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Project Semicolon by Proggya Paromita

 

This piece is titled “Project Semicolon”, after the American mental health non-profit organization that functions as an anti-suicide initiative. In mental health terms, the symbol of a semicolon is representative of continuance.

 

As quoted by the organization, “a semicolon is used when an author could have chosen to end their sentence, but chose not to. The author is you, and the sentence is your life.”

 

In the piece, a man with his eyes closed is holding two balloons in the shape of a semicolon. The strings of the balloons spell out “hold on”, “ask for help” and “you are loved,” which are all messages that one may intend on conveying to individuals contemplating self-harm. There is a tattoo on the neck of the man that says “help the people.”

 

Proggya is currently a high school senior at West Orange High School. As a part of her AP Art Concentration theme (Power of Words in Pop Culture/Media), she decided to focus on crucial societal concerns that teenagers are hesitant to discuss.

 

She often uses her artwork to raise awareness on issues and topics that are not necessarily the easiest to discuss in the classroom.

 

As an individual who has witnessed the tragic outcomes of self-harm in the community and online,  she faced the obligation to voice her concerns. This piece, titled “Project Semicolon” is representative of her efforts to bring the issue of self-harm and suicide to West Orange High School.

 

It is her hope that this is just the beginning of a very educational and awareness-arousing experience for our town, and she is honored to be considered as a part of forwarding this Suicide Advocacy Coalition.