Back in my freshman or sophomore year at Biola, the university did a photo-based marketing campaign centered around the phrase “Because of Biola, I have the courage to…” Participants were directed to complete the sentence, write it out on a piece of paper, and take a picture with their answer. Needless to say, all (or most) of the responses were highly positive (at least all of the photos displayed were of positive answers), for the obvious needs of marketing.
However, I couldn’t help but feel slightly cynical about the entire campaign. Is this really all there is to Biola? Certainly, there is nothing wrong with what my peers wrote—and I could easily write something similar about my time at Biola—but from my own experiences and from those of many people I knew, I knew there was much more that often didn’t get talked about because of both an individual and a corporate desire to appear happy and put-together. This project came into being as a gentle push-back to the veneer of positivity and all good things in an attempt to embrace a fuller human experience.