Please help my brilliant artist friend, Daniel Drennan ElAwar!

His Kickstarter campaign is almost funded!! It’s based on his views and experiences regarding adoptions, and it’s called: Mothers’ Voices: A “Rematriated” Adoptee’s Art Residency.

From the Kickstarter page:

My name is Daniel, I was born in Qbeih, Lebanon, in 1963. Two months later I was adopted by an American family, and grew up in New Jersey. In 2004 I returned and lived and worked in Beirut for 12 years. It was last year at this time that I learned the truth about my adoption narrative, was reunited with extended family, that I visited my mother’s grave, but then was obliged to leave the country and return to the States. I was recently named a resident artist at the Newark Print Shop, and have proposed a printmaking project entitled: “Mothers’ Voices”. The project is detailed below, and a fuller personal narrative is included. I thank you in advance for your time and consideration of this project.

I know Daniel from the Interactive Telecommunications Program at NYU, where we were both grad students, and where we both later taught. (He’s one of the most fun people I know, and very passionate and smart.)

I grabbed this picture of Daniel from a New York Times piece about Daniel’s search for his past. The photographer is Ozier Muhammad/The New York Times.

We Will Never Learn and I Have Proof

I’ve made this joke many times, that I’ve wanted to title my books We Will Never Learn and I Have Proof, but I’ve never wanted to more than with this one. I’m giving my book a final read before sending it to my editor, where it will go on to copy editing. It’s a chance to step back, and reflect on what the book says as a whole.

This book covers so many areas: criminal justice, mental health, poverty, health care, and I’ve had the opportunity to learn how we, as a society, have handled very difficult problems in these fields for the past 150 years or so.

But what I’ve learned, as so many historians learn over and over, is that we keep doing the same terrible things over and over. It’s most striking in the area of criminal justice, where I read about the same appalling practices that John Oliver covers in his show Last Week Tonight.

I’ve probably posted these sentiments before, I’m sure I’ve written posts with this title before, but I’m just really feeling it now. I’m going over what I’ve written about prisons full of teenagers and poor people, and the bail system, and it’s just appalling. What upsets me most is, I don’t know how to turn it around. I have no suggestions. Well, no realistic suggestions, but I’ll post about that when my book comes out.

I’ve certainly made my book sound appealing, haven’t I??

Tomorrow is my birthday, and this is a present from a friend!