutionaries. Street art and murals flourished as the new government began to back the arts heavily, especially projects that reiterated the social messages of the new rule. “Seeing murals—revolutionary murals—all throughout my home city drew me to art,”
López recounts. “Growing up in Nicaragua at that time instilled in me the fact that art can have a social message behind it. It can be a pretty painting on a wall, it can have pretty colors and so forth, but there can be very powerful messages delivered through that medium.” But as Nicaragua became more socialist, the United States grew weary. And then it got involved. “The U.S. intervened in the early 80s, funding a rebel group that started fighting a civil war with the government in Nicaragua,” López explains, recounting the historical moments that had such a profound effect on the trajectory of his life. The country in turn became so unstable that Nicaraguans fled in the masses.
López pauses before shifting gears, explaining how the revolution and the events that ensued affected him personally for the first time. “That’s when my parents decided to start sending my brothers and sisters out of the country one by one.” So, in 1987, as a nine-year-old, he made the move from Nicaragua to the United States alongside his older sister, her two kids, and one of his older brothers. “We came through Mexico; we crossed illegally like a lot of migrants nowadays who go undocumented,” López starts. “Once here, we applied for political asylum.” At that time, the Reagan administration granted refugee status to most individuals escaping the Nicaraguan war; López was granted status as a legal resident through this process.
knowing one word in English: blue. He did find, however, that diving into a language at a younger age is much easier than trying to catch up later on in life. “For me, the assimilation process was much easier than say my older brothers and siblings—some of them still struggle with English,” he explained. “I quickly picked up English and started to make friends at school. They’ve never been able to learn it completely.”
The group’s first stop was Pasadena, a city on the outskirts of Los Angeles. They joined his aunt who lived there. Eventually, they moved across the country to Miami, Florida, where they would meet up with his older sister’s husband. From age of nine, López grew up in Miami with his siblings and extended family.
Later in the 80s, his parents visited him and his siblings in the United States. López was now a middle schooler in the Miami school system. “My parents were able to get American visas, but they never liked the U.S. lifestyle,” López began. “A lot of people try to block immigrants from coming to this country, but they don’t realize that they’re coming here for a desperate reason. And most immigrants don’t really want to come here. I mean, if you can stay at home, why move?” His parents later went back to Nicaragua, both because
The transition was difficult at first. López enrolled in an American elementary school
Even as an elementary school student with a highly limited proficiency in English, López kept up with his passion in art. When reflecting on the effect the move had on his relationship with the art world, he frankly stated, “I kept doing it. I kept drawing. I kept painting.”
they missed their home’s culture and because they felt they could be a stronger resource for their children from there. “It was tough of course because it divided the family, but they thought it was a worthy sacrifice to help me and my siblings gain more opportunities,” López recalls. In high school, López entertained the idea of teaching for the first time. “I did a presentation in my Spanish class, and right after, the teacher told me that I was going to be a teacher one day,” he described. “I thought she was nuts; I honestly thought this lady was crazy. But low and behold, it occurred.” He went to college and received a B.F.A in Painting and Printmaking and a B.A. in Art History from Florida International University. López then attended graduate school at University of Miami where he completed an M.F.A. in Printmaking. While he grew academically, he also evolved as an artist, adjusting his processes and tools as his repertoire expanded. “I began to use a lot of digital processes in my printmaking work. I grab a lot of digital images, process them using algorithms on the computer, and render results. From that final image, I make prints,” he describes. López’s shift from traditional
painting and printmaking to a focus on digital processes is characterized by a rejection of tradition. His approach is innovative in the relatively conservative world of printmaking. “There are some traditionalists that hold out, but it happens with all arts,” López begins. “When photography first came about, most painters and artists saw it as ‘not an art.’ But with time, it was accepted. And the same will happen with digital printing and digital methods. It will form a new medium.”
