Friday, July 19, 2013

Day 14: What is Capitalism?

A small example of "Capitalist graffiti"
Today's morning class was optional; you either chose to sleep in or go to a group discussion about the topic of your choice. I chose to go to class and before we were split up into group discussions, the people who came to class gathered together and Meghna, Nicole, and Julia lead a class discussion on classroom justice. We all discussed how we felt about class, if we felt free saying our opinions in class, and things of that nature. After the class discussion everyone broke up into their groups of interests: Capitalism, Feminism and Queer Theory, and Sports, Religion and Social Justice. I joined the Capitalism group with 6 other students, Filip and his partner Olga, and Adnan. We covered a lot and it was basically a conversation about Capitalism, which is an economic system where private corporation "capitalize" on other people's needs, emotions, issues, etc. for a profit. Capitalism was not a subject I was very familiar with, so I attended the group discussion to learn more about it. While my group was talking I kept thinking about how Capitalism has played a role in my life and others'. A big part of Capitalism is consumerism and making a profit. I thought about how I have involved in consumerism and the role I have played. 

A type of graffiti/street art

For the second part of class we went to Central Philadelphia and met graffiti artists. We walked around the city observing street art and learning about it. Graffiti means something different to each writer, but a lot of it involves the adrenaline rush that comes with the risk. Also, being given the chance to resist against oppressive forces. The writers that do graffiti, and do not vandalize, do not graffiti on people's houses, vehicles, or churches. Graffiti is great for these writers because it is gender blind and race blind. You cannot tell what gender or race someone is by their art or tag, but you can tell their story or what is going on in their lives. For example, if you see a tag written over a different person's tag then that means those people are having problems with each other. Wherever a graffiti artist tags, tells the story of where they have been. Graffiti art, or street art, has been viewed negatively, but street art that publicizes a brand, such as H&M, has not become illegal. As our professor would call it, it is "Capitalist graffiti," which is allowed in our society.

After class, a group of friends and I went and swam at the pool gym and then went to dinner. They were serving jambalaya, hamburgers, and fries. After dinner we went to The Conjuring, which is the recent horror film. Before going, I heard that it was really frightening, and some people did scream during the movie, but I wasn't scared. I do not usually get scared when I watch a horror movie, so I try to find films that will scare me. The Conjuring, unfortunately, did not succeed. After the movie, I got a chicken gyro from The Greek Lady, which is one of the local Greek restaurants. Then I met up with more friends and we listened to music and talked, which was relaxing.

Today has left me with a lot to think about, but that is why I love this Social Justice class so much; it makes me really think.

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