Item #10 submitted by Christy Gast

“On September 13, 2001, I began teaching art at Shonto Preparatory School on the Navajo Nation. Many of my young students had brothers, sisters, aunts, and uncles in the military, so the events of September 11 and the ensuing war in Afghanistan weighed heavily on their minds. In January of 2002, I had my 2nd and 3rd grade students design posters for National Book Month. The students chose a topic or a book to promote with an advertising campaign. Although months had passed and New York is so far removed from the Rez that it might as well be on another planet, several of the children’s posters proclaimed “Read About New York” or “Read About Lady Liberty”. None of the New York posters was without a graphic depiction of an airplane crashing into the twin towers. In this poster, there is hogan, a traditional Navajo house that is round or octagonal and made of logs and mud, perched on top of one of the towers. The idiosyncrasies in this drawing remind me that children understand the entire world through the lens of their own experience. Of course there are hogans in New York, and of course the Statue of Liberty looks like a Navajo woman.”

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