Honors Capstone Project
Date of Submission
Visual and Performing Arts
Capstone Prize Winner
Won Capstone Funding
Art and Design | Illustration
My senior honors thesis is an illustrated book which renders various snapshots of people and events encountered while I was living and volunteering in Ecuador during the summer of 2004. Each snapshot brings to life some aspect of the human condition which transcends the boundaries of culture, qualities which are intrinsic to humanity despite our vast surface value differences.
I used a fairly tight, lyrical voice combined with a borderline journalistic approach to textually communicate each snapshot. This is not intended to over romanticize the piece or to ignore the fact that this society had problems like all others. Rather, the lyricism is intended to make the inherent qualities just mentioned come forth and sing from the pages. It is intended to draw attention to the small details often overlooked when considering another culture, the everyday occurrences which could easily be passed by are brought to light and celebrated in this piece.
There are three different types of illustration accompanying this writing, paintings, sketches and photographs. As a general rule, I used the paintings and sketches to capture the snapshots for which a camera would not have been appropriate, namely, interactions with other people. I never wanted to make the people in my village feel that their everyday lives were being made a spectacle of. I would hate for them to question their daily activities or consider themselves odd simply because my fascination gave me an inclination to photograph them. They were just not all that comfortable around cameras and so I was reluctant to pull mine out when people were around. That said, the photographs I have used in this piece, in general, capture moments without human interaction or moments when it was easy or appropriate to sneak a shot or two. I had to be tactful in approaching these people. I was there to volunteer, to help them and become a part of their society, not to cause a scene and use them as unwilling volunteers in some self-indulgent work of art. The “art” truly takes place back in Ecuador, not on the pages of a book.
In conclusion, the purpose of this piece is, through writing and illustration, to bring fourth some of the most simple and fundamental qualities we all possess. This book should serve as grounds for the reader to imagine how we all are united, as humans and to bring us closer to a more accepting and peaceful world.
DeDario, Lindsay, "Good Society" (2005). Syracuse University Honors Program Capstone Projects. 700.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.