First Faculty Advisor
art; engagement; bias; belonging; community
CC-BY-NC-ND; CC-BY; CC-BY-SA; CC-BY-NC-SA; CC-BY-NC
Breaking Bias, Building Belonging: Racism and Misogyny in Campus Communities is a project that uses art as a research medium in order to first understand how the Bryant community perceives issues of race, gender, and bias, as well as using creative modes of expression to educate participants on issues that are often invisible and go undiscussed on campus. Using qualitative and ethnographic research methods, this exhibit is infused with both primary and secondary research. Data gathered from the literature review explores the theme of community, which serves as the foundation for this project that was subsequently narrowed to focus on the presence of racial and gender-based bias in college campus communities as well as how it impacts students’ sense of belonging. This research informed subsequent interview questions, as well as the use body mapping as a form of visual research and free listing as a method of insight into how the Bryant community defines diversity. The data gathered from these research methods were then transformed into art, conceptualizing the presence of bias into exhibit pieces that visitors could actively engage with. Transforming data into art brought visibility to different forms and incidences of bias that are often unaddressed. At the same time, rendering interview data into art allowed those who do not experience bias to understand its profound impact on women-identified students and students of color. The design of the exhibit strategically required interaction to symbolize the active engagement required to be an ally and the critical role of allyship in achieving equity and inclusion. Based on visitor engagement and feedback, using art as a medium to render the presence and emotional impact of bias made participants who experience bias feel a sense of belonging.