Symbols of Power

 

 

I have the honor of working with the youth at Aki Kurose and in our after school arts classes we’ve been exploring the complex world of power and what I means to us. In one session we independently completed Power Prompts and then compiled them together to create a group awareness. We then created dynamic collages inspired by our discoveries as a way to reflect.

 

 

Being Powerful is…

Cool

Hard

Great

Irritating

Awesome

Being Rich

Good

Good

Complicated

Being Bossy

Being a leader

Very Confusing

Being in Control

Having Servants

Being Respected

Yelling at People

Being a Role Model

Something that feels Awkward

Treating people the way you want to be treated

 

Power Reminds Me of…

God

Jesus

Elders

Candy

Slaves

My Mom

Authority

Old People

My Parents

Loud Noises

Music-Music

Video Games

Jews in Poland

Power Rangers

Being in Charge

Being Respectful

Adults-Adults-Adults

Being Nice to Others

 

When I Think of a Powerful Force in Nature I think of:

God

Fires

Wind

Jesus

Trees

Hippos

Tornado

Tsunami

Volcanoes

Hurricanes

Earthquake

Water-Water

Natural Disasters

Catastrophic Events

 

One of the most Powerful People in History…

God

Jesus-Jesus

Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr.

Hitler-Hitler-Hitler-Hilter

Franklin D Roosevelt

Barack Obama

Rosa Parks

Columbus

 

When I feel Powerful I am…

Happy

Cooking

Reading

In Charge

Being Kind

Feeling Cool

Being a Leader

Drawing-Drawing

Being Nice to Others

Standing up for Myself

 

When Someone has Taken my Power they Usually…

Has a Big Mouth

Is Older than Me

Has a Weapon

Has Money

Has Power

Is an Adult

If Rich

Has No Power

Has Silenced Me

Has a Gun or a Knife

Has a Bossy Personality

Has People Helping Them

Has had their Power Taken

Never! No One Takes my POWER!

 

The First Time I Felt Power Was When…

I was Born

I went to School

Took my first steps

I worked with little kids

I stood up to mean girls

I was the lead role in a play

I stood up to someone and didn’t let them knock me down

I saw someone with no money

I was in charge of a group

I was with my family

My sister was born

I got really mad

Never

 

When I need to feel power I…

Say something nice to someone

Play a video game

Throw A Tantrum

Learn something

Listen to Music

Help Others

Play Sports

Go Outside

Scream

Babysit

Fight

Talk

Yell

Cry

 

Power Is…

The ability to create change

Influence others

A great feeling

Leadership

Friendship

Awesome

Important

Respect

Riches

Fun

Cool

Weird

My Ipod

Authority

Annoying

My Family

Challenging

Violence-Violence

Something you feel inside that no one can take away

 

 

Another day I invited the youth to facilitate their own brainstorming process. With pens and a large piece of paper on the wall we brainstormed symbols of power that are helpful and symbols of power that are hurtful. We agreed that many symbols could be both helpful and hurtful depending on how one uses or sees it.

 

Helpful

Hurtful

GraffitiCrane Cash (Aki’s reward system)AdultsGodFamilyJesus

Buddah

Mom and Dad

Education

Hugs and Kisses

Your mind

Obama

Money

Love

Spirituality

Kindness

 

Crane Cash (Aki’s reward system)AdultsGunsDadsWordsBelts/Knives

Punches

Lightning

Osama Bin Laden

Romney

Death

Racism

Genderism (sexism)

Money

School

 

No doubt the youth became very boisterous and passionate. There were many times throughout this process in which I reminded the youth that all answers were right and that everyone’s voice will be heard. We all took time to center ourselves and calm our minds. Power is striking in so many ways.  After creating this list I invited the youth to select the top three symbols they related to most by each marking their vote next the word. Spirituality, Education and Graffiti ended up being the class majority. I then invited the class to split themselves by interest and provided them with a tabletop sized paper and an array of art mediums. Each group created a plan and is currently building masterpieces inspired by symbols of power. We will be sharing our artists statements and group works at our After School Showcase.