Since 2006, Naeem Mohaiemen has explored defeated utopias in an ongoing project — The Young Man Was, a history of the 1970s revolutionary left. As part of this, in Two Meetings and a Funeral (2017), a critically acclaimed three-channel film recently premiered in Documenta 14 in Kassel, Mohaiemen emphasizes the left in state power, and henceforth, to its eventual failure through misrecognition. In this artist talk at YSoA, Mohaiemen poses what different stories may have come out if the form were autobiography. In his conversations with Dutch journalist Peter Custers, the protagonist of Last Man in Dhaka Central (2015), “unrequited love” surfaces as a metaphor for the 1970s left as a movement that attempted to, unsuccessfully, revive itself in later years.
Not just humor, but the overall tone of your application essay is remarkably important. It's also difficult to get right. When you are asked to write about your accomplishments, those 750 words on how great you are can make you sound like a braggart. Be careful to balance your pride in your achievements with humility and generosity towards others. You also want to avoid sounding like a whiner -- use your essay to show off your skills, not to explain the injustices that lead to your low math score or failure to graduate #1 in your class.