Pranav Anil, Wassan Aqil, Reshika Balayan, Evonne Chiang, Allison Gellerstein, Natalie Gomez, Vinay Jagadeesh, Diane Kim, Andrea Luna, Victoria Medl, Neha Nirantar, Anna Pieta, Zachary Roth, Benjamin Ryan, Priyanshi Shah, Amy Zeng
Facilitator: Kathleen Sadowsky
Poster Board (Accordion), 20×30 in.
Rutgers School of Arts and Sciences Honors Program
Honors Colloquium Section H6
A beloved community is composed of individuals who share a common space unknowingly building a connection by making the space alive. The accordion concept expresses the duality behind community. The presence of people defines a ‘beloved’ community while the absence of people represents an empty shell of what could have been a ’beloved community’. Through the process of creating this artistic piece, the group discovered the importance of individual contribution and team collaboration for that is what characterizes a ‘beloved’ community.
Our section developed the idea for our image as we wanted to demonstrate the duality of our community. We were playing with the idea that although a community consists of the people around us and those we connect with, it is also the place we reside in as well.
Our image displays the dichotomous nature of student life at Rutgers. As shown in the alternating order of our images, life at college can be equally tumultuous and rewarding. Perhaps our shared experiences are what make the community at Rutgers so vibrant: we eat, sleep, study, work, and play in the same environment, and a large portion of our identities is tied into this student culture. Oftentimes, it can be difficult to distinguish life between work and leisure as we spend the majority of our four years, summers, and breaks on campus – sometimes we can get caught up in the cyclical nature of it all. A large part of growing up and seeking independence begins with school, but trying to find your way isn’t always as easy as it seems, especially when the endless possibilities of your future lay ahead of you. However, once you begin to accept the good and bad parts of life as opportunities for change and growth, they pave a path to self-discovery. This is what we tried to emulate in our photograph – Only once you find your own identity, can you begin to find your community; the beloved community here at Rutgers is equally flawed as it is genuine.
We found inspiration within our youth. We followed through with the idea of an accordion in which we could shift the image left to right and see the two different representations of Rutgers within one image. This project has taught us the value of community and teamwork. While brainstorming, we were able to reflect on our college experiences thus far, especially during the pandemic, and put those feelings and experiences into an image that represents us all.