In this project I want to explore intersectional invisibility and how to overcome that through a branded community. Many people come to the United States in search of the American Dream but end up feeling out of place and rejected by both American and homeland cultures. Many people from Puerto Rico, although officially U.S. citizens are not accepted as such by many of the mainland Americans who are not aware of Puerto Rico’s status as an American territory. I am someone who is caught in between American culture and Puerto Rican Culture, as I don’t feel embraced by either or, making me someone called an “In-Betweener”.
I wanted to explore this “in-between culture” through the counterfactuals of visible vs. invisible. The way I explore this counterfactual is through the inspiration of Puerto Rican souvenir masks of the Vejigante; using a Cows head as a call back to the american side of the In-Betweener, while also keeping the intention of the cultural artifact as Puerto Rican.
I also create a community of In-Betweeners, who have a logo and the title of “B/W” to symbolize being in between. I created assets for this community so that people can show their B/W pride, and have events such as masquerades so that In-Betweeners all from all over can get together, make their own masks and share a lovely experience while feeling whole and accepted without fear of judgment.
I explain what is considered an In-Betweener in a booklet, also featuring definitions from articles explaining what the different parts of multiple identities, assets and prototype masks, as well as interviews with In-Betweeners explaining how they feel about their identity.