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Autumn Issue contents Cover Art: Kirsten Hemrich - “the kitchen”

03 05 07 17 19 21 29 31 33 36 43

Beauty For All, All For Fenty, Morgan Romero New Rules of the Digital Era, Isabel Banta REMINISCENT What Goes Around Comes Around, Kayde Schwabacher Out With the Old, In With the Older, Emma Bradford FASHION FOR A CAUSE Not Your Grandmother’s Sari, Sneha Ravi The Power of Subtlety in Cinema, Andre Herschler What Can You Do?, Sophie Eckert STUDENT ART THOUGHT PROCESS

Staff Editors-in-Chief Cindy Guo Michelle Miles Creative Director Kate Snyder Features Editors Pete Dailey Kia Wassenaar Head Art Curator Maelisa Singer Art Curator Lucinda Manning Fashion Director Shubham Patel Lead Photographer Will Jones Public Relations Manager Georgeanne Pace Chief Financial Officers Marwan Elbattouty Lindsay Park


Social Media Team

Isabel Banta Emma Bradford Sophie Eckert Andre Hirschler Sneha Ravi Morgan Romero Kayde Schwabacher

Abby Clemons Jenny Lee Jessica Park Alex Wright

Stylists Ada Garvis Brandon Yee Hojung Lee Dalianna Vaysman Celeste Azzi Sierra Arnold Jillian Hickey Alyssa Nghiem Veronica Ramsey Elizabeth Wat Molly Wright Student Artists Kirsten Hemrich Paige Taul Alena Titova

Models Tina Gafurova Sauson Soldozy Jalon Daniels Kavya Ravikanti Kaitlyn Hyun Naira Feraidon Genesis Rodgers Linda Meliani Nader Maharmeh Olesya Khrapunova Layout Designers Miranda Arias Celia Harding Malcolm Reynolds Jackie Sublett Kendall White Ellen Wray Hermione Zhang

A Letter from the Editors “The past” is a unique cultural belonging of ours, a belonging which in many realms is sacred – our very school is known worldwide as a pinnacle of history. The past can be inescapable, and is often something we reflect on and invite to infiltrate our present. In our Autumn 2017 issue, our writers have explored ideas from how social media has become a conundrum for our generation, to why fashion trends of the past are constantly revisited, sharing perspectives which help us to reflect on the persistent evolution of our own cultural landscape. In favor of increasing opportunities for participation and creative collaboration, V Magazine has embraced a number of new ideas this semester. We have put together a new team of talented people with the task of launching and renewing our social media platforms in order to share inspiration with our readers more regularly. We’ve also continued our recent tradition of merging our three sections of editorials, artist features, and fashion spreads for a more integrated reading experience. For the first time in the magazine’s history, this issue contains three fashion shoots. We were lucky enough to engage in a partnership with Fashion for a Cause by means of a lookbook, featuring a number of their stunning runway looks. As per tradition, you’ll also find two fashion spreads of our own included in this issue – “Reminiscent,” which was inspired by a timeless, vintage, and earthy sentiment, and “Thought Process,” in which our stylists explored ideas of the minimal and unexpected. We are also grateful to feel the support of local business through our generous collaborations with the boutiques Eloise and Darling Boutique. To the bold writers, stylists, photographers, models, designers, and editors who brought their ideas and talents to the table, we thank you for your commitment to creativity and for helping us to make this issue happen. Happy reading!

Michelle Miles Editor-in-Chief

Cindy Guo Editor-in-Chief

BEAUTY FOR ALL, ALL FOR FENTY BY MorGAN ROMERO There is certain type of satisfaction a person gets when purchasing their favorite makeup product, but one thing we often forget is that not everyone experiences the same happy feeling when looking for that perfect lipstick or foundation shade. For decades, fashion and makeup companies have catered to a specific type of consumer: female, blonde, fair-skinned, and slim. The impact of this can be quite drastic to those who do not fit under these categories. The recent success of Fenty Beauty, a cosmetic line praised for its racial inclusivity, has highlighted the problematic standards of beauty historically set by mainstream makeup companies


Part of the thrill people get when going shopping for new makeup products is reading the fun names that are given to nail polishes and lipsticks. However, the names of some of these products can exemplify racism in cosmetics. Last fall, makeup company ColourPop came out with a new product called “Sculpting Stix”, which received tremendous backlash for naming its two darkest shades “Typo” and “Yikes.” Celebrity Kat Von D has also received much backlash for her makeup company’s foundation products. While the line includes a large variety of light colored foundations, the selection for the darker colored foundations is extremely limited.

