When I was a little girl, my family went on a trip to Texas and Oklahoma. While we were down there we visited some museums and saw the Trail of Tears memorial. I took from that trip a lot of memories and thoughts about the people displaced from their homeland. I also took with me a pink dreamcatcher that I placed above my bed that stayed there for years.

In my adulthood I learned a lot more about my family history in studying and writing about Critical Pedagogy and how powers that be often force language, culture and religion on people for the benefit of those in charge while claiming it was for those they were trying to help. In my undergraduate I watched Rabbit Proof Fence and learned about the suppression of one culture for another that occurred between many societies in history. In my graduate studies I learned about those that occurred in the United States. For example, my own great-great grandmother who was a native American was forced away from her family in order to be educated in Ligonier, Pennsylvania in their re-education schools and later married to an Englishman. My grandfather after growing up speaking Hungarian (his parents were immigrants), was made fun of when he went to grade school and so he refused to teach my mother and her sisters their ancestral tongue. In Korea I struggled with teaching young students English -> some schools wanted me to punish students for speaking Korean.

At one point I threw away my little pink dreamcatcher. Society had made me dislike my femininity and the color pink. And really it seemed like at that point in time my dreams were actually nightmares instead of something beautiful. But now, looking back I wish I still had that little token. I can’t go back and take back my childhood and what is gone but I can hope, dream and create a better future. The message for this painting is be true to you and YOUR dreams. Be aware of those that may try to squash them and hold fast to what makes YOU happy!

This artwork is a one of a kind piece hand painted by Stephanie Ishler of Hallyu Back. All artwork is for sale unless otherwise specified. If you are interested in purchasing this original painting, contact us here!