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ALUMNA OF THE MONTH - May 2013

Alumnus Of The MonthName:
Karrena Gordon

AIB Program:
New Europe Program (Spring 2012)

Current Job Position:
Self Employed Photographer

 

Bio:

I graduated from Loyola Marymount University in 2013 with a Bachelors in Business with an emphasis in Entrepreneurship and a minor in Studio Arts with an emphasis in Photography. One of the highlights of my entire college experience was studying abroad in Bonn, Germany through the New Europe Program in connection with AIB. I was deeply affected by what I learned about the Holocaust, divided Germany, and humanity as a whole during my time there. I created a collection of visual work which aims at encouraging a discussion about the extreme danger of inaction and passivity.

Alumnus Of The Month

The Project:

I received the Gilman Scholarship for studying abroad and as a result, was required to complete a follow-on service project to share my learnings from abroad with people of my community at home.

I decided to incorporate my Judaism and passion for photography into what I was sure to learn during my study abroad experience in Germany. While traveling through Europe both independently and with the program, I took photographs of anything that I found might be related to what I wanted to bring back and share with the Loyola Marymount community. I absorbed as much information as possible about divided Germany as well as the Holocaust.

Independently, I also visited synagogues in Bonn, Koln, and Vienna. In Bonn and Koln, I became close with several members of the community after sharing in several weekly Shabbat dinners. I asked as many people as possible in the Jewish community for interviews to gain a perspective about modern Jewish life in Germany and how the Holocaust still affects them today. I also made connections with Rabbis in these communities who connected me with more Rabbis in Berlin. I called and spoke to several of them who gave me insightful information.

This experienced made my time abroad more academic than I had planned, and I am happy I attempted to reach out to the community to learn and build relationships. In the end, my research (both through AIB and independently) influenced the message of my follow-on service project.

My thesis in summary is: “When responsibility can be passed on to others, action or inaction becomes acceptable. Authority goes unquestioned. You are asked to ponder the significance of mental and physical stagnation.” To broaden my learnings and make them applicable to all of humanity, and not just the Holocaust, was my goal. To make what I learned stick with others so that it is remembered and so that we may be one step closer to a more unified people.

I invite you to visit: www.OneByKarrenaGordon.Blogspot.com . There are images of the show-where my follow-on service project was displayed- that was at Loyola Marymount in November 2012. The show incorporated abstract photographs, water installation pieces, a toilet, a trampoline, a clock, and 1930s New York Times articles provoke thought about the power of an individual and the knowledge he chooses to use or to ignore.

Karrena Gordon

 


 


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