Sunday, February 10, 2013

What's in a Name

The work that impacted me the most at the Ai Weiwei exhibit was the wall that contained the names of the student earthquake victims of the 2008 Sichuan earthquake that were found by the citizens' investigation.  

There are over 5,000 names on the wall.  

As you stand in the space there is a recording of someone reading each name.  It was very overwhelming.  

This quote from Ai Weiwei was on a nearby wall:    
A name is the first and final marker of individual rights, one fixed part of the ever-changing human world.  A name is the most basic characteristic of our human rights: no matter how poor or how rich, all living people have a name, and it is endowed with good wishes, the expectant blessings of kindness and virtue. 
This made me think about my own name, my daughter's name, the children's names on the wall, and the parents of the children on the wall.  I appreciate anything that brings compassion to my life, and this experience did so in a powerful way.

*For more information about the earthquake click here: 2008 Sichuan Earthquake

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