Date of Submission

Spring 2020

Academic Program

Dance; Human Rights

Project Advisor 1

Jean Churchill

Project Advisor 2

Thomas Keenan

Abstract/Artist's Statement

I want to define for you what ‘white love’ is. It is nothing that I have learned about from academics. It is something that I have come to take part in. My entire life the only examples of seeing any forms of romance or love or intimacy is vicariously through white people. Most of the media that I was exposed to growing up was me seeing ‘white people this, white people that.’ Every rom-com I have come to love is informative, yet limiting. I grew up in a hometown of mainly white people. My mother is not married, I have never had a father so I never knew what that kind of relationship was like as a kid because I never saw it first hand in the home. The only way for me to see the chemistry of romance unfold in front of my eyes was from my peers or their parents or siblings or relatives; all of whom were white. I’ve only experienced love and intimacy and romance with white people. I’ve only had my heart broken by white people. I’ve only understood anything in this world through the lens of white people. I’ve always had to bend and morph and transform myself because I wanted, and I still want to be liked. Maybe this is what it’s like to be a woman, maybe this is what it’s like to be a woman of color. Asian women are expected to be emotional fluffers, Asian women are decorations in society. We are so invisible because of how highly visible we are.

In the year 1998 I was adopted from Wuhan, China at four months old. It took me nineteen years to begin the investigation of my Asian identity. The past three years I have been unraveling what my racial identity means to me. My entire childhood had been swallowed up by the ideals of a white society. Apart from my sister, I did not have an Asian community growing up. I did not understand what Asian culture was or could be. This past year and a half has been specifically dedicated to figuring out what my identity as an Asian woman is. Within my research I have begun to find and build an Asian community. Part of my research process included dancing with two other Asian women. We told each other our stories and experiences of what this label means. My senior project is here to serve as a platform to showcase the intricacies and humanities of the Asian woman, rather than portraying her through stereotypes.

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