Writing II KMWF

For the remix project, I am making a slideshow presentation with voicover narration. I am choosing the topic from my first paper about neoliberalism. I want the presentation to be both informative and argumentative. I think a slideshow is good for showing visual information that has to do with neoliberalism, and I can explain the issues with the voiceover.

The plan for the presentation is to expose the truth about neoliberalism, and how the push for it hurts and exploits working class people, who make up most of our community. I also want to focus on the hypocracy that comes with neoliberalism, promises that it will benefit us all, while it hurts the most vulnerable.

Instead of just reading my paper, the presentation will provide more visuals, as well as audio that evokes feeling and emotion about the issue. Hopefully, this will push people to look at what’s happening in our city and in the country in general, in a more critical way.

I want the remix project to act as a mini video/audio essay talking about the exploitative push for neoliberalism (as my paper is also titled). Because this assignment is not long enough for me to do an actual audio essay/reading, it will be more like a teaser or a trailer for the video, covering some key topics, and propelling people to want to watch the whole video.

I think that this also makes sense in terms of my research for the paper and with neoliberalism in general. I cannot talk about too many issues with neoliberalism. However, in the hypothetical audio essay, many of the issues I don’t discuss in my paper would be covered for the listeners.


I took this picture yesterday as the sun was setting and the light was coming through my window. This is a picture of a little philodendron cutting that I’m growing in a little bottle. A couple weeks ago, while trimming my plant, I accidentally cut off a longer piece, and I figured I could use the cutting and grow a new plant, and reuse a glass bottle in the process as well. Just a weeks after doing this, I saw that the cutting already had long roots growing, and it kept on living. As far as editing goes, I didn’t do much. I just increased brightness a little bit because the image was a little darker than I liked, and I increased the definition to make the plant and bottle stick out better from the background. I like this image because it’s really simple, but the light and shadows, and green and yellow colors make it really pretty to me. The lights and shadows are what drew me to taking this picture in the first place. I looked up from my bed and thought that it was pretty, so I snapped a picture of it. To me, this signifies finding beauty in simple things. There isn’t much in this picture, and as I said the image looks really simple, yet the warm colors give it some beauty and comfort, and the shadows also add some detail. I also think this picture to signify growth and new beginnings, as used old objects that could’ve been thrown away, and made something new from them

blog 8

1. Reed makes some connections between the 1978-1992 “retrenchment period” at CUNY and similar decisions being made now, through the pandemic. One example is that in both instances, many adjuncts were and are being treated unfairly. As Covid became an issue, many adjuncts were fired, leaving them jobless, without healthcare or any security. Another example is the financial struggles of CUNY students. In the “retrenchment period” many CUNY students could no longer afford tuition costs that CUNY put in place, leaving them unable to continue their education. Similarly, during the pandemic, many students face food insecurity, housing insecurity and evictions, and higher tuition costs that make it very difficult to both get an education and have necessities.


2. Reed uses the term “death cult” to describe CUNY and its actions that hurt many students and faculty. CUNY was a free university, but during the retrenchment period, its prices increased, many faculty and staff were laid off and a lot of budget cuts were made, causing the “death” of cuny. Neoliberalism touched CUNY as well, and made it into a “death cult” since it attracted many people for education, opportunity and affordability, later destroying all of those things.

4. Reed suggests that anti-racist and anti-austerity groups at CUNY should come together and push with their demands in unity. They will have a better chance to stand up for problems at CUNY if they work together, so more people will hear and support the causes, and CUNY can get some real change. Reed says that if the demands from anti-racist groups are combined with the demands of anti-austerity groups at CUNY, “then we could activate them altogether instead of continuing to silo them as ‘racial justice’ or ‘economic justice’ issues respectively.”


Blog 7

Reading the article “Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, and the Limits of Representation” was very insightful, and it raised many valid points about politics overall, and especially about representation. The way Biden vilified the Black community when he served as a senator was eye-opening. He is mentioned in the article as being “the architect of the 1994 Crime Bill” which made out Black communities to be the villains of the United States. Not only this, but he made demonizing comments, calling Black children “predators on our streets,” and saying that it doesn’t matter whether these children are the victims of society, because “they’re about to knock my mother on the head with a lead pipe, shoot my sister, beat up my wife, take on my sons.” As the article goes to explain, this not only vilified the children, but Black families and mothers overall. Fast forward to now, and Biden chose Kamala Harris as his vice president, making her the first woman, the first African American, and the first South Asian to hold this office. Along with this goes Biden’s diplomatic support of Black issues. All of this goes to show, however, that his choices are calculated and made to improve his approval and popularity. This touches on the issue of representation in politics as well. Although representation is good, we see politicians use it to their benefit, instead of actually working for improvement of the society they lead. The excitement of “the firsts” drowns out the concern for actual policies, when really, we should push for real change in addition to representation. I think the article overall was very interesting, and it made me think about some things I hadn’t really thought about before.

