Daniel Eloy ’15 returned to campus on Wednesday evening to exhibit a towering display of red, white and gold paper flowers highlighting racial violence in America. Eloy’s installation is the first event of No Hate November.

Sponsored by the Bowdoin Student Government (BSG) and held in the the Lamarche Gallery of David Saul Smith Union, Eloy’s installation, titled “The Garden of White Imagination,” is a collection of 374 flowers folded from paper, each flower symbolizing a person killed by police in 2016. The red flowers symbolize unarmed individuals of color, while the golden flowers represent children of any race.

“Each flower is constructed and its bloom comes forth because of someone being killed,” said Eloy. 

Each flower is constructed from eight pieces of paper. Eloy folded nearly 3,000 total papers for the exhibition.

“It took a really long time,” he said. “It felt like a necessary reflection on what [is] going on.” 

BSG first began No Hate November programming four years ago as a means for the community to stand in solidarity with students who experience bias on and off campus. Throughout the month, the programs focus on engaging students in dialogue and conversation, using different platforms to discuss contemporary issues like police brutality. 

“Something that really mattered to me is that we had some sort of creative piece of art because I think art can be such a powerful way of moving towards justice, and … bringing people together,” said current BSG President Harriet Fisher ’17, who helped coordinate the exhibit. 

Eloy emphasized that the focus of the exhibit was justice. 

“This isn’t about hating police,” Eloy said. “If you’re a police officer, I would hope that we would think that you can handle situations that are going to be unpleasant. That’s the whole point of having them. If anybody can have a gun and police their own community this would happen, and yet it’s still happening, and we have a force that’s dedicated to learning about their communities, or should be, [but] they aren’t, and that is abusive.”

Eloy created the art to engage with the Bowdoin community about the current issues regarding police violence and people of color. Fisher noted that bringing the installation to Bowdoin was a “powerful way of moving towards justice and … bringing people together.” 

“I think Bowdoin has a lot of white kids who are very privileged, who haven’t had to feel uncomfortable about a lot of things before … [Through] a piece of art maybe they’ll feel just the right amount of uncomfortable to start doing some research on educating themselves about why people are being killed on the street by police,” Eloy said.

Fisher believes Bowdoin has been heading in the right direction in taking initiative to make this community more aware of contemporary issues, although the College still has work to do. 

“It’s a space that’s much more willing to have a conversation than it was when I was a freshman,” she said.