Reflection: I was, I am, I will be
How would you answer Chanel Miller’s “I was, I am, I will be” prompt? Would your answers look like Miller’s, or would they look different?
Objective: Understand the importance of Carlos Villa’s work to prioritize and spotlight artists who are underrepresented.
“[W]e must recognize that the organized identity groups in which we and others find ourselves are in fact not monolithic but made up of members of different and perhaps competing identities. Rather than viewing this as a threat to group solidarity, we should view it as an opportunity for bridge building and coalition politics.” (Crenshaw)
From 1976 until his death in 2013, Carlos Villa organized an iconic series of exhibitions, symposia, curricula, publications, and web projects under the Worlds in Collision umbrella. These projects and conversations addressed multiculturalism, education, activism, and identity politics with the intention of shaping a more inclusive art world and art history. Specifically, Worlds in Collision sought to exhibit work of women artists and artists of color from varied ethnic and cultural backgrounds.
In this activity, you will pretend that you are part of the group organizing this year’s Worlds in Collision symposium, and you will need to find an artist who fulfills this event’s mission. You will also learn what inspired Villa to explore multiculturalism based on a video about curating and collecting Filipino art in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Historical and Social Sciences (Grade 9-12)
HSS 10.4.2: Discuss the locations of the colonial rule of such nations as England, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Russia, Spain, Portugal, and the United States.
HSS 10.4.3: Explain imperialism from the perspective of the colonizers and the colonized and the varied immediate and long-term responses by the people under colonial rule.
Historical Research, Evidence, and Point of View
HSS.9-12.1: Students distinguish valid arguments from fallacious arguments in historical interpretations.
HSS.9-12.2: Students identify bias and prejudice in historical interpretations.
HSS.9-12.3: Students evaluate major debates among historians concerning alternative interpretations of the past, including an analysis of authors’ use of evidence and the distinctions between sound generalizations and misleading oversimplifications.
HSS.9-12.1: Students show the connections, causal and otherwise, between particular historical events and larger social, economic, and political trends and developments.
HSS.9-12.2: Students recognize the complexity of historical causes and effects, including the limitations on determining cause and effect.
Video, Filipino Community Voices, Bay Area; Worlds in Collision slideshow (download PDF from sidebar above).
Imperialism: state policy, practice, or advocacy of extending power and dominion, especially by direct territorial acquisition or by gaining political and economic control of other areas.
Western Colonialism: a political-economic phenomenon whereby various European nations explored, conquered, settled, and exploited large areas of the world.
Multicultural: the inclusion of the views and contributions of diverse members of society while maintaining respect for their differences and withholding the demand for their assimilation into the dominant culture.
Looking at Art
Worlds in Collision Proposal
For more lessons based on Carlos Villa, visit the artist’s teacher packet.