All posts tagged: indigenous

Chip Thomas’ New Mural, Indigenous People, and #NoDAPL

Chip Thomas’ New Mural, Indigenous People, and #NoDAPL

Street Artist and activist Jetsonorama (Chip Thomas) saw his work pull together a number of people in Durango, Colorado on October 10th as the city and the college celebrated their first ever “Indigenous People’s Day”. His photograph of an indigenous youth named JC Morningstar swinging and kissing her dog was chosen by a group of students from Fort Lewis College, where 24% of the population is indigenous.

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Chip Thomas. Indigenous People’s Day at Fort Lewis College. Durango, CO. (photo © Chip Thomas)

The unveiling ceremony for the mural began with a traditional pow wow prayer by a drum circle and Chip says “the highlight of the day for me was having JC, her dog and her family travel 4 hours to Durango to attend the unveiling before going to the Tribe Called Red show that evening.”

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Chip Thomas. The original photograph of JC Morningstar holding her dog on a swing. Indigenous People’s Day at Fort Lewis College. Durango, CO. (photo © Chip Thomas)

Included in the days’ events were speeches, poetry readings and a demonstration addressing social and indigenous issues including police brutality and solidarity with #NoDAPL in Standing Rock, North Dakota. In fact so many small and large communities and demonstrations have been showing their support with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in its battle against the $3.78 billion Dakota Access Pipeline, that on a recent September day a map showed 100 demonstrations in 35 states and 5 countries.

Clearly Indigenous communities are eager to have their voices heard and their issues addressed. Jetsonorama says he hopes his mural helps.

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A real pow wow, and a prayer. Chip Thomas. Indigenous People’s Day at Fort Lewis College. Durango, CO. (photo © Chip Thomas)

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Chip Thomas’ mural of JC and her dog on the wall with JC’s family on the stage to take a bow. Indigenous People’s Day at Fort Lewis College. Durango, CO. (photo © Chip Thomas)

 

 

 

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“Decolonizing Street Art” Gives Voice to More than the Usual

“Decolonizing Street Art” Gives Voice to More than the Usual

Politically themed Street Art or murals have a long tradition – as long as people have had something to advocate for or against. The modern Street Art movement may trace its roots to political postering that came with the printing press or 20th century Mexican muralism or the 1968 student demonstrations around the world, especially in Paris – but artists have used and been used to communicate ideas and opinions in the public sphere much longer than this.

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Decolonize History.  Decolonizing Street Art festival. Montreal, Canada. August 2014. (photo © Zola)

Today, whether it is the Arab Spring or the Occupy movement or simply a personal campaign to combat harassment by cat-callers or the economic violence of local gentrification, politically charged speech of one sort or another takes place on the street when artists give it voice.

“Decolonizing Street Art”, a festival an project that took place in August in Canada, convened with the idea that carrying issues directly to the public can affect opinions and possibly produce positive change for people whom the organizers would like to give voice to.

Since the high profile and increasingly moneyed version of the current Street Art festival scene is populated worldwide primarily by men with characteristics of the dominant culture, the organizers and participants of “Decolonizing Street Art” may also be commenting on that backdrop as well. Whatever the motivation, these are voices that not many hear or see.

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Decolonize History.  Decolonizing Street Art festival. Montreal, Canada. August 2014. (photo © Võ ThiênViệt)

Hosted in and programmed “on unceded territory, in so-called Montreal”, this handful of artists speak of the indigenous people of the planet and the history of colonialism, the Arab/Israeli conflict, the poisoning of the environment and its effect on humans and animals, and the rights of many marginalized categories of people.

With a concentrated effort this first entry into a still-forming circuit of Street Art festivals and programs worldwide, Decolonizing Street Art makes a formal statement about making space for more radical views comparatively than one typically sees. Whether it is native communities or disenfranchised poor or disappeared women, this effort aims to bring more voices to the street to speak their truth.

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Zola.  Decolonizing Street Art festival. Montreal, Canada. August 2014. (photo © Zola)

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LMNOPI.  Decolonizing Street Art festival. Montreal, Canada. August 2014. (photo © Võ Thiên Việt)

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LMNOPI.  Decolonizing Street Art festival. Montreal, Canada. August 2014. (photo © Võ Thiên Việt)

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LMNOPI.  Decolonizing Street Art festival. Montreal, Canada. August 2014. (photo © Võ Thiên Việt)

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LMNOPI . Red Bandit . Swarm.  Decolonizing Street Art festival. Montreal, Canada. August 2014. (photo © Võ Thiên Việt)

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Red Bandit.  Decolonizing Street Art festival. Montreal, Canada. August 2014. (photo © Võ Thiên Việt)

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Swarm. Decolonizing Street Art festival. Montreal, Canada. August 2014. (photo © Võ Thiên Việt)

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Swarm. Decolonizing Street Art festival. Montreal, Canada. August 2014. (photo © Võ Thiên Việt)

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Pyramid Oracle. Decolonizing Street Art festival. Montreal, Canada. August 2014. (photo © Võ Thiên Việt)

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Jessica Sabogal.  Decolonizing Street Art festival. Montreal, Canada. August 2014. (photo © Võ Thiên Việt)

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David Rotten. Decolonizing Street Art festival. Montreal, Canada. August 2014. (photo © Võ Thiên Việt)

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Chris Bose. Decolonizing Street Art festival. Montreal, Canada. August 2014. (photo © Võ Thiên Việt)

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Chris Bose. Decolonizing Street Art festival. Montreal, Canada. August 2014. (photo © Zola)

To learn more about Decolonizing Street Art click HERE.

See videos from five of the participating artists on BSA Film Friday 10.10.14.

 

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