This discrimination is also present in larger companies such as Dove, which recently received criticism for advertisements that depicted “before” and “after” images, with a dark skinned woman representing the before, and a white woman representing the after. Though the company apologized for the ad, saying they had “missed the mark,” these kinds of instances suggest makeup companies are systematically more interested in selling to a white consumer. This is all especially alarming because of how subtle the racism actually is; viewers do not realize that these advertisements and beauty names condition people to associate beauty with whiteness. These messages can discourage a woman of color, or worse, make her not feel as though she is beautiful too. Racist subtleties in the cosmetics industry perpetuate the idea that beauty standards only fall within the scope of whiteness. This season, beauty standards are changing and it is exciting to watch. Music, fashion, and beauty icon Rihanna recently came out with an inspiring beauty line called “Fenty Beauty.” Much of its success is due to the company’s “Beauty for All” outlook, emphasizing inclusivity within the makeup industry. The products themselves reflect this message, by including 40 different foundation shades that are amongst a wide range of colors. According to the Fenty Beauty

website, Rihanna created the company after personally dealing with the previously discussed obstacles. It was hard for her to find foundation shades that fit her skin tone. The goal of Fenty Beauty is to inspire women to use makeup as a way to lift one’s self esteem and feel beautiful. Rihanna has said that “makeup is there for you to have fun with. It should never feel like pressure. It should never feel like a uniform.” In this way, Fenty Beauty is actively extending the definition of beauty, both with the wide range of colors and the number of diverse women who are fans of the beauty company. With an outlook like this from someone as influential as Rihanna, women of all different skin tones can go shopping for makeup and feel included. It is time to overturn the overly simplistic three categories of “light” “medium” and “dark” and in doing so, change the conventional standards of beauty. Rihanna and other beauty icons can help broaden the notion of beauty, making it limitless.


new RULES digital era of the

By isabel Banta

We spend hours at a time with our phones at our fingertips. iPhones have practically become extended limbs—our social media accounts are the image we show to the world. We thought it would begin and end with Facebook, but then Uncles and Grandmas started commenting on prom pictures. Facebook lost its edge, too, and soon the relatives and baby pictures had invaded. But, in the end, it was Snapchat that would captivate the millennial mind like nothing before. It became the new medium for a generation obsessed with the allure of showing their followers exactly what they were doing, exactly what they were thinking— anywhere, at any given moment. However, today, new forms of social media are emerging. Now it’s not just enough to stalk people via their profile pictures. Spotify, and its numerous social-sharing settings, has created ways in which people can see what their friends or intimates are listening to in real-time. Have playlists become personalities in of themselves?


we seem to want to know what everyone is doing when they do it. This newfound intimacy is not limited solely to Spotify, though. The new Snapchat update, rolled out in June 2017, included a new feature dubbed the Snap Map. In Team Snap’s blog entry, they touted it as a, “whole new way to explore the world! See what’s happening, find your friends, and get inspired to go on an adventure!” It’s like an eerier, unsolicited version of Find My Friends. Users are granted access to the location of, say, that random person you added last Saturday night with a swipe of your finger. Though you can hide in ghost mode, the Map provides an interesting metaphor for millennial culture—

The Snap Map allows for unparalleled access into the lives of others. This is especially true when compared to Instagram, which is often viewed as a far more deliberate feed, a place to showcase how you really want others to perceive you. Now that both Snapchat and Instagram have stories, it has become increasingly normal to display what you are doing at any given moment. However, there is a considerable emphasis on displaying important moments over trivial ones. If I’m attending a concert or walking past the Rotunda, I’m more inclined to update my social media. But if I’m lounging forlornly in bed watching Netflix or hiding in the depths of the library, I’m not as eager to share.

Hold on. I need to post this on my story.

