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Obscenity: The Quick and Dirty

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Zines have made space for queer, intersectional feminists to bring together academic and artistic knowledge in order to produce a message and inspire readers. In order to criticize the legal

Zines have made space for queer, intersectional feminists to bring together academic and artistic knowledge in order to produce a message and inspire readers. In order to criticize the legal definition and practical execution of obscenity in the US, a visual component was a necessity. The use of a Zine allowed for a critical and humorous exploration of obscenity in US law and media. The Zine provides a visual analysis while the companion essay provides a critique of the zine and additional analysis. The Zine brings awareness to ways in which the legal historical objectification of black and native bodies contributed to the creation of modern obscenity laws. These laws are based on racist and sexist ideals of morality and create inherently flawed definitions of obscenity through personal bias. The flaws within the laws allow for exceptions in the legal definition of obscenity which normalizes the commodification of women's bodies. These laws and the exceptions present contribute to the dehumanization of and violence towards women as usefulness is deemed the most important factor when considering the use of women’s bodies in potentially obscene images and films.

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  • 2020-05

Debunking Common Landscaping Misconceptions in Phoenix, Arizona

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This project was inspired by Dr. Kelli L. Larson’s research which disproved three common landscaping misconceptions in the Phoenix Valley. The first misconception states that newcomers, not long-time Phoenicians more

This project was inspired by Dr. Kelli L. Larson’s research which disproved three common landscaping misconceptions in the Phoenix Valley. The first misconception states that newcomers, not long-time Phoenicians more often have and prefer grassy lawns instead of xeric, desert-adapted landscapes when actually the opposite is true. Secondly, the rise in xeric landscapes is not due to personal choice but rather a variety of other factors such as developer decisions. Finally, Dr. Larson’s research also disproves the assumption that people who possess pro-environmental attitudes correspondingly demonstrate sustainable landscaping behavior, and finds that people with those attitudes actually tend to irrigate more frequently in the winter months. Debunking these misconceptions is important because the long-term impacts of global climate change could have effects on water use in the desert southwest, and promoting water conservation in urban residential landscaping is an important step in the creation of sustainable water use policy. <br/><br/>The goal of my project was to make this information more accessible to broader public audiences who may not have access to it outside of research circles. I decided to create a zine, a small batch, hand-made mini-magazine, centered around disproving these myths so that the information could be distributed to broader audiences. I conducted informal stakeholder interviews to inform my design in order to appeal to those audiences, and constructed a 16-page booklet which debunked the myths and encouraged critical thinking about individual water use and urban landscaping habits. The zine included hand-painted illustrations and was constructed as a physical copy with the intention of eventually copying and distributing both a physical and digital version. The purpose of this project is to create a way of accessing reliable information about urban landscaping for residents of the Phoenix Valley, where the climate and geography necessitate water conservation.

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Date Created
  • 2021-05

The Hierarchy of Validity: A Creative Exploration of Reproductive Justice in Cross-Disciplinary Birthwork

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Birthing is an intimate experience and all mothers—regardless of their race or class—deserve to have a variety of birthworker options. Birthwork covers an array of professions related to meeting the

Birthing is an intimate experience and all mothers—regardless of their race or class—deserve to have a variety of birthworker options. Birthwork covers an array of professions related to meeting the physical and emotional needs of expectant mothers and mothers in post-partum. For the purposes of my research, however, I define birthworkers as those working as a doula, midwife, or OBGYN. Without the knowledge of the multiplicity of options available to them, pregnant women of color’s autonomy suffers.<br/><br/>This project explores how birthworkers in Arizona are differentially perceived and hierarchized by expectant mothers. While doulas are assumed to be mystical, OBGYNs professional and midwives a blend of both levels of professionality, this project explores the hierarchy of validity and importance of acknowledging each birthworking discipline as beneficial to expectant and post-partum mothers.<br/><br/>Through the presentation of this work, I aim to educate readers on the benefits of each birthworking discipline, thereby raising awareness about the need for equal respect and access to all types of care providers during the pregnancy journey, as well as a need to place intimacy at the center of birthworking praxis. Throughout this ‘zine you will learn about the importance of integrating terms such as “reproductive justice” and “equity” into general discourse, the racial disparity evident in the quality of care pregnant people receive during delivery of their child, as well as anecdotal information about each birthworking sector—doulaship, midwifery, and obstetrics—from professionals in each field.

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Date Created
  • 2021-05

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DISCARDSCAPES OF FASHION: POSTCOLONIAL RESISTANCE IN POST-CONSUMER TRANSBOUNDARY TEXTILE WASTE MANAGEMENT, FROM THE US TO SOUTH AND EAST AFRICA

Description

The clothing and textile industry is often referred to as one of the largest polluters in the world. Over the last two decades, global annual consumption has increased, and the

The clothing and textile industry is often referred to as one of the largest polluters in the world. Over the last two decades, global annual consumption has increased, and the volume of discarded clothing in America has doubled from 7 to 14 million tons a year (Shirvanimoghaddam, 2020). Over 60% of textile waste overall is exported to the Global South. In the Global South, landfills that receive this waste often lack proper funding and legislation to implement effective waste management systems (Schiros). Textile waste bears a carbon and water footprint that disrupts environmental and health standards on egregious levels, disproportionately harming the health of the populations situated near to those disposal sites, and preventing so-called “developing populations” from economic independence and from sustaining critical environmental health standards. The exploitation of the Global South as a dumping ground also erodes the possibility of economic development by local production and economic self-reliance. Structural adjustments and trade regulated by the ‘developed’ country subjugate the Global South to neo-colonialist, exploitative economic partnerships with the Global North. Rwanda is one example of a country attempting to rise to the World Bank’s classification as a middle-income country, but has been accused of trading human rights for development in the process. My investigation first seeks to answer, What are the specific health threats of post-consumer textiles? I consider the human health impacts of textiles from cultivation to disposal. This study examines the role of waste as a potential function in the production process, where waste is not considered a negative economic value. My second question is How is the Global South's participation in international collaboration empowered by acts of resistance against the assumptions, research, and policies that suggest Western aid and medicine is superior and the basis for innovative technology? Acts of resistance are pursued within the public sphere (especially in terms of community building and art making), low technology, and locally situated science (that consider the culture, approach, and resources of the Global South before scaling up to the North). Corporations and state policy are considered to expand research, but the focus is largely on acts of resistance by the public, and acts of resistance at a community-level of cooperation. Through the framework of the zine, audiences can better understand the relationship between the US and countries in the East African Community, in South Africa, in shared regions. This creative project informs and challenges the reader to think critically about their role in a postcolonial context. I seek to understand how colonialism pervades the economic relationship and import-export business today between the Global North and the Global South. My purpose is to provide the reader with a vision that suggests the most critical changes that should be made to secure humane and environmentally sustainable solutions. It also serves as a catalyst for additional research on the Global South.

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Date Created
  • 2021-05