#wespeakamerican: Graduate Student's Project Claps Back at Racism

Wednesday, March 31, 2021
Screenshot of the motion graphic clip "WeSpeakAmerican" -  A typographic arrangement of Thai and Western characters

Graduate student Chalermpol(Pol) Jittagasem's recent independent study project, supervised by Prof. Saskia van Kampen, offers a powerful graphic response to anti-immigrant racism. In Pol's own words, "The name of this project is #wespeakamerican. No matter who you are, where you come from, what languages you speak, we are the same, we are all American. I want to empower people to not be ashamed of their mother language. I want this project to reflect the fact that speaking more than one language is beneficial."

This project represents Pol's own journey as an immigrant to the US from Thailand, having directly experienced people shaming him as a recent immigrant for not "speaking American." #wespeakamerican offers a powerful graphic clap back: speaking languages other than English is a benefit, one of the joys of living in a multiracial, multiethnic, multicultural and multilingual society.

A motion graphic of Pol's work is available here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kwpyXagPDW4

Photograph of a bus stop showing how the graphic design would look in context

Photograph of a bus stop showing how the graphic design would look in context