My Story is My Flag | Cristina Victor
With Oakland International High School Students and Teachers
June 14th-July 24th, 2016
My Story is My Flag is a temporary public art project commissioned and organized by Interface Gallery and created by Oakland International High School students and teachers working collaboratively with artist Cristina Victor. Together, they have produced twelve, colorful, public banners, using symbolism to celebrate the students’ cultural and personal identities. The banners will be displayed on light posts along the east side of Telegraph Avenue, from 45th Street to 51st Street, from June 14th to July 24th.
This project was undertaken during the students’ post session, an intensive three week session at the end of the school year. After learning about vexillology (the study of symbols and flags), the students worked in small collaborative groups to explore and represent their stories and aspects of their cultural and personal identities through shapes, colors and symbols. They then produced to-scale designs for the final banners, which were created by Victor.
Seven of the twelve banners were designed by the students and their teachers and Victor created five additional banners to extend the conceptual and visual impact of the project.
As part of this project, students learned valuable social media and technology skills, including uploading digital images to Instagram and maintaining a blog about their work on the project website. This project offered OIHS students an opportunity to explore their own stories and reflect on their identity in a professional art context. They learned valuable design principles for effective visual communication and how to refine their designs to translate successfully to the flag medium.
The students also each created a personal flag, which they will keep.
Read More Here: Flag As Art and Identity At Oakland International High School, East Bay Express
Visit the Project Website: www.mystoryismyflag.com
About Oakland International High School
OIHS is a unique school in that it is specifically dedicated to serving very recent immigrants to the United States. The population includes students from over thirty countries who speak more than thirty-two different languages. Thirty-three percent of the students are refugees who have escaped violent conflicts in their home countries. The school is located in Oakland’s Temescal neighborhood.
About the Artist
Cristina Victor is a visual artist who uses diverse mediums, including performance, to explore personal and cultural identity. Her practice stems from her own experience growing up in Miami, the daughter of Cuban exiles. A number of her projects have been influenced by her research in Vexilollogy, the history, design and general interest in flags, which has resulted in her use of flags as a mode for representing cultural identity and speaking about marginalized histories.