The Center for Civic Leadership is excited to announce that our Zeff Fellowship Awardee for 2020 is Areli Navarro Magallon.
The Zeff Fellowship supports one Rice graduating senior through 365 days of travel in the pursuit of a fellow’s passion, self-discovery, and growth. Fellows only travel to places they have not been before, accelerating personal growth through navigating transience.
This year, Areli will be exploring “Mortality, Memory, and Material Creation,” a project that departs from her Mexican upbringing and seeks to explore global iterations of the visual and material culture around death. Through her culture’s constant and joyous engagements with death, she has come to understand how human efforts to grieve, adorn, and grapple with death speak to how we choose to live, construct, and idealize life. Her year will consist of observing and appreciating the ritualized meaning-making different cultures practice in order to “rebody” those who are absent. As she examines the material commemoration of lives already extinguished, she hopes to develop a parallel pursuit of self-creation through artistic documentation of a life in the making—her Zeff year. Above all, she hopes to learn from the ways in which the invisible and the material are not so diametrically opposed, just as life’s value is not mutually exclusive to its end. Areli is graduating with majors in both English and Art History and a minor in Museums and Cultural Heritage.