Date of Award

Spring 5-1-2023

Document Type

Multimedia Files (video/audio)

Publication Title

In Our Glory: A Memory Exhibition


Whittier Scholars Program

First Advisor

Kate Albers

Second Advisor

Scott Creley


When Susan Sontag wrote in 1977, “to collect photographs is to collect the world,” she could not have predicted how ubiquitous photography would become (Sontag 1977). Not only are we exposed to thousands of photographs each day, but we likely take dozens of them ourselves. In our photo-saturated world it is easy to take these candid images for granted, yet within them lies deep truths.

In Our Glory is an audio-visual installation that seeks to unravel these truths. It is based on interviews with individuals asked to describe a photograph of themselves, with one caveat: they are not allowed to see the photograph during the interview, and must rely solely on their memory. Taking a cue from Salman Rushdie’s claim that the “broken mirror may actually be as valuable as the one which is supposedly unflawed," In Our Glory revels in the ephemeral (Rushdie 1992). It is not so much an exhibition of images, as it is an exhibition of memories.

This iteration of In Our Glory focuses on the memories of migrant students, among them international students temporarily living in the United States, immigrant students permanently living in the United States, and those whose experiences cannot be so easily defined. A Romanian woman in a homophobic town finds community in her local theatre, a Jewish-Israeli traveler spends Hanakkuh with strangers in Australia, and a daughter of Estonian-American immigrants connects with her heritage through Soviet cartoons. These individual experiences are recontextualized as collective ones, and an overarching theme emerges: the resilience of identity.