Hyperallergic: Centering Indigenous voices and decolonizing institutions will be the topics at forthcoming discussion at EFA

Raising Indigenous Women’s Voices in a Campaign to Decolonize Cultural Institutions

In a roundtable discussion at the EFA Project Space, Indigenous women and invited guests will hash out how best to center Indigenous voices and decolonize our institutions.

Drums on a triangular bench built by IV Castellanos for “Feet On The Ground,” a participatory group performance by Esther Neff, IV Castellanos and Maria Hupfield, 2018. (photo by Crystal Migwans)

With the rise of movements to decolonize institutions and empower Indigenous populations to reclaim their homelands, artists, curators, academics, and art spaces can make crucial contributions. Their role is at the center of the current exhibition at the Elizabeth Foundation for Arts (EFA) Project Space, #callresponse, and a roundtable discussion on Wednesday’s evening, “Honoring Our Sisters.”

Works in the exhibition (including pieces by Christi Belcourt, Maria Hupfield, Cheryl L’Hirondelle, Isaac Murdoch, and Esther Neff) will serve as points of departure for Wednesday’s conversation between three Indigenous women — Columbia University professor Audra Simpson, Columbia PhD candidate Crystal Migwans, and Tarah Hogue, a senior curatorial fellow in Indigenous art at the Vancouver Art Gallery. They’ll be joined by invited guests from related sectors of the academic and curatorial worlds, including El Museo del BarrioSenior Curator Rocio Aranda-Alvarado; Jaskiran Dhillon, a professor of global studies and anthropology at the New School; Carin Kuoni, the director and chief curator at the Vera List Center for Arts and Politics; and Melissa Iakowi:he’ne’ Oakes, a social advocate and organizer at the American Indian Community House.

Hupfield will moderate the discussion, which is being presented in partnership by both EFA Project Space and American Indian Artists Inc. The group conversation will explore how artists and art institutions can center and elevate the voices of Indigenous women, thereby setting the stage for greater accountability and more meaningful steps toward decolonization, land reclamation, and rejuvenation. Conversations such as this one can help forge a more equitable, inclusive, and sustainable path forward in an art world that too often has flaunted its indifference to these issues.

When: Wednesday, March 28, 6–8:30pm
Where: EFA Project Space (323 West 39th Street, 2nd floor, Garment District, Manhattan)