Social media have thus become a conundrum for our generation. It’s a way to get to know our peers— see where they are, who they hang out with, what they’re doing—but it also raises the question that we all ask ourselves from time-totime: do I really know them at all? Is a person’s psyche, a friend’s psyche, simply what music they listen to on Spotify, the people they Venmo request, the places they venture on a Friday night, the photos they post on Instagram? Or are we, and by extension they, a conglomeration of all these things, and then some?




Fashion Director: Shubham Patel Stylists: Sierra Arnold, Jillian Hickey, Alyssa Nghiem, Veronica Ramsey, Elizabeth Wat, Molly Wright Models: Naira Feraidon Genesis Rodgers Linda Meliani Nader Maharmeh Olesya Khrapunova Photographers: Michelle Miles, Will Jones, Pia Mutia, Olivia Descanvelle Makeup Artist: Andrea Eichenberger Clothing courtesy of: Darling Boutique Eloise






what goes arounD COMES ARound BY KAYDE Schwabacher

When most people think of secondhand retail, they think of the Goodwills and the Salvation Armys that line main roads across the country or garage sales that cover lawns of suburban homes. Once stigmatized for having a negative and un-hygienic association, the resale market has expanded into a thriving industry—a place to shop and sell everything from low-cost items to luxury goods. Today, shoppers once skeptical of buying secondhand now eagerly buy and sell items for a fraction of the original cost. Thrift stores originally opened as a philanthropic means for the wealthy to help the poor in the early 20th century, yet social anxieties over quality and cleanliness rendered them unpopular. This changed, however, with the rise of Grunge as a rebellious form of self-expression in the 1990s—a movement spearheaded by musicians who flaunted worn-out styles in place of the more exuberant aesthetic of the 1980s. Grunge icons like Kurt Cobain challenged traditional style norms by choosing disheveled jeans and tattered sweaters, and in so doing, created


a fashion movement that would influence a generation. Soon, teenagers imitated this style, selecting the secondhand thrift store as the vehicle through which to deliver their statement of rebellion. The rise of Grunge from a subculture to mainstream style led to the establishment of more thrift and consignment stores, ones that promoted an ‘anti-consumer consumerism,’ that encouraged people to rethink their shopping habits. Since the 1990s, resale stores have expanded beyond the market that made them popular in the age of Grunge. Today, they offer a range of high-end items and are in the process of revolutionizing the trillion-dollar luxury retail industry. Take, for example, TheRealReal, a company which focuses on top-tier designer brands and attempts to make it easier to buy and sell high-ticket items for lower prices. While secondhand shopping may seem bad for traditional retailers, resale sites have the potential to help retailers because shoppers are more willing to spend if they know they can easily resell items at a later date.

By challenging the traditional lifespan of make, wear, and dispose, the secondhand market is a sustainable way to update wardrobes without spending a fortune. Photo based on “hipster” by itsakay on flickr

When I worked at an upscale consignment store near Washington D.C., I saw the benefits of the resale market first hand. Customers often brought in lightly used or even unworn designer items, many still with original tags. Shoppers found unique items for a fraction of the original value, and, as an additional plus, clothes were no longer tossed to the bottom of a landfill but instead re-cycled. By challenging the traditional lifespan of make, wear, and dispose, the secondhand market is a sustainable way to update wardrobes without spending a fortune.

So, today, there are a plethora of motives to buy secondhand—customers save money, discover unique items, and by extension promote sustainability. This alternative shopping experience is a solution to the ills wrought by the growth of consumerism, and in a world of endless goods, it carves out space to keep up with trends without breaking the bank or hurting the environment. The next time you’re reaching for a brand new shirt or high-priced pair of jeans, consider the alternatives—you’ll never know where or what you’ll find when you’re searching somewhere entirely new.


