Ava Jarvis

Nhà Họa / Artist

Tôi là nhà họa chuyên về chim muông và hoa.

I'm an artist specializing in birds, animals, and flowers.

No pronouns, call me aj. Gọi tôi aj.

Không tiền hoa hồng. No commissions.

Why Did You Leave (Such and Such a Place)?

I'm Vietnamese and I live in the currently called lands of the United States of America.

A lot of well-meaning (and not well-meaning) white folks do not want to hear all that often about the issues and fears of someone non-white, nor about how to make things actually better.

They speak of it not being fair for adults to be exposed to such traumatic information, and that if children aren't exposed then why should adults not have some leniancy too? I've heard that many, many times over 40 years and in 2020 I finally, finally had enough.

I had to learn about racism and how some people will forever hate me because of that, no matter what I do, when I was in Kindergarten. This is an extremely common and unavoidable experience of nearly all non-white people living in the USA.

If you are one of these people who says that kind of thing, and looks away when non-white people are in dire need of justice, how much did you really, in your heart, value us?

No, systematic racism isn't your fault. But if you don't want to look, and you don't want to listen even when I ask you for merely comfort and an ear and no further action, why would I want your "likes" for my works? You would abandon me the moment you found me uncomfortable, and that's not a good relationship between creator and audience.

And yeah, such people are tiring me out. From now on I will value them as much as they value the whole of me, not just the parts of me they find comforting and safe.

I am more than those parts. I always was. And I never could stay silent for long about that.

Nếu người ấy kính mến tranh hay lời của tôi
Mà không trọng tất cả tôi
Thì người ấy không đáng cho tranh và lời của tôi.
Tạm biệt người ấy.

If a person values my art or words
Yet does not value all of me
Then that person deserves neither my art nor my words.
Goodbye to that person.