My favorite art is subversive. It exposes hidden power. It surfaces prejudiced assumptions. It excavates the rotten roots of our comfort. This native artist, Natalie Diaz, articulates it well:
Our art is dangerous because it is where we as native peoples are the most possible — not as subjects to be categorized or gazed upon but as makers and creators of what has not yet been. Indigenous art is born of ceremony — it is a set of practices and processes fueled by dreams, intuition, and imagination. To create is a radical act. It is radical to let yourself build something new and unknown, motivated not by law or order or rule — to be moved not in submission to a master but as the master, as the dreamer, as someone ignited with a holy, sacred energy. Our imagination is prisoner to no one and obeys no borders...
...When we create, we invoke the body, our own and every body that came before us — against erasure, against massacre, against imprisonment, against illness, against forgetfulness…Part of this indigenous lexicon is a belief that body refers to both the land and the beings who live upon it…To take care of the earth is to take care of the self. Our languages, our images, and our stories arise from our bodies and from the dirts and waters we were formed from. America has respect for neither body — what it has done in violence to our brown bodies it has done in violence to our earth.
I study philosophy and social theory at the University of South Florida. I am also a photographer, map lover and sometimes poet.