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Deanna Mead

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Bio Summary
Cohort Year: 
2017
Home Institution: 
Temple University
Heinz Programming Area: 
Arts & Culture
Study Abroad Country: 
Czech Republic
International Experience

Brooke Mead traveled to Prague, Czech Republic through the USAC Prague program from mid-May to mid-June this past summer. In Prague, Brooke studied Alternative Culture, Literature, Lifestyles, and Music, focusing on the underground art and music that came out of the soviet regime. Through keeping a daily journal and blog, Brooke learned not only about the history behind avant-garde, minimalist, and punk art movements, but also about how she could use those same art styles to spread a message of feminist equality and body image positivity in a country with very few female artists. Although she entered the Czech Republic barely knowing the Czech alphabet, thanks to her Introduction to Czech Language class Brooke was able to converse with the USAC staff, order at a restaurant or coffee shop, and hold basic small-talk conversations in Czech by the end of her program. Shocked by how many of her classmates wanted to stay in their comfort zones and lean towards more familiar experiences, Brooke strove to make her own path in Prague, exploring underground concert venues, legal graffiti walls, and independently owned Czech restaurants. She left this experience feeling more confident in herself and in her ability to go off on her own to ensure she gets what she wants out of any experience. By the end of the program, Brooke completed her first self-published booklet (or "zine" as they're known in the underground music scene) entitled the "Modern Girl Manifesto," which encourages women to be strong in who they are and what they create, despite who society tells them to be. 

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