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January 14, 2013
by: Leah Morgan

Exhibitions of Learning January 2013

Sam Priem and Autumn Willard presented their projects titled, “How will I be Treated Today?” at IDEAS Academy Exhibitions of Learning at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center on January 10.

IDEAS Academy is a charter high school in the Sheboygan Area School District. In place of  formal written finals, IDEAS Academy students present their semester long project twice a year in a public venue.

Over the course of a semester students are lead through a five phase process by their IDEAS Block teacher, which includes writing papers with an annotated bibliography, creating something of value, presenting their learning to the public, and reflecting on the entire process.

Sam and Autumn both chose to research women’s rights in specific places Africa and Asia.

In describing her short story about Egyptian women, Autumn said “The tone of my writing is matter of fact and almost eerie.”

Her story is based on actual events that happened in Egypt and is written in the voice of an Egyptian girl, she speaks of her horrific experience while walking in the streets of an Egyptian city without a veil over her face. The ramifications of that choice were deadly for one of her friends.

Sam also chose creative writing as her art form, but instead of short stories, decided on poetry slam because “women’s rights is something that needs to be expressed with an art form that is loud and gets to the point so people really listen”. She focused her research on China, North Korea and Saudi Arabia to answer the driving question “How do women’s rights vary within Asia?” One of the challenges Sam faced was how much women’s rights vary across Asia and even across a single county such as China.

Sam’s poetry focuses on how women are treated in her three countries of choice. She hopes “her poetry allows the audience to step into these women’s shoes and really understand how they feel.” In addition to exploring what is happening to women in these countries Sam also explored how Americas can help. This information was provided to the audience in in bookmarks with a list of websites to find out more about women’s rights and how to donate to valid support organizations.

 

Saudi Arabia by Sam Priem

Don't go anywhere without male permission

Don't drive

Don't talk to a male that isn't your relative

And absolutely

Positively

Never ever

Leave a building without your veil

These are the rules

Imposed upon us

Rules even the princesses

Would not dare brake

Without fear of death

My mother was sold to my father

At a young age

As his temporary bride

He never found anyone else

So now here I am

A product of corruption

A product of a world with so much wrong

We need a big difference

And we need it now

 

China by Sam Priem

I am a woman

And I have my rights

But not here

Here I am an object

Used for my body

I've lost count

Of how many 'husbands' I've had

I've lived a million lives

But I can not die

Can not even try

I am needed to recreate

I've given up

Any hopes of having a 'real family'

There are no real families here

Women are bought and sold

Beaten and tortured

Raped and forced into abortion

Death is the escape

I wish to be a number

Added to the statistics

Of hundreds of women

Committing suicide everyday

My father sold me

When I was five

To his close friend

He was my first

I was never the same since

My mother and three sisters

Were the same

Father was ashamed

He never had a son

I was never named

My suitors call me Ingres

For lover

Now I am in the clouds

Looking over the children of my land

Watching my life

From beginning to end

Again and again

Always the same

It's time to change    

 

 

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