What do you Aspire to be?
With each new generation we see the promise of our future and the continuation of our collective legacy. The lives we lead in adulthood bud from the aspirations of our childhood and despite the nuance that accumulates over time, deep down they remain the same. Furthermore, across generations we find consensus about attributes of character worth aspiring to, despite the many different ways those attributes are particularized. Courage, for example, exists in a variety of iterations from small acts of benevolence like struggling to provide for the ones you love most, to grand gestures like fighting for the rights of whole nations.
To understand how far we've come and how much farther we've yet to go, we must confront those most basic assumptions that have shaped our lives and which will continue to shape the lives of countless future generations. In an attempt to do just that, 7 adults shared their deepest aspirations with 7 youth who, in turn, interpreted and painted the adults faces with their interpretation.
Aspirations captures an opportunity for adults to share an experience with our youth that may significantly impact how they think about their futures and the kinds of people they'd like to become.
Featuring Julian Bellak, Maria Geryk, Flavia Montenegro-Menezes, Lorelai Faye Moylan, John Musante, Naomi Nelson, Micah Raab, Austin Ross, Momodou S. Sarr, Mira Setty-Charity, Elias Spreiter, Illiam Stauch-White, Tenzin Tsering, Nick Yaffe
Directed by Jose Rodriguez. Produced by Carol Ross. Screening discussion facilitated by Dr. Faye Brady.
Inspired by the "If Only For A Second" campaign, this film documents seven volunteers and seven youth artists as they discuss and attempt to represent those aspects of character worth aspiring to. Following the May 9, 2015 screening of Aspirations at Jones library, audience members participated in a discussion about the film, facilitated by dr. faye brady. The wordles below reflect the viewpoints that were shared...
what are your aspirations?
we asked. you shared...
peace & love for ALL!
children who learn thru community & thru nature
concretely help each other to have meditative space
dignity for all people and all things
¡Disfrutar de mi familia! Con amor, salud y alegria.
my aspiration is to become rich and famous like Justin B.
time to reflect
constitutional amendment, free universal healthcare for all american citizens, free universal post-secondary education (college, community college and vo-tech) for all american citizens
I aspire to have courage in face of my own fears and self-doubt
my aspiration is to be rich and famous for my brave, kind and heroic action
to create art & play music
love hopes wish
write and illustrate a children's book
a good morning
peace of mind
rent control in Amherst
I want to play the violin really well and be the star of a show
THE PRE-RACE MEAL
If Amherst Is A Racetrack...
The Pre-Race Meal is a 60 minute film about 8 community members who come together in the creative process of conceiving a film about Amherst as a fictional universe. The focal point of the film is a race track—a metaphor for the arbitrarily constructed boundaries between people that keep us separated and in constant competition.
Featuring Rand Foerster, Marta Guevara, Sajo Jefferson, Khayyam Mahdi, Maureen Raab, Manju Sharma, Doug Slaughter, and Joe Wolner.
Directed by Jose Rodriguez. Produced by Carol Ross. Screening discussion facilitated by Anastasia Morton.
If Amherst is a race-track, what would be the prize at the end of the race?
There are 6 tracks. Who would be racing and why? Who, if anyone, would not be racing?
Is the race necessary? If so, why? If not, what would the alternative be?
WHO WOULD BE RACING?
We asked. You shared...
Those at the top of the race
Those familiar with racing
The “Professional Class”
Those that strategized to get track #1 to win
The privileged and articulate
Rich + Powerful
Colleges and Universities
People who choose to race
Those that want to win
Those with elite education
People who pay attention to what is going on
Those that don’t cave down
Those who think racing is fun
Those who are really running this town
Those that never give up
Those behind in the race
The shy but passionate
Those who wish they were fast
Working class folks
Those just getting by
Those who are angry at their status
Those that are fed up with racing
Those who race because they were told to race
Those with bad credit
People who can barely afford to live here
Those that holler loudly to hide the fact that they are scared
Those who have had a racist experience
Former city dwellers
Rested to this place
They got stuck here
Those that don’t cave down
Only because they have to
Those trying to keep up
Those not in the race
Those whose entire life is all about being “invisible”
Those who are tired of racing
Folks who don’t get how the race works
Folks who don’t have to race because they have won already
Town vs gown kids—students
The scared of retaliation
Dead people—everyone races
Those who fear they would not be taken seriously
The owner of the race who’s profiting by keeping us running around in circles.
Those who own all 6 tracks
People who have no idea there is a race or why they should care.
The sick and ailing
Those not sure what they think
Those who have given up.