Wednesday, April 22, 2009

My Thesis Idea

Well I won't get into the actual idea lest one of you savvy readers steals it (one of the three of you maybe who read me haha).

So JewishGal - me - was going to do a nice Jewish thesis project. Cultural identity formation through art making in the Jewish community.

I have been having identity crisis things lately.

I was offered an internship at an LGBT site working with youth and I took it and now I am really excited about gender issues. I interviewed there because I heard it was a great site and I felt like it would be a challenge to work in a completely different community. And now all I want to read is about gender identity and "special issues" in the LGBT community. I spent the last two days of Passover reading about gender issues in art therapy... for fun! Not for class or any assignment. Who knew I would get so excited about it? There is something SO refreshing about talking about something else - for once - that I am really interested in and feel somehow personally involved in. There are enough similarities that I feel I can identify with some of the struggles that they are going through and I have friends and family members who have most likely dealt with the things I am reading about.

So I've thought about it and I'm definitely changing my population to be with LGBT, and my internship advisor thinks that is great and would broaden my horizons, so that is that!

This is part of the Jewish identity crisis I am going through right now, I think: my sudden and excited change in community of study. Do I have to talk about being Jewish all the time? Do I have to label myself as a Jew? Can it be an important part of my identity in a different way? As I become more observant, I feel like it's less important to talk about it all the time. I've recently added another mitzvah and then I went through another crisis ... am I egalitarian, and if I am, what does that look like for me?

OH it's very complicated. I should be making art about it. Instead it runs around in circles in my head and doesn't go anywhere. I guess that's why I'm still in crisis. Need to make some art about being Jewish and talk about how I'm Jewish and don't need to talk about being Jewish.

Meanwhile, I will happily keep my Jewish identity crisis out of my thesis.

1 comment:

Daphna said...

I think when something is important to you, you spend a lot of time thinking about it and talking about it... but sometimes it's good to take a step back, just say "ok, this is important to me, this is what I am" and then try and concentrate on other things for a bit. So yeah, I guess I agree with you. Just make art about being Jewish :)

I find gender issues, really interesting. I hope you like your new topic.

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