9th Grad Mask Exhibition
Since Animas opened its doors in 2009, freshmen have started the year with deep self-reflection on who they are through the iconic Identity Mask Project. In this project, they write essays about how the forces of socialization have shaped their identities and create a mask to symbolically represent these concepts.
To prepare for this project, the 9th graders studied Bobbie Harro’s “Cycle of Socialization,” among other core texts related to the sociological concepts surrounding identity formation.
The students looked at “agents of socialization” such as parents, peers, schools, religious groups, and media. All of these agents shape our individual beliefs and personality traits. Freshman Julia Glotfelty reflected, “[The purpose of the project] was to learn how we’ve been socialized, which has resulted in me thinking about my surroundings and how they’ve made me who I am.”
Another important aspect of the project was the examination of how different groups in society experience life’s trials and tribulations differently based on the identity categories they are born into, such as gender, race, and sexual orientation. Freshman Harper Jones shared, “This project opened my eyes to the different perspectives and struggles that people different from me go through. I didn’t just learn about myself, but about what others are experiencing in our society.”
The freshmen exhibited their masks and essays at Durango Coffee Company on December 12th. Reflecting on his final project, Sage Robbins remarked, “My ultimate goal was to feel comfortable to express my life into an essay and mask that I could show to people.”
For many students, the Mask Project can completely shift their perspective on the world. Rio Edmondson commented, “There was a lot more to this project than just a mask and essay because you have to hold a mirror up to yourself and think about who you are on a much deeper level.”
By Mya Oyler