Saturday, July 11, 2009

One of the more disturbing things to emerge from reflections last night was that our students seem to be consistently mistaking mannequins for real people.

One student described being downtown, a bit confused as to his whereabouts, when with relief he turned to someone who seemed to be an American - white skin, blue eyes, modern looking clothes. As the student began to ask this person for directions, he realized that it was not a real person at all. Another student observed an American woman in a clothing shop who seemed to be spending a long time examining the merchandise on a particular rack, before realizing that she, too, was a mannequin.

Mannequins are meant to embody ideals of beauty, often in exaggerated ways. In Bolivia, the mannequins are usually made to resemble white people. Our students, out of the corners of their eyes, perceive these "people" to be their fellow countrymen.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

How sad that beauty= white! And how interesting that we see what we need.

jt said...

Dan, this sounds precisely as HDT felt his Walden to be, a "sedes": "Wherever I sat, there I might live, and the landscape radiated from me accordingly. What is a house but a
sedes, a seat? -- better if a country seat." This seems best illustrated by the warm invitation to share birthday cake in "your" new community, radiating out from the newly built sedes.

Alana C said...

i never noticed this, how stranger and comical