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Filling the gap of representation through art

 By Judy Ly 

Rainier Editor-in-Chief

For this Expeditions round of Ethnic Studies, students studied the portrayal of people of non-dominant backgrounds in media. From music video to films to even personal poetry, Expeditions teacher Angel Barragan showcased the representation and misrepresentation of Latinos, Asians, Native Americans and African Americans.

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Expeditions teacher Angel Barragan shares his struggle with how he was represented in the media when he was growing up.

In an interview with Mr. Barragan, he said he came from a community with no college graduates few high school graduates. In addition to not seeing himself represented in the faculty, it made it hard for him to believe he could succeed academically in college: “I did eventually, but I think that goes beyond just school, right. That goes through the media, that goes through the way they’re showing people.”

Mr. Barragan added that the representation of people of non-dominant backgrounds is getting better; however, when he was in high school, representation included a lot of stereotypes. He explained that created a certain impression: “All you can amount to be, at some point, is to be like a gardener or a maid or some type of service worker. I think if I saw Latinos that were doing other successful things, it would’ve made me feel I could’ve been successful myself.” These are the reasons why Mr. Barragan thinks everyone needs to be aware of how society portrays others and why everyone should have a positive representation in the media.

See below for a video about this project:

See below for the reporter’s personal take on this project:

For more information about Expeditions Ethnic Studies course, check out this blog

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