Blog 6

Malak Mattar is a 22 year old Palestinian artist who expresses her experiences and emotions as a Palestinian woman through her paintings. Being born in Gaza City, Malak Mattar has lived through four wars, and her paintings are both beautiful and touching. The artwork that I chose for this blog is titled When Family Is The Only Shelter, and it was published on September 23, 2021 (The art was posted on Malak Mattar’s instagram page on this date, although there was no exact date of when it was completed). This piece is an expressionist painting of a woman holding and comforting a girl whose eyes are teary. The two people are pictured in the art over a bright red background, with bright flowers on the lower part of the painting. Although at first glance this painting can be seen as uplifting, looking at the meaning behind is quite heartbreaking. Malak Mattar mentioned in the caption of her post of this painting, that with the conflict going on in Gaza in May 2021, Palestinians living there had no protection, no bomb shelters and no safe space. The only place they could be in was their homes and with family, hoping not to be killed. This painting is trying to communicate the pain of that conflict in May of 2021, but it also holds meaning to the pain from the occupation of Gaza starting in 1967, and even to the establishment of Israel after WWII.

     The reason why I chose this work is because I think the inspiration behind Malak Mattar’s art is worth looking deeper into, and learning more about than I already know now. I also chose this work because of the current war going on in Ukraine, as Russian forces attack and occupy the country. These events also stir up memories of attacks from Russia on Georgia, where I was born, and where 20% of territory is occupied by Russia, causing a lot of conflict as well as displacement of many people. I know a lot about the history of my country and Russian occupation, but I don’t know as much about the occupation of Palestine. Malak Mattar’s art really speaks about these issues to which I, and a lot of my relatives and friends relate to in some way, and it is for this reason I chose to examine her work for the next paper. A potential thesis statement is: Malak Mattar’s work exposes the pain behind war and occupation and its emotional toll on people.

Link to the article picturing the artists work (it’s the first image after the title):  https://www.middleeasteye.net/discover/painting-palestine-artist-world-remember-homeland



Blog 5


David Wojnarowicz “Untitled” (One day this kid)


     The rhetoric properties of the art piece impact it greatly, and help get the message across. The piece is black and white, putting the focus very much on the image and the text. The child pictured in the piece seems to be happy and smiling, while the writing lists all the hardships he will someday inevitably face because of his sexuality and deviation from the norm. The juxtaposition of the image of a happy child, surrounded by heartbreaking words, to me, makes the piece very impactful. The kid, who is now oblivious to these hardships, who seems content, will grow up to face so much hate, discrimination, and violence. Although the child’s emotion is not depicted as he grows up, you can imagine how his emotion changes through the process and through the disturbing experiences he will have to go through simply because he is who he is. I found that the image of the kid in this piece is a self portrait of the artist himself, David Wojnarowicz, who had to face all these difficulties in his life, and this image represents him when he was unaware of what he would have to go through.

     The text resonates with the social concerns of the present, where homophobia is still at large. Though some progress has been made, homophobia exists, even in our society, putting a lot of people through a lot of hurt. Although not mentioned in the text, David Wojnarowicz was diagnosed with AIDS and passed away two years after making this piece, which speaks even more about the societal concerns of the time. By looking at the art, we can draw the conclusion that art can be a vessel to advocate for acceptance and freedom, which is still a struggle for many. The piece gives off a lot of emotion that conveys these hardships, showing how difficult, unfair, traumatic, brutal and deadly society’s views can be on something like sexuality.



Blog 4

     The sentence analysis I had to do for this blog was really helpful for me to find the changes I want to make to my first draft. I was a little surprised with the result of my sentence analysis. After reading the two paragraphs I selected, I found that I have a lot of lengthy sentences, with them being complex, compound, and complex-compound sentences. I do have a few simple sentences as well, but by looking at my writing, I see that I try to fit a lot of ideas together that are similar thematically. Although I don’t have a problem with that, I think adding in simple, short sentences to amplify some ideas would be helpful for my final paper. By doing this, my writing can become clearer, and I would be able to put emphasis on my claims without my ideas being too lengthy that they are too difficult to follow through. For example, after I present a quote from one of the articles I am using, I can add a simple sentence emphasizing the main idea, or the important point I’m trying to make by placing that quote there. I think this would help my paper overall by making it more organized, and giving my writing a better flow. This also relates to the changes I’m making with my paper since I want my writing to be organized better, making clear claims that I want to get across to the reader. In addition, I found that I often repeat the same words in my paper, and after looking closely into my writing, I realize that I should use better organization, and different vocabulary to make my claims reach to the audience better. 

