The American Dream

Eneye Gbedee, 15

What is the American Dream?
Crossing into a new life of possibilities,
A fresh start in a society with diversity,
A better life for you and your family.
That is the cover up American Dream.
No one tells you about the number of mass shootings,
No one tells you that you have to fear if your children will come home from school,
No one tells you that people won't accept you because of the color of your skin.
No one tells you there needs to be laws for people to accept your natural beauty,
The American Dream...
What is the true American Dream?
Is the American Dream being afraid of going to Walmart for groceries,
Is the American Dream being afraid of going to concerts and never seeing your family again?
This American Dream...
Why must we fear our lives because of other's insanity?
The American Dream...
Sometimes you must wonder, is this dream worth it?
Is it worth never seeing you family again?
Is it worth it to come somewhere where you are not wanted by not only the citizens but the president too.

Artwork by: Anish Aradhey, 14, he/him

 Ripping at the Seams

Art has always been one of my passions and a way for me to express myself and communicate across cultures through the visual language. As a resident of a very diverse city, the issues of illegal immigration and deportations are very relevant for me, and I decided that art would be a powerful way to share my views. Using mixed media is one of my favorite ways to make art; I love the freedom when it comes to materials and the way that layers are built up on top of each other. The components in my artwork create layers of meaning that add depth and complexity to my composition.The two halves of my piece represent the U.S. and Mexico, and I used fabric to create the landscape of the border between the two countries. My artwork shows a child and a mother being pulled apart by black fabric representing deportation. The family is reaching for each other, ripping apart the land to reveal the text behind the fabric. This represents how the issue of immigration and deportation divides our nation. A border fence is shown bent and broken by the separating fabric, adding a 3D element to my artwork. The background of my artwork was made by collaging together stores of real families affected by deportations. All in all, my artwork shows the pain that deportations cause families, especially when families are torn apart because of them. I hope that, my artwork shows my thoughts and opinions regarding our current political climate and that, as a teenager, my art inspires other young people to have a voice through the arts.