faces of (the human) race is a collection of conversations with people of all different backgrounds concerning racism and social injustice around the world.
Inspired by the fact that we are all citizens of the same planet, of the same species, alive together at this moment in history, faces of (the human) race seeks to understand how racism has hurt our fellow humans, illustrate our common bonds, and uncover what steps we can take to combat racism together.
A note from the curator-
As a white person who grew up in the United States and lives in Singapore, I’ve tried, with some difficulty, to figure out where my energies are most helpful and appropriate in the fight against racism.
This project has been on my heart for some time now. I felt the universe nudging me to utilize my access to people with such wide ranges of experiences and backgrounds to show what is really happening in the world, not just what Facebook decides I should see.
I started doing these interviews because I wanted to acknowledge and illustrate that racism happens everywhere, still. It affects to people I care about, people I love. I wanted to listen to their stories. I wanted to show up with compassion and care when other humans tell me they are hurting. I also wanted to uncover real, tangible actions that the readers and I could do to affect positive change and to lessen the power of systemic racism.
What I didn’t expect was how I would react to some stories. I notice my first reactions to things sometimes don’t come from a place of compassion and understanding but are shaded by my own preconceived notions. It’s made me realize I still have a lot of work to do on myself. There is more to learn, more to acknowledge, more beliefs I need to question.
As part of the group who benefits from systemic racism, whether I asked for the privilege or not, I realize it’s my responsibility to educate myself. The burden does not lie in the hands of the oppressed. If I’m going to say I’m an ally, I need to do my part in understanding what that means and how I have unknowingly hurt or oppressed people in the past.
I’ve also been surprised by the appreciation I have received from people I’ve interviewed for this project. There seems to be a redemptive value in simply sharing, heart to heart, in having someone request to listen to your story. I encourage those reading this to ask others for their stories, to speak from the heart, and to listen from the heart.
Not surprising–most people’s answer to how to fix this thing? Love.
I’m convicted that healing lies in communion, compassion, and focusing on our similarities (in this huge universe, we are all alive, on earth, at the same time) rather than our differences. I truly hope that a day comes when humans are slower to speak venomously about a group of people have limited personal knowledge of. I hope that we can learn to question our opinions before we rush to justify our stance. I hope we can first seek to understand others’ feelings and motivations become we judge them. I hope we learn to act with a heart full of compassion rather than fear.
A special thanks to Leandre Daniels, Hillary Lopes, and Deborah Emmanuel who generously gave of their time to help me conceptualize this project, to my tech wiz’s Sanny Veloo and Isac James who helped me build this website, and to all the special souls who have shared their stories with me.
If you would like to share your story or know someone who does, please reach out through the Contact page.
Peace & love,