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Be the Change: Visibility for all People 

L’Merchie Frazier prompts us to see all people across backgrounds and colors.

By Jewish Arts Collaborative

Published May 21, 2024

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This Curation is part of Be the Change.

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L’Merchie Frazier has never backed down from difficult topics, using art to speak to and connect communities. Her Be the Change tzedakah box follows in the tradition as she addresses the most basic of injustices – the Right to Exist and to Be Acknowledged – (The Declaration of Human Rights – Article 6). 

This interactive work challenges our visual democracy and visual justice and its juxtapositions to the American landscape of memory. It is posed to acknowledge the existence of diverse human beings that reflect the human landscape through their mirrored portraits.

NOW SEEN, We Be the Change, a mirror of community is created to interrupt the existing narrative, to expand it to include the public contributions of those hidden and rarely seen, the present and historically forgotten.  The Tzedakah Box, covered with acrylic mirror surfaces, will serve to provide each viewer /participant with their own engagement reflection in the Mirror, which not only provides critical questions but also brings their presence and deepens their possible answers as the viewer/participant becomes the NOW SEEN source and resource. 

To this Tzedakah Box, representing a ‘landscape of change,’ each person occupies space, brings their reflection, their voice as an embodiment of their life experiences to that moment in the mirror, where they see themselves.  This mirror is a respectful mirror of the community and persons in which it is created, to honor historic and contemporary participants that contribute to the perspectives of change. 

The Tzedakah Box challenges the viewer/ participant to add their reflection to a collective memory of change.  The viewer’s reflection in the mirror will promote a conversation with an invitation to the reflected viewer /participant to answer a series of questions: 

  • Do I exist?  
  • Who Am I?   
  • Do I feel seen?  
  • Do I see you in me?   

The enduring four questions will be prompted by a QR Code at the right-hand bottom corner of each side of the box, one question assigned to each side of the box, that will propose to the viewer /participant these four questions, to answer publicly, or not, as their choice.  The prompted questions and their recorded answers will provide a data collection of responses of those who choose to respond and (their stories) as the NOW SEEN, We Be the Change Archive of the proposed object.  Their stories with real answers, in real time, will document the project’s impact and support to add voice to our collective memory.   

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JArts’ mission is to curate, celebrate, and build community around the diverse world of Jewish arts, culture, and creative expression. Our vision is of a more connected, engaged, and tolerant world inspired by Jewish arts and culture.

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