Bathroom Break

As an adolescent, my experience with power is one that has left much to be desired. By virtue of being young, we find ourselves subject to the ruling of almost every authority: parents, teachers, law officers, religious leaders, and the like. We do not have the opportunity to experience power so much as we do the lack thereof. Therein lies a perpetual tug of war, a desire for control, an inevitable rebellion by which we seek to claim what we feel is ours. 

The following images depict the avalanche of emotions that mark this dynamic. I chose the backdrop of a high school because it’s a common ground for many of us. It is here that we fight peer pressure. It is here that we argue with teachers over grades and skirt lengths and phones. Sometimes we win these fights, sometimes we lose them. Sometimes it’s enough for us to excuse ourselves for two minutes, grab a sip by the water fountain, goof off in the bathroom, and be shackle-free. Even if it’s just for two minutes. That’s what we see in the last picture. As controlled as our lives may be as young people, we still are able to find "bathroom breaks”: slivers in time, pockets of opportunity to be free. And we seize each of those moments. 

By Ines Donfack

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