Nakedness, Intercourse, and Reconciliation
When two people enter a conversation, they each bring in their own knowledge and vulnerabilities (Nakedness). Through discussion, they’re immersed into each other’s world. They’re challenged to grow by interacting with contrasting ideas and values and affirmed and celebrated through similarities found with the other person. (Intercourse) Amidst the disagreements and miscommunications, they’ve found healing and hope through the other person because of the learning experienced in conversation. (Reconciliation)
Both components of us. Us is possible because of you and me.
Each person comes into a conversation with their own background, ideas, and beliefs. (you, me) The broken heart doesn’t entirely mean they enter a conversation heartbroken. But rather a part, or parts, of them come in misunderstood or broken. In the ‘Us’ part of the image, both worlds collide and as a result, each individual grows or finds healing.
Hope Against the Weight
Because two people have learned about each other through interpersonal communication, each of them leaves with fresher perspectives on the world. Through each interaction, both individuals take something from each other. Because of this, they’ve grown together. The figure in this image is placed against a grey background, symbolic of the uncertainty of our world and the lives we live.
The Latin root, “inter“ means between and “personalis” translates to a person or pertaining to the self. With these ideas in mind, Connection is a collection that explores the growth of two individuals as they engage in conversation. The process is shown in three pieces: Nakedness, Intercourse, and Reconciliation; Better Together; and Hope Against the Weight.
As I created Connection, I was reminded of a passage from Nelson Mandela’s autobiography A Long Walk to Freedom. In this passage, he reflects on his time in prison and the connection between the oppressed and the oppressor.
“I knew as well that the oppressor must be liberated just as surely as the oppressed. A [person] who takes away [another’s] freedom is a person of hatred; [they] are locked behind the bars of prejudice and narrow-mindedness. I am not truly free if I am taking away someone else’s freedom, just as surely as I am not free when my freedom is taken from me. The oppressed and the oppressor alike are robbed of humanity…For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others. The true test of our devotion to freedom is just the beginning.
I have walked that long road to freedom. I have tried not to falter; I have made missteps along the way. But I have discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill, one only finds there are many more hills to climb. I have taken a moment here to rest, to steal a view of the glorious vista [surrounding] me, to look back on the distance I have come. But I can rest only for a moment, for with freedom come responsibilities, and dare I not linger, for my walk is not yet ended.”
I believe nakedness, intercourse, and reconciliation will allow us to be better together and find hope against the weight of our world. That even with its challenges, our communication will not promote division or hatred, but rather unity and compassion. Through Connection, we’ll find a way to respect and enhance the freedom of others, marvel at the progress we have made together, and continue walking with hope knowing that we’ve grown because of each other.