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THEME: Combating Unconscious Bias

Published onJan 22, 2021
THEME: Combating Unconscious Bias
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Combating Unconscious Bias

Once it is recognized that each person has unconscious understandings of the world around them, including the people they encounter daily, efforts can be made to combat those inherent biases. Organizations and systems within society can work to develop better and a more empathetic understanding of others, or to create systems to navigate and educate on the dangers of bias.

Creating procedures to slow down the automatic processing of the brain can work to combat the influence of bias in hiring practices, justice systems, and education practices. Slowing down allows for a better understanding and greater perceptions of the individuals we encounter. In the painting on the left, although it features an intimate close up portrait of the face, impossible shapes and illusions continue to surround the figure and are underneath the surface, never fully eliminated. Society can work towards a world with as many tools and systems to combat individual and systemic biases, but a deliberate effort by all members needs to be made to push past initial understandings to get to the core identity of an individual.

The creation and study of art can help to examine and build upon current understandings of how we experience the world. Frantzen has illustrated her questioning process, painting her own questions to understand how other’s identities are perceived, and through her art brings the viewer into a dialogue.

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