It Only Takes a Flicker to Light a Room and Spark a Revolution

In Grainge’s article, many hidden messages in the film Pleasantville are discussed and the ideas from this article inspired my artwork. Similar to Pleasantville each small image gains a small amount of colour and the last of the six is portrayed as acceptance of all peoples with the full range of colour. Each group is accurately represented with the clothing of the time, religious garments, and cultural aspects. Pleasantville depicts a 1950’s black and white television sitcom vs. the coloured media of the present age, which can be seen as new ideals and morals directly refuting the postwar years. These postmodern notions are evident through the sexual awakening, civil rights issues and protests, and feminism marches within the 1960s. In more recent years, there have been First Nations petitions, gay pride parades, and the legalization of same-sex marriage. Within a century, so much in Canadian and worldwide societies has changed for acceptance over exclusion, and love over hate. However, like in Pleasantville, those in power struggle to keep power and their hate reaches others who wish for a better life, turning these minorities into a scapegoat and a symbol of their hatred. Instead of self-reflection, these stubborn individuals point to the persecuted as the cause of their own problems, just as the Nazi’s did with the Jews, and how America is currently doing with Muslims. This art piece shows those who have and continue to battle against old misconceptions shadowing over them, gain their rights, and fight the prejudice in their paths. The groups depicted are those who once were seen as less than human, were discarded, and eventually overcame stereotypes and since then have been acknowledged as an important part to any diverse society, except in the case of slavery in which it was dissolved.

Slavery is the first image shown in the art piece and has been in place ages before the United States Civil War. It is important to know that the ancient Romans, ancient Greeks, and even ancient Egyptians had slaves, also in those periods slaves were not just those of a darker skin tone, but those captured in war and sometimes those of even their own nations. It has taken a millennium but slavery is now illegal in every country in the world, and even though it may seem to be obliterated it is still present under a different name: human trafficking.

A great deal is known about the civil rights movements of the African Americans, the segregation they endured and the harsh reality they had to live with. Women as well have been fighting for the right to vote and to this day for equal pay, but it has taken in some cases centuries for women’s rights in general to be improving globally. Aboriginals have been subjected to residential schools so similar to the African Americans in this way, and remain in disputes over the rights of their land and opportunities for their children.

Those of the Muslim community have been targeted since 9/11 as a threat even though only a twisted section of their religion has taken extreme beliefs in ISIS. These people are united under a religion and have no control over the others who act in bitter wars and yet are sometimes still treated like a member of that organization. Those in the Islamic religion have been the object of discrimination more recently as President Trump has created an Executive Order banning immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries. In the piece the Muslim couple are shown joyous and peaceful which is how these ordinary people are, they are loving parents, grandparents, children, and grandchildren, all part of a family.

The last group depicted is the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning (LGBTQ) who in the past were forced into jail and subjected to medication, and some grievously committed suicide to be free of being forced into these trials. Nevertheless a symbol for the LGBTQ is a rainbow for diversity and so I decided it would be better to have the community last in the piece so then the image can be full of the colours of the rainbow it represents. In an important note I added in stripes of black and white in the brunette’s hair to show that even though our world has reached so far in its equality of peoples, there is still so much more to accomplish and future battles to fight with regards to minorities.

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