Butterflies to Send A Message

Last week, if you happened to have walked on the bridge over the Circulation Services Desk in the Library you may have noticed hundreds of beautiful paper butterflies strung along one side of the bridge. There were also instructions and supplies for making your own butterfly.  The installation was displayed by Erika Bulger as part of Amnesty International's National Student Week of Action. We caught up with Erika to ask her what this installation was all about.

Who was involved in this installation?  Amnesty International and the Art Installations Club teamed up to create the installation, and Mrs. Linda Beninghove was nice enough to give us space in the Library.

How/Why did you get involved with these organizations?  I am currently the secretary for the Art Installations Club and the creative director for Amnesty International at Stevens. Amnesty International is a wonderful group that has worked for human rights globally since 1961. Human rights have historically been a realm of discussing and solving issues creatively (like Banksy's street art). The Art Installations Club and Amnesty International at Stevens go hand-in-hand, as art can be used to promote human rights.

What is the message you wish to convey with this installation?  The monarch butterfly is a symbol for immigrants because of their natural inclination to migrate. With the prevalence of xenophobia in society today, I wanted to tackle the politics around immigration. Since everyone can add to the installation, it unifies us in the experience. Immigrants and refugees are often dehumanized into criminals, but they are just like us. Everyone's ancestors had been immigrants at some point. 

Why did you choose the Library for this installation? It is a space where all majors congregate. I, an art student, can be found in the Library doing work alongside a quantitative finance major or a biomedical engineering student. The largest amount of people would be able to encounter the installation in the Library and present their different perspectives on the matter.

Any future installations around campus? Definitely! I personally would love to do more art installations on campus. This week is Amnesty International's National Student Week of Action, so if people want to see more this week there are many events being hosted.