Eventually, López transformed his academic passion and love for the arts into a role as a professor and educator. Somewhere down the line, that path led him to Bucknell. “For most of my professional career, I worked as a designer and art director,” López explains. “Academically, I studied printmaking. So I was a printmaker by heart in the art world, and I was a designer doing design work in the professional world. The position that opened up here at Bucknell was looking for a printmaker and graphic designer. When I came to interview, I found out that Bucknell was also very active in my home country, Nicaragua. Everything fell into place.” López is about to complete his first year as an Assistant Professor of Art & Art History at Bucknell. He went on his first trip home to Nicaragua with the Brigade in January, functioning as an observer before going on future trips as a faculty leader. “I got the chance to share my knowledge of the country, my experiences growing up in Nicaragua,” López explains. “In future trips, I hope to go down and teach classes through the Bucknell in Nicaragua Program as well as with the Brigade.” The University’s connection to the country provides López with the perfect opportunity to revisit his roots often, but he explained that he goes back to Nicaragua regardless, whether to visit family or to embark on service trips with the United States Agency for International Development. Just over a year ago, López made another important decision—to make the transition from a resident to a citizen. “I did it mainly to vote in the elections,” López explains. “A lot of Hispanics I know did the same. We
became citizens to help hopefully elect a different outcome.” As a long-time resident and recipient of political asylum, López found the process of attaining citizenship seamless. Others, however, did not complete the process with ease. “A friend of mine escaped Peru with her family during the period of the Shining Path,” López recounts. “When they filled out the application for asylum, she was a minor, so she was included in her family’s application. By the time the asylum was granted, she was old enough that she no longer fell under her parents’ application. So she wasn’t granted asylum at that time.” One of López’s brothers had a similar issue; although the rest of his siblings were granted asylum, he was not. The process, he found, was not very direct. Although López’s personal migration story is more or less complete, he is still heavily engaged with the more macro implications of immigration and tolerance in the United States. Like many in Nicaragua in the 80s, López uses art as a primary tool to project his voice. “Even with my work nowadays, I tend to deal with messages that are social-political in nature,” he explains. This is particularly useful in a time plagued by intractable political discord and stark divisions on issues like immigration and tolerance. López decided to take action after intolerance pervaded Bucknell in the form of hateful flyers posted around campus. “I felt like I needed to respond to what happened,” López begins. “First, I wanted to inform myself, so I went to the websites they
66 it to serve as a base of sorts. On top, he printed his own message. When you see the posters, the hateful content is visible but illegible. “I superimposed a louder message. They weren’t very well designed anyways,” he adds with a light laugh. The new flyers now hang in front of the art building, forming colorful arches on the worn red brick of the aging exterior. Beyond the poster re-design, López also spoke at one of the campus walkouts, briefly relaying his experiences as an immigrant. Following the walkout, he led a teach-in titled “The Immigrant Experience” with Professor Carmen Henne-Ochoa. “I shared part of my story and Carmen shared part of hers,” López explains. “There were also students who were immigrants in that group who shared their story. I come from personal experience, while Carmen comes from a personal and academic background on the topic. I hope the students who had less experience with the immigration process took a lot away from the discussion.” López’s use of art as a medium for voice also manifests itself in his teaching. “I feel that the best activism grows from within,” he explains. “I present issues to my students, and I do ask them to take a social or political issue and see it through their lens in some assignments. But I feel like it’s so much more powerful when a student identifies something they’re passionate about and owns the cause. If I spoon feed it, it’s sometimes not digested well.”
“I KEPT DRAWING. I KEPT PAINTING.” promoted, and I found them to be extremely hateful. Believing in freedom of expression means that you kind of have to allow people like this to express themselves, even if their ideas are ones that you are completely against. So I decided to respond.” López redesigned the posters, but he left the original design in the background, allowing
Reflecting on his role, López explains, “I think the goal for any educator is to try to make our students lifelong learners. You’re always learning, there’s always more to learn. I hope to instill in my students a passion for the arts so they can see that it is not only found on gallery walls, but everywhere. And each piece has its own message.”
Name: Emek Uçarer Role: Professor of International Relations Country of Origin: Turkey Year Arrived in the U.S.: 1988, age 21 Reason for coming to the U.S.: To study I grew up in Istanbul, the only city in the world that sits on two continents. I grew up on the European side of the city, but I remember that we would sometimes go to the Bosphorus, which separates Asia from Europe, and go fishing. This is of course in the 1980s, when it was safe to eat the fish. We’d come home sometimes with few, sometimes with lots, of fish. And I don’t know why I remember that now, but I guess what I’m trying to say is I remember fishing between the continents.