out with the OLD, IN WITH THE OLDER by emma bradford


It seems obvious that clothing would change as generations pass. Over the past few decades, mainstream trends have swapped loud and bright for muted and comfortable, and back again, but what does it mean when some trends repeat as often as they do? Once a style becomes popular, what keeps it coming back? Modern fashion, an always changing scene, is made up mostly of the old, bringing into question will there ever again be a truly original trend? The rise of technology has made trends of the past more widely accessible. With old styles being rediscovered every day, different groups pick them up and wear them in different ways. Take, for example, one trend that has been moving in and out of the spotlight for more than a century: the hair. Big hair gained popularity for its ability to catch attention, first appearing in the courts of France. With giant powdered wigs measuring longer than the lengths of the face, extravagant and decorative hair was limited to women of higher classes as sign of wealth and power. In later years, celebrities took the place of royalty as trendsetters. Big hair reemerged in the 60’s as Jane Fonda, Jackie Kennedy, and Nancy Sinatra all took up the high reaching hair style, spreading the look to every corner of America. A television set in every living room allowed people to see

what they were supposed to wear, leading to the famous Hairspray poof on the head of every housewife and teenager. Print fashion magazines only added to the rise of the big hair in the 80s, transforming the trend into the permed, wild look of the hair metal stars. As even thirteen girls were able to pick up a copy of Cosmopolitan off the shelf at the mall, big hair came back into the spotlight and never really disappeared. Morphing into the blown out looks of the 2000s, clips were even sold in drug stores to allow women to create the “Jersey poof” at home. The same trends have served different purposes at different times, always being used in new ways, as a reflection of the world that was current. Big hair is only one small example of the many trends that have come in and out of style throughout history, snatched out of the closets of mothers to be thrown back on as old styles become new. In a way, trends seem to come back as people find easier and different ways to use them. Fashion may be cyclical in nature, but will never stop expanding, even if on the surface the teenagers of 80s seemed to be doing the same morning hair routine as their mothers were when they were young.


Vice President & Creative Director: Morenike Oyebade V Magazine Editors-in-Chief: Cindy Guo & Michelle Miles Director of Philanthropy: Ciara Blackston Senior Style Specialist: Oluwafunmilayo Ogungbade Senior Style Specialist: Adrienne Momoh Photography: Will Jones & Michelle Miles Models: Aurora Fraser, Michael Byrd, Lailah Said, Krystal Ejesieme, Tanaja Stephenson, Ibrahim Muhammad, Jeffery Allgood, Morgan Miller Makeup Artists: Xiaowen Wang & Lailah Said Director of Cosmetics: Sariah Nottingham

V MAGAZINE x FASHION FOR A CAUSE The purpose of Fashion for a Cause is to present the University of Virginia and the Greater Charlottesville community with an organization that works to connect artistic interests with community service. This year, Fashion for a Cause’s (FFC) primary cause is Charlottesville’s own, “The Haven.” In addition, FFC volunteers at the City Schoolyard Gardens and at the Ronald McDonald House.


Not your Grand Mother’s Sari When I think of international clothing, the first thing that comes to mind is bright, beautiful patterns in an array of vibrant colors. I think of my mother’s rack of Saris of all different hues and how I would run my fingers through those varying soft and sequined textures. I think of the decorated Kimonos I have seen during international festivals and how they flow as their wearers perform traditional dances. I think of Kente cloths and how each of the patterns is laced with symbols of powerful meaning. We live in a world with so many rich cultures and it is wonderful to see their traditions being preserved in part through clothing. In a globalized world where cultures are intertwined, however, cultures influence one another and continually evolve to meet modern trends and ways of life. This evolution of culture has manifested itself with particular prominence in traditional clothing and to this day continues to shape modern fashion. Take, for example, the Saris I have grown up around. [Sari / Saree: a traditional South Asian garment for women that consists of a long piece of cloth draped around the body and a blouse, often with elaborate embroidery and threading.] Set foot in an Indian wedding today and the Saris that


may catch your eye are very different from the ones you may have encountered a decade ago. Beyond shifts in what designs are considered “in” and comebacks in various Sari draping styles, Saris today have been completely reimagined by up-and-coming south Asian designers. Some of these designers have created a garment known as the “Sari-gown,” a fusion of the Sari-like over the shoulder drape and the modern ball-gown. Unlike the traditional Sari, the Sari-gown requires no tying, which for unskilled Sari-wearers—like me—is a considerable convenience. Other south Asian designers have similarly expanded the notion of formal-wear by pairing Saris with blazers. Personally, I am very excited about this because women of south Asian descent will no longer have to conform to the prevailing Western standard of business attire. But beyond more radical changes to the design of the Sari, modernization of the attire can also be observed in subtler ways, like, for example, the crop-top Saris my cousins wear in more casual settings. While situational modifications like these may arouse the occasional disapproving look or eye-roll from the Indian “aunty” who prefers Saris of the more traditional ilk, they are usually well-accepted among Indian communities.

