“Race [and] ethnicity...are dimensions, not categories, of human experience.” - Goodchilds
Identity within The Multi-Racial & Ethnic Community
by Aliyah Finney
Now more than ever before, people are choosing to identify outside predetermined racial categories and instead see themselves as something in between, or totally different. Interracial and multiethnic people often have their identities misconstructed when not being overlooked by those around them. Rarely is opportunity given to express how they see themselves, rarely is open discussion had on how others perceive race. The All Related, sets to not only start a dialogue, but a movement focusing on community, understanding, and inclusiveness across all racial groups through artistic forms. All Related sets off to offer a new way to consider mixed cultural individuals as a recognized ethnic community.
All Related orginates from personal, but shared, experiences of its founder: Elizabeth ”Beth” Chin. Artist name Elli Sebastian. Being half-Chinese and half-white, but growing up in a monoracial neighborhood; Elli understands first hand what struggles mixed race people can face. From her family, to peers, to neighbors, to total strangers; her identity was chosen for her. But because she did not live up to their definitions of what she should be, formulaic stereotypical ideas, she often disappointed them. Whether she wasn’t white enough, not really Chinese, or at fault for being mixed; Sebastian’s race was established for her. It is difficult enough to find who you are and discover yourself as a person. Even more so when you have constant experiences of conflicting expectations both of which she can not embody. Far from an unshared experience, multicultural individuals are continually being determined by others. All Related will explore these issues and interpretations through artwork, while giving voice to those who have been overlooked.
All Related will initiate as a culturally community-forward artistic collective. Beth’s art focuses on the human anatomy; stripping away the superficialities such as skin color, she seeks to portray the humanity in us. Viewers have made varied assumptions of her heritage based on what they see in these bodies, and this inspired her to begin this project of exploration of this ambiguity through multi-interpretable artwork that can facilitate a conversation between intent and perspective. It is important to understand how these differing perspectives are reached, and from exchanges with the artists, have them broadened or altered. These discussions stemming from the art will spread beyond the project itself and have a societal reach.
All Related will implement interactive public art as a service to the community. The goal is inclusion. Works such as murals, and sculptures can be created by not only artists, but members of the community as well. It will serve as a neighborhood platform of racial and personal expression, allowing public interpretation that will lead to dialogue. This project is a community effort and all are encouraged to join the discussion. Those who have experienced issues of racial identity, and who may like to show a part of themselves are especially encouraged to participate in the art itself. It is through the sharing of perspectives, All Related hopes to provide a learning experience with art as a waypoint.
Though art is the focus, All Related has goals to expand into a full cultural center. In its full potential, All Related aims to become an outreach in the community, offering a physical space for ethnic communication and interaction. Dance and music will be incorporated, walls in the neighborhoods will painted, and international galleries will be held. Expanding beyond arts, lectures and after school programs will be ran.
Public Art in Chicago & Berlin
Artists, anyone who owns an outdoor wall
Events & Festivals in Chicago & Berlin
Artists, Musicians, Dancers, Poets/Writers, Gallery/Arts/Cultural Spaces
Education & Culture
Educators & Teachers of language, culture, and fine arts
All ideas welcome, any contribution is valued 🙂