ESPEJISMO: A Festival of Borrowed Reflections is an art installation at the Yale School of Management that invites its audience to reflect on the perspectives of others and to share personal thoughts about seeing and being seen. The project—the first of its kind at Yale SOM—is a collaboration between Yale SOM students, Colombian-American artist Yazmany Arboleda, and the creative agency limeSHIFT.
From April 24 to 30, mirrors borrowed from Yale students, New Haven residents, and communities around the world will line the floor of the Bekenstein Atrium in Yale SOM. Simultaneously, espejismo.art will collect personal reflections on the question “When people see you, what would you like them to know?” The responses, available online and in print, will complement the installation by revealing to audiences the surprising complexity of those around them.
“I have seen the dangers of caustic environments firsthand,” says Elaine Dang, one of the project’s student co-leaders, “and I firmly believe that the only way to neutralize those environments is to build empathy and connections between seemingly different people.” Dang hopes that posing ESPEJISMO’s fundamental question, “When people see you, what would you like them to know?” will help to achieve this.
Gayla Burks, the project’s other student co-leader, says that ESPEJISMO’s literal and textual reflections “will allow our community to see others, challenge our conclusions, and check our assumptions about one another, while making people know that they are seen and that they matter.”
Among the borrowed mirrors, so far, are ones that belong to faithful Christian and Muslim communities; Pulitzer Prize winners, such as Du Yun; Somali refugees; mayors; celebrated artists, such as Avram Finklestein; undocumented immigrants; Yale SOM Deans Snyder, Jain, and Scully; students across Yale University; and other community members.