Name: Pak Pamornsut Role: Bucknell Student Country of Origin: Thailand Year Arrived in the U.S.: Born in the U.S 1997; came back in 2000, at age three Reason for coming to the U.S.: Better opportunities My grandparents decided to send me back to Thailand for whatever reason, so I had schooling there for two years. Elementary school in Thailand was interesting because their form of discipline was to hit you. One day, I misbehaved especially badly in class, and I got sent to the front of the room where I was pretty much humiliated by my teacher. I think that was the first time I really learned discipline.
Name: Anna Oluyomi Role: Bucknell Student Country of Origin: Nigeria Year Arrived in the U.S.: 2008, age 12 Reason for coming to the U.S.: To seek the American dream, gain opportunities for education, career, and long-term stability When I was four years old, we had a little farm with chickens at my house. One day when I was coming back from preschool, I saw that one of the hens had just given birth to a bunch of little chicks. I thought they were really cute, so I decided to walk over to the chicks. When they ran away from me, I started chasing them. The mother hen saw me and kind of got mad at me and retaliated by pecking me in the leg. At that point, I decided to leave the area and go back to my house. I still have the scar.
The Story of a Banana, a Bushmaster AR-15 Rifle, & a Garanimals Newborn Onesie
WORDS Sarah Decker PHOTOS CJ Moy
a Sunday in early February, and by 11am, the parking lot of Lewisburg’s Walmart Supercenter is criss-crossed with dozens of icey, faded minivans. Inside, everything is primary colors and Myriad Bold. The complexities of everyday life in central Pennsylvania appear simplified in a network of shelves and aisles. Some parts of life are cheaper than others. Some are even on sale. With its seemingly limitless inventory for every walk of life, Walmart has redefined Grocery Shop Sunday, offering customers the convenience of a nail salon, a garden center, a pharmacy, an optical center, an M&T Bank branch, a Tire & Lube express, and a McDonald’s. Together, these services make a trip to a Walmart Supercenter a daylong group excursion. Despite the fact that Walmart remains America’s fourth largest online retailer, just behind Apple and Dell, the company maintains its appeal as a fullfledged family experience.
Coffee, Condiments, Peanut Butter, and Salad Dressings The local Walmart Supercenter offers three separate entrances. The one labelled “Market” is positioned directly beneath the companies logo and is further punctuated with a bright yellow McDonalds “M.” Upon entering, the produce section appears at the forefront of the store’s interior. The area is organized like a maze and the assortment of fruits and vegetables are all contained in plastic crates designed to mimic the authentic wooden ones you would find at the local farmers market. There is a certain eerie discomfort in the detail of these fauxcrates, as fake ‘nails’ punctuate the grains of the ‘wood.’ Yet the layers of green and the overwhelming smell of fruit make this aisle a very different realm from that of Electronics or even Health & Beauty. Here, moms push carts of toddlers while elderly couples argue over which variety of potato to cook with their stewed chicken. There are small sections that nod to Whole Foods, offering crackers made of chickpeas, Kind bars, and the new brands of kombucha. However, the bulk of Walmart’s produce serves a different
agenda by offering cheap, healthy foods at an accessible price point. It’s an objective that perfectly serves their motto: “helping people save money so they can live better.”
fits perfectly within the palm of their health-oriented goals.