and other modern spins on traditional looks In a similar parallel, the Korean Hanbok has also undergone transformations in this modern age. [Hanbok: a traditional Korean garment that consists of floorlength wrap-around skirt and a cropped, shrug-like long-sleeved top, especially notable for its vibrant solid colors.] As someone with quite a few friends obsessed with Korean Dramas (K-Dramas), I am always interested to see what modern Hanbok styles his or her favorite celebrities are wearing on the red carpet. One major contemporary spin is the adornment of the Hanbok with non-traditional accessories such as large leather belts, hats, and veils, which—according to designer interviews—are geared more towards contemporary tastes. Some of these designers have taken modernization a step further by creating Hanboks with bared arms so as to resemble stylish gowns. The effect is achieved through the use of monochrome color schemes as opposed to some of the more vibrant traditional schemes—lace is also integrated in to new designs to tailor Hanboks for a distinct evening gown feel. As in the case of the Sari-gown, modernized formal Hanboks also thankfully combat the limited scope of acceptable business-wear. In addition to south and east Asian clothing, the modernization of African traditional attire is also taking the fashion world by storm. Many African designers have notably spoken out against the stereotypical perception that African clothing is merely limited to animal print and mud cloth. But regardless of this ridiculous and offensive stereotype, African designers continue to impress the world over. Business casual clothing with traditional African designs such as subtle incorporations of the design patterns on Khangas can be seen on runways and in fashion stores alike. [Khanga/ kanga: a tra-

by Sneha Ravi

ditional East African garment for women known for its bright, bordered designs, which sometimes include symbolic depictions of proverbs.] The Nigerian Gele [a traditional Nigerian head-scarf for women made from stiff cloth that covers the hair completely] has also made an appearance as a stylish accessory that can be paired with evening gowns. This shows the progression of a trend in fashion that appears to be breaking down preconceived, predominantly Western notions of correct and proper business attire. Taking the overall concept of modernization in international clothing further, it is important to acknowledge that name brands have taken an important step in incorporating traditional cultural and religious elements as part of a greater movement to increase inclusivity in fashion. For instance, while Nike is far from the first sports-wear company to offer a sports-ready hijab, the company’s recent interpretation—released recently—now provides mainstream active wear for Muslim women. In addition to anticipations of the advertised light-weight functionality of Nike’s Hijab, many people, myself included, hope that Nike’s support of Muslim women in solidarity with other organizations will help overturn discriminatory headgear rules, such as the one found in the International Basketball Federation (FIBA). In reflection, whether it’s breaking down imposed standards of professional attire or pushing for inclusivity of all people in all aspects of life, the modernization of traditional fashion serves an important, simultaneous dual-purpose—it is at once the champion of the novel and the contemporary, but also the antidote to ignorant cultural stereotypes.


THE POWER OF SUBtLETY By Andre Hirschler in cinema The Avengers, Fast & Furious, and other summer tentpole films have a lot of wow factor but quickly drift from memory. You recall the cool chase sequences, intense gunfights, and quippy dialogue, but not the movie as a whole. That might be because it’s entertainment, not cinema, and a crucial distinction should be made between the two. Entertainment is consumed; an occupation for one to busy him or herself with. It doesn’t always resonate, or last long as a feeling, but it is pleasurable to watch. Cinema, instead, can be viewed as an endeavour, an emotional experience, built to share something with an audience beyond amusement. Cinema leads the viewer somewhere without pandering to them, and therein lies the essence of subtlety: in the emotional ability of a movie to provide something greater than entertainment, something that mirrors reality. The emotional impact of a good film arises from a powerful combination of all cinematic aspects: cinematography, script, sound and light. It is a nearly indefinable sensation - not created by plot or Chris Hemsworth’s abs, but by how the filmmaker evokes something through the presentation of moments. Nicolas Winding Refn, Wes Anderson, and Dennis Villeneuve are all experts in this. Even when directing blockbusters, they maintain standards of visual artistry, communicated in the cam-


