In less than two weeks I will be travelling to Tiotia:ke (“Montreal”) to partcipate in Unceded Voices and anti-colonial street art convergence. It will be my first time in the territory and I am excited to meet the other participating artists. This convergence is funded through grassroots fundraising and is not accepting government or corporate funding. It is made entirely possible by people who believe that art and culture can amplify worldviews that are centered from Indigenous perspectives. Please consider donating to the fundraising campaign here: -> donate: www.gofundme.com/uncededvoices
Anti-colonial Street Artists Convergence
August 14-23, 2015 – Tiotia:ke / “Montreal”
Throughout UNCEDED VOICES, visiting and local artists will be creating art pieces on the streets of Tiohtià:ke (Montreal) between August 14 until August 23. Some of these collaborations will be open to the public. There will also be several events open to the public (workshops, panels, screenings, etc.). For updates, visit our website (decolonizingstreetart.com) or our facebook page (www.facebook.com/decolonizingstreetart)
PARTICIPATING ARTISTS: Cam (Montreal) * Demian Diné Yazhi’ (Radical Indigenous Survivance & Empowerment)* Jessica Sabogal (Oakland) * lianne charlie (Little Salmon/Carmacks First Nation) * Lindsay Katsitsakatste Delaronde (Kahnawake) * Melanie Cervantes (Oakland) * Mitra Fakhrashrafi / #Decolonize History (Toronto) * Red Bandit (Toronto) * Warraba Weatherall (Gamilaraay Nation)
More artists to be confirmed. Read more about the participating artists here:http://decolonizingstreetart.com/participating-artists-2015
ABOUT UNCEDED VOICES
The goal of Decolonizing Street Art is two-fold: to develop a network of solidarity and support between Indigenous street artists; to promote anti-colonial resistance through diverse street art interventions.
At present, Decolonizing Street Art organizes an annual convergence of street artists in Montreal. The second gathering will take place this coming August 14-23, 2015 under the name “Unceded Voices”.
During Unceded Voices, artists from all over Turtle Island (and beyond) will be making street art interventions on the streets of Montreal. Unceded Voices will also include workshops and panels on the theme of anti-colonialism.
This year (2015) all participating artists are Indigenous and/or people of colour. In the long-term, Decolonizing Street Art is focused specifically on supporting a solidarity network of women-identified Indigenous street artists.
The organizing principles of Decolonizing Street Art include opposition to colonialism, capitalism, and all forms of oppression, including but not limited to racism, patriarchy, heterosexism, ableism and transphobia. We organize on the basis of solidarity, mutual aid and support, as anti-colonial street artists and supporters.
Decolonizing Street Art is a grassroots initiative. We refuse state and corporate funding. Our overall budget (less than $4000 annually) is raised via crowdfunding and the support of local groups and individuals.
Decolonizing Street Art promotes autonomous street art (distinct from public art) that is not financed by government or corporate institutions, or represents their interests.
Decolonizing Street Art’s lead organizer is Camille Larivée, a queer and feminist Innu street artist based in Montreal, with the support of local allied individuals and organizations. The original idea for Decolonizing Street Art emerged from a conversation between Camille and Tom GreyEyes (Navajo) in November 2013.
SUPPORT UNCEDED VOICES
Here are some ways you can support Unceded Voices:
FINANCIAL DONATION: We are currently raising the money needed for Unceded Voices (to cover travel costs of participants, as well as materials). Visit our gofundme campaign to make a donation: www.gofundme.com/uncededvoices; you can also get in touch by e-mail to make a cash donation: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please share our facebook event: www.facebook.com/events/970129306351884
Link to our website: www.decolonizingstreetart.com
Get in touch about getting flyers and posters: email@example.com
SHARE MATERIALS: Please consider making in-kind donations. Some of our needs include: paint, spraypaint, brushes and scaffolding. To make a donation, e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org to make arrangements.
