The Next Generation

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The Next Generation by Olivia SuddlesonArtist’s Statement: This photo of my family friend’s daughter has initial tones of joy and happiness. There is bliss in her expression. However, there is an underlying notion of innocence in her that almost frightens me. This is because she does not yet fully understand the hate the world perpetuates around Jewish people such as ourselves. The current climate of our world reflects that our society still has an immense amount of learning to do in terms of the respect and decency Jewish-identifying people deserve. Extremely harmful and ignorant antisemitic behaviors are still extremely prominent in day-to-day life. Just last week, my school had to send out a mass email detailing that a desk had been carved with swastikas and the words “Hitler rocks” all over them. If that isn’t a sign that our world has a large game of catch-up to do, I don’t know what is. Antisemitism goes beyond simple hatred or intolerance. It is a fundamental, systematic issue that will take years to disentangle from societal norms. In many ways, it is up to the younger generations to educate our peers about how harmful these actions are and to reiterate the impact ignorance has on the well-being of a community.

Olivia Suddleson is a member of the class of 2024 at Harvard-Westlake High School in Los Angeles, California. Aside from photography, Olivia played competitive volleyball for many years and has a strong affinity for acting. Photography, however, is her main focus. She had a photo exhibited in the Getty Museum from June-October 2022.