A Voice in the Silence: Constructing Identity Through the Visual Arts
Degree awarded: M.A. Performing Arts. American University The visual arts can be utilized as a mode of non-verbal discourse within marginalized societies. The process of creating a work of art affords an individual the opportunity to re-imagine their own self and realize challenges that may arise in maintaining this identity. In situations where verbal communication is either ignored or non-existent the visual arts offer a medium through which to express disparities and inequities faced by a marginalized population. Three case studies examine the different ways in which the visual arts can manifest themselves and promote a stronger sense of self for the individual and community and foster a dialogue with a larger audience.