Syrup, Cereal, Granola, Hot Cereal
It is this message that resonates with a large majority of Walmart’s customers and can be used to explain the origin of To the right of the produce section, past the the retailer’s star product, the non-organic aisles of deodorant and assorted cutlery, an banana. Since January 2015, bananas have unassuming glass cabinet holds the stores’ maintained their ranking as Walmart’s gun selection. The cabinet is positioned top-selling product. This might come in-between aisles of sporting equipment, as a surprise to those who identify the guarded by a friendly blue shirt-clad world’s largest retailer with $2 cotton employee. He leans against a transparent t-shirts, plastic toy cars from China, and counter top, occasionally turning around a clusterfuck of ‘everyday low prices.’ Yet to adjust the plastic covers of red price Walmart has become the nation’s top stickers. The Red Ryder Daisy Carbine is on grocer, making close to $200 “However, the bulk of Walmart’s produce serves a billion a year in grocery revenue, different agenda by offering cheap, healthy foods nearly double that at an accessible price point” of America’s No.2 grocer, Kroger. 56% of its sales come sale, marked with a red “unbeatable price” from this segment alone, contributing to label. Walmart’s signature yellow smiley the formation of Walmart Supercenters face beams from the label’s top left corner. nationwide. If anything, the banana’s place There is something unsettling about a cart at the top of Walmart’s sales represents carrying Jello, diapers, and a Crosman.177 the core ideals of its customers: people Caliber CO2 Air Pistol. When Adam Lanza looking for inexpensive convenience that entered Sandy Hook Elementary in winter
73 of 2012, determined to kill as many people as possible, he was carrying a Bushmaster AR15 assault rifle. The rifle was once Walmart’s top selling firearm, available at over 1,700 Walmart stores nationwide. This weapon, of questionable use for duck hunting, was eventually discontinued by the retailer, but their website continues to feature accessories and kits for the gun’s parts. At one point, Walmart sold guns in only around a third of its stores, mainly in rural areas where hunting is extremely popular. But in 2011, the retailer expanded its gun sales to over half of its 3,982 stores nationwide, including those in more urban areas. By the end of that year, the FBI received 16.4 million background check requests and Walmart became the biggest seller of firearms and ammunition in America. Analysts often point to the Obama administration to explain the dramatic surge in the retailer’s gun sales, with many Americans threatened that their right to bear arms had a limited life expectancy. However, since the 2011-2012 surge, Walmart has faced several instances of severe criticism, everything from meetings with Vice
of camouflage gear and Duck Dynasty memorabilia. Men in their late forties crowd around the display case, neighbors exchanging hunting stories and talking about upcoming trout fishing trips in March. Their wives push shopping carts towards the clothing section, narrowly avoiding the toy aisle as their three-year-olds point and scream at the latest Hot Wheels set. For some Walmart shoppers, the Bushmaster AR-15 simply fits nicely between the front seats of their light blue minivan, just as essential as the dish detergent and cinnamon raisin bagels bagged in the passenger seat.
Trash Bags, Paper Goods, Plastic Wraps, Bathroom Tissue Walmart actively perpetuates this minivanesque “American family” appeal. The facade is easily visible in the six-aisle toy department, where bins of 50 cent Super Balls spill over to shelves of Mattel’s latest doll collections. But in the middle of the store, the children’s clothing section reveals the crossover between the practicality of everyday life and the desire for easily accessible whimsy. At first “For some Walmart shoppers, the glance,Walmart’s clothing Bushmaster AR-15 simply fits nicely section is a whirlwind of cheap cotton between the front seats of their light impossibly t-shirts and $2.58 Simply blue minivan, just as essential as the dish Basic bras ranging from detergent and cinnamon raisin bagels sizes 32AA- 44 FF. Most of the Fruit of the Loom bagged in the passenger seat.” stands are completely devoid of color after President Biden to a 2016 lawsuit involving Bucknell’s sorority culture strips everything the sale of ammunition to an underage that isn’t an XXL brown, black, or grey. customer in Philadelphia that resulted in three fatalities. Walmart’s representatives However, in a less ravaged section, a small often meet this continuous controversy with set of racks by the changing room holds the ambiguous statements that attempt to strip Garanimals newborn collection, a series their sales objectives of any political innuendos. of printed onesies, miniature socks, and Their set limit on ammunition sales in 2013 embroidered swaddling blankets. The onesies was, according to the New York Times, feature the classic snap closure, with small reportedly due to “limited supplies,” while their designs including honey-bees and baby zoo discontinuation of the deadly Bushmaster AR- animals. They are dotted with phrases like 15 assault rifle was “due to lack of customer “I love being cute!” and “Mommy’s Little demand” and/or “in response to the tragic Princess,” often printed in glittery plastic Sandy Hook Shooting.” writing. A young pregnant woman argues with her mother over whether or not the And yet, for many customers in rural yellow giraffe version is too feminine for the Pennsylvania, Walmart’s firearms aisle undetermined gender of her baby. She will be doesn’t feel out of place among the rows a single mother at 25 juggling a waitressing
job in the morning and a nursing job in the evening, but Walmart’s highly affordable baby clothes help animate this impending stress. She will have a drawer filled with adorable onesies to dress her son or daughter in after work shifts, maybe even the matching socks.
