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“There are these two young fish swimming along and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way, who nods at them and says ‘Morning, boys. How’s the water?’ And the two young fish swim on for a bit, and then eventually one of them looks over at the other and goes ‘What the hell is water?’”
- David Foster Wallace, 2005 Commencement Speech
As the younger fishes demonstrate, sometimes the most obvious and important realities are also the hardest for us to see and talk about. For the shirt design, we wanted to convey people running around in different directions without realizing the larger structure they are all in.
We want to pay closer attention to harmful social systems that we are all entrenched in. Institutionalized racism in our country demonstrates the way larger structures trickle into everyday life in many ways that remain unseen. In order to change our collective social reality for the better, we must first understand what systems we are all participating in and how. We need to realize the water we’re in.
“To live in a society means to exist under the domination of society’s logic. Very often men act by this logic without knowing it.”
- Peter Berger, Sociology as a Form of Consciousness