X Collective

17 Feb

perspectivesoflitblogpic The X Collective is a group of five interested in expanding literacy in the Bronx.  The X is short for the Bronx, but also for the traditional symbol left by the illiterate.  Arismendy Feliz is the leader of the group as he began this quest for literacy running reading workshops for parents (mostly immigrants) at a struggling middle school in South Bronx.   Recently, the team has been using art to showcase the problems the “borough” is facing, one of them being literacy.  They have opened a show that is running through the end of February called “New Word Order” consisting of 26 pieces for the 26 letters of the alphabet.  The piece you see to the left is the depiction of the letter Y.  It also illustrates its title “Why Must I Be Here” with its angry red lines and stress shown in the image.  The group plans to stir up conversation about what makes the Bronx uncomfortable (their issues) and remain advocates for literacy.

This article is specifically addressing an adult audience.  Some people may be nervous or embarassed to attend reading workshops or classes.   Why not create an environment with virtually no pressure? It also offers familiarity.  If you haven’t been reading and writing all of your life, or reading and writing the English language, then you have probably been associating words and meanings with images.  When I was first learning the alphabet, i didn’t remember the letter A because it was simply the letter A.  I remembered it because it was the first letter in apple and I could picture an apple and associate it with the letter A.   That’s what this show is doing.   It’s using the visual to understand the meaning of the abstract.  I think what these men are doing for literacy is admirable.   Like I mentioned in previous posts, teaching literacy creatively can really draw and hold attention and it is worth trying.



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