WALL SPACES: We’re on the look-out for wall spaces in Montreal for murals and wheatpasting. If you can help us out, get in touch by e-mail:email@example.com
Materials: Birch wood and Sage ashes
Dimensions: 36” X 48”
Location: Nevada City, Occupied Nisenan Land
Date: October 2014
Four portraits of local Nisenan ancestors were created and placed on the mountain side at the For-Site Foundation in Nevada City. The portraits are facing the buttes in view to the west where the sun sets and the Nisenan creation stories say is where they came from and go to in the afterlife. The four are grandparents and great grandparents of Shelly Covert, the Secretary of the Nisenan Tribe. The Nisenan lived in what became Nevada City when miners showed up to the area during the gold rush in 1849 and they lost most of their land where they held ceremonies, gatherings and lived since time immemorial.
Ancestors Honor Death
Family Carries On
Powerful Heritage Dances
Wind Reclaims Culture
Silent Movement Returns
Over the past two years I have been in the Master of Fine Arts program at California College of the Arts and this past week I presented my thesis exhibit at the Galeria de la Raza with some of the work I made during this time. I had a lot of fun during this time and enjoyed pushing myself artistically and working with new materials and moving from making prints to moving off the wall and creating installations. With this new body of work I found new ways of exploring family history, community and cultural issues and am really proud to share this work with my community.
I want to thank every one who helped make this exhibit possible. First off my partner Melanie Cervantes who has supported me through this chapter of my life and always challenged me to make my work to keep pushing my work. The Galeria de la Raza and the director Ani Rivera who opened the Galeria to me when I needed a place for my exhibit. Plus the crew there who worked to make this exhibit possible, Jess Sabogal, Gilda Posada, Elizabeth Blancas, Abby Hernández, Lola Elizabeth Pérez.
Using screen prints, art workshops, installations and gatherings my work deals the contemporary realities of people who are building a transformative social justice movement while recovering from the distress of a large-scale spiritual amnesia. I draw my inspiration from a Xicana Cosmo vision that has faced near destruction but has been persevered in stories and gestures that have been passed down through the generations and in the symbols and images left on codices, stone stamps and temple walls. Looking back to the seven generations of indigenous ancestors, my work honors their struggles and works to create a future in which struggles are continued.
As a detribalized Xicana living in diaspora my history is tied with other Third World and Indigenous People(s) dealing with the effects of colonization, genocide and exploitation on a global level. I believe art can be an empowering reflection of community struggles, dreams and visions and my work aims to translate people’s stories into art that can be put back into the hands of the communities who initially inspire it. Deeply rooted in my community I understand the importance of communal assemblies, gathering together to make art and meditate on pressing issues in order to collectively address our concerns and mobilize to collectively transform our society.
Galeria de la Raza, 2857 24th St., San Francisco, CA
Opening Reception: Friday., May 15, 6-9 p.m.
Open Saturday, May 16 12pm-6pm and Sunday, May 17 12pm-5pm
Free and open to the public
Mark you calendars for Cinco de Mayo in Oakland. Join us at the 2015 Reclaiming Cinco de Mayo event to celebrate the community victory of Stopping the Gang Injunctions in Oakland, the soft opening of La Cultura Cura Cultural Arts Cafe as well as the art exhibit opening of Dignidad Rebelde'exhibit! Bring family and friends to enjoy an evening of poetry, live music, teatro, food, Native American drum, Danza Azteca and Dignidad Rebelde art exhibit!
What is La Cultura Cura Cultural Arts Cafe?
La Cultura Cura Cultural Arts Cafe is a social enterprise of Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice that aims to employ and empower systems impacted youth and young adults. We will be reestablishing old Indigenous trade routes by purchasing organic coffee beans directly from our Mayan relatives in Chiapas. We plan to train and employ formerly incarcerated youth and young adults, and provide a community building space that proudly promotes cultural arts and activism. We envision a community space that contributes to the positive economic development of the Fruitvale district, that benefits the long term residents of Oakland, and responds to gentrification in a meaningful and thoughtful way. Our vision is to build a beautiful and inviting cafe, ice cream parlor, smoothie bar, bookstore, and performance space that will be a vibrant gathering space for our youth and the community.
Our coffee is 100% organic certified in both Mexico and the U.S. We drip brew our coffee by the cup to ensure a rich and extremely fresh tasting cup of coffee for each and every customer.