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The Mission Project. 

The Mission Project is a conceptual tracking of person in connection to place. A creative examination of familial history and personhood in connection to the Colonial Apparatus in function. Colonial Apparatus meaning systemic and social normality resulting from European contact. For the purpose of this work specifically the eventual so called “settlement” of what is now known as the Southwestern United States. My grandmother was born in Raton New Mexico in 1934. Her mother my maternal great grandmother indigenous to Northern New Mexico, Abáachi Mizaa (Spanish Colonized Jicarilla Apache). Speaking matrilineally and in the name of my grandmother I seek to critically approach our enculturation in connection to regional waves of occupation.

Pulling into our view; government funded project the Vanishing Race by Edward Curtis (1904). The Vanishing Race problematically purposed to perpetuate myths of the soft, silent, disappearance of indigenous peoples. Side stepping an unrecognized genocide of first nations people carried out strategically for centuries. The Vanishing Race is an inaccurate and problematic body of work. A testimonial to propagandic material production, normalized through the use of the photograph. Bringing forward photographs of my own family, in this same time frame, each image a proclamation of survivance, carefully stored within my grandmother’s trunk for generations. With intention, love, and a devotion to my family’s remembrance, I bring our story forward in protest of our vanishing and in cementing my own existence. I bring forward the complexity of our adaptation for safety, in hopes of finding connection through understandings tied to the complexity of southwestern indigeneity, indigenous diaspora, and my own matrilineal decent. I seek to analyze the normalization of Anglo centricity to the loss of indigenous knowledge within my own familial ties, of which a journey of creative reclamation became my focus. This body of work is a reflection of this journey.

Thesis Video: Let The Caged Bird Sing.
{The Black Gallery}

The Mission Project. Thesis Exhibition 2022.

Years of Production: 2019-2022
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