Awareness Through Art
Start writing a post
Sports

Awareness Through Art

UC Berkeley students call for the renaming of Barrows Hall.

69
Awareness Through Art
Ashley Torres

“David Prescott Barrows colonized the Philippines, he depicted my people as savages, and he also invalidated my people’s way of living.” (Bradley Afroilan)

Last week, I had the pleasure of meeting with Bradley Fabro Afroilan and Anthony J. Williams after viewing the artwork that they had displayed in Barrows Hall. This installation — which included a large printed mural, a quote from David Prescott Barrows’ book, and a written statement about why the hall should be renamed — drew my attention as I took my daily walk through the Barrows Hall wind tunnel. As members of the Pilipinx and Black communities on UC Berkeley’s campus as well as the Sociology department that is housed in Barrows Hall, Afroilan and Williams have become passionate about renaming the hall.

Bradley Afroilan is a member of a group called Art for Social Change and believed that such an installation would encourage education and awareness on campus about who David Prescott Barrows really was. “I wanted to create a piece that shows that coalition can be created through art and that activism doesn’t just take place in the streets, but can also take place through creative actions such as Art,” said Afroilan.

Anthony Williams also revealed that the installation was placed in the wind tunnel because they wanted a more “visible piece that would turn heads and get people thinking about the sordid legacy of Barrows as well as the rich history of the revolutionaries we choose for our art installation.”

Through this installation, they publicly displayed who Barrows was. There was a posted quote from Barrows’ work, A History of the Philippines, which states that, “the White or European, Race is, above all others, the great historical race.” A document titled “Who was David Prescott Barrows?” was also included. Here, it was explained that Barrows was directly responsible for establishing colonial education in the Philippines and referred to the Pilipinxs as “the little brown brothers/savages” of the Philippines. They also noted that prior to colonization by the U.S., Spain, and Japan, people of the Philippines had their own “systems of living as evident by the writing system, baybayan.” The quote and the mural of the art installation are pictured below.

When asked about Barrows himself and the idea of having his name on a building of a public university, Anthony Williams stated that “Barrows is not the first and he will not be the last to perpetuate white supremacy or anti-Blackness, but that does not justify glorifying his contributions while ignoring his contempt for people of color.”

Barrows Hall is home to departments such as Ethnic Studies, Asian American Studies, African American Studies, Near Eastern Studies, Native American Studies, Chicano Studies, Gender & Women’s Studies, and Sociology. Many students from other disciplines also have classes in this building. However, despite the familiarity of Barrows Hall to the student body, many don’t think to assess who the building was named after. Before the art installation made by Afroilan and Williams, I did not know anything about who David Prescott Barrows was. Many others still do not know what Barrows’ full name even is. Thus, this calling for the renaming of the hall is not just an effort to remove Barrows’ name, but also to open dialogue amongst students and suggest a critical analysis of things that are simply accepted and ignored.

To groups such as the Pilipinx community and the Black community, having a hall named after a man with such ideologies impedes on the comfort that one feels in the public space. The suggested renaming of the hall would give these students a more welcoming atmosphere to engage with academia.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

- Since I can remember, I've always been a light sleeper, with the quietest sounds waking me up, and I regularly wake up with the sun.

- While talking to a gynecologist friend of mine, she mentioned the importance of using an eye mask for quality sleep, which regulates hormonal levels.

- I was serendipitously sent the Crane & Canopy Silk Sleep Mask almost right after that conversation and was honestly reluctant to try it after testing other sleep masks that felt uncomfortable and irritated my skin.

- This sleep mask was extremely comfortable, and for the first time in nearly a decade, I slept in far past when I usually do on the weekends and woke up feeling more refreshed than I can remember — I've worn it nearly every night since then.

The older I get, it seems that sleep becomes an increasingly important topic of conversation amongst my friends and me. Yes, of course we complain about how tired we always are, but the pattern seemed to be a lack of sleep on the weekdays followed by late nights and sleeping in on the weekends without any solution.

Keep Reading... Show less

I'll never forget the day that someone told me these words: "Madison, I think you're a good friend to everyone but yourself." I stood there completely in awe of that statement. Before that day, I never really thought about being a friend to myself, and at the time, I didn't really know what it meant. Now, I realize that you can't fully be there for other people unless you're there for yourself, too. You can't show up for others until you're willing to show up for yourself.

Here are five things everyone should learn in order to be a better friend to themselves. These steps are hard, but they're so worth it.

Keep Reading... Show less

It's no secret that social media can be harmful to our mental health. The barrage of heavily edited photos of Instagram models that we see every day only fuels our insecurities. There is a good side to social media, though. It allows us to keep up with friends and family across the globe. Plus, it provides a platform for mental health experts. Listed below are five therapists on Instagram who will fill your feed with motivational quotes and positive infographics.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

In Honor of PCOS Awareness Month, I Researched 25 Things About The Autoimmune Disease

Ongoing research is further promoting the fact that engaging in a proper diet and exercise regimen can alleviate many symptoms!

276

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a common endocrine disorder that affects young women, especially those of reproductive age. Women with PCOS often exhibit symptoms ranging from increased levels of the male hormone androgen along with cysts in their ovaries. However, ongoing research is further promoting the fact that engaging in a proper diet and exercise regimen can alleviate many symptoms! Here are 25 things I found out about PCOS.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

To The Boy Who Said I Was 'Unlovable' Because Of My Back Rolls, My Body Is NOT A Problem

I realized I need to stop blaming myself for staying single. The problem wasn't me. It was you.

53
Photo by Artem Kovalev on Unsplash

I told you I was going to be okay if you said what was on your mind, but honestly, nothing could've prepared me for the words that came out of your mouth. After getting off of the phone with you, I burst into tears. Those words shattered my heart and continuously repeated in my head.

Keep Reading... Show less

Whether the stress of adjusting to online school or losing a job is getting you down, we all know that the effects of this pandemic have been nothing but stressful. While everyone is focusing on not getting sick, finding a job, and keeping up with school, no one has really found time to decompress. High levels of continued stress can not only lead to physical health issues but mental health issues as well. To make it a little easier, here are some ways you can de-stress during a time like this while staying safe and socially distanced.

Keep Reading... Show less

I used to regard loneliness as this misshapen emptiness — one that existed for the sole purpose of being temporarily filled by other human beings, ones who we convince ourselves to make some curious, broken, part of us a bit more normal. A bit more whole. As simple as A + B, to evade loneliness, be incessantly social.

Keep Reading... Show less

Everyone says pumpkin spice is the superior fall flavor, and I mean, I get it. It is a VERY seasonal flavoring (like pumpkin spice in March? I'll pass). However, personally, I like apple more. It's cozy and it reminds me of being a kid again.

Keep Reading... Show less

Ready or not, here come the holidays, friends, and if you're as obsessed with the spirit of the season as I am, you are much more ready than not. Thanks to Hallmark Channel's Monopoly game making it possible to celebrate all year long, you can be ready now, too!

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments