Finalist

Look Away



Submitted by: Alexander Jendrusina

Program: Psychology

Division: Behavioral and Social Sciences

My research examines the relationship between discrimination and mental health, which is challenging to safely and humanely photograph. I encourage this piece to be interpreted abstractly as I intentionally symbolize many layers of my work. The left side of the photograph is primarily black and white, focusing on a rugged concrete wall juxtaposed against the magnificent, colorful Chicago skyline. This clear divide in the photo represents discrimination and mental health. Discrimination creates divides among people and provides some with opportunities while leaving others out. Furthermore, discrimination has been strongly linked to depression, a condition that also colors a person’s perspective and is represented by motifs of light and dark. The camera angle results in a warped view of the city, symbolizing the pain endured and less understood perspective from those experiencing discrimination and depression. The viewer's eye can't help but first notice the skyline, then the wall, before being drawn back to the skyline. Returning the viewer's eye toward the aesthetically pleasing is symbolic of the historical difficulty society has speaking about discrimination and mental health; that is, we look away.