In Unit 2, we are examining many different cultures from around the world. Some of these actually had direct contact with each other, and through that interaction, a new syncretic culture was created. SYNCRETISM is born when the practices, values, and art forms from diverse cultures mix together, and a new culture develops in its place. For this week’s Portfolio Project Post, I am asking you to think about your own experience of syncretic culture.
For Portfolio Post #2, you need to accomplish the following:
I. (40 points- 10 points each) Write 250 words total (about 65 words per question segment below) in which you address the following issues:
1. Which of the cultures in the Unit 2 module would you like to go back in time to and visit? Why?
2. Describe a time in your life when you experienced syncretic culture (a blending of interaction of different cultures coming together). What impact did this have on you?
3. Describe the visual details of what your photograph looks like and what it shows (see below for photograph instructions). What is it about?
4. Explain why you think your photograph shows cultural exchange and what you hope the viewer will understand from looking at it.
II. (10 points) Take a photograph that you think illustrates an example of syncretic culture today. You must take a new photograph. This cannot be an old picture you took several years ago. Your photograph can be of anything you think demonstrates a melding of multiple different cultures. For example, maybe you see something (like a sign or building or restaurant or street art) while you are driving to work everyday, or maybe it is an object or a piece of clothing or an interior space that you have arranged where you live that pays homage to your cultural heritage. It must be clear in the photograph how at least TWO different cultures are present and have been sort of fused together. You can be creative in your interpretation, staging, and editing of the photograph. Maybe you have something in your house that you really think represents one culture, but then you feel like you grew up in a different culture, and you take a photograph in a way that illustrates the combination of diversity. This is just one idea. You do not have to take this approach at all. Your photograph does not need to be of something in your house. It could be of something in our city, or even in our nation. But it must be a photograph that you take this week.
You will be evaluated on your ability to think outside the box and demonstrate how much thoughtful time you have put into the project. Do not rush into this. I recommend that you spend a few days contemplating the ideas behind this project before you rush to upload an image. And NO, a selfie of just your face is not a successful answer to this prompt. We already saw your face and read about your life a little with your introduction post, so this part of the project needs to move beyond that.
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