Corinne Furniss

My Country, My Home

The idea of nationalism is one that allows people to tie themselves to a larger purpose. It is considered an honor to fight for one’s country, to take a stand against those who contradict your nation’s beliefs. You’re a martyr if you die fighting, and society has come to amalgamate a martyr with a hero. Yet, everyday people are obstructed from protecting, preserving, bettering the nation. Why? Because others believe they do not have the right. Because others think you must be born here in order to be “American.” Because others think that even if you’re born here, you will never be “American” because you don’t look like them. And these others are the very people that degrade a community. This piece reveals that nationalism, the home to which you feel connected, is not dictated by superficial features. Age, gender, race, ethnicity, and appearance cannot show a person’s beliefs. To understand a person, to get a glimpse of their identity, one must search beneath the skin. To portray this image, I wanted to incorporate a well-known symbol of America: its red, white, and blue flag. I took a picture of my subject in all black, holding a paintbrush. This represents the idea that he feels he needs to change his appearance in order to be seen as “American.” After taking this photo, I photoshopped it to be the top layer in front of a vertical photo of the American flag. Then, I played with the layers and the eraser tool to make it seem as if the flag was coming directly from the paintbrush. I chose the words “My Country My Home” to emphasize the struggle and longing that some people must face in order to be accepted in a place they already call home.
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