erawork as well as the plotline. The environments within their movies are artfully constructed and extensively tied together, which lead to a cinematic experience beyond entertainment. Winding Refn’s films tend towards an emotional, rather than narrative, goal; there is minimal dialogue or background development. Instead, they work within the realms of “visual hard candy,” or, aesthetics with an emotional payoff. For instance, compare the introduction of mysterious main characters in Refn’s 2011 film, Drive, and the 2011 release, Thor. In Thor, a giant sky beam drops the character in front of a van, where the female lead is able to bend over his figure and ask the obvious, “Where did he come from?” Hint, it’s in the title. Compare this to Drive, where the nameless lead is shown in the glassy reflection of a hotel window, back to the viewer, visually shutting the audience out. The difference is striking. Where Thor half-heartedly pretends to hide the character, Drive holds on to this unknown person to the point of frustration, exploring him visually, giving subtle cues, but never revealing who the character is. Its style is more akin to the reality of how we experience people, as opposed to a watereddown version convenient to the plot.

While Refn does this through lighting and shots of reflections, characters in films directed by Villeneuve are visually questioned through intense close-up shots, audial pauses, and a use of high contrast lighting to visually arrest an audience. His 2013 film, Enemy, constantly moves around characters, using background and other settings to explore their emotions without having the subject be overly active. An effective moment occurs when the lead character is introduced. He walks towards the camera as if he were a passing pedestrian, only for the camera to swing around and follow him. This shot pushes the audience towards him, forcing us into his story. Later, he walks into an apartment in a series of identical block buildings. Such a simple shot conveys so much about the character: that he lives a dull, monotonous life and is dissatisfied with it. Nothing is explained, but the emotional payout is so much more satisfying because the audience is allowed to come to these conclusions themselves. Good film making should serve as a visual demonstrator of the unspoken, leading the audience to an unforced realisation that allows viewers to ex-

perience what lives outside their own might be like.This is the magic of Wes Anderson’s work. His films are surreal in their use of overly pastel colour schemes, deadpan character emotions, and unreal plots, but they somehow remain overwhelmingly relatable. Take, for example, the introduction of Chas in The Royal Tenenbaums. A little boy wearing a suit sits in an austere bedroom. With a raised steel bunk and a table occupied only by necessary workplace essentials, the sole intrusion is the household itself, in the form of an opulent chandelier. This creates an initial sense of Chas’ character. Later, we discover he’s changed because he is dressed in bright red, a contrast to the early stark greys, which signifies a shift to emotionality over reservation. Through comparison of his past and current environments, the setting has done all the explanation for us. These films have a heightened realism because of their subtlety, no matter how surreal a plot might seem. As a result, the viewer can attribute more significance to whatever emotional elements are trying to be conveyed. In experiencing such cinema, we allow ourselves into other worlds, not just for entertainment but for emotionality, and there is power in the understanding of new perspectives.



by Sophie Eckert

The word “self-aware” is among a collection of ambiguous words that lacks standardization across gender, across culture, and varies greatly from individual-to-individual. Is it being able to examine oneself, acknowledge one’s faults? Or is it simply an awareness of our surroundings and how we fit into them? I believe the concept of self-awareness best describes the ability to deny our innate sense of selfishness and self-centered actions. This, of course, is not to say that we are inherently bad or malicious, but it is true that all actions and experiences in our lives are seen strictly from our own point of view. Further, we will never be able to explain or understand another human being like ourselves. Though sometimes this is discouraging, I maintain it calls us to action. We cannot accept that we are the center of all of our experiences without thought. This is what must motivate us to seek out the perspective of others. This is what galvanizes the inspiration behind theatre, art, innovation, and empathy— the desire to see things from another point of view, to discover another way of seeing the world in which we have settled. The Virginia Film Festival perfectly exemplifies a collection of those who transcend and transform self-centered thoughts into


works of art to display issues of race, politics, and social discrepancies. Films and series such as, “Birth of a Movement” and local films like, “Charlottesville: Our Streets” allow viewers to contemplate not only how issues in today’s world relate to their own lives, but also, crucially, the lives of others. Being thrown into college challenges this aspect of ourselves, as it demands we make choices with our time and, by extension, our self-centeredness—with whom should we associate, learn, and flourish?