Mixers, Snacks, Popcorn, Soft Drinks We often have a set image of Walmart and the stereotypical “Walmart shopper.” The scooter-bound screaming woman in a devil costume, complete with red bobbed wig and horns. The overweight man in his midfifties with a confederate flag tattoo arching across his bicep, arguing with the manager who confiscated his lit cigarette. The retailer gets a bad wrap, and their rollbacks are often associated with employee abuse and poorquality goods. While these criticisms remain warranted, it is also important to look at Walmart as a keystone of rural communities, with the many services and opportunities it offers the people and students of Lewisburg. Highlighted by fluorescent lighting, there is a certain chaos at the self-checkout, a humble reminder that the people shopping here aren’t methodical consumption-based robots, but rather very human in their choices and habits. This seems to take the edge off of the dystopian nightmare that often accompanies the image of a ‘Supercenter town.’ What we find in the dark corners of our local Walmart in a way represents the complexities we find within our own communities. There are gunwielding school shooters, but there are also people who own guns for sport or who just want to feel safe. There are families who rely on rollbacks to put food on the table or to find simple joy in things like Easter decorations and printed baby onesies.When we look at Walmart as a microcosm of Lewisburg, reproduced in towns nationwide from La Quinta, CA to Fairfield, CT, we begin to see the contradicting intersections of our everyday lives —the oxymoron of a fiveyear-old being pushed through the gun aisle, leaving a trail of McDonald’s Happy Meals in front of a NP .22 Caliber Air Rifle. Here, in between the nuances of non-organic bananas, cheap firearms, and Garanimals baby onesies, we find Walmart’s humanity.
74 Currently, there are over 5,000 Walmart stores and clubs, nationwide, employing over 1.5 million individuals. The Lewisburg location, situated at AJK Boulevard, is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Et Cetera was produced using Adobe InDesign CC, Adobe Illustrator CC, and Adobe Photoshop CC. The body text is Crimson Text Roman 10 point. Bylines are 10 point Oswald Bold and Light. Captions are Crimson Text Italic 9 point. Titles are in Feena Casual, Everything Holiday, Oswald Light, Ration Modern, or Futura Medium. Brilliant Printers, located in Exton, Pennsylvania, printed 280 copies of Et Cetera Issue 3. The 78 page issue measures 8 and 3/8 inches by 10 and 7/8 inches. The theme for Issue 3 was “petrichor.” The publication was made possible via the efforts of our talented staff. Thank you for bringing Et Cetera to life. Additional gratitude to Professor Connie Timm who kickstarted our university graphic design career and Professor James Dunlap for helping us shape the identity of Et Cetera in the time leading up to the release of our first issue. A final thanks is directed towards Professor Jonathan Bean for providing guidance, insight, and inspiration throughout the creation of this issue. Et Cetera Issue 3 has found homes across the world: Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. London, England. Amsterdam, Netherlands. Los Angeles, California. Berkeley Heights, New Jersey. Nottingham, United Kingdom. New York, New York. Jamaica, Vermont. Nueva Vida, Nicaragua. Aguadilla, Puerto Rico. Paris, France. Cover photography by Sean Gilchrist. “And if you hear the silence, I hope you find it charmin’ I’ll be out in the mornin’” –Katie Queen of Tennessee, The Apache Relay
WHILE WAITING CURATED Camille Sommerfield & Ellie Hislop PHOTO Avid Khorramian ILLUSTRATION: Megan Cannella