Blog 3

Reading the two articles, it can be concluded that capitalistic practices marginalize already marginalized people of color, especialy the Black community. The article “Racial Capitaloscene” by Francoise Vergès, shows that the climate change movement and the notion of “anthropocene” doesn’t take into account the huge impact of colonialism and capitalism leading to the unsafe environments inhibited by largely Black and Hispanic communities; instead, generalizing the notion and erasing the racist tendencies to explain and promote the movement. The article “New York’s Invisible Climate Migrants” by Sophie Kasakove, on the other hand, explains that the impacts of the environmental disaster caused by Hurricane Sandy put the largely Black community living in Canarise at risk for moving, selling their homes, or being forclosed on, not because of the detriment of the hurricane, but because of flood insurance costs and gentrification. Therefore, it can be deduced that the capitalistic world we live in preys off of marginalized groups, especially African-Americans, under disguise.

     It’s stated in “Racial Capitalicene,” that “Sociologist Jason Moore has suggested the notion of a Capitalocene which brings back capitalism ‘as a world-ecology, joining the accumulation of capital, the pursuit of power, and the co-production of nature in dialectical unity.'” Because capitalism benefits from cheap land and resources, factories and chemical plants tend to be placed near housing projects and low-income areas, neglecting and harming already marginalized communities and exploiting the people and the areas in which they live. Similarly, in “New York’s Invisible Climate Migrants” it is stated that “Years after Sandy, those who leave the city are unlikely to blame it on climate change. They might instead cite flood insurance costs, gentrification, or lack of affordable housing.” Although government assistance programs were put in place due to the disaster, the proved to be inadequate, while people were forced out of home because of rising insurance costs, foreclosures in Canarise also rose drastically, and the rates of foreclosures were even higher in non-white areas. Again, since Capitalism benefits from preying off of cheaper land and resources, Sandy making it difficult for people to stay in the neighborhood also made it easy for developers to cash in on the area, gentrifying it, and raising the cost of living. This is also making it even harder for people to stay and continue living in Canarise, all while what is causing this trend is capitalism, and not solely the hurricane.

     In closing, we can interpret these articles to come to the conclusion that capitalistic tendencies exploit marginalized groups while hiding behind shadows.

Blog 2

Being a resident of New York, I have witnessed the effects of neoliberalism, although, I didn’t always realize what was going on until looking back now. One instance is private colleges, which are extremely expensive. I remember applying for a lot of colleges my senior year of high school, and seeing the tuition prices, which, even after grants and scholarships, were very high. The only way I’d be able to go to these colleges was to be stuck with insane amounts of student debt that would take me years to pay off. Another similar instance was one of my friends’ experiences with the same thing. She and her brother would go off to college a year apart from each other, and the family faced a lot of challenges with basically having no financial aid or grants for the kids.

     I have also seen neo-liberalism throughout my neighborhood. In the span of about 3-4 years, I’ve noticed 3 new buildings just around the block I live on. One was constructed after tearing down houses to build apartments for rent, another for corporate and office spaces, and the third for apartments for sale. The latter two were built in spaces of the street that were free and had no buildings before.

     As mentioned by others, we can notice instances of neoliberalism in the emergence and development of Covid. People were unable to get tested because of the costs, and the at-home Covid test prices went up as well. Just a few months ago I went on what we could call a journey to buy a test, which, after visiting numerous pharmacies, could finally get, but for a high price. Similarly, about a year ago, I remember my mom trying to buy some hand sanitizer, which was sold out everywhere, and was marked up for a much higher price than what it cost before. Staying on the topic of health and services, I remember my sister needing an epi-pen, which is when I found out that they cost a lot of money if not covered by insurance. I also remember my brother needing to take care of a dental problem that he ended up putting off because of the costs.

     An argument relating to my observations from Dickinson’s text is one exploring how the government, businesses and media fault the poor, minority and working class as the cause of their problems, specifically, my observation about Covid. The argument in Dickinson’s text was more clear and severe in my opinion, but I can relate this theme to how people address Covid. I’ve seen government officials and the news telling people to just get tested often, even if they had no symptoms, and to stay home. While I understand that these are good suggestions in a world experiencing a pandemic, I can’t help but think about the people who don’t have access, and/or cannot afford to get tested even when they do have symptoms, let alone being tested just in case. In addition to this, essential workers who didn’t have the ability to work remotely and keep earning money, couldn’t simply stay home and avoid contact with people, and it wasn’t their fault that this was the situation.