There is something sacred about the unknown complexity of each individual life, and ability we have to constantly remind ourselves of this truth. This innate desire to connect with other human beings has resulted in experiments that allow us to explore our similarities and distinguish between that which draws us together and that which

pulls us apart. These innate desires are something I want to remind the community of Charlottesville of in particular. Charlottesville’s identity was attacked along with those targeted amidst the acts of evil when Neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and other hate groups defiled our grounds with their racist remarks and actions. But this act of inhumanity brought to light strength in counter-forces— students from other universities and communities expressing their love and support for those in Charlottesville that denounce the evil of racist bigotry. In light of recent events, it is easy to see those that choose to remain self-centered, those that feel no empathy for the complexity of the lives around them. But that does not deny commonality. The Oxford English Dictionary defines “community” as a body of people having common or equal rights or rank. In categorizing groups, we often interchange terms such as community, group, society; however, there is a distinct

difference in the etymology. Though all imply a connection, community implies equality as well.

While some might respond with bigotry and fear, there are also those that refute it. Every community will always have some aspect of selfishness, but it is by being self-aware, recognizing this and fighting against toxic self-centeredness that our community remains strong. I would argue another vital aspect of self-awareness is direct connection with critical thinking. However, with this comes the necessity to distinguish between negative and positive elements of criticism. This word in our society today carries very negative connotations. Criticism is not, however, inherently negative. The frame of reference


created by our experiences simply means we evaluate things in relation to this frame. This does not always yield positive results, but criticism is necessary for each individual to determine a sense-of-self. Here, on grounds, the University of Virginia’s alumni network speaks to its strength in choosing to explore perspectives. Time-after-time, year-after-year, generations come to the University and guard it as an essential component of themselves even after graduation. Not many universities can boast the same. That is not to say the University is without fault, but that when confronted with problems it remains a strong community. It is unfortunate that so often the most beautiful acts follow such horrific outbreaks; for example, the mass of supporters and donations following events such as the Charlottesville riots,


shooting in Las Vegas, and the recent deadly hurricane season. But nevertheless we are reminded of all those that choose to help, that choose to replace their own frame of reference with that of the victim. It calls us to action.

I challenge everyone to criticize their hobbies, their experiences, in the hope of becoming more self-aware. Ask yourself, why do I believe in this? How do I connect to others? Who—and why—do others incite my interest, or do they at all? There is nothing you do so small that it does not contribute to your character. It is not enough to observe another’s culture or way of thought; true self-awareness requires genuine investment. We may all be inadvertently self-centered, but our communities do not have to reflect it.

STUDENT ART “the eisenhower highway” by Kirsten Hemrich


kirsten hemrich

4th Year | English and Studio Art

Above: “cold days” Right: “the heat ducts” Opposite top-left: “Vencie” Opposite bottom-left: “Bananas” Opposite top-right: “self portrait, february”


“My work is very much concerned with the ephemeral nature of time and memory. I see painting as a way to process certain moments and periods of my life. Using textual fragments, icons, and the emotional language of color, I tend to create abstract landscapes that speak to my personal experiences.�


Top: In Transit - 3:05 Bottom: I am - In Progress Opposite: It makes me wanna - 2:32


paige taul 4th Year | Studio Art with a Concentration in Cinematography

“In my work I explore the notion of black identity and thinking both spatially and conceptually about where I feel included or excluded within the parameters of Blackness as a social construct. Ultimately I want to bring the borders and limits of how we as people define ourselves and others.�


“Caught Off Guard”


alena Titova 2nd year | Undecided major

Throughout her work, Titova tends to focus on stroke quality and primarily uses cross hatching in her pencil based drawings. Her meticulous attention to detail transcends throughout all her pieces as she aims to capture every hair, wrinkle, and shadow of her subjects.










Profile for V Magazine UVA

V Magazine - Autumn 2017  

V Magazine - Autumn 2017