When talking about what it was like to be carrying a child in 2001, my mom told me “it was like having 9/11 in my belly.” This is the level of anxiety I wanted to express in this project.
Through Instagram polls and surveys, I collected stories and memories from people born in 2000-2002. I created a series of paintings and sculptures based off of the responses. Each piece uses an event from the last 20 years to document what coming of age and loss of innocence looked like in the 21st century; like how the creation of YouTube was most kids’ first exposure to graphic content, and how trading Silly Bandz became an underground currency in playgrounds across the U.S. My age group, too young to be Millenials and too old to Gen Z, teeters between new and old world ideals. We were “the last generation to be born without phones in our hands”, said one survey respondant. But like the cursive alphabet and the Nintendo DS, we’re doomed to be forgotten.
Between the weight of world events I wasn’t old enough to remember, and the disconnect between the analog and digital age, sometimes I feel like I have 9/11 in my belly.