In 2011 I felt so tired of the Thanksgiving narrative and normalization of a day that celebrates invasion and genocide that I started an intentional practice of celebrating Indigenous resistance and resilience. So every year whereever I am at I take time to remember that despite all of the horrors of colonialism that indigenous peoples are still here. Still living, breathing and loving. I offer these images as a way to fight against erasure, invisibilty and the violence of forgetting.
This summer I had the opportunity to participate in the Decolonizing Street Artconvergence in Tio:tiake (occupied Montreal) and I am grateful to have had the opportunity to visit Mohawk Territory. The model for this piece and I talked about yearning for the languages of our indigenous abuelas and what it means to define who we are today. This piece also celebrates the knowledge that is so common that we forget it is rooted in indigenous wisdom. The maguey plant (agave) is well known for giving us tequila and mescal bit did you know it can also be used as fiber for hammocks, carpets, fishnets, and rope as well as clothing, food and a healing agent that kills e coli and staph? It was mashed into paper to make codices! The books that the Spaniards burned when they invaded these lands. This knowledge is so close and common yet we some times can’t account for it. We are so close we look past it. Like trying to chase a rainbow which is the reflection of light in droplet of water we just have to stop, pay attention and look at things with the right angle to see them. Aiako'nikonhraién:ta'ne’. This is a Mohawk word that translates to- to come to understand and that is what man of us Xicanxs are working so diligently to do against the violence of forgetting that colonialism pushes us toward. To understand who we are and where we come from. I was interviewed by Maxime Faureduring my time there. Watch this video to learn about the mural I painted while I was there.
We created a new installation for this years Dia de los Muertos exhibit please join us for the opening Friday October 16th.
Celebrating the theme of memorial across cultures, the 21st annual Días de los Muertos (Days of the Dead) exhibition, Rituals + Remembrance, explores how Latin American, Filipino, Hawaiian, Japanese, Chinese and other communities view death, memory, and healing. The exhibition includes new and existing work by artists Nancy Hom, Lilli Lanier, Yvonne Escalante, Charles Valeroso, Bryan Keith Thomas, Daniel King (aka Safety First), Paco Garcia, Melanie Cervantes, and Jesus Barraza, as well as installations created by MetWest High School, Sankofa Academy, and the Alameda County Public Health Department.
Days of the Dead Community Celebration
Sunday, October 25, 11 am–4:30 pm
The popular annual community celebration will feature main stage performances ranging from contemporary popular music to folkloric dance, Mariachi to Aztec dance. An artisanal mercado will highlight the OMCA Store and local vendors featuring traditional and contemporary apparel, craft, artwork, and food. A selection of festive food highlighting the Bay Area’s diversity of cuisines will be avaiable for purchase from Off the Grid, and Bike East Bay will provide a bike valet service.
Human beings are facing a moment of global crisis whose outcome will decide the future of our planet. The power to make decisions that affect multiple generations of people, animals and the natural environment throughout the world has long been concentrated in the hands of a few people. Decisions are being made for the economic benefit of corporate interests that serve shortsighted visions driven by economic greed. Now, frontline communities made of Indigenous peoples, people of color in the Global South and North are forced to confront the devastating effects caused by the disharmonious practices symptomatic of capitalism. Drilling for oil and fracking are polluting the water systems, industrialization is producing tons of carbon emissions that are destroying the atmosphere and together they are responsible for cataclysmic changes to the environment. False solutions like “clean” coal, nuclear power and the commodification of the air are pushed as the ways out but only increase the dependence on destructive processes. The irony of this moment is that the frontline communities whose time tested methods for maintaining balance and harmony between life and the natural world are the key holders of the solutions to the massive global challenges we are facing.
Check out out all the posters here: climateprints.org
Downlaod jpg and pdf here to print out your copy.
We wish we were in New York for this awesome exhibit of posters and publications by Cuba’s Organization of Solidarity of the Peoples of Africa, Asia, and Latin America (OSPAAAL) being presented by the Interference Archive. We had the opportunity to see some of the OSPAAAL work that they have in their collection and it is amazing to see this revolutionary history of third world movements and the solidarity expressed through words and images. There is a whole series of programing along with the exhibit and all the information can be found on the Interference Archive. There is also a publication that the Interference Archive is publishing and you can support by purchasing a copy through the presale that is helping fund the printing. There is also a portfolio being produced to coincide with the exhibit and we are one of the ten artists participation. All the info is below, so if you are in New York soon you should check it out.
September 16–November 22, 2015
Opening Wednesday Sept. 16, 7–10pm
Interference Archive presents Armed By Design: Posters and Publications of Cuba’s Organization of Solidarity of the Peoples of Africa, Asia, and Latin America (OSPAAAL), a public exhibition and event series which features the graphic design production of OSPAAAL. Armed By Design will highlight the intersection of graphic design and political solidarity work in post-revolution Cuba through the lens of OSPAAAL’s output.
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