“Strong in Da Struggle” creates buzz
envisioned by coren cooper ’04, the new motley mural, “strong in da struggle,” provokes campus comments. “The overall theme is resistance,” says Coren. “However, the mural was meant to be aesthetically beautiful and empowering regardless of whether every student sees herself in the struggle of resistance.” According to Coren, the “I like that it has women of color that seem vocal pyramid represents Ancient and strong.” Egypt, where the strength Janiva Cifuentes-Hiss ’05 and power to fight and resist originated for people of “It’s cool that it’s mostly women depicted color who were oppressed having strength. I wonder what the shadows mean?” globally. Holly Hight ’04 “All the background images…are meant to invoke a sense that history leads to what we know now—hip hop,” explains “It seems like a connection between past and future, Coren. “The images about hip-hop culture are in the forea pulling together of cultures.” ground because the struggles of the past in the background of Janet Grant (Pomona) ’07 the mural allowed for the creation of the hip-hop movement.” “It looks out of place. I think something Each woman in the foreground and in “center stage” is abstract should have gone there, to blend meant to point out that though women are marginalized in in better with the Motley overall.” the male-dominated hip-hop community, they can still find Molly Royer ’07 empowerment through pop-locking (a form of break dancing), spinning records, and MC-ing. “Women are highlighted in the front because the women of Scripps and the Motley are seeking empowerment, just as the women in the mural [are doing] within the hip-hop community,” added Coren. The mural was created as part of the “For Life! For Liberation!” conference that Coren created and produced. In late 2003, Coren applied for a Mellon Foundation Grant to help fund a three-day speakers series that examined the aesthetic, political, and economic relationships that link the Black Aesthetics/Black Arts Movements of the 60s and 70s to the aesthetic, political, economic, and cultural art productions of the current hip-hop era. Three local artists visually constructed Coren’s ideas.
magazine, spring 2004
“The mural screams the Motley—everyone in it is hanging out, showing their own personality.” Monica Craggs ’07 “I think it represents a community of different backgrounds.” Tharyn Grant ’07 “Any mural is not going to please everyone. We’re putting up a placard explaining it because it seems out of context” Erika Bestpitch ’06, Motley Manager
Scripps Magazine is published quarterly by Scripps College, Office of Public Relations and Communication.